Tag Archives: Gold Panda

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A Dinosaur Party at Webster Hall

December 14th, 2012

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Webster Hall – December 13, 2012


What, you’ve never heard of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs? Sounds like a totally facetious line for a made-up band, but there is indeed one by said name. TEED is the moniker of one Orlando Higginbottom. As if his given name weren’t posh enough, he is the son of professor and choir conductor at New College, University of Oxford. Needless to say, Higginbottom is well versed in musical composition, producing infectious beats and pop melodies out of his parents’ garage in Oxford. His first studio album, Trouble, would delight fans of Gold Panda’s and SBTRKT’s.

On Thursday at Webster Hall, Higginbottom donned black feathers (à la Black Swan) across his sleeves as he opened with “Panpipes” to start the set. He once exclaimed, “I’m going to dress up as a dinosaur, make weird electro shit and just enjoy it.” And last night was no exception. Enshrouded in darkness and lit only by strobe lights and neon that would make Dan Flavin proud, the crowd waved cell phones around as if they were glow sticks for “Trouble.” The lights warmed to a sunrise for “Your Love” and heavy drum and bass thumped through “Stronger.” To add to the party atmosphere, a pair of dancers dressed in unitards with piano keys running down their legs bookended Higginbottom’s DJ table. Throughout four wardrobe changes, tails were prominent on the dancers’ costumes. Folks, Higginbottom takes his dinos seriously.

He bypassed the typical exit from the stage prior to his encore, but added an amazing black-and-white headdress to his already flamboyant getup. Higginbottom has said of his headpieces: “I’m just slightly poking fun at the idea of the cool guy in a cap under a bridge with graffiti. There’s no thought or theories behind it apart from something entertaining or fantastical that looks good.” Indeed it did as he closed the show with two fan favorites, “Tapes & Money” and “Household Goods.” —Sharlene Chiu

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Gold Panda/Photek – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 9, 2012

November 12th, 2012

Gold Panda

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com

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Gold Panda Is on Track for Repeat Success

August 3rd, 2012

Gold Panda – The Bowery Ballroom – August 2, 2012


I’m stuck in fictional 2010, feeling like I just graduated college. I’m still hopeful about the Obama presidency, and my favorite album is My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I’m like the show Newsroom—I imagine an idealized version of the proximate past where I do everything right. And in my retelling, I didn’t miss Gold Panda open for Four Tet during CMJ. I didn’t underestimate how long it’d take me to get to Webster Hall. I didn’t waste time eating a weak Japanese meal. Instead, I saw both acts and was blown away by each. And now, fast-forward to the present day, when I’m writing this review with an interesting context for the show I just saw: an extension of the great show I’d seen before.

Now, Gold Panda is two years removed from his critically acclaimed album, Lucky Shiner. He’s reached that critical juncture where he will be defined by what he does next. And so far, in 2012, GP is on track for repeat success. His new single, “Mountain,” is heady and spatial, a mental “Dancing with Myself.” It signposts that the producer and performer would bring his unique vision and talent to bare with the wisdom of experience. And, at the onset, it was clear he’d acquired an advanced sense of pacing and the attentiveness to the needs of his audience.

Gold Panda folded songs’ structures onto themselves, revisiting rhythms on top of melodies and jumbling together the two. When, midway through the set, he blended into the ultimate crowd-pleaser, “You,” it gained pace and impressiveness with an extended introduction tapped out on an MPC. It was, like his other robotically talkative pieces, a Peter Frampton–influenced triumph of language over noise; we hear words in the modulated stew of sound. And behind a similarly hazy yet familiar set of images, the performance felt like popular dance music drugged and sped up through a cassette player. There was a sense of nostalgia in the music. I entertained the past and enjoyed the thoroughly present. —Jared Levy