By: Iyas Daghlas
What do The Beatles and One Direction have in common? They’re boy bands. And with boy band-edness comes extreme fandom – a phenomenon I’ve struggled to understand. How is it that Harry Stiles going through a breakup can make my sister slam her door shut and sob the entire morning? The only time I’ve done that was when I got caught plagiarizing an entire biography word for word in the fourth grade (and those were tears of sadness, not happiness).
With that being said, I found myself in a very peculiar state of being when Noah Lennox (member of AnCo) released a new EP this past week under his solo project Panda Bear: Mr. Noah. As I read the news my heart began to race and my palms began to sweat. I felt an inexplicable urge to chew on a bamboo shoot and take a nap. Light-headed, I stumbled into my room, fumbled for headphones, and pressed the play button on Spotify.
Transcendence. Ecstasy. Giddy warmth that spread from my toes all the way up to the hairs on my neck. That’s the way I felt the instant Noah Lennox’s voice cut through the electronic cacophony like a musical arrow of dopamine straight into my synapses. Through some wondrous sequence of genetic events, this man has been blessed with the voice of all the Beach Boys rolled into one, AND the factory-like ability to churn out joyful, life-affirming melodies, AND a great ear for sampling and use of found sound. Me? I can kinda play “Stairways to Heaven” on guitar.
Why did this particular release make me so excited? Perhaps it’s because I haven’t been an AnCo fan long enough to anticipate one of their releases and I’m just directing that pent-up energy towards Panda Bear. I didn’t, however, feel this way when Avey Tare released Enter The Slasher House earlier this year, so it must be that I have a special connection with Panda Bear (it doesn’t help that Avey has an awful taste in hats).
Regardless, reflecting on this whole scenario has led me to the conclusion that I am indeed a fanboy. Where do I go from here? Do I buy every merch item my measly budget allows for? Do I write fan letters? Do I start a tumblr? One thing’s for certain; I need to emotionally and physiologically brace myself for when the full LP, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, out on January 15th, or the excitement might lead to Iyas meets the Grim Reaper.
Instead of socializing on weekends, Iyas likes to lay in his bed and cry to obscure field recordings of babbling brooks, harsh industrial noise, or childrens records played at the wrong RPM. He got to see Cloud Nothings over the summer at Pitchfork Music Festival, and it was by far the best show he’s ever been to. That is until St. Vincent played a few hours later and his brain was summarily fried by the otherworldly frequencies shooting out of her guitar amplifier. He is still working on getting that fixed.