grizzlybear-interface.jpg

Between the late night performances, the radio sessions, and the abundant etcs., everybody’s seen enough clips of “While You Wait For The Others” and “Two Weeks” to know that Grizzly Bear are capable of harmonizing in a live setting. On the flip, we haven’t really seen any professional video proof that they can pull off any of the other Veckatimest harmonies in a live setting. Maybe they can’t do them well! Or maybe you should get real, of course they can do them so well. This AOL Interface session provides a deeper preview into the fun Grizzly ticketholders can expect on this tour. Last night’s sell-out at Town Hall had a choir, tonight’s features a string quartet, but most every other show (including Sunday’s in Brooklyn) will get what you see here, the band scaled to its core components. Which tends to be a good thing.

“Ready, Able”

“Cheerleader”

“While You Wait For The Others”

“Two Weeks”

All those come via Spinner, where you can check out an interview with the guys.

Veckatimest is a small uninhabited island off the coast of Massachusetts.

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Comments (86)
  1. Town Hall last night was incredible! The songs with the Brooklyn Youth Choir blew my mind grapes. Very jealous of those going tonight.

  2. This is “9.0 good”.

  3. I think this is effing good. Sound quality and picture are excellent. Hype or no hype, nothing coming out this year will be as memorable. I have the vinyl and it really is a pretty piece of art.

  4. Aaron  |   Posted on May 29th, 2009 0

    These performances are fucking incredible.
    Just incredible.

  5. milan  |   Posted on May 29th, 2009 0

    this is mindblowing good. i need to have mp3´s of these live versions. anyone have an idea how to get them ?

  6. gb fan  |   Posted on May 29th, 2009 0

    great performances! and chris t, you look amazing in that suit.

  7. Kyle  |   Posted on May 29th, 2009 0

    You just gotta wonder what Ready Able would have been like with the string quartet on Letterman…

    • kk  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

      they played it (as well as a few other songs) with a string quartet last night. It was great, as was the entire show.

  8. Wow, kept waiting for them to mess up but they never did.

  9. bebacker  |   Posted on May 29th, 2009 0

    oh my lord that was fucking boring. Can someone please ask david yow to come and slice this band to shreds?! “Wow they can sing together?!” wow indeed. Boring. It was worse than watching the Shins for crying out loud.

    • Bob  |   Posted on May 29th, 2009 0

      Bebacker, what bands should be commanding our attention? I’m not all that bored by Grizzly Bear, so if these performances are boring, I’m interested in what I’m missing out on.

      • bebacker  |   Posted on May 29th, 2009 0

        I will take you at your word here that you really ARE interested in OTHER bands and not just looking for a pie fight. As you might have guessed from my mention of Yow, I like some bands that pound your face in like Scratch Acid, Jesus Lizard, Drive Like Jehu, Brainiac , sun O and ZU. Also, I enjoy Iron & Wine, Devin Davis, David Thomas Broughton and Sufjan.

        I did like one Grizzly Bear song though: On a neck, On a spit. That is the sum total of what they have done that I really like. I will take old Wovenhand old Great Lake Swimmers if I need to fill my middle of the road greatness. Grizzly Bear are boring. To me. At least Phish and Dave Matthews are so inept that they make me pissed. This band just makes me move on with nothing.

        • Bob  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

          Eh, I was being a bit sarcastic, but I was truly curious about people who call the band boring. I just don’t see it. If their misses tend to stem from a tendency to try to do too much, I’m not sure if the term boring applies. If I can pick up on something new in a song after several listens, even if I don’t like the song, I can’t call it boring. To me, there’s nothing more boring than “pound your face” bands, so I guess we’re just coming from opposite ends of the spectrum. I guess I’m just arguing semantics. I’m fine with “I don’t like this band” or “I don’t get this band” and I just take exception to the notion that they’re boring.

    • jjazznola  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

      Sorry but nothing would be worse than watching the Shins!

  10. bebacker  |   Posted on May 29th, 2009 0

    also, Two Weeks sounds like a bad version of many songs but, um, it really sounds like a tired version of Officer Down by B.C. Camplight. Not to mention several Man Man songs and the thousand other bands each year who do a version of girl group songs….ew Grizzly Bear, ew. I will take anything but boring.

  11. very good…what is ED playing, other than that mini casio???

  12. wingedgopher  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    The sound is great on these. Dan’s guitar sounds exactly like it does on the album.

  13. So shitty  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    They can write passable harmonies, but are they incapable of writing melodies? Completely uninspired tripe.

  14. How the fuck does a live performance sound SO good?? Just ridiculous…

  15. haters  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    haters of this band are funny to me. It’s a pure incidence of “success” = “haterade”

    Boring is perhaps the most lazy description one can make, when frankly they musically are probably one of the least boring bands out there.

    catchy? maybe. fun? maybe. boring, definitely not.

    • Haterade?  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

      Grizzly Bear Venn Diagrams:
      Idiots who think “haterade” is a fun word to use and Grizzly Bear fans:
      o

      People with good taste in music and Grizzly Bear fans:
      o o

  16. John  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    I avoided this band for a long time because, like bebacker, I dismissed it as “boring.” Like many of you with a taste for unique and sometimes challenging music, “boring” music is just as bad if not worse than flat out bad music. I listened to a little bit of Grizzly Bear, and I didn’t give their work the time and attention it requires. I must say I was intrigued the first time I listened to Veckatimest, and I’m incredibly impressed by it now that I’ve listened to it several times this week. “While You Wait for the Others” is one of my favorite songs of the year, and the rest of the album is so well crafted. Many listeners are already giving the album a rating, playing the Pitchfork game, and comparing it to other music released this year (ex. Animal Collective), but I think that’s a shame. This is really music that needs to be appreciated on its own for what it is. You can do all that end-of-the-year comparison stuff at the end of the year. It’s nice to see such differing reactions to this album, and it’s even nicer to see a good number of people similarly impressed.

  17. GET IT  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    I don’t understand why fans of grizzly bear get angry when people say the music is boring;
    in fact, it is boring, but sometimes people like boring stuff; i sometimes like listening to sigur ros for example and some song are pretty boring but with a nice atmosphere; it seems to me that its the same with this grizzly bear thing; the music is all about the atmosphere but its boring and has no melodies; if people like that so be it, but please stop saying this is great, new, awesome etc… because its only decent background music for hipster

    • It’s not the meaning of the word, but the implicit intent. Personally, I dropped the sense of entitlement about music when I was 14 (Minor Threat still rules bitches), so from that perspective, I can see why it would be aggravating to see armchair critics simply spew out lazy denunciations focused around words like “boring” and “overrated”. On the flip side, it is also equally ridiculous to combat such sentiments with the logical opposite of subjective statements (if there is any such thing). You did point out something relevant though, and that revolves around the hipster subculture. A lot of this ranting back and forth is a dispute over identity. What labels, brands, and ideologies we choose to represent ourselves is the bread and butter for labels that represent bands like Grizzly Bear. Representation for said band (and others [I'm looking at you Animal Collective]) have done a very good job selling them to the mass media that these are the next indie darlings to break out of the esoteric bubble of subculture music. This happens every year, and I can see why people would wax polemic about it. HOWEVER, I do enjoy Veckatimest VERY MUCH and I would say that it is one of my favorite records of the year. Sure, it’s a more patient album in an era of GarageBand beats and autotunes, but to simply call it “boring” is to take it out of its intended context. One last thing, I didn’t hear so much ribble rabble when Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver garnered attention, which, by this didactic construct of boring which is professed by so many here, can be called, well, “boring”.

      • False  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

        Comparing Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes to Grizzly Bear is ludicrous. People aren’t complaining about those bands getting popular because they actually have songwriting skills. Grizzly Bear is nothing more than vocal exercises.

        • Again, moot arguments focused on subjective statements. I merely made the comparison to make a point that any subjective statement can be justified by putting it into any given construct. I’m not arguing that Grizzly Bear is either horrible or the second coming, I’m arguing that arguing over whether or not they are is simply ludicrous.

        • haha  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

          that is the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard of. GB’s songs are 100 x more complex and unique then one note Bon Iver and Crosby Stills and Foxes…who seem to do the same vocal step up harmonies on everysong.

          You need to get SCHOOLED SON!

  18. the things being raised in the comments here recalls the times’ (shitty) review of this album:
    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/cd_reviews/article6326966.ece

    such a lazy review, i think this album ‘demands’ more than 4 paragraphs

  19. always be my darlings. 5 stars performance.

  20. dave  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    Bebacker, I think you’ve waived your rights to use the words “boring” after calling Iron & Wine and Sufjan “pound you face” music. They are about as ‘pound you face’ as Paul Simon or Cat Stevens. Gimme a break.

    So although I don’t think Grizzly Bear are the greatest band on earth, Veckatimest is a great album, and they are literally the only listenable band out there other than Radiohead and The National.

    • There are only 3 listenable bands?! You are the one that isn’t allowed to issue an opinion anymore, as you’ve lost all credibility. You obviously need to get out of your shell and try listening to some more music.

      • bebacker  |   Posted on Jun 1st, 2009 0

        examples stupid. I gave examples stupid. jesus. Grizzly Bear are a boring live band in that fucking video. Get over it. Kids…..

    • bebacker  |   Posted on Jun 1st, 2009 0

      do you know how to read?! I mean, really. Learn how to read.

  21. Kyle  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    They are good at what they are doing. I can see how some would find it boring. You definitely could put on a sweater and read to this album. Not exactly a party starter. I mean unless it’s a sweater reading party.

  22. Thanks for the awesome information. I really enjoy your blog.

  23. before you say anything, see them live. I love these guys and i was blown away with their live show

  24. tim  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    Boring just means “I don’t like this and would rather be listening to something else.” It has nothing to do with any other characteristic of the music. Some people have no problem listening to Emeralds or Stars of the Lid all day long and some people would be bored to death by it. Some people say all classical music is boring, even stuff like Wagner or Beethoven. Personally, I get bored listening to metal.

  25. lililili  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    surprisingly i’ll have to say Veckatimest > Yellow House.

    very well done album with catchy tunes.

  26. Dave  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    Most overrated band…ever. Grizzly Booooooooring.

  27. Incredible. That omnichord is sooo weird. peachfooooooooooolk better hurry up so I can see them.

  28. I think i have a new favourite guitar player.

  29. Boring is just a matter of taste. I think those who are calling these guys boring are into the more possibly rocking, fast or in your face kind of music that makes you either want to dance or break things. Yes Grizzly Bear make more mellow music but it is filled with wonderful details and textures. Chris Bears ghost notes are not boring, and Rossen’s guitar style is so unique and they all have such great distinct voices. Not boring music if you aren’t just playing it as background music to dance to.

    PS. Ed looks really tired.

  30. ed  |   Posted on May 30th, 2009 0

    one of the best performances on tv program..I really enjoyed that

  31. OmNom  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

    Ben Ratliff of the New York Times gave a less than favorable review to the first of the two Town Hall shows, saying the band “has no release valve”.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/30/arts/music/30griz.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=grizzly%20bear&st=cse

  32. They were amazing last night with the strings. It should also be noted that Here We Go Magic were also excellent in their opening act. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fer4JUpYWV0

  33. i cant decide
    this band has no melody
    but its still enjoyable to listen to and u can respect its amount of musicianship
    but its not exciting at all, you cant argue that really
    I feel like the band is kinda smug too
    talking on blogs is essentially talking to yourself
    i feel stupid

    • Jay T  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

      Here, I’ll answer you, YHF, so you aren’t talking to yourself. I think the problem lies in the fact that no Grizzly Bear fan would describe them as “exciting.” To them, the exciting vs boring debate is irrelevant. It’s like if you watched a great movie that didn’t have any action to speak of (I don’t know, 12 Angry Men, for instance) and loved it, and then the guy next to you said only that it was boring. You wouldn’t have described it as exciting. That didn’t matter. But the person making the general remark of “boring” seems to be implying something about its quality. You can’t accept their comment because you feel that something so good/complex can’t be summed up by the simple description of “boring.”

    • ken  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

      That’s because you ARE stupid.

  34. inacoma  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

    i finally listened to Veckatimest this week a good six or seven times now. for me this album has this feeling of chugging along, probably because the tempo doesn’t change much through out the album. the musicianship and songwriting are certainly there for me, but i somehow just lose interest and it fails to penetrate me. i really don’t find much that is exciting on this record at all and for some reason think it is in the production. i wouldn’t say it is boring per se, but just misses the mark at certain levels for me. just my thoughts, there are many other records that satisfy my taste than this at the moment.

  35. Philip  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

    Solid live performance, for sure. You can tell these guys invest a lot of time and energy in perfecting their craft in a live setting (whether you like the band or not).

    Now a few side notes:
    1. Chris looks just like the guy in the FUNNY GAMES remake from a few years ago.2. You could carry small children and several grocery items in the bags under Ed’s eyes.
    3. Queen Latifa = bastard of the century.

  36. Andrew  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

    One person’s boring is another person’s minimalist bliss. I’m sure some people think iPods look boring because they don’t having any racing stripes or rad graphics on the back. The sparseness of these arrangements isn’t due to a lack of song writing talent. I’m sure it would be easy for them to just rely on standard songwriting structures and always resolve every dissonance to make “catchy” melodies that would sound good in car commercials. What you call boring is a choice that they are making in order to create something different and personal that has a specific effect on the listener. You may not appreciate that effect, but it sounds like plenty of people do, and you have to admit that it is effective.

    • thankyou  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

      Honestly the “boring” comments are just so stupid. Their arrangements and chord progressions and harmonies are light years ahead of most bands. If you can’t see that, then well….you’re not very smart.

      Thanks Andrew

      • Improvmfr  |   Posted on Jun 7th, 2009 0

        Honestly, this band isn’t that original, the main melody of Cheerleader is a slower tempo version of Talking Heads’ Warning Sign, which means they are so light years ahead of the rest that they went back in time to the eighties.

  37. RT  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

    >>this band has no melody

    you either need to look up the definition of melody or get some new ears.. call GB boring or pretentious if you like but no melody ?

  38. I like many types of music, But not this!!

  39. This seems to me to be the kind of music I would put on for background music. I can’t say that it is boring, but it is not toe-tapping dance music either! Not something I would buy, though.

  40. the coke midget  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

    for bebaker and the grizzly bear naysayers.. as an avid music fan i love listening out for timbres and colours on records and for the the grizzlies are one of the best out there for capturing sounds that excite my ear, creating a coherent palette of sounds within every song that sit together atmospherically. sure the album might plod rhythmically but personally i aint too pushed about being rocked out with big rhythmic shifts, so i dont hear the plod. the music in their music aint where youre looking if you think it plods. as for their melodies and chord progressions, they are indeed light years ahead of most bands as thankyou noted above. on their yellow house record, the movement they injected into the melody of the track ‘marla’ is just incredible. the percussion rattle and clatter, the dodgy timing on that overdubbed bass note piano line, the bursts of colour from mangled flutes and violins.. yeah i know im ranting. anyways.. if you dont like em fine, it always just amazes me why so many bloggers and commenters feel the need to piss on other peoples parades. focus on the positives damnit!!

  41. Tiny Steps or Montgomery  |   Posted on May 31st, 2009 0

    It’s like a cool basement during a heat wave…obviously the basement wouldn’t hold the same appeal during other seasons…

  42. Hmm, yes, I must agree with all of you who are praising the album. It is indeed quite exellent. Hmm yes. Will anyone be attending the LA show at the Wiltern?

  43. What is with all the arguing? Either you like them or you don’t. I happen to like them.
    That being said, I think Veckatimest is beautiful, yet somehow, it just does not sound as good as Yellow House to me. And I’s sorry, but I think Cheerleader is a bit overrated. Ok song, but t is very monotonous. The real standouts on Veckatimest for me are “Fine For Now”, “Dory” and “I Live With You.”

    Anyway, I’m going to see them June 11 in NC.

  44. Realist  |   Posted on Jun 1st, 2009 0

    Please stop embarrassing yourselves, guys.

    Thanks

  45. ryanaaxxx  |   Posted on Jun 1st, 2009 0

    Of the commenters that are praising this band, I don’t see much elaboration on their exclaimation. Negative comments have to be subjective while positive ones can simply be objective?

    And why do people make such polar points about what boring is or isn’t? “People who find this boring probably just like such and such in your face loud fast bands.” So contrived.

    I too happen to find some of these songs and performances boring, although the quality of sound and the technical playing is really impressive. The songs just aren’t doing it for me, excluding “two weeks”. That song fucking rules

  46. ya dave? 3 listenable bands? your comment is considered meaningless.
    and i think the guy you reply to listed some of his favorite “smash your face bands” and then said “i also enjoy” seperating sufjan and iron and wine from the ohter bands to show some of the bands he thought showed musical merit that were not “smash your face noise bands”.
    i dont know why i play hall moniter to these hipster blogs.
    okay so let me start this off by saying i really liked vecktimest, it was a eally good album, but i think that grizzly bear is a band that deals primarily in an atmospheric sound that focuses more on textures, and then infuses melodys into that atmosphere, (much like animal collective).
    that kind of atmospheric music is not going to be for everyone, i happen to enjoy it, but i can see how some do not.
    oh and just to clarify.
    Wilco The Album > Merriweather post pavilion > vecktimest

  47. highllamasas  |   Posted on Jun 1st, 2009 0

    High Llamas. I always think of them when I hear GB.
    GB seems to be decent live, more than I can say for AC, sadly.
    Some good discussion here.
    I prefer both FF and AC to GB’s recordings though. I am a sucker for strong melodies and as it has been said, GB does not often employ them.
    But, Jesus, there are worse bands for people to like. I mean?…. And even if people like those worse bands, who cares?
    p.s. can someone explain why as a huge fan of the Beach Boys I don’t like either the High Llamas or GB? They are similar, but also so much less interesting than Pet Sounds/Smile/Surfs Up/Sunflower etc.

  48. goodone  |   Posted on Jun 1st, 2009 0

    does anyone know what type of hollow-body electric rossen plays???

  49. Happy  |   Posted on Jun 1st, 2009 0

    Can’t wait for the hype to die down so people can chill the fuck out about it and realize it’s a great album and not need for hate or hyperbolic love either. It’s just a great record.

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