KEXP Documentaries: Psychedelics – Animal Collective

Hello, Michele Myers here. Your friendly neighborhood DJ and Documentary Producer.

My job at KEXP (when I’m not DJing) is to make a KEXP Documentary every week. Each story is about 5 minutes long and is on a musical subject. We do these in series of 10. Over the years I’ve done series like Punk Evolution, Masters of Turntablism, Death Drugs and Rock n Roll, Music Revolutionaries, The Heart of Soul, Portraits of Post-Punk, American Sabor, The New World and Pop Goes Electronic.

I often feel like I’m practicing journalism without any training. Maybe because I am. But the beauty of KEXP is that they let me do these stories in my own personal way. To me it’s more about the experience than about lists of dates and places. In every doc you’ll learn something about human nature. And I’ll bring you as close to the artist and music as possible, without being aggressive in interviews trying to get information. I’m the shy interviewer. And you can listen to my (very public) learning experience in the On Demand tab at under “Documentaries.”

Last week we finished off another series. This always is a huge relief. We do ten episodes in ten weeks. This time on “Psychedelics” where we traced the origins of psychedelic music from its roots (with Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, The Velvet Underground ) to the UK Scene (The Beatles, Pink Floyd) to Woodstock (Sly and The Family Stone, Janis, Jimi) to today (Spiritualized, The Flaming Lips).

And our final episode was on Animal Collective.

This is a band who people react to. Some people herald them as the most brilliant group in today’s alternative scene. Others just don’t seem to get it. I have to admit I was among those who didn’t get it.

When I first heard Animal Collective I thought they sounded a lot like a group of kindergartners sitting in a cardboard box humming and pounding on the sides. In this doc I actually find a clip that sounds EXACTLY like that. But I also talk to academics who say that Animal Collective embrace the spirit of punk. And the band themselves get to speak up as well. And some of the music is actually very sophisticated. What do you think?

Listen to the documentary now:

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Thoughts? Suggestions? Feel free to e-me

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