We Know It’s Only Rock N’ Roll But We Like It

DAYDREAM HIBERNATION: Grizzly Bear, Johnny Brendas, February 1, 2007 [FLICKR]

evacartoon.jpgEVA SAYS: When Grizzly Bear took stage at Johnny Brenda?s, they had all odds working against them- their stupid band name, the pretentiously hip crowd (spotting a member of Man Man in the mass, my friend swooned over the time the two of them used to spend together at the Last Drop. GAG!), and most distractingly, the suffocating veil of hype generated from Pitchfork. But last night they faced an even greater challenge, otherwise known as The Dirty Projectors, who had just finished playing one of the best live sets I?ve seen all year. Dave Longstreth, lead singer of DP, stretched and contorted his otherwise saccharine vocals into knots and pitches so abrasive the resulting tickle in my eardrum turned into a shiver down my spine. Now, that’s hot! Accompanying Longsthreth were two beautiful back up vocalists, both taking turns yodeling and harmonizing between the pauses and pinches of Longstreths dexterously picked guitar. As quoted from some guy creaming his pants in front of me the band was like ?Hendrix meets Kraftwerk meets CocoRosie.? I couldn?t agree more and needless to say, Grizzly Bear didn’t win the spot for best band of the night. But in all fairness, the foursome still managed to impress and even replace some of the hype with legitimacy. With a familiar Crimson and Clover 60?s style vibe, they combine just enough experimentalism to intrigue. Live, their sound is densely layered with elements of free jazz and electronica well accompanied with the melancholic Joy-Division-necktie-party vocals of Edward Droste and Christopher Bear. Not to be discounted is Daniel Rossen?s fearless, childlike energy on drums, who despite being boxed in by the folds of Johnny Brenda?s small stage, managed to evoke a heavier aura of intensity than the rest of the band members combined.

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