Three Reasons Grizzly Bear Isn't Some Snobby Hipster Indie Band
Photo by Tom Hines
With an average Pitchfork album reviews rating of 8.6, Grizly Bear is undeniably one of hispterdom's most popular bands of the 21st century.
Their latest record, Shields, with its whimsical melodies and deeply emotional lyrical content, is being heralded as the group's best. It debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200, and was named one of the 50 best albums on 2012 by Rolling Stone.
However, Grizzly Bear's reach extends much further than the New York City hipster social circle it stems from; they're universal.
From rappers to daytime talk show hosts, New Times wanted to highlight a short list of Grizzly Bear diehards ahead of the group's June 18 gig at the Fillmore Miami Beach. Find out who made the list after the cut.
Jay-Z Loves Grizzly Bear
The Internet nearly imploded on August 30, 2009 after Jay-Z and Beyoncé spent date night watching a free, outdoor Grizzly Bear show in New York City's East River State Park. Evidently, media outlets forget that (a) Mr. Carter's musical palette wasn't limited to Roc-A-Fella Records, and (b) rappers also appreciate indie artists.
"I don't understand why people are always surprised to see me at shows," Jay said a 2009 interview with MTV.
"[Grizzly Bear is] an incredible band... What the indie-rock movement is doing right now is very inspiring. It felt like [rap] in the beginning. These concerts, they're not on the radio, no one hears about them, and there're 12,000 people in attendance."
Ellen DeGeneres Loves Grizzly Bear
Though she's somewhat responsible for introducing Justin Bieber to mainstream audiences in 2009, it appears that DeGeneres prefers indie rock to radio filler. In April, Ellen posted a picture of her, wife Portia de Rossi, and Grizzly Bear on her show's Instagram account after the group performed in studio. She added that Grizzly Bear is one of her favorite bands.
The group's co-lead vocalist, Ed Droste tweeted his excitement after the show.
"Ellen and Portia are so nice and welcoming. Feel like we are playing their house they are so enthusiastic. My palm tree face injury amused!"
Grizzly Bear Loves Grizzly Bear
The mainstream music industry is a fickle bitch that feeds on vulnerable artists who're desperate to sell records and buy Italian sports cars.
But independent acts, like Grizzly Bear, forego major label deals to maintain artistic integrity, even when it means a relentless touring schedule and no health care coverage.
"Obviously we're surviving," Droste said in a 2012 Vulture profile. "Some of us have health insurance, some of us don't, we basically all live in the same places, no one's renting private jets."
Grizzly Bear's drummer Christopher Bear added, "There's people that know they make X dollars a year, and that's not going to change. Or if anything, they'll get a raise. That seems like a pretty reasonable setup, compared to maybe having one really good year, and then who knows what the future is."
Fortunately for Grizzly Bear, however, the present looks great.
Grizzly Bear. Tuesday, June 18 at 8:30 p.m. Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave, Miami Beach. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets cost $30 plus via livenation.com. All ages. Call 305-673-7300 or visit fillmoremb.com.
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