On Wednesday morning, the subterranean temple that is the KCRW studio complex on the campus of Santa Monica College played host to a great six-song set by Grizzly Bear, of Brooklyn, New York. Broadcast live on Nic Harcourt's Morning Becomes Eclectic show, the set, which you can listen to on the station's fancy new online audio player, was beautiful.
A dozen or so lucky hangers-on and invitees (including former Defamer editor Mark Lisanti, enjoying his first full week away from the blogging ratrace) stood in the sound room and watched Grizzly Bear through a window like the foursome were subjects of some sort of sociology project; we observed their mannerisms, the way they moved around the room with their instruments, the way Ed Droste stood solidly, his back to the window, his mouth in front of the mic, crooning, “can't you feel the knife” during a haunting version of their amazing “Knife.” Daniel Rossen, who plays guitar but prefers not being called their “guitarist,” (read my interview with Rossen here), sang “Deep Blue Sea” the way he does it on Grizzly Bear's recent Friend EP: as a soft, emotional lament that pushes his falsetto around the register like a submarine through underwater canyons. The band is rounded out by Chris Taylor and Christopher Bear.
Grizzly Bear debuted a new song, “While You Wait for the Others,” featuring Daniel on vocals. It's a sturdy pop song, bitter but in a languid way, that features this really cool Farfisa (I think) organ hum, and the band's brilliant vocal harmonies. The show was also notable for the funny moment when Daniel Rossen, during a mid-set interview with Harcourt, accidentally confused the album title of Paul Simon's “Rhythm of the Saints,” tossing a “Nation” into the title. Later in the interview, he said, “Apologies to Paul for calling his album a Janet Jackson album.
He Hit Me
While You Wait for the Others
Deep Blue Sea
The band performs tomorrow night at Walt Disney Concert Hall.