Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Minus the Bear In-Store Performance at Easy Street Records

Dana and I managed to catch a bit of Minus the Bear's in-store performance at the Queen Anne branch of Easy Street Records. We stopped for dinner first at the Mecca Cafe around the corner, the 2-for-1 cheeseburger deal and $3 microbrew option was nice.

After dinner we headed over to Easy Street Records and looked at CDs and posters until the band started playing. I've seen Minus the Bear before, but it was before I blogged about every show and I can't recall if I saw their Vera/AMP show or a Bumbershoot show or something else completely. One of the main reasons I blog shows that I go to is so that I can assist my memory later (did I see this band? Where and when? What did they sound like?). The blog works well as a memory assistance device, I just search forr the band name and VitualSoundNW, if my blog shows up then I did see them.

The music started shortly after 7: We were mildly far back so you can only see the upper portion of the band and the drummer isn't visible, but the sound was quite nice. I like how the stage door lifts up as the band starts playing, wish I'd caught that on video.

I enjoy Minus the Bear's songs, they ae well put together and they include some interesting rhythmic complexity, and I love guitar oriented rock in general. Definitely the sort of music that makes me want to get up close and bounce around, although a record store isn't the best venue for a mosh pit. Great venue to listen them to and buy their new album, though. Now I'll just have to keep an eye out for them at a regular show, they should be doing a few to promote the new album.

I got a second song with some amusing chatter: Another excellent song, interesting sound and good rhythmic variations, and the vocal approach fascinates me. They have an extended bit with a few phrases where the vocals are very square, each syllable right on the beat which has an interesting almost mechanical sound, then they go back to a more typical approach of compressing words that are short or contain multiple syllables into more typical time slices so it toggles back to sounding "more normal" - more like someone speaking in a normal conversation - and the contrast enhances the song. The drums also hit a bit with the high hat being struck on the beat that really drives the beat home for a bit. The different elements get me noticing the beat more than I usually do. Most rock songs are pretty simple 4/4 arrangements without much complexity, so I appreciate the effort involved in getting a fairly large group working through a song with more complex and varied beats.

I see that Marco Collins interviewed the band on his Jet City stream on-line show, that's worth checking out to. It's nice to see a favorite local band working the local publicity tools, I hope they get plenty of attention and CD sales out of it, they're a talented group playing excellent music and they deserve plenty of success.

Just to make the evening even nicer, Dana and I headed over to the Musiquarium lounge to meet some friends and relatives for some more free music - Seattle sure can be a pleasant town!

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