Animal Collective, Actress to offer electronic weirdness at The National this Friday 11/4

by | Nov 1, 2016 | MUSIC

Two masters of weird electronic beats are coming to RVA this week – one you probably have heard of and one you might not have.

Two masters of weird electronic beats are coming to RVA this week – one you probably have heard of and one you might not have.

First up is the one many of us are familiar with after years of mushroom trips and time spent in shitty Carver apartments. Animal Collective, hailing from Baltimore/another universe, consists of David Portner (Avey Tare), Noah Lennox (Panda Bear), Brian Weitz (Geologist)and Josh Dibb (Deakin).

They’ve been generating a variety of weird noises since 2003 but arguably hit a stride with the release of 2007’s Strawberry Jam. I can already see some early AC fans seething while reading that, but tracks like “Peacebone” really showed the band’s talent in a way they hadn’t achieved before:

Their earlier work and legendary, high energy shows slowly evolved in a nearly impossible-to-create-live sound with Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009) and Centipede Hz (2012). Though it should be noted Marriweather was one of the most acclaimed records of the year from almost every music publication in existence.

The current show, which often chains the performers to any number of synths and drum machines, might alienate some fans who long for the weird, often crowd-participatory shows that have since turned a bit more into religious, meditative experience.

They’re currently touring on the back of 2016’s Painting With which continues to show a and evolving, beat heavy sound (for better or worse), but it’s their live work that really deserves your attention.

Panda Bear and friends could fart on a snare drum and loop it for 45 minutes and it would probably still be one of the best shows you’ll see all year.

Check out Painting With‘s first single “FloriDada” below:

Up next on the list of “why you need to go to the National this Friday” is the British DJ/Producer Actress, real name Darren J. Cunningham. He’s been dropping weird beats since 2004 and has found fans in the likes of Radiohead’s Thom York and Flying Lotus. He also founded the indie label Werkdiscs which has folks like Jahtari and Zomby.

His stuff falls into the modern dark/weird-wave form of electro and his nearly un-google-able name doesn’t make it easy to find much more about him.

Check out “Frontline” from 2014’s Ghettoville below:

We hopefully tickled your weird-bone enough to get you pumped for Friday. It’s an early show (doors at 6:30), so consider this for an opener to your night and pick up tickets to the show here

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner is the former editor of GayRVA and RVAMag from 2013 - 2017. He’s now the Richmond Bureau Chief for Radio IQ, a state-wide NPR outlet based in Roanoke. You can reach him at

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