Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

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Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, new album

due in July.

Noah Lennox (born July 17,1978) in Baltimore, Maryland), also known as Panda Bear, is an experimental musician and a founding member of Animal Collective, currently based in Lisbon, Portugal. His third album “Person Pitch” won best album of 2007 on many publications including Pitchfork.

Panda Bear has come a long way. From humble origins as a mere Animal Collective member Panda Bear has gone on to appeal to a vast (yet shrinking) audience of Giant Pandas. Since his breakthrough critical success of ‘Person Pitch’ in 2007, he’s been a bit slower with his output. ‘Tomboy’ out back in 2011 was a bit of a ‘grandfathered’ kind of release. Given ‘Best New Music’ felt a bit much for an album that built up the hype only to fall short.

His input for other artists tends to be the highlights. Most recently he had a high profile on the vaguely reputable French robot group of ‘Random Access Memories’. People seemed to enjoy his great work with Daft Punk, his weird vocals coming from the moon. Unfortunately down here on planet Earth he’s been a bit beaten down.

Animal Collective, his proverbial bread and butter, has fallen on hard times. Of course any band would after the tremendous success of ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’. To keep ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ a true success Animal Collective avoided the big reveal that it was named after a place in Maryland. Only later on was it fully revealed. ‘Centipede Hz’ forced Animal Collective to reevaluate where they were going with their dorm room style.

Can ‘Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper’ capitalize on the prolific fear of death? Does it root for Panda Bear’s timely demise? Or is it just a name? Only time will tell. Hopefully time will tell something nice instead of a hard truth.

I’d love Noah to sit on the moon with the worlds largest microphone and every morning  serenade the entire world with this song:

 

 

 

Panda Bear at Chicago’s Thalia Hall (5/21)

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Panda Bear is the alias used by experimental musician Noah Lennox of Animal Collective, Jane and Together. He plays drums during Animal Collective’s live shows. He chose the name Panda Bear because he drew a picture of a panda on one of the first recordings he made. He is married and lives in Lisbon, Portugal with his wife and child, Nadja. He and Avey Tare are the only members who have contributed to every Animal Collective release.

Bio from Wikipedia’s article on Panda Bear

Categories: Music | Alternative

 

Right now, based on what he’s delivering with his new live set, here’s what we can expect from Noah Lennox’s forthcoming fourth album, tentatively – and so, so misleadingly – entitled Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. This is the most rhythmically seductive and consistently uplifting music Lennox has ever made as a solo artist – or otherwise, if not for a little Animal Collective album called Merriweather Post Pavillion.

If his formal 2004 debut Young Prayer set out to stretch the role of the human voice, and 2011’s Tomboy did the same for the electric guitar, and his 2007 generally-agreed-upon-masterpiece Person Pitch challenged (obliterated) the thought that borrowed samples can’t construct an individual voice, then here, Lennox only wants to warp our mindset of what ingredients are essential for songs to register as really, really good pop music. There’s no other necessary term for the hour of new material Lennox is currently rolling out.

Lennox, with and outside of Animal Collective, has mainly used live shows for newly written material, last night being no exception, save for a three-song (guitar-less) Tomboy encore. This might be the best it’s ever gone over with audiences on the first round. The fourth song of his set, possibly called “Black Cloud”, is all sunshine and finds his looped voice agilely jumping octaves over a 2/4 beat that aims for “My Girls”-caliber happy feet. Though it’s likely his strongest of 10 or so new songs – maybe, just maybe ever – there was one in the middle of his set, a sighing pace-slower with mimicked harp arpeggios possibly called “Can’t Come Back”, that drew the strongest crowd reaction, by far.

Animal Collective visual collaborator Danny Perez was on hand to man the graphics swimming on the screen behind Lennox, who remained stationary pretty much all night. Amidst typical Perez bits – fruits, snakes, chromatic shapes and patterns – the only non-cryptic one was a clip of the Grim Reaper taking a stuffed panda bear, ripping its head off, and tearing it to shreds. Despite the new album’s working title, it went up during the Tomboy encore, over “Scheherazade”. Lennox signed off by thanking Perez and his crew by name and giving a genuine endorsement to Thalia Hall, a 124-year-old performance space and national landmark (with a tavern now, too) in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood that he was also there to christen: He was its first headliner upon reopening for the first time since the 1960s.

Are panda bears cuddly as fuck? Duh. But does that mean we know them? They’re still weird creatures that live and thrive on far-away landmass and tend to eat an odd stick-shaped vegetable. Noah Lennox happens to possess both the gold-toned vocal cords and the melodic ear of Brian Wilson, but the way he puts them to work aims to show that a natural Beach Boy can be anything but familiar. Again, he’s succeeding.

 

Pitchfork Musical Festival Paris – Lineup

November 1-3 2012
Grande halle de la Villette

Pitchfork announced more additions to Pitchfork Music Festival Paris, including new artists on the festival lineup.

James Blake, Ratking, and Isaac Delusion have been added to the lineup for the festival, which takes place November 1-3 at Grande Halle de la Villette. They join M83, Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Robyn, Fuck Buttons, Sébastien Tellier, Japandroids, Cloud Nothings, Death Grips, Rustie, How to Dress Well, DIIV, Purity Ring, Jessie Ware, Simian Mobile Disco, the Walkmen, Chromatics, Wild Nothing, John Talabot, Twin Shadow, AlunaGeorge, Chairlift, Liars, Julio Bashmore, the Tallest Man on Earth, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Factory Floor, Disclosure, and Outfit.

Jeudi / Thursday
M83
Sébastien Tellier
Chairlift
Japandroids
John Talabot
Factory Floor
AlunaGeorge
DIIV
How to Dress Well

Vendredi / Friday
Animal Collective
Fuck Buttons
Robyn
The Walkmen
Chromatics
The Tallest Man on Earth
Wild Nothing
Jessie Ware
Outfit

Animal Collective discuss their constantly evolving creative process as well as their new approach to performing live.

Animal Collective: “Today’s Supernatural” (via YouTube)

Photos by @atibaphoto

Since their 2009 breakthrough album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective have done exceptionally well staying busy without worrying about a proper follow-up. There have been solo albums (Dave “Avey Tare” Portner’s Down There, Noah “Panda Bear” Lennox’s Tomboy), an experimental DVD, a live box set, and a fine EP. They’ve played a lot of shows. Things have shifted in their personal lives. Portner has moved away from the East Coast for the first time, and now lives in Los Angeles. Lennox has two children with his wife in Portugal. Brian “Geologist” Wietz is married and has a child. And Josh “Deakin” Dibb is back in the fold, writing songs and performing with the group, after taking a hiatus from the band after 2007’s Strawberry Jam.

Amid all this change, Animal Collective found the time to create a new album. They got together to write in their hometown of Baltimore for three months in early 2011. They hadn’t lived there together in years. It was stressful. And once they had the songs they wanted, they recorded them in El Paso, Texas, again with the assistance of Merriweather producer Ben Allen. They called the record Centipede Hz. (Stream the album in full here.)

Pitchfork

Published on Jul 29, 2012 by DominoRecords

‘Today’s Supernatural’ is the first single from Animal Collective’s new album Centipede Hz, out September 3rd / 4th on Domino. Stream the album in full on Animal Collective Radio – http://radio.myanimalhome.net

Pre-order Centipede Hz from the Animal Collective webstore: http://www.myanimalhome.net/store

On tour this fall: http://myanimalhome.net/tickets/