words by Jessica Timlin
Avey Tare release party crocodile cake (Pushkar)
I knew I had followed the obscure directions to Secret Project Robot correctly when I got to the loading docks and found a building dripping of colorful paint and christmas lights. The place was set up for Halloween, but meshed perfectly with the "swamp and death" theme that Animal Collective's Avey Tare had imagined for his album release party (Monday night, 10/25).
Tattered mesh hung from the ceilings with interesting film clips being projected on and through them accompanied by Avey's sister Abby Portner's installation. The installation reminded me of Animal Collective's installation at the Guggenhiem a few months back. By the entrance, they had shirts and of course, the new album "Down There," both on vinyl and cd. As I made my way around, I saw Dave (Avey) chatting with both close friends and fans.
The vibe was very laid back, an interesting scene, and much more casual than I imagined. There were many other familiar faces that showed up, including Deakin from Animal Collective. At about 9:45, the imaginative Avey made his way up to the small stage, thanked everyone for coming and introduced his cousin, comedian Matt Baetz, to tell a few jokes. Matt seemed a bit nervous, standing with a beer in hand, as he spoke to a room that was half-full of people that didn't seem to have a sense of humor - Beyond that, he was very funny, without really trying at all.
The sounds continued with a few people including Brian DeDraw of Gang Gang Dance manning the dj booth towards the back, while Dave cut into a massive crocodile cake - red velvet - and dished out pieces to everyone present.
A while later, Comic and former SNL writer Hannibal Buress took to the stage. I'm a big fan of his current writing for the show, 30 Rock and found him to be hysterical. He commented on the interesting contrasts between the vibes he was getting from the crowd, some laughing with tears streaming and others staring at him with their "Serious Artist" personas. I couldn't agree more; but the set was great. The music returned and people kept on mingling until it came to an end around 12 am. A great experience overall.
UNRELATED FACTS?: Avey DJ'd a Crocodiles (the band) show at Glasslands in September. Crocodiles' next scheduled NYC-area show was supposed to be tonight (10/26) at Maxwell's, but they cancelled yesterday (the same day as Avey's crocodile cake release party).
Avey's new Crocodile-adorned album "Down There" is out now. Album art and the new crocodile-filed video made by his sister, below...
Video for the new single off of Avey Tare's record
Down There. Hand Drawn and Created by Abby Portner
Label: Paw Tracks