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Last Night: Panda Bear and No Age at Karu & Y

pandabearmiami.jpgArt Damage with Panda Bear and No Age

Friday, December 5
Karu & Y, Downtown Miami

Better Than: Everything happening that night on the planet Earth if you

happen to take Pitchfork or College radio charts as the gospel.

The Review: The rumors of a No Age/Panda Bear double bill during Basel begin about

three weeks ago when opening band The Sads posted the event to their

MySpace with few details. An Animal Collective (Panda's main band) obsessed friend gave

me the heads up, and it was then that I knew, more than anything I've

ever known before, that I must be there. Panda Bear's Person Pitch came

in at number of my favorite album for 2007 -- which I keep because I am

a nerd -- and I already saw the man responsible for number one, Johnny Jewel, at last

year's fair. No Age, too, had put out two amazing LPs in as many year

(they got an out of left field, but completely deserved, Grammy nom

earlier in the week for best packaging for their Sub Pop debut Nouns, which, in a perfect world, should be competing for Rock Album of the Year, too).

Then last weekend the flyer hit the internet not only carrying the

dreaded words "by invite only," but also revealing the show would be

held at Karu & Y. Karu & Y? Really? The infamous downtown club

more known for hiring reality television luminaries like Tila Tequila

and Kendra Wilkinson for part appearances than awesome concerts?

The fear of $20 drinks aside, I, like many, tried my luck RSVPing

anyway, and got a quick confirmation. All was good in the world, until we

posted it here on Crossfade. The organizers caught wind, and sent

out word to anyone who had been confirmed reminding them that if you

didn't get an invite, then sorry, you're not actually getting in. Which

turned out to be, surprise, surprise, a bunch of bullshit. They let

pretty much everyone 21 and over in, and I scoured the entrance for

anything resembling a guest list. There wasn't one.

Unfortunately, I missed most of The Sads' set, which should probably

make me a sad, but No Age started shortly after. Unsurprising for a

band whose studio set up is probably crafter to replicate their live sound

as close as possible, they sounded pretty spot on live. They whipped

through a good mix of songs from both Nouns and the 7-inch collection

Weirdo Rippers, and included a couple of new songs. One of which


have been called "Fuck Prop 8 in the Face." It seemed a lot of the

crowd at Karu & Y was generally oblivious to what was going

on, as like only maybe a third of the people in the club were paying

attention, and the ones who were weren't sufficiently rowdy for No Age

at first. Remember, this is a place where Akon hosts events, not The


They gave the "Please pick up the energy or we're never coming back to

Florida" ultimatum, which kind of sucked because, uh, most of the crowd

wasn't from these parts.

Now, I am generally the

quiet, awkward type boy who prefers to stand arms crossed spiritedly

tapping my toes during shows, but if a band commands moshing, someone

better do it and thankfully many did. The first mosh pit at Karu &

Y ever? At least since it re-opened. The bouncers probably got the

message that they shouldn't interfere, but I saw one guy clearly

nervous and ready to jump in at any second. So there was moshing, and

No Age was happy and bouncers weren't, and towards the end I even found myself in the mix.

After a quick break for some more free Grolsch -- approximately my 9,000th of

the week. Seriously, Grolsch has underwritten all of the drunkenness

happening on this side of the bridge all week. Viva la swing cap -- Panda

Bear started. Some people understandably don't take too kindly to a guy

who sits alone behind some beep beep boop machines, twiddling knobs, and only providing live vocals, but Person Pitch

was made that

way, and it sounded oh so right. A good portion of the set were songs I

didn't immediately recognize. So it seems there's a healthy amount of

new material in the works, and it's all in the vein of the last record.

Panda Bear is music made for quiet,

awkward type boys who prefers to stand arms crossed spiritedly tapping

their toes during shows, and I was nearing Heaven. Until the people

behind me, two dudes and their hag, started going on like they were in

the middle of Twist and the only music being played was some shitty Junior

Vasquez remix of Beyonce. Didn't they understand this is not music to

talk loudly over, but to be respected? Didn't they care just how long I've been

anticipating this show? Didn't they know I was having a

religious experience? Don't they remember the first time they saw

Cher? Because this is what this was for me, and in my own way I was

just as excited. So, through some mix of being in a mosh pit 30 minutes before,

free Grolsch, and unmitigated love and respect for Panda Bear I turned

and yelled "Can you please Shut! The! Fuck! Up!"

Uh, it didn't work.

One of them grabbed my hand and tried to get me to dance. My friend

offered to switch place with me, but they still wouldn't shut up, so I

did what quiet, awkward boys should always do in the first place, and decided

to move to the other side of the crowd, and not a moment too soon.

Panda launched into the 12-minute centerpiece of his latest album Bros. I called my friend who had alerted me to the show in the first

place so he could partake in some digitally connected way, and

awkwardly, and quietly toe tapped my way to something nearing nirvana.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Well, if you couldn't tell I am pretty unabashed in my love for these two bands.

Random Detail: The Ice Cream Man strikes again. Thanks for the chipwhich.

By the Way: DJ Semen selected the music between sets. I've never heard

of him, there's nothing I can find online (most results have something

to do with sperm banks. Our Crossfade post on the show was the first

relevant thing that came up), and the program that Nike handed out at

the door had no information on him either. I don't really remember

enough to provide any sort of incite into his sets, but I do remember

liking them in a way beyond "oh, he's playing my favorite song ever!"

[photo credit: Arturo Hernandez]

-- Kyle Munzenrieder

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Jose D. Duran has been the associate web editor of Miami New Times since 2008. He's the voice and strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's music, entertainment, and cultural scenes since 2006, previously through sites such as and He earned his BS in journalism with a minor in art history from the University of Florida. He's a South Florida native and will be a Miami resident as long as climate change permits and the temperature doesn't drop below 60 degrees.
Contact: Jose D. Duran

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