Grizzly Bear

“Southern Point” by Grizzly Bear (2009) / Play While Reading Below

In my mind, Grizzly Bear is the great rock/pop/alternative band today. First, a short background on the recent history of Grizzly Bear thanks in part to Wikipedia. In the summer of 2008, Grizzly Bear opened for Radiohead on the second leg of their North American tour. In Toronto, on their last date of the tour together, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood spoke of his love for Grizzly Bear, on stage, calling them his favorite band. Of the experience, Taylor has commented: “It was shocking, and kind of unbelievable. It still is unbelievable. Opening for Radiohead was a huge honor for us, as a band and as individuals. We’ve all had long-term relationships with Radiohead’s music, so we didn’t want to take that opportunity for granted, and do anything less than the best we could.” Christopher has also commented that it “was like a dream.”

After the relationship with Radiohead, the group then convened at a house on Cape Cod to solidify their third full-length album, Vectatimest. It was released in May 2009 and was named “after a tiny, uninhabited island on Cape Cod that the band visited and was inspired by. Upon release, the album reached No. 8 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and met with widespread critical acclaim.

Vectatimest Island on Cape Cod

Sometimes, a particular song defines a period in your life better than anything else. So it is with Grizzly Bear’s song “Southern Point” off of their Veckatimest album. But “Southern Point” comes back to me again, ten years after I heard it for the first time. A new period in my life. It still has the power it had when I first heard it. Particularly in our time of such political relativity. A powerful force in life this song seems to embody.

* * *

The somewhat ambiguous lyrics to the song are below. Yet it is not lyrics that grab me to this song but rather its strong dramatic structure as a piece of music. In a world of increasing pushing ahead in life like a great ship pushing through the ocean. Below are the lyrics to the song. Everyone can interpret these in their own way while listening to “Southern Point.”

Our haven on
The southern point is calling us
Our haven on
The southern point is calling us
And faced with all
The obvious, she’ll carry us
Avert your eyes from all of this
We’ll make it all back
In the end
You’ll never find
You’ll never find
In the end (You’ll never find me now)
In the end (You’ll never find me now)
You’ll never find (But I’ll return to you)
You’ll never find (When you return to me)
In the end
In the end
You’ll never find
You’ll never find
In the end (You’ll never find me now)
In the end (You’ll never find me now)
You’ll never find (But I’ll return to you)
You’ll never find (When you return to me)
“Southern Point” by Grizzly Bear (2009)
On August 18, 2017 Grizzly Bear released their latest album, Painted Ruins to many positive reviews. There was a song on this album that was – for me – as powerful as “Southern Point.” This was the haunting “Systole” from Painted Ruins. Listen to “Systole” at “Systole” from Painted Ruins by Grizzly Bear (2017).

Grizzly Bear / Their Latest Album is Painted Ruins (2017)

In the end of this particular post, I need to thank Google’s YouTube for allowing me to act as a new type of music critic where you can listen to the piece the critic is discussing. Everyone thinks of YouTube as a way for distributing images. But the fact that you can listen to the music and read the review is thanks to YouTube. It allows this new type of music critic.

Yet it also provides a combination of words and music in a review. Perhaps the way it should be? The reader encountering the music at the same time as he/she reads the content. Listening to music + reading content. Like on this site.

The power of these two pieces of music – for me – encourages stories written behind them. In other words, scripts inspired by a piece of music from a musical artist. Somewhat like the early days of MTV but now an entire film (or series) constructed around one piece of music.

If a series is constructed around music more than words in a screenplay. There is the key piece of music for the story. Can offspring of this piece of music be produced and used in the story? Do we have a song or an opera here?

Music comes first in creating this new type of dramatic structure. Why shouldn’t a music composer be considered a new type of screen writer? It is a new story form that combines music and writing in a new way. One of the results is that two mediums – music and reading – are experienced at one time.

In a new way.

 

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