Sampling The Dead

No, this isn’t some necrophilia cookbook. It’s Animal Collective’s newest single, “What Would I Want? Sky” featuring a little Phil Lesh snippet from the Grateful Dead’s song, “Unbroken Chain” — advertised as the first legally-licensed GD sample. That in itself is a bit ironic since deadhead tapers have been sampling Dead shows for decades and no one seemed too bothered by it.

And since I’m not a big AC fan, at least not until 2009’s Meriwether Post Pavilion, I was a little startled to find myself happily slipping along with this one. A nice pastiche of technology and organic song construction that waits a while for the melodic payoff. Once again, AC’s defying the traditional song structure used by songwriters, now and forever. This is a live BBC version and some might prefer the warmer studio version from the new EP, Fall Be Kind. Or not.

For songwriters struggling with structure, the question remains — how long can you make your audience wait for it? Answer that for yourself…

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