Tag Archives: Minus the Bear
Brian Aubert (vocals and guitar), Chris Guanlao (drums), Joe Lester (keys and samples) and Nikki Monninger (bass and vocals) knew one another from playing in various bands before forming Silversun Pickups 15 years ago in Los Angeles. Their atmospheric sound, layered melodies and spellbinding dreamy pop immediately drew comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and the Smashing Pumpkins with the release of their 2005 debut EP, Pikul (stream it below), and 2006 debut LP, Carnavas (stream it below), “the sort of record that brings something new to discover with each listen,” according to AllMusic. “Thus, listen one is as enjoyable as listen five or 10, but probably for entirely different reasons, since unique bits continuously appear from the band’s dream haze of accessibly textured indie rock.” Their fourth studio album, the synths-filled Better Nature (stream it below), came out in 2015. Despite referring to it as a “transitional record,” Sputnik Music called the long-player “a gorgeous if slightly safe album that proves this band hasn’t lost their edge when it comes to making captivating music.” And live, Silversun Pickups (above, performing “Panic Switch”) are just as exceptional as ever. Catch them on Wednesday at Terminal 5 and on Friday at Brooklyn Steel. Seattle’s Minus the Bear open both shows.
Tags: Better Nature, Brian Aubert, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Steel, Carnavas, Christopher Guanlao, Joe Lester, Live Music, Minus the Bear, Music, My Bloody Valentine, New York City, Nikki Monninger, Pikul, Preview, Silversun Pickups, Smashing Pumpkins, Terminal 5, Video
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Although the band’s name and some of their song titles (“Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!,” “Hey, Wanna Throw Up? Get Me Naked”) might lead you to believe Minus the Bear is a comedy act, that’s definitely not the case. Sure, their name does come from a funny place—a friend who’d gone on a date said it had gone well, like B.J. and the Bear, “minus the bear”—but this Seattle quintet isn’t afraid to go to work, touring heavily and cranking out four LPs (Omni came out earlier this year) and six EPs. The band’s blend of dark lyrics and upbeat music is its signature sound, which frontman Jake Snider calls “an interesting contrast. I think the duality often makes for a better song because it gives so much tension.” Of course, it’s not all tension, which you can find out for yourself when Minus the Bear (above, performing “Hold Me Down” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!) plays Terminal 5 on Saturday.