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Animal Collective gets its own shoe line, battles No Age and G-Unit for footware supremacy

September 28, 2010 |  4:27 pm

486_380x380 When you think of Animal Collective, you inevitably think esoteric jam sessions, cracked pop for the fixed-gear set, miner's helmets, and footwear. Though the latter isn't currently connected with the band of Baltimoreans, whose fan base may or may not only own anything other than Teva sandals and moccasins made of the skin of organic Bison.

But the sneaker world will know them by the trail of their paw tracks next March, when the band of Baltimoreans deliver The Tobin, designed by Animal Collective's Avey Tare (real name: David Portner) and presumably not named after the Ninja Tune trip-hopper. Released in a partnership with apparel firm Keep, pre-orders are available now, with orders arriving with cassettes filled with previously unheard tunes. Ideal for that special connoisseur of outmoded technologies in your life.

All proceeds from the product will benefit the Socorro Island Preservation Fund, an nonprofit that seeks to protect the Mexican island's fragile marine ecosystem of sharks, dolphins, turtles, manta rays, and a winter population of 1,200 humpback whales. The fund's central goal is to protect the island from being  exploited by illegal shark fisherman. (It's comforting to know that the band's charity work is as abstruse as its creative pursuits. Apparently, Doctors without Borders is too derivative.)

The band will also join esteemed peers Dinosaur Jr., No Age and Joy Division as bands with their own lines of sneaks. The trend was pioneered by rappers like G-Unit, Nelly, Pharell, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z, who have sported their own ugly sneakers at one time or another. Expect to see Panda Bear, Geologist, on the cover of Kicks next April.

— Jeff Weiss

Photo: Avey Tare-designed shoes from Keeps. Credit: Courtesy Keeps.

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