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He might not have the same pill-popping, tormented-artist mystique as bandmate Noah Lennox, but over the years David Portner has gotten the closest a member of Animal Collective can get to being a frontman. Portner, known by his stage name, Avey Tare, has a forceful and more dynamic singing voice than the coy, withdrawn Lennox, a strength that carries over to the former’s solo work. Last fall’s Down There, Portner’s first album without Icelandic singer (and ex-wife) Kría Brekkan, showcases the sort of calculated electronic chaos from Animal Collective’s Strawberry Jam period, with occasional blasts of the soaring harmonies that developed on that band’s more recent material. But you could hardly call the album regressive: Its lyrics favor personal reflection over grotesque psychedelia, and the beats, blips, and bops seem far less cluttered than before. But this measured and mature release still packs the weirdness expected from a Paw Tracks veteran—and I suspect Portner has maintained his jittery-catatonic stage presence for our viewing pleasure.
Avey Tare performs with Eric Copeland and Insect Factory at 8 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $10. (202) 588-1880.