Zoo Animal: Zoo Animal Review

81/100

It is a strange phenomenon when you put in a bands debut full length for the first time and its sounds familiar and well worn in, as was the case for me with Zoo Animal’s debut, self titled long player. The band, a group I have really liked for the last few years, have been in pretty constant rotation with their debut EP and seeing them live too many times to count. Their debut, self titled LP is a great step for the band and really shows the strengths that front woman Holly Newsom possess as a songwriter and singer.

Like their previous work, the songs are built around skeletal guitar arrangements and sparse rhythms that highlight Newsom’s excellent avant pop songwriting. On album highlights like the unwieldy “Bad Seed,” the sweet “Worker Bee” and the dark and driving “Baybee,” the band shows their versatility and range by really stretching out their songs and incorporating different genres to back Newsom’s emotionally poignant voice. The songs are short (15 songs over a quick 40 minutes) but really cover a lot of ground. Like their EP, the album sounds a lot like a more volitale Chan Marshal fronting a more rootsy Pixies, but mostly the group does a good job of finding a way to create unique soundscapes that utilize and exploit the strengths of this three piece. Listening to the album, you get the distinct impression that this is a group who are consistently evolving and trying out new ideas, often mid song, and finding new ways to stretch out their unique songs. This LP is just another step in their ever changing sound and a record that shows a band with a lot of talent, and a group that will be exciting to watch as they move forward.

After their EP came out, the group made no secret of the fact that they were a Christian band. While that is something that would usually make me run for the hills, their work so far leans more towards Sufjan Stevens understated work than Jars of Clay (are they still around? Or whomever took their place) in your face, praise the lord work. While there are undoubtedly moments that find Newsom weaving her faith front and center, for the most part the album can be taken for what the listeners want. For non-believers, you can ignore. For believers, well, you have a very rare album that speaks to you and doesn’t, you know, suck. With their first official LP out, Zoo Animal are doing nothing to dampen the buzz that they are one of the best up and coming pop bands in Minneapolis and a group that seem to be going from strength to strength.

-Josh

Official     Myspace

Cautiously, Play to Resume; High Schools Will Practice Outdoors; Some Weekend Games Are Set

The Washington Post October 25, 2002 | Greg Sandoval Officials from two of the Washington area’s largest school systems yesterday cleared the way for the resumption of all their high school sports seasons, announcing that they would permit teams to practice outdoors today. Fairfax and Montgomery counties announced their plans last night after police confirmed that they believe the man and teenager arrested early yesterday are responsible for the sniper shootings in the Washington area. here blocked games at school

Both counties plan to resume games at school fields in the next few days, and other school systems and leagues are poised to follow suit.

“If the threat is over, we can go back outside,” Brian Porter, spokesman for the Montgomery County Schools, said before the news conference.

The sniper shootings started Oct. 2 and resulted in 10 deaths, with three people seriously wounded. After an Oct. 7 shooting wounded a 13-year-old boy outside a Bowie middle school, most high schools in the area decided to postpone or cancel outdoor games and hold practices indoors.

Montgomery County officials had created a number of contingency plans that would have taken effect over the weekend, including holding practices at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Porter said. But now the county plans to allow practices to resume today and games to begin as soon as Saturday.

In the Virginia AAA Northern Region, which is composed of public schools in Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington, many cross-country and field hockey teams and four football teams will play this weekend at military installations, according to a release on Fairfax County’s Web site. The four football teams are making up games they missed last weekend, when much of the region played at out-of-town sites across Virginia.

Northern Region schools will resume holding games on campus Monday.

In Prince George’s County, County Supervisor of Athletics Earl Hawkins said all soccer, cross-country and football teams could be allowed to practice outdoors as early as today, pending a decision by County Schools Chief Iris T. Metts this morning.

The county will not hold football games this weekend, but Hawkins said a tentative plan is in place that would allow the county’s 21 public school teams to play four of their final five games during a span of 12 days, beginning on Tuesday. The games will be held at their regularly scheduled sites. Prince George’s teams will not make up games scheduled for Oct. 18 or 19, Hawkins said.

“If football is allowed to practice outside [today], then there is good chance we will have games on Tuesday,” Hawkins said. “But it’s all pending approval.” Prince George’s football coaches are optimistic the season has been salvaged. website blocked games at school

“That is excellent, that is the first good news I’ve heard in three weeks,” Gwynn Park football coach Danny Hayes said.

The D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association will announce plans regarding practices and games today, said Allen Chin, the league’s executive director.

The arrests were well-timed for area high school teams. With the postseason approaching, some teams and leagues would have had to consider canceling seasons if they had failed to resume play soon.

The Potomac Valley Athletic Conference, composed of 14 private schools in the District and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, had planned to cancel the playoffs for boys’ and girls’ soccer unless police said they had apprehended the sniper by noon on Monday, league president Tom O’Mara said.

“People were starting to believe that [the murder investigation] was not going to be resolved any time soon,” O’Mara said. “Some of the schools wanted to get started with the winter season and get the kids into the indoor sports.” Staff writers Tarik El-Bashir, Judith Evans and Jon Gallo and special correspondent Josh Leventhal contributed to this report.

Greg Sandoval

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  1. July 5, 2010

    […] a full review check out this, or this (written for my very own Minnesota […]

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