Panda Bear at the Vic tonight | Bleader

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Panda Bear at the Vic tonight

Posted By on 09.29.11 at 11:03 AM

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Panda Bear
  • Panda Bear
I've enjoyed all the recordings made by Animal Collective mainstay Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox), including his latest album, Tomboy (Paw Tracks), but his set at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival pretty much extinguished my desire to hear him attempt to re-create his harmony-rich post-Beach Boys fantasias live. The music sounded OK, but it was tedious watching him behind his keyboard setup with a guitar strap around his neck. It was kind of like watching someone try to carry three big boxes, one under each arm.

All that effort is inaudible in Tomboy's thick cloud of overdubbed vocal lines, which sketch simple melodies amid pinging percussion and reverb-loaded guitar and keyboard patterns. Though all ten tracks float with a kind of ethereal grace, Lennox keeps the timbre nicely gritty. On "Slow Motion" the mood is slightly cracked—a crash of thunder heralds the arrival of a classic-sounding breakbeat—but the heavenly vocals quickly pour in to tame the rhythm. On the tour that brings him to the Vic tonight he's joined by Sonic Boom (aka Pete Kember of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum fame, who mixed and mastered Tomboy) on keyboards. Judging from the clip below of Panda Bear’s July 11 national TV debut (on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon), the extra help has improved his live show. It's not exactly gripping to watch, but it's not clumsy either. Below the video you can listen to one of the album's best songs.

Panda Bear, "Last Night at the Jetty"

Today's playlist:

Alex Ward, Cremated Thoughts (Treader)
Bersuit, Testosternona (Universal Music Latino)
New York Art Quartet, Old Stuff (Cuneiform)
Joe Foster, Hong Chulki, Takahiro Kawaguchi, and Ryu Hankil, Oscillation Vacillation (Balloon and Needle)
Koes Plus, Dheg Dheg Plas Volume Two (Sublime Frequencies)

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