Bear Lake Blog:
Bear Lake Interview/Update
Holy shit its 2012. When did that happen. Its truly mind boggling how quickly the year passes. So many great albums released this year and by no means do I consider myself the know-all when it comes to good tunes (that is a lie; I am the mixtape master) but if I HAD to pick the ten albums that I found myself most drawn to this past year it would be the following...i think...well as of right now
#10 Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Rome
probably the most obscure of my choices but an album I found myself continuosly listening to...it did take 5 years to complete so that could have something to do with it...however, im sure these two could create something pretty rad in 5 hours ***track 4 - Season's Trees***
#9 Foster The People - Torches
i love when a "cool" band has a "hit" song and then they become "uncool" ... im guessing thats going to be these guys this year...i could care less, hook after hook on this one ***track 7 - Houdini***
#8 The Roots - Undun
im just a sucker for the roots...every year they put out an album it is one of my favorites...im actually enjoying this one a bit more than the last couple
***track 4 - One Time***
#7 Iron and Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
first time I heard this you could not have convinced me it was an Iron and Wine album...heard a lot of people complain about this record, I personally found it refreshing...as much as I have enjoyed their previous records it was nice to not have someone whispering to me on every track ***track 1 - Walking Far From Home***
#6 Cults - Cults
just such a feel good album...for some reason it makes me feel like im at a club in the 1950s in the year 2020 if that makes sense to anyone other than myself ***track 2 - Go Outside***
#5 Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire
always been one of my favs, but I guess I just dont have it in to listen to much of any of the Ryan Adams and the Cardinals records...i really liked Easy Tiger, but since then ive mostly been blah about the recent releases...this album seems so pure, innocent, and really is beautifully delivered...brings me back to the Heartbreaker days ***track 1 - Dirty Rain***
#4 Starfucker - Reptilitans
honestly just recently started listening to this album in its entirity but it really is incredible...had mainly listened to these guys on random indie playlists but am really glad that i decided to get the album...i also really like how lead-man Joshua Hodges describes the band's music as "dance music that you can actually listen to, that's good pop songs, but also you can dance to it."...that question is always such a mothafucka to answer, well done sir ***track 2 - Julius***
#3 Bon Iver - Bon Iver
first of all I do need to mention that by no means do I think this album is better than For Emma, Forever Ago, but it does have moments where I wonder if im crazy for saying that...great vocals, great percussion, great album ***track 5 - Michicant***
#2 The Kooks - Junk of the Heart
i can give a big thank you to pandora for these guys...seemed that every time i heard a song and had to look to see who it was it was them...i haven't come across an album that from front to back is as pleasuring as this one in quite some time ***track 2 - How'd You Like That*** ***track 5 - Fuck The World Off*** (who doesn't want to fuck the world off now and again)
#1 Portugal The Man - In The Mountain, In The Clouds
since the day i got this album, I have not been able to stop listening to it...i was hooked on first listen, but the album has also really grown on me...the melodies are so catchy, and the mix of electronic and natural instrumentation is perfectly blended...without a doubt this would be my go to album for 2011 ***track 5 - Head is a Flame*** ***track 11 - Sleep Forever***
Really looking forward to seeing what 2012 has to offer me...a new Shins record is going to be cool....who knows maybe Dr Dre will finish his new album...Bear Lake will have new awesome/amazing/earfuckingly good tunes popping for your listening pleasures very soon...we can not thank all of our loyal supporters enough and look forward to making many many more friends in the new year. I love all of you.
We wanted to wish all of you happy holidays from the Bear Lake crew! It's that time of year: the temperature is dropping fast and the snow's about to start flying, which means it's time for us to head back into the studio to start working on this coming year's release. We are eager to start working, and have some new tunes that we can't wait to bring to you, so please stop bye www.bearlakemusic.com to stay updated on our progress. Until then, please enjoy our gift of a FREE SONG at www.bearlakemusic.com. We hope you enjoy it! Also, if you haven't liked us yet on Facebook, please take a minute and do that here LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!
We've had some other great shows recently, including our recent stop in NYC for CMJ week. We were lucky enough to play the Outlaw Roadshow at Arlene's Grocery, which was hosted by Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and Ryan Spaulding (Ryan's Smashing Life). The show was amazing, and the bands were all stellar. Thanks to all the New York folk who came and partied with us.
We also headed to Ypsilanti recently where we shared the stage with our friends, The Juliets (thejuliets.bandcamp.com/) for their CD release party. They were incredible as always, and thanks to the other bands (Housephone and Lightning Love), the Ypsi locals, and an abundance of Red Bull, Two-Hearted and Shorts Humalumpalicious, that night became one for the books.
Finally, we are starting to prep for a major tour in March where we will be making our way over to the West coast and as many places in between as we possibly can. If you know of any spots along the way that we should be playing, please contact us at email@example.com
And for your listening enjoyment, check out the REMIX of our tune, SCISSORS, done by the legend, Mike E. Clark at our homepage (www.bearlakemusic.com)!!
Well, the unimaginable trend of ridiculous weather plaguing BL shows has not been put to rest as of yet. We have a long running history of pretty remarkable acts of nature leaving their own imprint on Bear Lake. While not as devastating as the tornado that ripped the roof off of our practice space last year, the storm that rolled into the Royal Oak area Saturday night roughly 30 minutes prior to our set at Arts, Beats, and Eats was pretty crazy. Transformers were blowing, illuminating the pitch black sky green. Fences were flying through the air, tents were turned into soaring tarps, trees were down, power was out, festival was closed.
We patiently waited in the van and were informed we were being delayed 15 minutes. This seemed impossible. But sure enough, the storm passed. We started loading gear to the stage, which resembled a slip and slide, and it seemed like it was going to be a downpour at any moment. A light sprinkle continued, but the gates were re-opened, and a lot of spirited, determined, and mostly intoxicated people surrounded the stage; feeling like it was meant to be, we started playing. A serious amount of thank you's to all of you who endured the craziness of mother nature to spend an hour or so with us this past weekend.
Good news for those who were too chicken to risk a little lightning strike this past Saturday: we will be playing at Cheli's in Detroit this Friday Night. While we are unable to promise you good weather - because based on how things have been rolling as of the last couple of years, we would bet on rain - we can promise you that Cheli's has a roof. So unless we are seriously unlucky, it should be a great night of partying, hosted by 93.9 The River. Besides, we feel the chances are very slim that we could have our hands in two roofs being ripped off in one calendar year:)
June 28th 2011
Wow, so where to begin? We’ve been busy since I last wrote one of these updates. Things are going well in Bear Lake land. Our CD release at the Magic Bag was an awesome time and the support of all of our families, fans, and friends gave our boners boners. Not in a sexual way mind you, but in a grateful for support kind of way, so lets start this off by giving you, the reader, a resounding "thank you!" You are kickass and I’m sure also really nice looking. It was great to share the stage with Brae, Deep See Soundsystem, and I Love Lightning Bugs as well, so your next waves to surf on the Internet should be sites containing their bodacious jams.
After the success of the Magic Bag, we've been feeling great and have had a really fun string of shows. These were highlighted by our most recent outing at the Shelter, where we opened for Bedouin Soundclash. We were honored to share the stage with such a top notch act and made lots of new fans and friends. (As a side note I’ve never misspelled the word friend due to my 3rd grade teacher telling me that a friend is someone you can eat fries with until the end…thanks Mrs. Patterson.) We also received delicious cookies after the show…thanks Rachel. She said that we should try to give the most cookies to Jon because he’s really skinny. Skinny, fat, or in between, the cookies were too good to pass up and I’m hoping there are some left in the van as I’m writing this. Oh, and I don’t want to leave out the magical "booya beads" given to us by a man who called himself Papa Smurf (if you've hung out at The Shelter around closing time, you've probably met him), so…thanks to Papa Smurf for the beads and for protecting our equipment. If you use capital S on word, it recognizes the word Smurf otherwise underlying red squiggly...weird.
In other news, our drummer (Steve Stetson) just celebrated his birthday which prompted him to tell the rest of the band that we should start lying about our age when people ask. So everyone in Bear Lake just turned 24…still young, hip, and in touch with the youth of the world if anyone’s asking. More info - for anyone asking - includes our upcoming tour dates. We start on the 12th in Chicago and finish in New York on the 20th, so come and catch one of the 8 shows in 8 cities in 9 days (there is a detailed listing below) and who knows what you may see on stage? We will also be opening up for some other interesting acts over the course of this summer including Rick Springfield, Tonic, The Gin Blossoms and other early 90's flashback-inducing bands, so needless to say these next few months are not to be missed. Come share them with us at a show or other social outing. We will be sending out a newsletter in the upcoming week with even more news, wit and wisdom, so sign up soon if you haven't already.
Before we get started, a quick piece of advice from Bear Lake to your hastily-reading face. If you’re ever in a big city, say Chicago for example, and a man wearing nothing but a t-shirt around his waist (exposing his bare ass) asks for a cigarette, just say no. Our friend Jesse would have loved to have been informed of the aforementioned knowledge prior to the night of our most recent show at the Double Door in Chicago. Maybe we’re making a mountain out of a molehill here, but after bumming this man a smoke Jesse’s hand was viciously raped in an attempt to steady the lighter as the hobo also needed one of those. (no pockets in T-shirts) It was later that the loin cloth wearing man informed us that he was an American doing American things in the Alley. I think the translation on this is that he was having sex with another hobo. The touch combined with this story led to Jesse washing his hands as if were about to perform life threatening surgery. And then the Magic Show began…not the Bear Lake show, but another hobo performing wonderful Magic Tricks, this was much more entertaining…and hygienic.
Most of these things happened post show. The show itself went well. The sound was great, we had a nice turnout (Thanks to all who came and partied!), and we met some really cool bands as well. We shared the stage with a great band out of Mexico City named, Sour Soul. If you have not heard of them, you should check them out (I think we are going to talk them into coming to Michigan to do another show with us); Their band kicked ass, and they were some of the nicest guys we have shared a bill with. We also shared the bill with Jeremy Thornton and his band, and J.W. Basilo (a great spoken word artist from Chicago). Jeremy Thornton is out of Atlanta and is also well worth checking out (They also happen to be extremely nice, down to Earth people; it seemed to be a theme of the night).
We’re all looking forward to our next big release show at the Magic Bag in Ferndale. It’s on Saturday the 21st and you should come out. We can’t stress this enough: Come to the Magic Bag on May 21st!! Also want to send a booya to Fearless Radio for being kickass. The interview was great and we all enjoyed it thoroughly.
Check it out on TicketWeb - Bear Lake with I Love Lightning Bugs & Brae at The Magic Bag on 05/21/11
Check it out on TicketWeb - Bear Lake with I Love Lightning Bugs & Brae at The Magic Bag on 05/21/11
Have you ever wondered how a struggling indie band creates, promotes, records, and pays for an album? If not, then this newsletter is not for you. If you already know, then could you please send us an email detailing said process to firstname.lastname@example.org? We’re kind of figuring this whole thing out as we go. What’s that you say? We have already released two records? Well that may be true, but stop interrupting my train of thought. We would like to do it right this time.
That’s partly why I’m writing this newsletter. Our last two releases were doled out with the greatest of intentions, but we didn’t spend enough time or money on all the stuff besides the music. We’ve ended up with two solid albums that not enough people have heard. This is why people ask me the name of my band and I have to tell them “Bear Lake.” Then they say “Beer lake?” Then I say “no Bear Lake like the animal and the body of water.” Then they say “oh..ok.” Had we properly promoted the last album the conversation would be like this…They would say “Hey you’re that guy from Bear Lake.” Then I would say “Yes, yes I am.” It would save us both several seconds.
First, lets go back to last year around the time when we finally got in the black from the last record. Due to the fact that this is a band full of writers, we had a lot of material that we were hoping to record. By a lot of material, I mean that we had already written and demoed over 30 songs. Next, we put the songs through several rigorous tests before deciding on the final 12 tracks we would put on the next record. Writing and Recording is usually the easy part for us. Every other decision ends up being a hotly debated and highly contested issue. Track order, mixing, album artwork, and album title were all extremely contentious topics that resulted in several angry emails exchanged amongst band members. With the release date fast approaching, we’ve finally made all the essential decisions.
We are now ready for our two upcoming release shows on May 8th at the Double Door in Chicago and May 21st at the Magic Bag in Ferndale. We’re also planning on a radio promotions campaign combined with more extensive publicity to make this album a memorable release. So that’s how we’re doing it this time around. Feel free to spread the word, and come out for one or both of the aforementioned release parties. We hope you like the new record and we’ll be seeing you soon.
Sunday started out like any other gig day for Bear Lake. I dragged myself out of bed at 9:30, (which is like 5:30 by musician standards) met up with photographer and co-creator of the term tip stain Chris Piet, and headed out to the barn to load up the trailer and get on the road. We hit the highway in good time, and dorked out on Fantasy football while watching The Office for the duration of the ride to the windy city.
We made such good time in fact that we arrived an hour early to the venue. We sat in the van and watched several hipster types walking to and fro. There are a lot of hipster things that we get like big beards and Jeff Goldblum glasses, but why skinny jeans? They look like the denim version of early 90's sweatpants, but to each their own I guess. Anyway, we loaded in and then started with some drinks and eats. We got back to the double door in time to catch nice sets by Josh McCormick and The Workhorse Kings.
Next we played, and I think it went really well. According to one gentleman who claimed to be a chef, we were a kin to one of his own satiating creations, but in a musical way. The good news was we sold all of the CDS we brought in a matter of minutes. Conversely, the bad news was that we have seizures of idiocy and therefore only brought 7 copies of Places on the Side. After us, They all Have Legs played a killer set, and we exchanged mutual admiration after the show.
Post show is always a fun time. It's when the drinks really start to flow and this night was no exception. Most of us ended up crashing at EP's and we'd like to convey our sincere apologies to Bianca for any drunken shenanigans we may have participated in. We hope we weren't too loud. Also, if you are looking up something on the internet starting with ho and horseporn.com pops up as an option, it wasn't us. On the other hand, ninjapirates.com was totally us.
As far as sleeping situations go Keith probably took the prize for most uncomfortable. I'm not sure if it was due to Piet's goading (repeatedly calling Keith pussy dick) or Keith's general yearning for vagrancy, but Keith chose to sleep in the Van when temps were approaching sub zero. Needless to say, we were all relieved when we returned to the van in the morning and found Keith still among the living, and ready to head home.
We're taking a break for a couple of weeks to put the finishing touches on our upcoming album, but hopefully we'll see you for an acoustic set at the Crofoot on January 7th opening for Oliver Thompson and The Marvins.
Another fascinating night of music and debauchery with Bear Lake Last Saturday started off rather inauspiciously. We arrived suprisingly on time and loaded in without a hitch while gazing in wonder at the Ghost town that is downtown Mt. Pleasant right before finals week. We waited to play to an empty house until we saw two "top shelf" individuals approach and asked if they would like to come in with lines like "We're good, we really are" and "You may have heard of a little show called One Tree Hill" It worked thus saving the night. These two were for us that night what a skillful pimp is for their ho's. That is to say they gave us a chance, watched a couple of songs and immedaitely called up some friends turning the night into a moderate success. Mick did a nice job of manning the sound booth and the barstaff at Rubbles couldn't have been more accomadating. It wasn't the busiest night at Rubbles, but it's safe to say that those that attended enjoyed the music and will probably make for a hardier turn out next time around in MP.
Brian stayed sober that night and bellied up to the driver seat for the ride home which was greatly appreciated by the rest of us drunk dickbags. It was however this drunken dickbaggedness that lead to the bright idea of stopping by the Soaring Eagle to bet our meager earnings for the night on Roullette. We walked into the casino and headed for the roullette tables. Jon placed the bet while heeding the immortal words of Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57..."always bet on black" We did thus doubling our purse. Steve proclaimed this as an act of God and a sign that Bear Lake is headed in the right direction.
Soon thereafter, Steve tried to exchange coats with a fellow holding a cheesecake. The man declined saying he didn't want to look like Kanye, which made Steve believe he looked like Kanye, which in turn made Steve smile. After determining that the cheescake box would be "a hard open" we let the man be on his way and headed home for the two hour drive.
Next stop Grand Rapids on Wednesday. We're all hoping for another "Top Shelf" evening.
We had a great time in Traverse City this weekend and are happy to reflect on our first successful trip with the new band van! We headed up I-75 this past Thursday in order to catch a meteor shower. We got to Keith's cabin on Bear Lake at around 2:30am. We settled in and then immediately headed out on the boat into the middle of the lake. We saw at least 50-60 shooting stars as we sat out until early morning. We woke up Friday and had a relaxed day by the lake full of waterskiing, swimming, and laying out. Saturday we slept in and headed into Traverse City around 7 or 8pm. We got to The Loading Dock with plenty of time to load and get ready. As usual, the staff at the Loading Dock was welcoming and extremely friendly, and we had a great night of playing for friends, family, and locals of this wonderful town. The trip ended with our annual "Bear Lake Classic Invitational" at Grandview golf course in Kalkaska , MI. It was a wretchid day of golf for all of us except for Stetson, who took the trophy for 27 holes, scoring a one over par (37) on the final 9. Hats off to him. All in all, it was an amazing weekend of drunken insomnia, and we look forward to getting up there again soon. Special thanks to Stephanie and Bryce, Josh, Carter, Linda, Scotty, Natalie, Jackie and friends, Pam and Andy, Jesse, Kramer, Bianca, Emily, The Pedersons, the Stetsons, the Mays, and everyone else who came out and made this weekend a memorable experience. Cheers!
We were lucky enough to be a part of the Phonotropic's wicked awesome barbecue 3D safari this past weekend at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI. This was without a doubt one of the best gigs that we have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. Much thanks to Phreddy Wischusen for making this whole night possible. The Crofoot truly took on a surreal form this weekend passed, and every room you would enter into (of which there are many in the Crofoot) would lead you into a vastly different genre/world of music. It is rare that you see such an eclectic grouping of people get along so wonderfully, but that is exactly what happened this night. Some favorites of the night included Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas (always a fave), Dale Earnhardt jr. jr. (it was their CD release party), and The Victorious Secrets (who recently won a competition to become freecreditreport's new band). I only listed a few, but every band was great, and mixed in with 3D artwork and free barbecue, who could go wrong? I enclosed a short video below...Thanks Phreddy!!
We headed out to play the Elbo room in Chicago. Our new band van was finally ready to go, and the trip promised to be a comfortable, relaxing journey. The first hour and a half of the journey went smoothly; everyone was happily enjoying movies and Nintendo in the back. And then we reached: PARMA, MI. As if by some force, as soon as we entered Parma territory, the van started to get a little rocky and proceeded to die going 70 in the middle of the highway. The battery light was on, so we figured it to be an easy fix. We had it towed into a Parma mechanic, and headed out to find some food (not an easy venture in what we saw of this little town.) We had lost some time on our schedule, but we remained optimistic. This was until we returned to the mechanic who informed us that our engine had completely seized and the van would be undriveable without a new one. This was not the news we were hoping for. We scrambled around and debated throwing in the towel and calling the venue. But, once again, our personal heroes, Keith and Diane Robinson came to save us with a slew of trucks that we were able to pack into in order to get to Chicago. Because of them, we made it to the Elbo room on time (unshowered as we were), had a great show (the staff at The Elbo room are some of the nicest we've met), hung out on an art loft rooftop, met with some great people, and ended the night at a hip hop dance party in the tonic room. Thanks to our buddy Chris Fortuna for letting us crash at his place, and thanks to everyone who came out. All in all it was a great time, but it never would have been possible without Keith and Diane; thank you so much for your help and support!!
We were in New York City for our first as Bear Lake on May 5th. The Rockwood Music Hall was nice enough to have us and we were extremely psyched to finally get to play in the city. The voyage there was a nice 12-hour trek, much of which was through beautiful Pennsylvanian landscapes. We arrived around 6pm on May 4th, got settled into our hotel (a little Red Roof Inn in Secaucus, NJ), and made our way towards the tunnel. We were lucky enough to instantly meet up with our good friends from Brooklyn, Ebru and Shawn, who immediately showed us the sights. The show on Saturday was great. Though the venue was very small for our band, the soundman was fantastic and the staff was really nice. After the show we embarked on a drunken journey through the streets which lasted into the early hours of morn. We stayed up until 9:30am, caught the train back to Secaucus, hopped in the van, and took turns driving home. All in all, it was a great weekend! Here are some pictures, there are also videos below...