Wednesday, September 09, 2009

While You Wait for the Others (feat. Michael McDonald)

Song: While You Wait for the Others (feat. Michael McDonald)
Artist: Grizzly Bear
Album: While You Wait for the Others (single)

A little over a week ago I had signed into a peer-to-peer program I rarely, if ever, use anymore to tray to find something and the Doobie Brothers "What a Fool Believes" popped up as I had tried to download it the last time I had used it... maybe even a year prior. Well, what hadn't been available back then suddenly was, and I thought it so funny... and yet essential for a music fan, that I blogged about it. I had already been thinking about the soulful stylings of lead Doobie Michael McDonald, as I had mentioned, from repeated jokes on "30 Rock" but also as an ex co-worker who was twenty-six going on fifty-six, had been raving about his duet with Anita Baker.

That's right, Anita Baker.

Regardless, this series of odd Michael McDonald themed-events, came to a head late last week when I read and heard that Brooklyn-based indie-rock act Grizzly Bear had a new single from their May album "Veckatimest" and for the b-side they recruited none-other than... Michael McDonald to sing lead. Which, now that I come to think about it, would be like Bat for Lashes coming out with a new single re-sung by... Anita Baker. To say the least it's an odd pairing.

What do you think?

Grizzly Bear is a Brooklyn-based indie rock band, comprising Daniel Rossen (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Ed Droste (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Chris Taylor (bass, backing vocals, various instruments, producer) andChristopher Bear (drums, backing vocals). The band employs traditional and electronic instruments. Their sound is often categorized as psychedelic pop or folk rock, and is most dominated by the use of acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies. The band is one of the few non-electronic artists signed to Warp Records.

Daniel Rossen is also a member of the duo Department of Eagles.


Grizzly Bear's 2004 debut album, Horn of Plenty, features myriad sounds and layering of voices. It was largely the solo effort of Droste and predates the formation of the band, which has been dubbed anti-folk, freak folk, lo-fi, or just indie rock. Rolling Stone magazine wrote of the first album that "The pure atmospheric power of the songs is more than enough to hypnotize." In 2005, the band re-released the album with an additional disc of remixes by Solex_(musician), The Double, Castanets, Final Fantasy, Soft Pink Truth, Dntel and others.

Their first record as a quartet and to feature material written by Rossen, Yellow House, was released on Warp Records in September 2006. It was named for Droste's mother's house where it was recorded and ranked as one of the top albums of 2006 by the New York Times and Pitchfork Media. In 2007, Rossen recorded a cover of JoJo's single "Too Little Too Late" for Droste's twenty-ninth birthday. In 2006 the band did a Take-Away Show session with Vincent Moon.

Also in 2007, the band released Friend, an EP which features outtakes, alternate versions of songs, and covers of Grizzly Bear material done by Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS), Band of Horses, and Atlas Sound. In addition, members of the Dirty Projectors and Beirut collaborated with the band on "Alligator" and the EP's hidden track.

On March 1, 2008, Grizzly Bear performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

In summer 2008, Grizzly Bear opened for Radiohead on the second leg of their North American tour. In Toronto, on their last date of the tour together,Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood spoke of his love for Grizzly Bear, on stage, calling them his favorite band. Of the experience, Taylor has commented: “It was shocking, and kind of unbelievable. It still is unbelievable. Opening for Radiohead was a huge honour for us, as a band and as individuals. We’ve all had long-term relationships with Radiohead’s music, so we didn’t want to take that opportunity for granted, and do anything less than the best we could." Christopher has also commented that it "was like a dream."

Bear has said that compared to Yellow House, the band's 2009 release Veckatimest is more of an accessible pop record. He said: "I think that it’s kinda clearer, clearer equals more accessible I feel like clearer equals more accessible in general as a rule."

Veckatimest is the third full-length studio album by American indie rock band Grizzly Bear, released on May 26, 2009 on Warp. The album is named after a small island in Dukes County, Massachusetts.

Upon release, Veckatimest was greeted with widespread critical acclaim, currently holding a score of 86 at aggregate critic review site, MetaCritic. The album is generally viewed by critics as a large step forward for Grizzly Bear in regards to partial genre-blending, musical complexity and experimentation.

Veckatimest debuted at #8 on the US Billboard Charts, selling 33,000 copies in its first week of release.

"While You Wait for the Others" was ranked #334 and "Two Weeks" ranked #162 in Pitchfork's Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s

Background and recording

The recording of Veckatimest began in the summer of 2008 at Allaire Studios in the Catskill Mountains of upstateNew York. Regarding the writing process, Ed Droste states:

we knew it had to be done differently because Yellow House came from pre-existing songs that either Daniel Rossen or I had written, as well as a couple that we wrote together. But we were really starting with a blank slate with Veckatimest, so there was sort of this question mark of, "Do we even know how to write together and collaborate together? How will this work?" And we were pleasantly surprised when everyone presented their ideas much earlier on in the stages of development, which allowed for a lot of other people in the band to get involved in the songs. In the past, someone presented a song and [other members would be] like, "This song is done. He wrote the parts. Let's play them.

Nico Muhly collaborated with Grizzly Bear on this album. In the interim they debuted four new songs: "Two Weeks," "While You Wait for the Others," "Fine for Now," and "Cheerleader." They also performed "While You Wait for the Others" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on April 21, 2008, and performed "Two Weeks" on Late Show with David Letterman on July 23, 2008.

The tracks "Cheerleader," "I Live with You," and "Foreground" feature the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.


While You Wait for the Others (album version)

While You Wait for the Others (feat. Michael McDonald)

Two Weeks

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