Bear In Heaven

Bear In Heaven

Blouse, Doldrums

Wed, May 2, 2012

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

First Unitarian Church

Philadelphia, PA

$13.00

This event is all ages

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Bear In Heaven
Bear In Heaven
Bear in Heaven have trapped echos, tremors, winds, and fading light. Theyve redefined time, and folded it. Theyve unbuttoned sound, and realigned it. Within four walls in Brooklyn, Jon Philpot, Adam Wills, Sadek Bazaara, and Joe Stickney mined the democracy of their collaboration, plus the endless hours of streamofconsciousness recorded documentation of rehearsals over the past years, to conceive the crystalline form of Beast Rest Forth Mouth, their second album, their exaltation.
A seed planted in the Southern US years ago (all members hail from Georgia or Alabama), Bear In Heaven began as the musical arm of Jon Philpot in 1998. Time eventually brought in a slew of players, like rickety scaffolding, that grew the sound and guided the group to morph from a 6to5to4piece. As a fourheaded organism, Bear In Heaven has now found a sonic stride unlike any in their history. Freely acknowledging the importance of the number four, the album Beast Rest Forth Mouth (think 'East West North South') was a conscious product of the four compass points, of the four makers, and of the inevitable confusion that manifests from that crossroad mentality: four directions could lead you anywhere and everywhere. Its the acknowledgement of what can go down at that convergence, at that dusty center, that drives Bear In Heaven and imbues the songs of Beast Rest Forth Mouth with something akin to both eternal peace and nervous urgency.
Preceding Beast Rest Forth Mouth is 2007s Red Bloom of the Boom, a 7track, 43minute exploration that crosses the streams of psychedelia and prog. Pitchfork called it 'a true cohesive work in an era when the albumasart form appears to be slowly dying' (7.8), and The Onion found it 'a powerful, functional mix of This Heat, 70s soft rock, early Genesis, and oddly, later Pink Floyd.' The album was further informed by a collection of remarkable music videos by the band and their collaborators, providing a mirror into both the creative scope of the Bear In Heaven consciousness, not to mention the day jobs they keep as editors, filmmakers, and designers. The packaging and visuals for Beast Rest Forth Mouth continue in this tradition, the band collaborating with artist Laura Brothers to create the tactile doorway into the sonic swirl of the album.
Feeding the Bear In Heaven process further is a collection of extracurricular activities. Jon Philpot recently collaborated with Roberto Lange on his Helado Negro project (Roberto also had a hand in the final mix of Beast Rest Forth Mouth), as well as performed live with neighbors and labelmates Stars Like Fleas. Adam Wills has played and toured with Jonathan Kanes February Rhys Chathams Guitar Trio, and started a new band with Joe Stickney called Dark Vibe. Joe Stickney was one of the drummers in the Boredomsled 88 Boadrum last summer. Jon, Sadek, and Adam were three of the two hundred guitarists in Rhys Chathams recent Crimson Grail performance at Lincoln Center.
Beast Rest Forth Mouth will first reveal itself through a limited 12' EP of the track 'Wholehearted Mess,' out September 8 on Hometapes. Bear In Heaven curated remixes from Pink Skull, Max Brannslokker, and Arclike, simultaneously creating a unique tributary off their own musical flow and a bona fide clubfriendly 12' pressed in multicolor vinyl. Tour dates across the east coast and the south will accompany the album release, adding yet another dimension to the prism of Bear In Heaven, built on sound and vision and everything in the inbetween.
Blouse
Blouse
Evolution is a tricky word when discussing current trends in music, especially when it comes to sophomore albums. The critically lauded “BLOUSE,” the 2011 debut from the Portland band of the same name was a lush, melodic and dreamy affair spiked with whoozy synths and delicate vocals. For “Imperium,” their 2nd LP for Captured Tracks, Blouse have shed the synths, done away with drum machines and wrote and recorded with “instruments that don’t plug into the wall,” as enforced by bandmember/producer Jacob Portrait. Sonically speaking, that comes through on the LP immediately. Perhaps bolstered by the ongoing construction occurring next to the studio while the record was being made, the sense of force and urgency propelling the record is evident. Patrick Adams’ driving bass and plodding drums in the title track usher in this new guitar-friendlier Blouse; more direct and clearer of vision, but still mysterious and beautiful. Jacob and Patrick’s Pacific Northwest alt-rock roots (filtered through post-punk and V/U) are a great counterpoint to ex-pat Southern CA transplant Charlie Hilton’s Cohen/Patti/Nico singer/songwriter nature. The dichotomy of those two forces on tracks like “No Shelter” and “1000 Years” are at the core of Imperium. These are delicate songs from the perspective of a valley girl who grew up with gurus and ashrams played by indie lifers on a steady diet of NEU! It makes it all the more understandable to have showers of acoustic guitars and (real, not synthesized) cellos interrupted by fuzz guitar. But these interruptions aren’t a bad thing, they’re what makes Imperium the great record it is. “In a Feeling Like This” describes it perfectly, it’s a strange place that you’re weirdly familiar with. Warm but also kind of spooky and imposing, you want to stay there for longer than you’re invited. Thankfully, it’s ok to flip it over and listen to it again.
Doldrums
Doldrums
Doldrums is a musical venture produced by Canadian artist Eric Woodhead.

As a part of a larger community reacting to overhype and plasticity of modern youth culture and it’s ultimately alienating nature, his music deals with, or helps him deal with, the loss of the individual in an increasingly altruistic society. Doldrums music reflects this societal change on the personal level, as a member of the last generation to remember life pre-internet and 24-hour status updates. His androgynous voice comes across mid-panic attack, floating in a sea of chopped up samples, disembodied vocals and tribal percussion. Spearing between electro-hallucinogenic freak-outs and languid nostalgia his tracks somehow manage to elevate classic pop melodies above a sample saturated sound collage.

Doldrums gained notoriety in their native Toronto through performances at The House of Everlasting Superjoy, a prominent Toronto DIY showspace they co-ran with members of DDMMYYYY, as well as playing at flash parties in abandoned spaces. 2010 saw them release a number of 7”’s including a split with DDMMYYYY and a VHS video mixtape. Woodhead began Doldrums in 2010 by posting videos and designing websites by fictional bands online under a variety of different band pseudonyms, Doldrums being one of them, taking the name from a favorite children’s book, Norton Juster ’s ‘The Phantom Tollbooth”. The stunning barrage of text and images with the music shows a pointedly critical take of what a ‘band’ is, which fortunately comes across no less digestible than Gorillaz.

This year after hearing his interpretation of their song ‘Chase the Tear’, Portishead announced they would release his song as the b-side to their single. At the same time new tracks fell into the hands of cult London indie label No Pain In Pop and were quickly confirmed for release as ‘Empire Sound’, his debut EP.

Though now based out of Montreal, Doldrums sound and attitude screams Toronto, where artists like Skrillex, Crystal Castles and Fucked Up are known for challenging existing ideologies about format and genre.

His music is mostly influenced by that of his friends such as DDMMYYYY and Grimes who he toured with last spring, the references he makes to pop culture have a placed artificiallity and unfamiliarity to them. Doldrums is emotionally vindicating sonic exploration, a fractured mirror image of what our post-internet culture has become.

Doldrums is full circle from the pinnacle of pop to the depths of the underground. A revolving door going too fast to get out.
Venue Information:
First Unitarian Church
2125 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19103
http://www.philauu.org/