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Baker's Dozen

Everything Serves The Rhythm: Panda Bear's Favourite Albums
Joe Clay , January 15th, 2015 11:34

The Animal Collective man released his fifth solo album, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper, this week. Before he did, he sat down with Joe Clay to pick 13 formative favourite records


Sun City Girls - Torch Of The Mystics
Their back catalogue is massive, but this one is the most popular. That's why I chose it. There's so much good stuff that it's hard to single out a particular one. They've done things their own way and created a culture of their own. That's been massively inspiring for Animal Collective. I think I can speak for the other guys on that. I worked at a bagel shop in Baltimore and my friend Jen gave me a mixtape that had a couple of songs by the Sun City Girls, a couple by Fuck, Third Eye Foundation, among other things. Those tracks stuck with me. And then, coincidentally, hooking up with Dave (Portner, aka Avey Tare) and Brian (Weitz, aka Geologist), they were also into those guys.

There's kind of a no rules approach to what they do. Not really defining themselves. Stylistically they're all over the map. They wear costumes on stage and do really theatrical productions. Sometimes it borders on stand-up comedy. It's that freedom of expression that was really liberating for us. That was a big moment for me - it was like, there are a lot of ways to do this. There's stuff that I hear on the radio I like, but you don't have to be on the radio. You can do things on your own terms, put out your own music. Grateful Dead did a similar thing, and there was a hardcore scene in DC when I was growing up that presented itself in a very specific way. But the Sun City Girls for me were like the gateway to that mentality. They ran the Sublime Frequencies label and they used to put out compilations of music they heard in Thailand as well as their own stuff. That spirit of exploration - about not only the world of music, but the world in general - that was very influential and inspiring.

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