Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Minus the Bear on Live From Daryl's House

The 62nd and latest edition of Daryl Hall’s critically acclaimed, award-winning, web-to-cable series Live from Daryl’s House begins with a raucous snowball fight, but it’s all warmth inside as veteran Seattle rock band Minus the Bear joins their host to explore his own prog-rock roots. Daryl performs an eclectic six-song set with the band’s vocalist/guitarist Jake Snider and synthesizer player/vocalist Alex Rose that features a pair of his own solo numbers, including “NYCNY” from his 1980 debut, Sacred Songs with Robert Fripp (the first time the song has ever been played outside the studio), and “Get Out of the Way,” off his latest release, Laughing Down Crying. The ensemble also rocks out on four Minus the Bear songs, two apiece from their most recent albums on L.A.-based indie Dangerbird Records, last year’s Infinity Overhead (“Listing” and “Steel and Blood”) and 2010’s Omni (“Into the Mirror” and “My Time”). The show, now available via over-the-air syndication, will premiere on www.lfdh.com on Jan. 15 and follow with a showing on Viacom’s high-definition music channel Palladia on Jan. 17.

“They would call themselves an indie band, but I sort of see them as a successor to prog-rock,” says Daryl. “I’m a prog-rock guy from the ‘70s, when I worked with Robert Fripp. And these guys are in that vein … I really like them. Their music is intricate and hard to categorize, which is my favorite kind of music. We rocked out. I promise you, this is not friendly music.”

Minus the Bear’s Snider stopped ducking snowballs long enough to rave: "Going to Daryl's house was surreal at first, but it quickly felt like hanging out and playing music with old friends.” 

A highlight of the episode is the cooking segment, where Truc Lien, the owner and chef at East Village Vietnamese restaurant Banh Mi Zon demonstrates how to prepare a Bánh mì sandwich on-camera, while This Old House’s Norm Abram puts in as guest appearance to admire Hall’s vintage antique home.

Enthused the band’s Rose:  “It was an honor to play, enjoy the company, and eat some of the best Bánh mi's of our lives!"

Since forming in Seattle back in 2001, Minus the Bear have released five albums and four EPs. Aside from Snider and Rose, the fivesome includes guitarist Dave Knudson, bassist Cory Murchy and drummer Erin Tate. Their sound has been described as “guitar acrobatics and electronics with sophisticated time signature compositions and infectious melodies.” 

Their Dangerbird debut, Omni, debuted in the Billboard Top 50 and over the last 12 years, the band has played countless sold-out venues throughout the world, including North America, Europe, U.K., Japan and Australia, in addition to high-profile U.S. festival like Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza and Sasquatch!. It is a testament to the band’s DIY beginnings, impressive relationship with their fans and inventive music that they remain a beloved group with an unyielding fan base that continues to grow with each album.

The group’s Snider tells Daryl they got their name from a friend, who described a date as “like BJ and the Bear… minus the bear.”

The past six years have marked a steady stream of superlatives and recognition for Live from Daryl’s House, with Hall receiving a Webby Award for Best Variety series from more than 10,000 entries at the 14th annual ceremony at N.Y.’s Cipriani Wall Street before garnering an O Music Award from MTV two years ago. 

Along with airing every Thursday night at 11 p.m. (ET/PT) on Viacom’s high-definition music channel Palladia, Live from Daryl’s House is syndicated nationally by Good Cop Bad Cop Productions. Executive producers for the show include Hall along with his manager Jonathan Wolfson.

The 61 previous episodes of Live From Daryl’s House have featured a mix of well-known performers like Jason Mraz, The Voice’s Cee Lo Green, Shelby Lynne, Joe Walsh, Booker T and the MGs, Blind Boys of Alabama, Rob Thomas, Train, Smokey Robinson, Toots Hibbert, Nick Lowe, K.T. Tunstall, Todd Rundgren, Keb Mo, Dave Stewart, Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump along with newcomers such as Nick Waterhouse, Rumer, Chiddy Bang, Allen Stone, Nikki Jean, The Dirty Heads, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Mayer Hawthorne, Eric Hutchinson, Chromeo, Matt Nathanson, Parachute, Plain White T’s, soul diva Sharon Jones, Diane Birch, L.A. neo-R&B party band Fitz & the Tantrums, hot new alternative band Neon Trees and veteran alternative mainstays Guster. 

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