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  • Panda Bear @ Warsaw, Brooklyn 5/18/14
Tags: / Credit: Erik Erikson

UPDATE: You can download a fan recording of the concert at two-sails. Here’s a sample:


Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s Warsaw is about as idiosyncratic as venues get: pierogis, kielbasa, and Zywiec for sale as elderly Polish women oversee the proceedings. Last night, it provided a fitting home for Noah Lennox to test out his new record for the devoted throng.

 As part of the ever-popular Red Bull Music Academy, Lennox — as Panda Bear — cycled through tracks from his upcoming album, tentatively titled Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper, and did so one song after another. The visuals were handled by Animal Collective cohort Danny Perez: He selected some super-trippy videos that included — but were not limited to — face-painted women eating ice cream and, later, throwing up. The laser-based lights would’ve made Daft Punk and/or Obi-Wan Kenobi jealous. What follows is a track-by-track description of the set of mostly new songs, for which Dâm-Funk and Torn Hawk opened. Not to heap too much praise too early but Grim Reaper is almost definitely going to be a tremendous album. Get excited.

1. An organ track gives way to the kind of church-like music associated with Young Prayer and Person Pitch.

2. This one is a stone groove, with some real get-up-and-go that spins out and isn’t likely to become very friendly with the dance-averse.

3. A xylophone-ish intro breaks into a rhythm that kicks in strongly.

4. This track is heavy on deep electronic notes and features stilted lyrics that make you feel like you’re riding a carousel while smoking a joint. A highlight.

5. The punctuated keys here are layered atop undertones that sound straight out of the ’80s, like an alternate soundtrack to The Running Man. Slow out the gate, the rhythms get boosted as it unfurls.

6. A floral intro gives way to a baroque, harp-laden crux. Lennox sings the lyrics “all in the family” as part of the chorus; this song is so strong it could win over Archie Bunker.

7. This might be a two-parter along the lines of “Good Girls/Carrots.” A relatively short symphonic part leaks into a punchy backbone.
8. There’s a “Bros”-like sample that drives into a theme which marches. Another winner.

9. This closer might be the most rock ’n’ roll track, chugging along as Lennox sings his heart out.

Encore: a vibrant “Last Night At The Jetty,” before “Scheherazade,” and “Surfer’s Hymn.”

According to a commenter at Collected Animals, the entire set will be streamed online later this week. Below, check out two of the new songs as performed by Lennox at Austin Psych Fest earlier this month and another one recorded at his show at the 9:30 Club in D.C..

[Photos by Erik Erikson/Stereogum.]

Comments (8)
  1. Man, this reminds me that I need to revisit Tomboy. This sounds much more colorful than that album, though.

    “…pierogis, kielbasa and Zywiec for sale as elderly Polish women oversee the proceedings.”

    That sounds amazing right there in itself. Can you actually eat the pierogies while watching the show, and what varieties do they offer? Boiled? Fried?

    • Concert attendee here, reporting in: you can eat pierogis while watching the show.

      The varieties are potato & cheese and sauerkraut & mushroom. I know – I had five of each. Potato and cheese are better.

      They’re all boiled.

      The elderly Polish women are nice. My girlfriend ate one too many pierogis and threw up in the trash can in the brightly lit dining room in front of everyone and she didn’t get kicked out. My guess is that they understood that overeating pierogis could be a totally viable reason for being sick at this venue.

    • Hah, 3 down-votes for some harmless conjecture about an album I’m now very excited about? Harsh!

      Plus, the appropriate response was “get your head out from those mags….”

  2. I caught him at the Union Transfer on Saturday. It was great. He stayed after and signed my ticket stub and talked to my friends and I about how how he found a bunch of drum breaks and that’s what influenced his new album. And then we kept berating him with questions about his new album and Animal Collective questions. He says they’re meeting in September to talk about stuff and then he politely told us he needed to pack up and gave us a Sharpie. Really nice guy. Coincidentally, he did the same three songs for his encore.

  3. I really hope it’s better than Tomboy, I wasn’t into that record nearly as much as Person Pitch.

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