MINUS THE BEAR: THE FAREWELL TOUR with CASPIAN

Tue Oct 9 2018

8:00 PM (Doors 6:00 PM)

3rd and Lindsley

818 3rd Ave. S Nashville, TN 37210

All Ages

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Minus the Bear is a product of the first two tumultuous decades of this century.
From their first show in 2001 to their impending dissolution at the end of 2018, the
Seattle band thrived on the musical awakening in the era of the mp3, the internet,
poptimism, and the endless crosspollinations generated from an expanded
consciousness of new music forms. With the aim of sounding like “classic rock from
the future,” they initially forged their music from the dichotomous blend of David
Knudson’s prodigious finger-tapped guitar lines and Jake Snider’s cool-tempered
narratives set against a backdrop of souped-up dance beats. Throughout their
career, they’ve carried on the trailblazing traditions of ‘70s prog rockers and guitar-
centric indie rock pioneers of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but they’ve also always been a band
of new sounds. Synths, drum machine break beats, omnichords, and pedalboard
gadgetry all contribute to the band’s electronic flourishes. You can hear the
poptimist appreciation for a club banger, a new wave hook, or a solid hip-hop beat
in any number of their songs. 
One of the first tracks written for their last album VOIDS was “Fair Enough”, a
reserved track that went through a variety of permutations before winding up on
the backburner. Like most Minus the Bear songs, it began as a loose framework of
interlocking guitar parts created by Knudson that quickly changed shape as the
other members contributed their parts. “It’s interesting because we tried re-doing it
twice in the studio,” says keyboardist/vocalist Alex Rose. “I was really into the first
new direction as it was very pop, but collectively it didn't seem to fit. Then we tried
a more ambient one… it just ended up being one of those songs that didn't beat the
others.” But as the band was digging through their archives earlier this year, they
stumbled upon an early version of the song. “It jumped out as sounding done,” Rose
recalls. “I touched up the mix, fixed a few edits and sent it to everyone while we
were on the recent Planet of Ice anniversary tour. The other guys all listened
together and by all accounts had ‘a moment.’ I think the song had taken on new
meaning after we decided to end the band.” Given Snider’s prescient lyrical lament
of lost passions and finding “the exact moment we turned it off,” it’s hardly
surprising to hear that the song resonates strongly within the group. Snider insists it
was written to eulogize a failed romantic relationship, but it’s hard to not hear the
lyrics as foreshadowing the band’s break-up.
The other three songs of Fair Enough are both a continuation and a culmination of
Minus the Bear’s diverse sounds. The adrenalized up-tempo drumbeats, lush
electronics, and nimble guitar work that initially set them apart from their peers
back in 2001 are on full display during “Viaduct”. The EP closes with a nod to their

ongoing remix collaborations, this time with a vibrant rave-up reinvention of
“Invisible” by Sombear.
 

MINUS THE BEAR: THE FAREWELL TOUR with CASPIAN

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  • Minus the Bear

    Minus the Bear

    Aboriginal Rock

    Over the course of their 15-year career, Minus the Bear have carved out their ownunique musical world. This isn’t to say they’re impervious to outside influence.They’ve borrowed components from a wide swath of genres—the brainy clangor ofNew York’s proto-punk scene, the cerebral buzz of IDM, the poptimist evaluation ofhip-hop and R&B, and the grandiose visions of prog rock—but always managed todefy classification. Throughout the first decade of their existence, every new albumoffered a new musical approach, as seen in the idiosyncratic fretboard gymnastics ofHighly Refined Pirates, the glitchy loops of Menos el Oso, or the modernized Fripp-inspired wizardry of Planet of Ice. By the time the band entered our current decade,their knack for reinvention yielded to an emphasis on refinement. Albums like OMNIand Infinity Overhead searched for a middle ground where their myriad of stylisticapproaches could all work within the context of a single record.On their sixth album VOIDS, Minus the Bear started with a blank slate, andinadvertently found themselves applying the same starting-from-scratch strategiesthat fueled their initial creative process. “There was a lot of change and uncertainty,”says guitarist David Knudson. “I think the general vibe of emptiness, replacement,lacking, and longing to fill in the gaps was very present in everyones’ minds.”Change was everywhere. Keyboardist/vocalist Alex Rose took on a more prominentrole in composition and handled lead vocal duties on songs like “Call the Cops,”“Tame Beasts,” and “Robotic Heart,” drummer Kiefer Matthias joined the fold,producer Sam Bell lent a fresh set of ears in the studio, and the band returned totheir original label home at Suicide Squeeze Records. Minus the Bear were no longerswept along by the momentum that had driven them for the last fifteen years.Instead, they reached a point where they could recalibrate and redefine who theywere as a musical entity. The resulting album VOIDS retains many of the band’ssignature qualities—the hedonistic tales of nighttime escapism and candid vignettesof adulthood, the savvy up-tempo beats, the layered and nuanced instrumentation—while simultaneously reminding us of the musical wanderlust that initially put themon the map.Album opener “Last Kiss” immediately establishes the band’s renewed fervor. Anappropriately dizzying guitar line plunges into a propulsive groove before thechorus unfolds into a multi-tiered pop chorus. From there the album flows into“Give & Take”, a tightly wound exercise in syncopation that recalls the celebratorypulse of early Bear classics like “Fine + 2 Pts” while exploring new textures andtimbres. “Invisible” is arguably the catchiest song of the band’s career, with JakeSnider’s vocal melodies and Knudson’s imaginative guitar work battling for thestrongest hooks. “What About the Boat?” reminds us of the “math-rock” tag thatfollowed the band in their early years, with understated instrumentation disguisingan odd-time beat. “Erase,” recalls the merging of forlorn indie pop and electronicathat the band dabbled with on their early EPs, but demonstrates the Bear’s ongoingmelodic sophistication and tonal exploration. By the time the band reaches albumcloser “Lighthouse,” they’ve traversed so much sonic territory that the onlyappropriate tactic left at their disposal is a climactic crescendo, driven at its peak by Cory Murchy’s thunderous bass. Not since Planet of Ice’s “Lotus” has the Bearachieved such an epic finale. All in all, it’s an album that reminds us of everythingthat made us fall in love with Minus the Bear in the first place, and a big part of thatappeal is the sense that the band is heading into uncharted territories.Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to release VOIDS to the world on March 3, 2017 onCD, LP, and cassette. Nick Steinhardt designed the artwork and layout for allformats. The first pressing of the album is available on 5,000 copies of splattercolored vinyl and 5,000 copies of 180 gram black vinyl. The LP jacket features PMSinks, a die-cut cover with a printed inner sleeve and contains a download code. Thecassette version is limited to 500 copies and includes a download code as well.

  • Caspian

    Caspian

    Pop

MINUS THE BEAR: THE FAREWELL TOUR with CASPIAN

Tue Oct 9 2018 8:00 PM

(Doors 6:00 PM)

3rd and Lindsley Nashville TN
MINUS THE BEAR: THE FAREWELL TOUR with CASPIAN
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

All Ages

Minus the Bear is a product of the first two tumultuous decades of this century.
From their first show in 2001 to their impending dissolution at the end of 2018, the
Seattle band thrived on the musical awakening in the era of the mp3, the internet,
poptimism, and the endless crosspollinations generated from an expanded
consciousness of new music forms. With the aim of sounding like “classic rock from
the future,” they initially forged their music from the dichotomous blend of David
Knudson’s prodigious finger-tapped guitar lines and Jake Snider’s cool-tempered
narratives set against a backdrop of souped-up dance beats. Throughout their
career, they’ve carried on the trailblazing traditions of ‘70s prog rockers and guitar-
centric indie rock pioneers of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but they’ve also always been a band
of new sounds. Synths, drum machine break beats, omnichords, and pedalboard
gadgetry all contribute to the band’s electronic flourishes. You can hear the
poptimist appreciation for a club banger, a new wave hook, or a solid hip-hop beat
in any number of their songs. 
One of the first tracks written for their last album VOIDS was “Fair Enough”, a
reserved track that went through a variety of permutations before winding up on
the backburner. Like most Minus the Bear songs, it began as a loose framework of
interlocking guitar parts created by Knudson that quickly changed shape as the
other members contributed their parts. “It’s interesting because we tried re-doing it
twice in the studio,” says keyboardist/vocalist Alex Rose. “I was really into the first
new direction as it was very pop, but collectively it didn't seem to fit. Then we tried
a more ambient one… it just ended up being one of those songs that didn't beat the
others.” But as the band was digging through their archives earlier this year, they
stumbled upon an early version of the song. “It jumped out as sounding done,” Rose
recalls. “I touched up the mix, fixed a few edits and sent it to everyone while we
were on the recent Planet of Ice anniversary tour. The other guys all listened
together and by all accounts had ‘a moment.’ I think the song had taken on new
meaning after we decided to end the band.” Given Snider’s prescient lyrical lament
of lost passions and finding “the exact moment we turned it off,” it’s hardly
surprising to hear that the song resonates strongly within the group. Snider insists it
was written to eulogize a failed romantic relationship, but it’s hard to not hear the
lyrics as foreshadowing the band’s break-up.
The other three songs of Fair Enough are both a continuation and a culmination of
Minus the Bear’s diverse sounds. The adrenalized up-tempo drumbeats, lush
electronics, and nimble guitar work that initially set them apart from their peers
back in 2001 are on full display during “Viaduct”. The EP closes with a nod to their

ongoing remix collaborations, this time with a vibrant rave-up reinvention of
“Invisible” by Sombear.