Something Tells Me That Grizzly Bear Isn’t *Everybody’s* Favorite New York City Band

May 4th, 2009 // 14 Comments

Dear New York: Please get back to me six months after the promo cycle for Veckatimest has ended so you can test the staying power of your Grizzly Bear profile‘s subhed, which states that the foursome (whose new album comes out next week) is “everybody’s favorite New York band.”


Despite the harmony-happy dudes getting ink in both your magazine and The New Yorker this week, I am a wee bit skeptical of this bold (and boldfaced!) assertion. Why? A few reasons! First–and perhaps selfishly–they’re not mine. I count as somebody, right? Second–and perhaps more importantly–there’s an ever-growing world of people out there who don’t work in the media in New York City and who as a result would probably, when asked that question, give you an answer like “The Ramones” or “The Velvet Underground” before vaguely remembering that band they saw on Letterman that one time. Thirdly, you probably aren’t going to make many converts with a profile with details that result in it reading like the latest entry on a blog called Musicians White People Like.* Just take the lede, which centers on a debate over the size of a quail (!) between a band member and a waitress in a Williamsburg (!!) restaurant that hasn’t opened to the public yet (!!!). And then go from there.


Anyway, now that I’m done with that, a question for the readers. I’d like to know, and I’m not judging: Who is your favorite New York City band? If it’s Grizzly Bear, that’s OK. But if it’s not, that’s OK too!


Grizzly Men [New York]


* I won’t even get into the other problems this piece has, like way that the noun “soundscape” is used in the same paragraph as the sentence “The members of Grizzly Bear have never worried about seeming lame, which may be why people think they’re cool,” because then I would just start tearing tufts of my hair out. Too messy, you know?

idolator

  1. People in media went into the media so they could take over the media and talk about the things that people in media would want to hear about. The ability for one person to designate a trend — thus actually creating the trend, and the attendant illusion that This is Important — is the ultimate in corrupting power for certain types of people.

    This also applies to the nerds taking over Hollywood, resulting in the nerd apotheosis that was Watchmen.

  2. “Second–and perhaps more importantly–there’s an ever-growing world of people out there who don’t work in the media in New York City”

    Are you some kind of conspiracy theorist? What are you talking about? Nothing happens outside of New York City. Once you leave the city limits, you fall off the face of the earth. Everyone knows that.

  3. Current favorite NYC band? The Hold Steady. All time favorite? Public Enemy, suckas! Although i guess they are a little bit Long Island. Run-DMC or the Beastie Boys, clearly. Then the Ramones.

  4. “Favorite band to take a nap too” was what I believe the headline meant to read.

  5. The Liars moved to Berlin, so for me it’s probably Made Out Of Babies:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWFTmkRJRdM

  6. Is Lady GaGa a New York band?

  7. me, also, the hold steady… and from olden times probably Suicide (though i have a certain fondness for Reagan Youth as well)

  8. Current? The Walkmen. The Fiery Furnaces. All time? VU, maybe? Magnetic Fields?
    As someone who has never lived in NYC, I think people do point to it too much as a center of amazing music. No one asks what your favorite North Carolina or Chicago band is. There are a ton of rad bands from both those places.
    I don’t know, I like Grizzly Bear ok, and I’ll buy that record, but I think that guy was being awfully presumptuous. Meh.

  9. @fabulousrobots: But its also true that , “what is your favorite NYC band?” hardly ever (if ever)gets asked. I have never seen this question put to the good commentariat here, and only in response to some magazine slobbing on an over rated blog-band.

    I hope that we are spared some of the feverish hype that surrounded the last Animal Collective record.

    Wu Tang was a pretty great New York act, but I guess they aren’t current (though 8 diagrams wasn’t too long ago).

    TV on the Radio are pretty great.

  10. @fabulousrobots: Who are these people of whom you speak? I’ve never been asked, “What’s your favorite New York band?”

    Though for the record, it’s Run-DMC. At the moment it could be the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or even Grizzly Bear (Veckiatimest IS beautiful; give it another shot, Maura), but it always goes back to Run, Jay, and DMC.

  11. Fave NYC bands? All-time, it would have to be between the Ramones, Tribe, Run-DMC, Talking Heads and Television. Currently, it’s probably the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

  12. @slowburn: At the height of Interpol/Strokes/YYYs, I read about it a lot. Battle of the NYC bands and such. Even though they are all pretty different.
    Not that anyone personally asks me, I hope I didn’t imply that. Ooops!

    Anyway, foolery.

  13. @Thierry: Can we be friends? Joking aside, your top 5 is spot on. As is your current. Though I may favor TV on the Radio a touch more than YYY’s.

  14. All time would be Sonic Youth first, then Talking Heads, Television, Ramones, They Might Be Giants. As for current bands, not a lot…I guess mainly Parts & Labor, Enon, The National, Asobi Seksu, and again, Sonic Youth.

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