[Photos/Text by Andrew Parks; slideshow available here]
While self-titled‘s staff is still split on Department of Eagles’ live department, their sister band, Grizzly Bear, was set to stun at powerHouse Books last night. Taking the stage for an all-too-brief set during the second half of The New Yorker‘s premiere “Speakeasy” event (subtitled “Love Is Strange” for all the black-hearted romantics in the house), the Brooklyn-based quartet bypassed such obvious Yellow House standards as “Knife” and “Easier” for a cock-tease of a Veckatimest preview and stark Daniel Rossen renditions of “Deep Blue Sea” (from the Friend EP) and, err, JoJo‘s “A Little Too Late.” While said JoJo cover was a cheeky birthday gift from Rossen to Grizzly Bear frontman Ed Droste last fall, the former sounded deadly serious and goddamn gorgeous–a starry-eyed procession of pitch-perfect harmonies and unplugged, but poignant, chords. Man we can’t wait to get our hands on this one.
Oh, Grizzly Bear also performed the “alternate version” of “Shift” (again from the Friend EP), a spooky and spare love song punctuated by tumbleweed-like whistling. Which makes us think they’re ready to move on from Yellow House for good. Needless to say, we’re going to try our damnedest to get into the group’s BAM performance later this month. Until then, here are some shots from stage left. (Thanks to The New Yorker‘s publicist for placing us closer to the proceedings than editor David Remnick, who sat back in the shadows with a smile on his face the whole time.)