The music of Minus the Bear is a swirling eddy of brightly colored sound that subsumes and disguises the deeper darker currents of their sparse but poignant lyrics. Understanding their songs necessitates more than just casual attention; one must devote time, careful listening, concentration, and an almost literary mindset to their music.
A Cinderella story of a Do-It-Yourself work ethic and relentless touring; Minus the Bear was born in April of 2001 to five guys from different bands [Botch, Kill Sadie, and Sharks Keep Moving] and an inside joke about a mutual friend. The joke goes like this: the friend has just come back from a date; when he is asked how the date went, he replies ‘You know that TV show from the ’70s, B.J. and the Bear? It was like that… minus the Bear.’
Already twelve [yes, 2001 really was over ten years ago] Minus has released eight EPs and five full-length albums. At the moment, they are working on a sixth, the follow up to 2008’s EP Acoustics, to be called Acoustics II. Along with their ever-evolving musical repertoire the band has built up a good-sized and extremely loyal fan base. Minus’ musical influences are varying, the band members have cited styles prog rock, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and 70’s funkadelia as inspiration in the past. Thus it isn’t surprising that they have been classified as anything from math rock to electronic rock to experimental rock to every kind of indie rock in between. The reality is, Minus slides smoothly between genre definers and creates a kind of music all their own. But however you classify them, Minus’ brightly haunting music is an uncompromised staple of the indie rock scene.
Minus the Bear is playing Sunday at 7:45 pm at the Launch Festival in Cesar Chavez Park; Tube will see you there.