Thursdays have historically been a day for boasting the all-time classic albums of indie music. A few weeks ago the staff decided to jump on a different bandwagon. Over the next few months, new staff writer Ben Oliver , and others will begin to spotlight Artists On The Verge. Artists who have stayed vigilante and true to their principals.
Remember that breathtaking whirlwind of music referred to as the Seattle Sound? Well it’s far from being dead and has evolved into an energetic and emotional new sound. I’m referring to bands like Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Horses, Postal Service, and Minus the Bear.
MTB, whose name is a joke referencing an old tv show, is one of the many groups that has emerged from ash of the 90’s. Far from being newcomers to the scene, they are finally gaining the much deserved attention and respect they have earned. For a quick glimpse of their past, do yourself a favor and google Kill Sadie, Botch, These Arms are Snakes and Sharks Keep Moving.
Minus The Bear has kicked off 2010, by not only releasing a new record, but also signing with a new label, www.dangerbirdrecords.com, Omni, the latest project, is a step in a new direction of sorts. More melodic, more funk, and dare I say…more pop! The album encaptures much more of a live sound. Of course this works out great when your band has carved out a name for itself by live performances. Lucky enough to be among the sold out crowd on this uncomfortably warm Dallas Saturday night, the very tightly packed Granada Theater could barely hold their anticipation as the two opening acts played. MTB grooved their way through an almost 90 minute long set, much to their fan’s delight. You could tell this by simply looking around and seeing how many sang along just mesmerized.
The set-list was almost a wish come true, spanning the entire time line of the artist’s existence . Popular new songs from Omni played included Summer Angel, Into the Mirror and My Time. Jewels dug from the past and proving to be fan favorites included Knights, Pachuca Sunrise, When We Escape, and Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo. The diverse group of all ages passed the time between sets by sending tweets to the giant screen and smoking out. Everyone seemed to be there for the same mission: to experience MTB live, and few if any were disappointed. Minus the Bear proved why their buzz is growing, giving a stunning performance that was as loud and raw as it was authentic. The stage set-up used on this tour was minimalist yet gorgeous. The lights, colors and smoke all converged to create quite the atmosphere for an emotionally charged evening.
Sure, 2010 is the Chinese year of the Tiger, but it could prove to also be the year of the Bear. Minus seems to be on the verge of taking their music and appeal to the next level. They could possibly be only one Apple commercial away from break out recognition. I’m convinced many more people will start discovering MTB soon, you should be an early adopter and check them out now if you haven’t already. This is a band you will come to know, sooner or later.