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After being unceremoniously bumped from Letterman on account of a babbling Bob Lutz, Grizzly Bear finally got their shot to return to the Ed Sullivan Theatre. Our neighborhood heroes don’t have quite the history with the room as other Letterman musical guests from this week, but for Ed, Dan, and the Chrisses, it was returning to the scene of a little band milestone of their own, premiering “Two Weeks” on national TV and starting a long and protracted buzz cycle for Veckatimest. The album delivered, of course, and now we’re getting to see another classic Grizz maneuver: record some great songs, slowly watch them soar after months on the road. I do my best to hold back on the gush with these guys because duh everybody knows where we stand, but this “Ready, Able,” with the ACME quartet filling out the spaces with bows and pizzicato, is the best version of the song you’ve ever heard. Ed’s voice OMG.

For some bonus action, here’s the band doing “All We Ask” in the balcony of the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee for a bunch of indifferent hipsters.

You can read the story behind the shoot in the description of its YouTube page.

Comments (38)
  1. wingedgopher  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    It’s odd, it’s actually a lot more manic with the string orchestra than without. Not what I expected at all, but it’s Grizzly Bear so of course it’s very good.

    And Dave’s hilarious.

  2. ;lakshdakd  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    Ed Droste’s voice + strings behind it = REALLY REALLY GOOD

  3. so good. so so so good.

    i want to line up for their 8/30 show now.

    so so so so so good.

  4. Brian  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    To be perfectly honest, I am not the biggest Grizzly Bear fan in the world. But that song was effing great/awesome. They are starting to really grow on me.

    Also, Letterman wins with musical guests this week. Wilco (and Feist), McCartney, and Grizzly Bear? Nicely done

  5. JustRoss  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    the hipsters in the second video are a perfect example of the hipster’s relationship with music : guardedly indifferent in person, but on the internet and close circles, the fiercest, and most passionate fans anyone could ask for. Grizzly Bear could do much worse (like punks who instead of listening quietly to music just thrash around and make a scene). The indifferent hipster is probably the most ironic persona these people put on, but they are the ones who buy the good music, and keep it alive

  6. Haha “Thank you as well, Ladiez.”

    It was greaaat.

  7. Again the bass player is trying to expose his chest, but this time he wants everyone to see his bling bling necklace. WTF?!

  8. Makes you wonder how many more albums they would’ve sold the first week if they were never bumped. And Letterman wins musical guests every week. I’m very curious who runs the music over there. Conehead needs to take note. He used to be the one who got the good music but apparently he’s selling out.

    • hey, lay off conan! i too have been offended by conan’s musical guests since he moved out west but i’m sure he has little if any control over who is on. and i hardly think that following in his idol johhny carsons footsteps by taking over the tonight show is selling out.. also, being in l.a. means that he is very far away from any real musical talent unfortunately. jesus, even fallon is getting better guests…

  9. Duncan  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    Wow, that was straight up beautiful. I have never seen violins ‘plucked’ like that. It sounded great, especially at the end.

  10. Morrissey  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    Los Angeles will do that to a fella.

  11. kyle  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    this sounds like josh groban

  12. Patrick R  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    It’s certainly not unpleasant, but I can’t say I’m a convert. Their music is a little too… precious, perhaps, for my liking.

  13. toto  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    The boys looked really tired last night. The music was a little sloppy, but still good.

  14. ill bet those hipsters were told to not look at the band and act indifferent. I don’t think most hipsters are that indifferent. They would at least be trying to catch a glimpse of Dan’s finger work.

    • Shane  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

      Yup. I was in that video, and you’re exactly right; our instructions were to pretend like “your favorite band isn’t sitting two feet away from you.” And to whisper to one another once in a while? I dunno. It was badass being there, though, I tell you what.

  15. Ben  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    Totally my favorite TV appearance by them and absolutely agree it’s the best this song has sounded. Ed voice sounds unbelievable and the strings are incredible!!!!! Sao so so so sooooooo goooooood!

  16. Tobi  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    I fell in love with Ed all over again.

  17. viv  |   Posted on Jul 17th, 2009 0

    aw, poor Chris Taylor shyly hid his hand from a failed handshake at 4:08.

  18. They would have been a lot harder to ignore if their heads had exploded again.

  19. Mal  |   Posted on Jul 18th, 2009 0

    We really need a good mp3 of this version.

  20. james  |   Posted on Jul 18th, 2009 0

    what’s the instrument ed plays in the song?

  21. its an omnichord

  22. Rickkerr  |   Posted on Jul 18th, 2009 0

    Best tv performance i’ve seen in a long long time

  23. Evan  |   Posted on Jul 18th, 2009 0

    dare I say…. better than the studio version!?

  24. They just topped their Fallon performance of “Cheerleader”.

  25. Ben  |   Posted on Jul 19th, 2009 0

    Yeah, totally…I bet all the lyrics are in secret homo-code, covertly describing sloppy guy kisses, while each girly strum of their little instruments represents a pang of gay romance. Listening to Grizzly Bear makes us real “dudes” need to recuperate with at least an hour of prime-time Spike TV and a cold brewski. Right Brahs?

  26. dadada  |   Posted on Jul 19th, 2009 0

    i just realized that daniel rossen looks like Liam McPoyle.

    bump it

  27. Ed’s face at 4:19 = hilarious

  28. Tim  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 0

    I have thoroughly enjoyed all live performances caught on tape that I’ve been able to see, but this is definitely the best. None of the other performances have been this beautifully dynamic and…well, loud. All the other performances, while beautiful, haven’t had the same punch. But I’ve never seen them in concert so I’m only speaking from TV performances, perhaps they’re usually like this. God I hope so.

  29. vin  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 0

    this song is boring. about half of grizzly bear’s stuff is incredible. the other half is incredibly boring.

  30. 2Nose  |   Posted on Jul 23rd, 2009 0

    Grizzly Bear sang “ready, able” with a strings section and I jizzed.in.my. pants.

    Is that joke too yesterday already?

  31. Dave  |   Posted on Jul 24th, 2009 0

    “This is their CD right here…”

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