Art 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.
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]