The Grizzly Bear roars into Northampton

By Corey Charron, Collegian Staff

A noticeable buzz of excitement has begun to build about the upcoming year in music that hasn’t been felt in a long time. The new Of Montreal album, “Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?,” has already been released to much critical acclaim and fan appreciation, easily the band’s best effort. The promise of new albums from legends such as The Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Wilco, Dinosaur Jr., Andrew Bird, and even Radiohead, makes 2007 appear to be a year to be reckoned with.

Adding to the excitement is a full calendar of concerts in Northampton. The Rapture, Sonic Youth, and a reunited Sebadoh are only a few in a long list of bands to look forward to in the upcoming months.

To start off the semester on a tremendously high note, Grizzly Bear and The Dirty Projectors are playing at the Iron Horse Music Hall, in Northampton, this Saturday night at 10 p.m. Both bands are from Brooklyn, NY and feature beautiful arrangements, unique vocals, and are two of best young bands in America.

Grizzly Bear began as a side project of lead singer Edward Droste. Born in Boston, Droste started putting together various electronic sounds with layered vocals on a tape recorder. Eventually roste moved to New York and met Christopher Bear who added his musical expertise to the roject. The album that they produced as “Horn of Plenty,” which gained its eputation by being passed throughout the New York underground rock scene. Clarinet and ass player Chris Taylor and guitarist Chris Rossen were added to the band to complete a ull sound on stage for concert dates. After copious amounts of touring and positive eviews, Grizzly Bear was signed to Warp Records.

The many instruments used by Grizzly Bear, which include a piano, banjo, and clarinet, create a deep, atmospheric sort of noise. It’s an echo that’s hard to pinpoint. Their quiet vocals are greatly complemented by interesting musical compositions. Grizzly Bear has been compared to Animal Collective, mostly for their intimate sounds and anti-folk basis.

Grizzly Bear’s 2006 release “Yellow House,” released on Warp Records, found itself on many year-end best-of lists, including number 7 on’s Top 50 Albums of the Year and number 9 on’s Top 50 Albums of the Year. The new phenomenon of blogs has made Grizzly Bear even bigger, as many picked the album as the best album of the year. TV on the Radio picked Grizzly Bear to open for them during their tour last year in support of their hugely popular album “Return to Cookie Mountain.” They will make an appearance at this year’s Coachella Music Festival in Indio, Calif. on April 29, an addition to an already exciting lineup, including a reunited Rage Against the Machine.

Recently Girl Talk, a mash-up artist/DJ from Pittsburgh, remixed Grizzly Bear’s song “Knife,” with verses from hip-hop duo The Clipse, off their newest release, “Hell Hath No Fury.” Cansei De Ser Sexy, a Brazilian dance group, will also remix “Knife.”

The opening band this Saturday is The Dirty Projectors. Lead singer Dave Longstreth formed the band in 2003 after dropping out of Yale University. Three albums out and one more to look forward to in 2007, The Dirty Projectors sound evolves with each record. “Slaves’ Graves and Ballads” released in 2004, features a ten-piece chamber group while earlier recordings featured primarily electronica and traditional instrumentals. Their new album “Rise Above,” will be influenced by Black Flag’s classic “Damaged.” While the sound of the band changes, Longstreth’s distinctive singing rarely wavers. Portrayed best as a type of crooning mixed with the vocals of Antony and the Johnsons, Longstreth’s voice is the most recognizable part of The Dirty Projectors.

Longstreth has recorded and toured with lo-fi heavyweights, such as the Microphones, as well as Wolf Colonel, also known as Jason Anderson. The Dirty Projectors have also toured with Xiu Xiu.

The Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear will be playing at the Iron Horse Music Hall at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3. Tickets will be $11 before the show and $14 at the door.