You do a lot of questionable things with a few beers in you walking down Boston’s Commonwealth Ave. at 3 a.m. Sometimes you think it’s good idea to down a giant 5-dollar sausage from Che-Chi’s or piss in a public alleyway… I don’t know, sometimes it just makes sense.
It was one of those nights, and my friends and I were butchering an impromptu version of ‘Knife.’ We decided that it wasn’t even a song, but a movement. Then I saw them live for the first time at Bonnaroo, covered in sweaty filth (which made sand floors a really poor choice), but when the waltzing strings of ‘Lullaby’ started, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t even normal; the performance was inhuman.
Grizzly Bear is a funny name for such a calm and refined band. When my friend told her mom she was going to a Grizzly Bear show, the response was utter disgust - to think we’d find entertainment in watching ferocious animals claw each other.
Not to say they lack ferocity. I saw Grizzly Bear the second time around at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston, and I’ve never been so undividedly engaged, even with the audience seated the entire time (except when we started dancing to the closer ‘On a Neck, On a Spit’). Grizzly Bear has a mesmerizing sort of style — beautiful in sound, stealthy with instrumentals and haunting in harmony.
After the show I was able to (obnoxiously) flag down Chris Taylor, the square-jawed blondie responsible for the oh-oo-oh-oo-ohwah in ‘Knife’ as well as other wonderful harmonizations, bass and wind instruments. Chris is a person of impressive skill and kind demeanor. I shook his hand and before I knew it, he’d politely agreed to a phone interview. I didn’t jump up and down until I left the theatre.
To me, it’s safe to say the world (at least the blogging world) has fallen in love with Grizzly Bear, but in talking with Chris we focused less on the group and more on him. He has teamed up with Lust Boys’ Ethan Silverman to create Terrible Records in which they will release a series of 20 split 7 inches. The first of these comes out today, October 13th. It’s entitled CANT _and features Arthur Russell and Chris Taylor himself. _
Be sure to check it out! But first read this interview with Chris Taylor to learn more about Terrible Records, his musical background, his childhood dreams, and his love for cooking. (Endearing, right?!)