Show Review: Bear In Heaven @ The Parish (8/29)

Bear In HeavenI anticipated this show not just because Bear In Heaven has never failed to impress, but also because the openers showed so much promise. I was only disappointed in one thing; Austin. Yes you, Austin. Would you please start supporting the openers? Less pre-drink, more music. You paid for that ticket, get your dollar’s worth. Check what time doors are and show up to support the bands and the venues. BiN made two incredibly solid picks for the road this time around in Weeknight and Young Magic and if you missed them, it is your own damn fault. #rant

So there you go. The best show review I have ever done? Maybe.

OK, just a few more notes after the break. …and pics. Lot of them.

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Show Preview: Bear In Heaven @ The Parish (8/28)

Bear In Heaven

Date: TONIGHT!
Location:   The Parish
Doors: 8:00 PM
Tickets: $16

Yes, there are other shows going on tonight. I am most excited about this Bear In Heaven show at The Parish tonight. Not just because I love the new tracks from BiH, but the opening acts are real head turners.

Since this show hit my radar, I have been a little obsessed with Weeknight. Dark, smoky, synth-heavy and moody – some tracks have southern rock cadence to the vocal, perhaps a hit a gospel. Andy Simmons and Holly MacGibbon spend most of their time harmonizing. It isn’t give and take, it is give and give. Beautiful flourishes, simple constructs enhanced by clever waveforms. Heavy guitar riffs complete the formula and lends gothy noise.

I last saw Young Magic with Purity Ring. I expect more of the same gazy-poppy goodness, but the new tracks are fuller, more complex if you ask me.

And finally, we have our headliners. Dear jeebus, I love the track “Autumn”. This is going to be one helluva show. I made you a playlist.

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Top Albums of 2012: 50-1

Here it is.  I know you’ll hate it; I know you’ll disagree, but that’s not the point in making an arbitrary list.  We here at ATH worked really hard to fit in the tastes of the four of us, and when we decided upon our Top 50, it really boied down to simple math.  What albums did we love when they came out?  Do we still enjoy spinning those records months later? If they’re in the Top 50, then the asnwer is probably yes.  I mean, our Top 2 records came out in January, and still play a vital part in my weekly listening.  There’s no disclaimer here.  We are who we are, we like what we like, and we hope that’s okay with you. If not, drop us a line and let us know where we went wrong.

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Show Preview: Bear in Heaven @ The Parish (4/24)

Date Tuesday, April 24th
Location The Parish
Doors 800 pm
Tickets $14 from Frontgate

Just looking at the opening bill for this show at the Parish on Tuesday should get you excited; both Doldrums and Blouse have made big waves in the indie pond this year, earning new fans and much acclaim.  But, the spotlight surely has to be on Bear in Heaven, a band that continues to push themselves.  Their recent release, I Love You It’s Cool, was exceptional in its construction, coming off a great deal brighter than their earlier effort.  You can also be assured that they’ll bring some elaborate lighting/video with them as they did during their recent SXSW performances.  Put that with the always excellent sound at the Parish and we’re all going to have a great night.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Bear-in-Heaven-The-Reflection-of-You.mp3]

Download: Bear in Heaven – The Reflection of You [MP3]

 

Bear In Heaven – I Love You, It’s Cool

Rating: ★★★★☆

The difficulty for Bear in Heaven with I Love You, It’s Cool is how do they push beyond the limitations they placed on themselves by creating a brilliant first album, Beast Rest Forth Mouth? Surely, they were aware of the difficult task ahead of them when going into the studio, which probably only increases the anxiety of making a record. But, luckily, they’ve come out on top, crafting an album of electronic pop songs that if anything, only increases their accessibility, guaranteeing them further success.

For me, album opener “Idle Heart” is the perfect identity statement by the group, delving into a sort of electronic wash for nearly a minute, shortly before the lyrics open up the melody.  There’s a particular brightness that lurks beneath the surface of the track, providing them with the ability to reach a new, larger audience.  It’s the sentiment one expects a band to make upon their return to the indie limelight with I Love You, It’s Cool. They continue in the vein of bright electronic-pop with the following track, “The Reflection of You.” This is perhaps one of the standout tracks on the album, but it’s also a reminder at 4.5 minutes (more or less) that pop songs can be drawn out, furthering the emotional release for the listener.

When Bear in Heaven pull out the pop stops in a song like “Sinful Nature,” it becomes evident that the group has evolved into something entirely different from their previous affair.  Driving synthesizers propel the melody, but there’s this wash atop it all, sort of reminiscent of Republic era New Order.  It makes almost every song perfect for the dance floor–or wherever you choose to shake it. However, they still mix in some varying sounds, making this more than just your run of the mill dance record.

On “Kiss Me Crazy” there’s flirtations with negative space within the song, almost from the opening moment, especially when you fit in the drumming. At times the percussion doesn’t fit the tempo of the track at all, yet it falls precisely into place when looked at from afar. Another song on I Love You, It’s Cool that helps further this idea is “Space Remains.” It’s perhaps one of the grittier tracks on the record, reminding you of the band’s earlier work; it has elements of electronic noise covering an inherent danceability. And, by placing it near the end of the collection, it also serves to break up the monotony one can find in long electronic albums.

Bear in Heaven don’t seem to be breaking any new ground with this record, but they seem to be evolving on their own merit.  I Love You, It’s Cool will remind listeners and fans that the band are definitely one of the premier electronic acts trucking about the world today.  They’ve definitely got their own musical concept (and a visual one live!), and you’ve got to credit them for sticking to their guns, pushing ahead, and giving us another killer collection of songs we’ll play for some time.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Bear-in-Heaven-The-Reflection-of-You.mp3]

Download:Bear in Heaven – The Reflection of You [MP3]

The IT Department – v2.2

SxSW is getting closer and closer and this IT Dept. has very little to do with SxSW becasue it is still too far away for me to start getting hyped. O_o

Since we played catch-up in the previous IT post, here is a collection of new tunes for you to ponder. I am throwing out a favorite from Mint Julep, the latest from Bear In Heaven, smoothness with oOoOO, School of Seven Bells minus a twin and an atmospheric closer from Blondes.

Click past the break and you might get rewarded with cheese.

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New Tunes from Bear in Heaven

bear_in_heavenLoads of sites have been circling this tune around, deservedly so. They have some new work coming out on October 13th titled Beast Rest Forth Mouth, and if it sounds anything like this track with it’s haunting 80s movement, then Bear in Heaven will surely be a big hit.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Bear-In-Heaven-Lovesick-Teenagers.mp3]

Download: Bear In Heaven – Lovesick Teenagers [MP3]