Thursday, October 1, 2009

Between rock and a gay place

Between rock and a gay place | The Bay Area Reporter Online
Grizzly Bear joins the ranks of TV on the Radio, Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cuties, as another indie-oriented band that achieved an unexpected (although well-deserved) level of media and commercial attention. Driven by the impossibly infectious "Two Weeks," the band's latest album Veckatimest (Warp) peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200-album chart. What makes all of this especially cool in Grizzly Bear's case is that frontman Ed Droste is openly gay. Out classical composer Nico Muhly is responsible for choral and string quartet arrangements on a few tracks. Easily the Brooklyn quartet's most accessible release, Veckatimest veers from CSN/Beach Boys-style harmonies to flat-out chamber-pop exotica over the course of its dozen tracks, safely hugging listeners in its furry grip, and refusing to let go.

"The personification of Ms. Joan Crawford in a rock and roll band," The Joans live up to that claim on their full-length debut album We Are The Joans (, delivering a set of songs that have a distinctively 1960s sound. Album opener "Mad at the Dirt," with Davy Joans on lead vocals, is an instant classic, making multiple references to Crawford's equally illustrious and tarnished career and personal life. Further musical allusions to Crawford's work include "Berserk" and the truly hilarious "Do the Trog" (with the band taking turns on vocals). Actress Faye Dunaway, another casualty of the Crawford curse, is feted in "Faye Dunaway.....

"Mad At The Dirt" by The Joans

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