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Caribou Takes Church on a Psychedelic Trip

PHILADELPHIA: One-man band gets a little help from his friends.

The complex arrangements of the Born Ruffians’ jangly Pixies-ishsound warmed up the hipster crowd Monday night (Oct. 8) for an eveningof hypnotic harmonies and honey-colored drones. But projected overCaribou on the stage of the First Unitarian Church basement werecriss-crossing patterns of light and color, controlled not by anyone atthe soundboard, but by the sound-waves themselves, a mirror and shadowto the music whirring and whooshing through the audience.

Dancingaround digital star-bursts and haywire games of Tetris, Cariboufrontman Dan Snaith led his three piece band into both poppier numbersoff new record, Andorra,like sweet waltz of “She’s the One” and the aptly named “Melody Day,”and into the extended psychedelic epics of “Bijoux” and encore number”Barnowl.” Snaith’s songs, a mixture of past and present, are akin tohearing Beach Boys being picked on, and then pummeled by, Sonic Youth:sunny melodies overtaken by fuzzed-out distortion, feedback loops, anddizzying echoes. The lyrics to “Brahminy Kite” repeat the phrase,”descending all the time,” but a more apt description of this bandwould be a constant ascension, as these songs start in climax, and keeptaking you higher.

Before the show, SPIN.com had a chance tospeak with Snaith to see what it was like transforming a bedroom noisepop project into a full rock band experience. “It was surprisinglynatural,” Snaith said. “When I create the songs, I don’t think aboutwhether or not they’ll be playable live. And if they do change when wetranslate them, then all the better.”

We asked:Dan Snaith was legally forced to change the name of his band fromManitoba to Caribou. What animal would have named the band after?