Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Busy Lifestyles

A lot has happened.

I used to have a blog called Bear Hair that documented practically nothing; I posted 5 times, and the topics spanned fascinating fields such as "trying to get a job" and "bands I think are goonish." A lot has happened since then that make these subjects seem humdrum and silly, especially because I've had a job for about a year and a half since then.

But that's beside the point. When Bear Hair existed, I was working on recording the album of the same name on my miserable TASCAM 4-track (looks like this) and slowly transferring/adding tracks on Evan's computer.

In order to play the material live, I had to ask a favor of my good and incredibly-talented friends: to help play the tracks I couldn't do by myself. Because they all had other creative outlets, they agreed to help and the practices sounded beautiful. Little did I know, after an Open Mic at my house and some serious bonding, the group would eventually coalesce into a true band, tied by love and bound by a flair for performance. Mark, Evan, Danny, Lui, Kamila, Julia, once Spiros, now Jonathan (affectionately called Dragon), and I have been taking this show on the road ever since.

I now live in an apartment with Evan and Mark and our friend Tim, who has a project called Poor Places (seriously, listen). We call the apartment METAphysics, because it's necessary for us to have a rad name in order to gain any credibility, apparently. We started holding house shows to provide a venue for our friends that are too talented to be alive, and to do stripped-down versions of the songs we play at real-life, real-time venues. Living with these guys and the cast of characters that weave in and out of our periphery has provided some of the best moments of my life so far.

After playing tons of shows and smiling the entire time (with the exception of one strange place in Elgin and after a deadly experience in Cudahy, WI), we signed with an independent label in Chicago called Tandem Shop Records. This is their website. We started rerecording Bear Hair as a complete band with Chris French from the Rockford emo-revivalists Joie De Vivre (you have no idea how many links I'm going to have), and it's being mixed and mastered at the moment, to be released by Tandem Shop physically/digitally in late May or early June. This excites us in practically-illegal ways.

A lot of extraordinary things have been happening. Hopefully, I'll be responsible enough to store whatever memories come next on this thing, and start posting show memories/links of other amazing bands we've played with. They may even provide explanations for some of these ridiculous pictures I'm posting on the side. Maybe not.

Two listen-worthy things to accompany this post. A month ago, we played a show in Lansing, IL at Nnamdi's Pancake House. Nnamdi himself was in 2 of the incredible bands that played that night (AlbatrossNervous Passenger), and he was kind enough to let us play before Sauk Bother (it was their last show!!). It was one of the best crowds we ever encountered, and this is a clip of us playing "Beginnings of a Beard" for 'em.

And finally, Tandem Shop included 2 of our songs (a demo of "Hermit Crab" from the 4-track days, and a demo of "Burst" recorded by my friend Andrew Saenz) on their Holiday Sampler, featuring 2 tracks from each of their featured bands. You can download it here, and can pick up some of their other fine releases too:


Much more to come, featuring MUCH less background information!

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