BACK

Sorry for the radio silence since for the last 6 months. We did some stuff, played only a couple shows, took our time with things, but now BEAR is back. Giggin and songwritin and schemin on a takeover. We made a record, then we trashed half the songs on said record. Now we're writing newer ones to replace those older crummy ones. Maybe we'll put something out this Spring. Either way, it's good to be back on the internet and talkin shit and gettin real e-rowdy on some blogstuffs. 


SHOW RECAP: ENTRY

It's been about a week and a half since we played the 7th St. Entry for the first time. Lots of bands have played there, lots of our friends have played there, but this was our first go-round. We're not the types to "play it cool", we were goddamn ecstatic. From the second we loaded in, everything just felt right. The staff at First Ave could not have been nicer or more polite. We were treated good, which I think is a big reason any band you talk to loves playing at the Entry (or the Mainroom). We played what we felt was our strongest set yet, then quickly got off the stage so The Farewell Circuit and Portage could continue the good vibes for the rest of the night. It was a great turn out and a great evening of music. We couldn't have been happier with how it all went. 

Now we've got ourselves a tiny break before we play a show at the Kitty Cat Klub. We recently moved into a new practice space. Going to start recorded again for our new record next weekend. Matt's going to have a baby. We're going to write new songs. I might buy an omnichord. There's lots on the way. There may only be two shows on our calendar right now, but don't get nervous, we're booking up the summer right now. Both BEAR shows, as well as some solo shows from yours truly. It's going to be a good summer. Also on the to-do list is to beef up this website. It looks like garbage, and that's on me. Maybe the next time you check in on us it'll look better (or maybe it will look the same, we shall see). 

Anywho, here are some pics from the Entry. We can only hope they let us come back again. See you guys soon.  —Mike

jordan stood up for our big ending on our last song ("seasick"). this is significant because he has a broken foot. you can't keep a good man down

jordan stood up for our big ending on our last song ("seasick"). this is significant because he has a broken foot. you can't keep a good man down

the infamous 7th St Entry green room. jon was brave and re-strung his guitar 45 minutes before we went on 

the infamous 7th St Entry green room. jon was brave and re-strung his guitar 45 minutes before we went on 

this is from soundcheck. there were more ppl than this at the show, trust me

this is from soundcheck. there were more ppl than this at the show, trust me


TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT: 7TH ST. ENTRY

Yes, folks, it's true. We haven't been this excited about a show since the one we played last month (it doesn't take much to excite us). But tonight we will partake in one of the greatest of rock and roll pleasures and play the 7th St Entry at First Avenue with our dear friends Portage and our new practice space-mates The Farewell Circuit. We've cooked up a fresh set for anyone who is coming, made some brand new t-shirts designed by Phil Clark (see below), and also had Bobby McGraw design us one hell of a poster (see below-er). We're so jazzed to play in that room it's not even funny. Doors open at 8. We play right at 9. It's $5 to get in, plus all of our wares (vinyl, tees, posters) will be $5 or less because why the hell not the sun is shining and the snow is melting and the songs are about to be playing. See you at The Entry!!!!!

-Mike

 

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SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION

Hey kids, tomorrow we're going to have one hell of a lot of stuff to write about on here regarding some new T-shirts and some slick posters and some set times for our show Wednesday night at the Entry and some album recording we're about to get started. But before we get to that, I (Mike) wanted to commandeer the BEAR Rag for just a second to say that "Early Demos & Tape Hiss", a collection of really shittily-recorded, sometimes shittily-sung, and mostly shittily-played home folk demos I made forever ago in Duluth and Madison is available over at the Bandcamp site for my solo junk. It's $2 for 15 songs. Not that bad of a deal. Hop to it if you like sad songs. And check by tomorrow for NEWS.
 

Album cover photo taken by Eric Drommerhausen with a disposable camera on the floor of some studio somewhere quite a few years ago. 

Album cover photo taken by Eric Drommerhausen with a disposable camera on the floor of some studio somewhere quite a few years ago. 

PHOTO/VIDEO RECAP: KFAI IN-STUDIO

A week and a half ago we made 10+ trips with our tools of the indie rock trade up the freight elevator in the brick, West Bank building that houses KFAI Fresh Air Radio to play a Live From Studio 5 set. They asked us to play 90 minutes of music, which goes entirely against our ideal of not ever playing too long. So us BEARs played a set of our jams, took a break to clear our radio voice throats, and then I played some solo songs from some previous records I've released under my birth name. It was a fun time and really makes you appreciate the hard work being put in at public radio stations when you can actually see it all in action. Bravo, KFAI! See below for photos and CLICK RIGHT HERE for a video of us playing "Trapp" and Seasick". —Mike B.

REAL LIVE PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE KFAI FOLKS:

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SHOW RECAP: TYCOONS in DULUTH

It's been 8 days since our show in Duluth at Tycoons Alehouse with The Boomchucks and Dirty Horse. Typically we try not to let this much time pass before writing up a show recap, but this one was different. It's taken us a little time to process how great of a time we had playing up there for a fully packed, fully bundled up, fully bearded crowd. 

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The night opened up with The Boomchucks, a 2-piece rocknroll band featuring seasoned Duluth-scene veterans Jamie Ness and Brad Nelson. I'm still finding it hard to come up with the right words to describe how excited we were to get the opportunity to share a bill with these guys. Mostly because I still remember gleaning as much songwriting wisdom and folk guitar knowledge as I could from Jamie ten years ago when I lived in Duluth. He's one of the best songwriters I've ever heard, and the show at Tycoons was just a friendly reminder of that. Let's not forget Brad's drumming either, coming on strong like a goddamn freight train that feels like it's about to derail but never strays off the tracks. Man, BEAR would jump on a bill with The Boomchucks again in a heartbeat. Jamie and Brad, if you read this, let's make it happen. 

Then we took the stage. As firm believers of never overstaying a welcome, we typically play 7-song sets. For Duluth, we played 8. I know, stop the press, right? We pulled the veil off a couple new ones we've been working up at the practice space, and also played some other ones that have been getting tighter and tighter each show. It was a loose set from us, but that didn't take away from how much fun it was to sing for so many good, kind Duluth folks. Hell, even our friends from Portage, who were playing up the street at the Red Star, popped over to catch a little bit of our set. Super excited to share the stage with those dudes at the Entry on March 12th

To close out the night, friend-to-BEAR/electric-guitar-whiz Nate Case and his boozy, noisy, noodly, groovy alt-country-meets-Crazy-Horse band Dirty Horse played. I've watched Nate play with a number of bands, but have never seen this lineup. Goddamn I'm glad I did. Their songs ranged from bar band Hold Steady-esque singalongs to sprawling, Built-to-Spill style guitar solos. When they ended their set ten minutes before bar time, it was a sad moment. BEAR wanted more Horse. Nate, if you're reading this, let's make that happen too. Deal? Deal.

 

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And that's how the show went down. Before packing up the gear and calling it night, we exchanged hugs with some Horses and some 'Chucks, thanked some new friends for making it out, and made our merry way back to Minneapolis to start beefing up our set for March 12 at the 7th St. Entry with Portage and Farewell Circuit. Thanks Duluth, you're so wonderful that it's sometimes hard to come back to a city I was so fond of when I skipped town a few years ago. One giant BEAR embrace to all 90,000 of you, from all four of us non-hibernating BEARs. 

-Mike and the rest of the brood

BEAR DOWN + CAUSE SHOW RECAP

Our beloved bass player Jordan got hit by the broad side of something everyone decided to call the Polar Vortex. He slipped on some ice over the weekend, went down hard, and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. 3 broken ankle bones later and 50% of our rhythm section is injured. The thing looked like he'd been trying to guard goddamn Allen Iverson or something. Well, they say you can't keep a good man down, and the sentiment apparently holds true for BEARs. He crutched his way into Cause on Wednesday night—complete with flannel, sweats, and a soft cast—ready to keep the show going. Being a tight-knit group of BEARs, we poked some fun at him, but at the end of the day he was a soldier going to rock and roll battle. We couldn't imagine a BEAR show without him up there. Once he was on stage, he couldn't be stopped. 

And that's how we kicked off the second Wednesday of Brilliant Beast's residency. Our new friends Falcon Arrow, a post-rocky instrumental duo played merciless rock and roll the way it's suppose to be. Didn't get a chance to talk to their drummer, but their guitar/bass player Matt is ranking high on our maybe-one-of-the-nicest-gentlest-people-we've-come-across-in-our-time-as-a-band list. We liked their set, they liked our set. They had a 7", we had a 7". So we did the old-fashioned 7" swap and called it a night. Brilliant Beast closed out the evening; their overdriven, echo-y guitars making us dizzy but not too dizzy to not sing along (yes, we know their songs. They're THAT good). It's a crying shame not too many people came out. If you weren't there, you missed a good one. If you were (I'm looking at you Patrick, Jennifer, Graham, soundguy Brock, and like three other people), you're getting a BEAR hug. You won't know when, you won't see it coming, but you will get one. We'll find you. 
 

Here's some photos from the evening from myself, guitar player Jon, and bass player Jordan:

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SHOW RECAP: NOMAD

I'm sure if you read the BEAR Rag semi-regularly, you start to get a little annoyed at all the in-your-face positivity we share after each show we play. Truth is, we really really love playing songs for people. So any opportunity we get to do that with some like-minded bands in a room with tasty beer, we're gonna walk away feeling happy and refreshed.

So I'm sure it comes as no surprise that Friday night at the Nomad World Pub on Minneapolis's West Bank was everything we were hoping it would be. If you don't know the Nomad, you must check out this off-the-map rock club. They've got a great stage, superb sound, a deep tap beer list, and a little something called the Prix Fixe, which is a tall boy PBR, a shot of Jameson, and a Camel Crush cigarette for $5. BEAR had never played the Nomad, nor had we played with Narco States or Broken Bicycles, so it was a night of goddamn firsts. 

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I'll try and be as brief as possible, because these recaps tend to get long-winded as I continually get nostalgic for two days prior when we had such a fun time playing rock and roll. We made friends with the Broken Bicycles. They were playing power-pop jams like they were born to. Reminded me and Matt of Headlights, with their female lead vocals and synth parts rolling together with a naughty lead guitar. Then BEAR played our favoritest set yet. We unveiled some new songs on the world and they were well-received, which quelled the inherent question every band or songwriter asks themselves of "is this actually a song someone might enjoy hearing us play?" Then Narco States took over the stage and ABSOLUTELY owned it. Michael, their front dude, is a beast, jumping off things, writhing around, kicking, breaking mic stands, etc. It was heavy, in the best way possible. 

We'd like to thank our friends for coming out. And thank our two new band friends, Narco and Broken Bikes. I suppose one more thanks should go out to that random guy who kept buying everyone Jameson shots and Jameson mixers and whatnot. Any time that dude wants to come to a BEAR show, we won't turn him away!

Okie doke, see below for a few BEAR shots from the crowd, as well as one spooky Narco shot as Michael was mid jump. What an incredible night. 

To the moon, 
Behrends and BEARfriends

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LIFE AT -17

I don't think we ate enough before the winter came. Which is a horrible oversight as a BEAR. We were sluggish, we were wandering the streets of Minneapolis aimlessly, showing up late for practice—heck, skipping practice. It was about damn time for what we called The First Annual BEAR & Friends Mid-Winter Hibernation Potluck. It went down at my place in Northeast and was filled with an impossible amount of cheese-related dips, sauces, dishes and a fridge so full of beer it'd make a barkeep blush. Not to mention good laughs with some good friends. Before parting ways, we had to have a fellow potluck attendee snap a photo of the BEAR for proof of fun had. Observe:

L to R: Singbear, Drumbear, Bassbear, Leadguitarbear.

L to R: Singbear, Drumbear, Bassbear, Leadguitarbear.

Between bites of baked beans and pickled herring and hearing friend-of-BEAR Eric Golder (of Midway House fame, not to mention hallowed-defunct-Albert-Lea-Scene-band-Green-Sleeves frontman) confuse Duck Dynasty with the 1994 Emilio Estevez romp D2: The Might Ducks, we discussed our plan of attack for our NEXT FOUR SHOWS, all coming up in the next month. Starting with (#1) THIS FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE NOMAD  with Broken Bicycles and Narco States. Goddamn we're excited for this one. So excited, in fact, that we're braving this cottonpickin' Polar Vortex and making our way on all fours over to the practice space to tighten up the set tonight. 

After that we'll have a few days to recover before (#2) PLAYING BRILLIANT BEAST'S RESIDENCY AT CAUSE ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15. We like those guys. We asked them to play our release show. They said yes. They asked us to play Kitty Cat Klub. We said yes. We asked them to play our Halloween blowout at Driftwood. They said no. But they countered with a slot in their residency. To which we countered with a HELL YES and a counter-counter to split a (#4) LIVE ON THE RADIO gig on KFAI on February 12th, right after the BEAR bears (#3) HEAD NORTH TO PLAY TYCOONS IN DULUTH ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH.

Holy lord, it's going to be a good 34 days ahead of us. We hope you can bundle up enough to come share the joy of song with your favorite genus Ursus music group. 

To the moon, 
Mikebear

POST-HOLIDAY SLUMBER

We survived. Us BEARs each went our separate ways for the holidays, even cancelled band practice for the week to maximize the food and drink and family-time consumption. We've been in hiding from official shows since mid-November when we played Bryant-Lake Bowl, save for that house show a couple weeks back. That'll change on Saturday, January 10th when we lumber over to the Nomad World Pub on the West Bank to play with Narco States and Broken Bikes. 

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This poster was designed by bassist Jordan. The photo taken by guitarist/samplist/keyboardist Jon on a random Saturday last year when him and I rented a heavily branded windowless cargo van from a party rental service in Minnetonka and bombed around the countryside on glare ice. A completely normal thing to do. The show will be a fun one and we're excited to play a couple new songs. 

Following that gig, we'll be playing less than a week later on Wednesday, January 15th with our fellow beastly band friends Brilliant Beast. They're tearing up the scene right now and have earned themselves the January residency at Cause. Come down for free around 10pm and feast on some roast beast. 

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That's about it on our end of the line. We hope everyone out there in internetland enjoyed Christmas (or the Solstice or Hannukah, etc.). Time to get the gloves back on, as the fingers tend to get cold typing in Minnesota this time of year. Stay warm, folks.

To the moon, 
Mike 

WE'RE COMING FOR YOU, DULUTH

Our friend Nate Case (of 4onthefloor) has a rad and raucous alt-country band called Dirty Horse with some Duluth dwellers just up I-35 from our home in Northeast Minneapolis. He caught a BEAR show not too long ago at Cause in Uptown and invited us up to Duluth to split a bill with the Horse. Being a man of his spoken word, Nate was happy to announce and send over to BEAR HQ the venue and lineup for what has already shaped up to be an incredibly cold (er, fun/sloppy/craft-beer-filled/upbeat) evening of rock and roll. The details:

The Boomchucks + Dirty Horse + BEAR
Saturday, February 8th
Tycoons Alehouse
Duluth, Minnesota

The Boomchucks. photo credit: Rich Narum via Flickr

The Boomchucks. photo credit: Rich Narum via Flickr

We were already excited to play this show, THEN we caught whiff of The Boomchucks' addition to the bill. This is monumental in BEAR's world. Fronted by one of the best goddamn songwriters I've ever heard (Jamie Ness), The Boomchucks feature Jamie putting his world-weary folk songs aside to play uptempo, fuzzy, full-band rock and roll at the speed of a train loaded to the gills with taconite rolling through the Iron Range on a tight deadline. Aside from a wonderful self-titled full-length CD, they've got a digital-only tribute (recorded as The Freewheelers) to Bob Dylan that makes us happy. 

As noted above, it's all going down at Duluth's newest and most haunted public house, Tycoons, run by the gentlefellows who brought Fitger's Brewhouse and Burrito Union to Duluth's world. 

We don't want to hype this up TOO much, but it's going to be a great time. BEAR has exactly 2 months from today to tighten up our new jams and make sure we're ready to run with these two Duluthian powerhouse bands. 

To the moon and back,
-Mike

SHOW RECAP: MIDWAY HOUSE W/ PORTAGE

We'd heard stories about Midway House. Tales of epic shows happening deep down in the basement of this punk rock squat house in St. Paul. STNNNG kicked off their epic 10th anniversary show run—during which they played Midway, then the Turf, then Big V's all in one goddamn night—at the house and Friday night you could still hear Ben Ivascu's merciless drumming reverberating off the concrete walls. 

On possibly the coldest night on record (-6 actual / -24 "feels like", whatever that means), it was BEAR & Portage's turn. To the very brave souls who put on long johns and parkas and flannels and trudged through a foot of snow over to St. Paul, we thank you. 

One of the guys living in the house, Steven Charles, opened up the night with some dark cowboy songs he's been writing lately. I'd never met him before, but he helped us load our gear in and told me I've got "very beautiful and long fingers" so instantly he had BEAR's paw of approval. His songs were loose, Silver Jews-y in their delivery, and cleverly written. Kudos to him for opening the night. 

Then BEAR played. Opened with our #1 smash hit "Camping" followed by "Ghost Town" (working title) and then "Texas Romance" and then "Wolf" and then "Trapp" and then "Seasick" and then we skipped "Beach" (working title) because my voice was beginning to give out and closed the night with "First Time I Saw The Devil." A fun set indeed. Loose, raucous, rough-hewn—exactly how a house show set should be.

Then Portage left some jaws on the floor. Trent, Adam, Dave, and Jason were the kindest of dudes and the most exceptional of musicians. Me and Dave go way back to our Duluth days, so it's always fun to see him around town in a rock-and-roll context. In this case, he was playing organ with reckless abandon while Trent crooned over dissonant guitar chords and Adam beat the hell out of the drums—keeping it heavy on the floor toms (which I'm way into if you ask anyone). Needless to say, Portage is now a friend to BEAR, and you can bet your hibernating hind we'll be at their show at 7th St. Entry this Thursday night. 

If you're reading this and you were there, you're awesome. And thanks to Portage. And Steven Charles, too. We can't forget our dear friend Eric who set the show up. There's no place like home, and Midway House felt like home for a few hours the other night. 

To new friends and positive vibes,
-Mike & BEAR

Matt and Midway House's official show calendar. 

Matt and Midway House's official show calendar. 

HOUSE SHOW FRIDAY + MAKING A RECORD

It's with great excitement to say that we're playing a house show this Friday night at the Midway House in St. Paul. Old-fashioned indie rock style—before the jeans got skinny and the phones got Internet-y. Pick a house, get a shitty PA, invite your friends. Boom, you've got a show. None of this hounding yourself out to booking dudes and writing 25 emails. No sir. We're sharing the bill with Portage and I believe one more act, although their name is quickly running away from my memory. Regardless, it's going to be a really fun, noisy time.

Midway House. Friday. 9pm.

It's with equal—if not more—great excitement to say that last night BEAR went into a studio in South Minneapolis to begin work on our first full-length. We've been writing a lot of songs together and it's getting to be the time to sort through 'em and beef 'em up and polish 'em down and record 'em to some digital tape. It'll be a long process but we'll keep you updated along the way. The first two songs—in the off chance you've been to a show, and care, and recognize our songs by songs titles (actually, if this is the case, tell me, because you deserve a BEAR hug that lasts a long while)—we're laying down are "Seasick" and "Trapp." I'm not at liberty to say anything more than that, because we need to leave more to be desired by our friends that are kind enough to read the BEAR Rag on occasion. 

See you Friday,
Mike & the rest of those BEAR boys

Matt & I, tracking guitars and drums. Photo by Jon. 

Matt & I, tracking guitars and drums. Photo by Jon

BLACK FRIDAY SIT-ON-YR-HIND DEALS

We don't much take to standing in line to buy TVs or gaming systems. We're BEARs. But we have it on pretty good authority that if you're reading this, you've got a clicking finger, at least a 3G connection, and an interest in our brand of rock and roll. So for today only (basically until I log back in to our Bandcamp site and change the price back to it's normal $7), YOU CAN GET OUR 7" Out-of-doors FOR $3. That's only $3 for a tangible media format that won't be gone forever when your computer crashes because of some bad files you obtained from some dark corners of the infobahn. Or you can download it for free if you're one of those I-only-do-digital millennial types (and this is a big deal too because we've never let people have the digital download because we're slightly Luddite in our BEARish tendencies). 

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Ok, why the hell not, we're on a roll. Since we're in a good mood, you can go grab my 2012 solo CD Lonesome for Handsome for $1. ONE GODDAMN DOLLAR. Or download it for free your iPod thing. Hell, take it from BEAR's in-house designer Ryan Bren who is still fancy on the album (see below correspondence for proof that one person likes the CD).

Everyone in BEAR had a hand in or played on it. We also have been known to play a few jams off Lonesome in our live set. So there you have it. We'd better get back to not shopping before all of this sales-y stuff makes us seem like we're in it for something other than the music. 

-Mike and the BEAR affair

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BRYANT-LAKE BOWL RECAP

We came.
We growled.
We conquered.  

Pre-BLB show photo by BEAR's own Jon Klocek.

Pre-BLB show photo by BEAR's own Jon Klocek.

Thursday night BEAR played Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater as a continuation of our relentless, physically taxing, creatively satisfying, money-sucking, neverending tour of Minneapolis dive bars. We were happy to open for The Deep Dark Woods, who are touring these United States for the next month or so. They were cool dudes with thick Canadian accents who played a great set and borrowed us a cigarette lighter and all that stuff.

If you were there and somehow have stumbled upon our little corner of the infobahn here, we thank you. At our scale, being the nobody local band opening for a touring band basically puts you in the position where most folks aren't coming out to see you (especially for $10/person on a Thursday night. Yikes!), but rather the headliner. But man, the audience Thursday night were really making us feel at home in our hometown. Fresh faces not afraid to chime in and be a part of the betwixt-song conversation. Someone even whistled after a song. I mean, goddamn, you bought our vinyl records and CDs and posters and grabbed some of our free 1" punk rock buttons. Now your messenger bags are all emblazoned with the genus Ursus. And for that, we thank you. 

We here at BEAR HQ like our fun to be had a certain way. And Thursday night set the bar for how much of it can be had while playing 45 minutes of music for strangers. Thanks if you came out, you're keeping us going. And if you didn't come out, you can give us your excuse at the house show we're playing with Portage on Friday, December 6th in St. Paul. 

-Mike & the BEAR brood  

 

GIG POSTER UNVEIL: BLB, NOV 7th

BEAR is opening for a Canadian Mumford-y sounding band called Deep Dark Woods this Thursday at Bryant-Lake Bowl. Looks like they're on tour in support of a pretty cool-sounding record and are making a pitstop at Minneapolis's premier bowling alley/bar/theater establishment. Tickets are sort of steep ($8 now, $10 day of), but I guess we'll find out who our true BEAR's den inhabiters are. 

All of this said, I'm excited to unveil the goddamn amazing poster for this show: 

Ursa Major re-imagined for the genus Ursus.

Ursa Major re-imagined for the genus Ursus.

As you may know, BEAR likes to work with a different designer for each show poster in an attempt to keep the open door of our open-door policy way the hell open. This show's poster was dreamed up by Annie Wang, MPLS designer/gun wielder/citizen stargazer: 

Annie, with a gun. 

Annie, with a gun. 

Annie is a friend of mine and thus a friend to BEAR. She's just about as rad as it gets, and I was super excited to see what she'd whip up for the genus Ursus. She's done great work for Urban Outfitters, Target, soon to be Colle+McVoy and, just a sidenote, her Instagram feed is off the chain always. When she sent the poster over last week, my jaw hit the ground. I grabbed my Golden Guide to Stars book and, sure enough, there it was—Ursa Major, shining down on all of us, all the time.  

We'll have a limited number of these posters for sale at the show. All the money will go right back to Annie for her creative efforts. These things are 13"x19", screenprinted with metallic silver and gold ink on heavyweight "twilight blue" paper stock with what we're calling a Milky Way sheen. 

We hope to see some friendly faces Thursday night.
Thanks to Annie and thanks for tuning in,  
 -Mike & the BEAR family

MUIR

Sure, we might live in the urban metropolis of Minneapolis up here in the middle of nowhere Minnesota. But we're BEARs, and the middle of nowhere is where we thrive. Look, we don't want to preach anything but the gospel of the genus Ursus. But a good part of that gospel we choose to talk about is nature, being outside, the wilderness. The land where you can only see trees as far as you look out. Our 7" is called Out-of-doors  for Pete's sake. Not only that, but the hand-lettering on the back cover was a deliberate nod to the journals kept by a true hero in BEAR's eyes, John Muir. 

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Over lunch today, while daydreaming about being outside whilst wasting precious time on the infobahn (the irony!!), we stumbled upon this great article and wanted to share it. Some fine words from a fine man indeed. 

-Mike

Photo credits: the Googles. If you own them and for some reason are on this site, I'll take 'em down. 

 

HALLOWEEN SHOW RECAP

When you decide to fully commit to giving a good chunk of your creative life/thought over to the business of singing songs for people, you start with modest goals. In BEAR's case, the goal's stay modest indefinitely—play the Entry perhaps, maybe open for a MPLS buzz band, play a show in costume w/ Goosebumps. Well, readers of the BEAR rag, we just slashed the latter off BEAR's must-maul list.  

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Last night we played one of our soon-to-be-staple 7-song sets, in honor of both R.L. Stine and the best holiday on all of weird planet girth—Hallowe'en. The festivities went down at the Driftwood in South Minneapolis. End Quotes, some of the bestest and gnarliestest dudes we've had the pleasure of playing with, opened the night with some jams that were even more best and gnarly than we remembered. They've got a 7" out with a song on the B-side called "Good Enough" that makes us want to be better people. Word is they're recording, and if the song they played the other night with the line "...but it's not your home anymore..." in it is on there, look the hell out for these guys. Needless to say, we gave them a really big BEAR hug, and we don't hand those things out willy nilly. 

Then we played. Sure, we opened with the new party favorite "Trapp", then followed it up with a goddamn brand-spanking-new rocker "Wolf", then played The Current's favorite song* since anything Polica poops on* ("Camping"), then burned our way through more new ones and relatively new ones. It was a blast, singing songs in Jason Voorhees costumes (Mike), Bob Ross costumes (Jordan), Lucifer costumes (Matt), and inadvertent David Bazan black-on-black garb (Jon). I (Mike) might've even thrown my back out during our last song ("First Time I Saw The Devil"). 

Following our set and finishing out the night was Goosebumps. These spooky assed dudes share two members with BEAR but up the intensity to about 13. Adam spins death metal yarns, each covering the plot line of a different book from the R.L. Stine series. Contact us if you want a physical CD, we've got 'em, because it's like nothing your ears will ever hear. Driftwood wasn't ready for it, Larry the booking guy wasn't happy, but those fearless front-row standers in the crowd got a real taste of literary death noise, front and center. We couldn't possibly think of a better band to help us ring in Halloween a few days early. 

BEAR is taking the week off to have some birthdays and celebrate some other momentous occasions. Then we'll be over at Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater on Thursday, November 7th to open for Deep Dark Woods. We recently found out that the ticket price for this show is way above BEAR's official designated show price, so we apologize in advance for that. Either way, we hope to see a familiar face or nine out there in a couple Thursdays. 

From the couch at BEAR HQ,
Mike

*Editor's note: 89.3 The Current has never heard of BEAR & Polica's drummer Ben is our inspiration to be better music players. 

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BREATHE TIME #3

We can't help ourselves. This popped up in my Instagram feed (which half-assedly doubles as BEAR's Insta-feed, but not really) via Outside Magazine. How can we resist?
 

Diggin' for spare copies of Out-of-doors. 

Diggin' for spare copies of Out-of-doors. 

Unrelated, I'm heavy in a David Bazan phase right now, which happens every 2-3 months like clockwork. Mostly the songs "How I Remember" and "Cold Beer and Cigarettes" from his Fewer Moving Parts release this time around. I was telling Matt over beers at Grumpy's Northeast last night that if BEAR ever writes a song as solid as "How I Remember", we'll probably just have to quit music while we're waaaaay ahead. Goddamn, I love Bazan.