Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Art Bears Songbook - All Live! (Bootleg, 2008)

AHMIGAWUHD. What we have here is a bootleg of a wet dream I once had (okay, repeatedly have) somehow made flesh; I can't even write anything coherent right now, so I'll just relay the facts: this is Art Bears with Dagmar replaced by Zeena Parkins, Carla Kilhstedt, Jewlia Eisenberg and Kristin Slipp (who? Shut up, she does perfectly.) HOLY FUCK THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MINUTE. This actually happened! In real life! On the same CONTINENT I live in! As we all know, I worship Dagi and would have her babies in a heartbeat, but there's no denying that in 2008, trading one Dagi for a Zeena, a Carla and a Jewlia is more than a fair enough bargain. Oh, there's also a dude named "The Norman Conquest" (god, he better not be named Norman) but, honestly, who cares? (Sorry, Norman.) This is a priceless gift from the big red Deities of Avant-Prog to all who have remained faithful and also the biggest incentive to build a time machine I've ever encountered that didn't involve murder or Louise Brooks and Josephine Baker. The only issues I have are that the one album performed in its entirety is Winter Songs, easily their weakest in my eyes, and that Zeena never once breaks out the harp. Oh, lost opportunities to take it to eleven! But quibbling feels utterly ungrateful when the fact such a thing ever took place is enough to warm the cockles of my cold, cold heart. Discussing whether these performances are better than the originals (they aren't) is missing the point: they fairly bristle with nervous energy and provide new insight on what makes these compositions so compelling after all these years. Hint: ITS CUZ THERE RELLY COOL AN GOOD


  1. thanks for this. the Bears soundtracked my late teenage years, which explains a lot i think...

  2. I made a mix from the 24 track recording of this show, too bad it won't be released because it sounds tons better than this recording!