I can’t emote enough about Grizzly Bear. I truly believe they are one of the seminal bands of our time and will inspire a generation of musicians to come. And they’re so young! But oh so talented. Each of them playing a multitude of instruments and contributing vocally to their beautiful, ethereal harmonies. The sound they create is simply symphonic. Their instrumental and vocal arrangements are so beautiful, well-crafted and of such far grander proportions I have a hard time lumping them into the category of ‘indie rock.’
As much as I love Grizzly Bear, as was just as excited to see Here We Go Magic. On the album, Luke Temple’s voice is on par with that of Ed Droste. In person, there’s absolutely no comparison. Mr. Droste wins hands down. I was actually quite disappointed with Here We Go Magic. Their album is great, it just didn’t translate live for me.
So with that, I’ll leave you with a video I captured from the show. It wasn’t until later did I learn that you’re not supposed to do that. I didn’t know! I don’t get to The Fillmore much. I usually stick to the smaller venues and shoot video no problem. It just seems a shame to let it go to waste. So I put it here with the pinky promise that – cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye -I will never ever shoot video at The Fillmore again.
The debut album by this Brooklyn-based group has been on heavy rotation for me quite a while. Even more so now that the Grizzly Bear/ Here We Go Magic show at The Fillmore is merely days away. I’ve been listening to it incessantly all week and I am as infatuated with Luke Temple’s (Magic) voice as I am with Ed Droste’s (Grizzly Bear). Both are pure and angelic and the two bands complement each other perfectly.
Both albums are atmospheric but Magic is decidedly more lo-fi and ambient in a Panda Bear kind of way with lots of loops and multi-tracked vocals. The beautiful, murky rhythms of “Tunnelvision” and “Fangela” are representative of much of the sound found on the album. But I must confess they lose me on a couple of their noise, experimental tracks toward the end. While it’s a bit incongruent to the overall flow of the album, it doesn’t overshadow the overall experience – enchanting.
I had been hearing the hype on Grizzy Bear’s Veckatimest all year long. After being force fed tracks like ‘Cheerleader’ and ‘Two Weeks’ for months upon end, I wasn’t quite convinced of all the hullabaloo. Then I saw them perform at the Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX at SXSW this year and I became a believer. Having the foresight to arrive at the church a good three performances before the show, I was one of the lucky disciples to make it in. Inside this cozy little chapel, we all sat silently and squished in our pews anxiously awaiting what would be our first full drink of their forthcoming album, Veckatimest.
The band, and the setting, did not disappoint. Not by a long shot. Watching the band at the altar, with the setting sun glowing through the stained glass windows while the angelic harmonies of Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen floated up through the arches of the church was both heavenly and transcendental. I had goosebumps the entire time. I was especially moved during the track ‘Ready, Able’. Something about the haunting orchestral arrangement of that song just gets me every single time. It’s by far my favorite on the album and the refrain, “They go we go, I want you to know,what I did” has been permanently etched in my brain.
That performance was the highlight of SXSW and one of my most memorable so far this year. And hearing the album unfold in all of it’s haunting beauty, beyond the chamber pop appeal of tracks like ‘Two Weeks’, made me a convert. It is really that good and entirely worthy of the praise, and your attention.
Grizzly Bear will be performing two nights at The Fillmore in San Francisco this month, June 21 and 22, with Here We Go Magic. A great line up. Get tickets while they last.
Foreign Born started in San Francisco in 2003 after singer Matt Popieluch and guitarist Lewis Pesacov graduated San Francisco State University. After playing a few shows, the pair went down to LA to clean up their rough demos. The results were promising enough for Lewis and Matt to quit their menial jobs and move down to LA where the current line-up of Foreign Born was, yes, born.
Their first LP, On The Wing Now, was released in 2007 and their latest effort, Person to Person, is due out in June. I’m in love with the first single from the album, “Vacationing People.” Judging by the number of recognizable faces in the audience at this show, I’m not the only one. Chris from The Morning Benders was as equally excited as I was to be there. And Grizzly Bear guitarist Ed Droste called Foreign Born his “favorite new band” recently.