1. NPR brings the goods ... I listened to the Animal Collective show today, and it was great to finally hear a quality sound recording of their tour. The new songs, despite my initial reservations, have been really growing on me, particularly "Dancer" and "Brother Sport". The extended, stripped-down reworkings of "Fireworks" (now "Fireworks/Essplode/Fireworks") are simply spectacular.
I'm unfamiliar with "All Songs Considered" host Bob Boilen, but if his comments before and after the concerts are anything to judge him on, then I fear for the brainlessness of his interviews. Thanks to Boilen, I have learned that the crowds at these shows really love the bands on stage, and can go crazy when hearing songs that they like. Imagine that, fans paying money to see their favourite bands play concerts and having a good time while watching them on stage.
2. Time to start following Les Inrockutibles online (and to brush up on my French). This link is for an Animal Collective session, but there's plenty of juicy-looking stuff in the archives. As of this writing, the lead story and live video is by Sigur Ros, and speaking of which ...
3. The "Heima" soundtrack is streaming on their Myspace page now. The complete track listing is featured in the media player, but it makes for a fairly short 2CD package (less than 100 minutes) if this is exactly what will appear on the official release. The new songs aren't flooring me, after one listen, I felt that they were trying too hard to sound expansive. Then again, you could level that criticism against everything Sigur Ros have ever recorded, so maybe I need to hear this a few more times. Highlights were "Samskeyti" and the first (of two!) ten-minute versions of "Von", which aims for -- and reaches -- the epic, string-drenched, heart-sobbing heights of the renditions they occasionally played on their 2002 tour (search: the Vienna version, which is probably the single greatest song they have recorded to date).
All this discussion may be irrelevant because the songs likely don't make sense outside of the context of the film.