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last night's gig

Animal Collective and Danny Perez Make a Scene at the Guggenheim

Animal Collective have come a long way since their days poking at guitar pedals on the little stage at Brownies. Or have they? We suppose that's the question to ask on the occasion of the band's disappointing takeover, with the video artist Danny Perez, of the Guggenheim Museum yesterday. The band didn't perform, but instead furnished the recorded audio — music would not be the right word — aspect of the installation, which filled the entire space with pulsating light and sound, and centered around three stationary figures costumed to resemble hybrid human-animal judges (they wore horned masks and black robes, and looked a little antsy on their raised platforms). There was also a table of upside-down, crystal-like stalactites that would look beautiful in anyone's home. Anything that involves taking over the Gugg and serving absinthe should be a good time, but we're not sure we would've painted our faces (which some did) and paid 30 bucks (as most did) merely to bask in abstract projections and highly processed junglelike noises. Still, the photos — of which we have twelve — are something to see, and unlike most museum visits (or concerts, for that matter), this was a fine excuse to socialize. Single folks might have even indulged their animal instincts and flirted with their neighbor.