Bear Like Mouse | Update


My second album, Fugue, has been available for free on Bandcamp for two months now. But, in the interest of capitalism, I’ve decided not to be such a hippie about distributing my music for free and will be making Fugue available on iTunes, Rhapsody,, and a bunch of other middleperson websites.  That is, unless, I can find a label who wants to release this, which would really be ideal because it would bankroll the things I’m about to write about in a minute.

But first…

Why am I telling you?

Because, just in case you haven’t downloaded it yet, you’ve still got a three-ish week window to DOWNLOAD ‘Fugue’ FOR FREE.

So… wait, why do you care about the money?

Because, oh holy shit, you have no idea how awesome the third album will be.  And awesome shit ain’t cheap.

The Maw

Work on the third album has commenced. It’s ambitious. Possibly too ambitious. Principle recording will happen between a cabin with no electricity and a century-old lighthouse in Lubec, ME. After that, it will be back to San Francisco to finish the album in a studio.  By the way, Lubec is the Easternmost city in the US.  And, if you don’t count Hawaii, you can get much more west than San Francisco.

San Francisco / Black Girl

San Francisco is now the cave Bear Like Mouse calls home. It is also the home of some artists that have exerted the most influence over me.  Bands like Oxbow, Xiu Xiu, and Neurosis.  I also find that the fog nourishes me.

The first thing I did after moving here was finish Fugue. The second thing I did was hook up with Oakland-based DJ, Zoo Kroo. Together, we put together a nine-minute trip-hop single called “Black Girl” that is all about deep, focused groove. And an oboe.  Also a jazz flute.

I think it’s one of the coolest, and most trance inducing tracks I’ve done, and I include the Sleep, Pea single in that statement.



Future Islands | Live at the Empty Bottle

This weekend I went and saw Future Islands play at the Empty Bottle in Chicago.  Their most recent LP, In Evening Air, was my roughest-cast gem of 2010.  What started as a slight obsession with the track, “Tin Man,” developed into a deep, enduring affair with the entire album.

In 2007 I saw Sigur Ros play “( )” straight through in its entirety.  It was the most emotionally charged concert I’d ever seen… until Future Islands.

Click that photo to see more of the photos I took at the show.  Below is a small assemblage of live performances by Future Islands that don’t even begin to show how amazing the show was.

In The Fall (Featuring Katrina Ford)

Little Dreamer

Inch of Dust

Jonathan Ball | Vectors Eat Toast, Too

I love this illustration. Two bear in love as they stand in the middle of some apocalyptic chaos. Click the picture for more.

Ben Horton | $lave

I haven’t been on a skateboard since I was 16 but that hasn’t caused me to stop CSS from sending me catalogues and me occasionally checking in to see what kind of art is going on decks these days. I stumbled across Ben Horton, who owns $lave Skateboards, and does (all?) of the artwork that shows up on their decks. Looking into it more I found out he’s got many non-board pieces. While there’s something about the art on a skateboard getting smudged and scraped across itself that just does it for me, it’s good to see some of that spirit translated into more traditional and permanent pieces.

Painter | Beautiful Woman

I stumbled across this the other day. I don’t know who it is or who painted it but I think it’s beautiful (and I’m right). I like how the light seems to bend around her… and that could totally be laziness, but it might be intentional. Either way, it definitely works.

Kaibo Zonshinzu | Anatomy Scrolls

The Kaibo Zonshinzu anatomy scrolls, painted in 1819 by Kyoto-area physician Yasukazu Minagaki (1784-1825), consist of beautifully realistic, if not gruesome, depictions of scientific human dissection.

Unlike European anatomical drawings of the time, which tended to depict the corpse as a living thing devoid of pain (and often in some sort of Greek pose), these realistic illustrations show blood and other fluids leaking from subjects with ghastly facial expressions.

The fact that the bodies used in scientific autopsies in Edo-period Japan generally belonged to heinous criminals executed by decapitation adds to the grisly nature of the illustrations.

From | Pink Tentacle

Joe Coleman | Devotio Moderno

(Coleman’s) fascination with themes derived from religion and primitive painting, and his meticulous and detailed style of unabashed realism, have led to numerous comparisons between his art and the paintings of the northern renaissance. All his works are united by a very personal autobiographical theme, and in many ways relate to the early primitive devotional paintings. This exhibition allows admirers of Joe’s work to see the imagery that influences him, and provides a unique opportunity to see masterpieces of the northern renaissance side by side with masterpieces by today’s greatest “primitive” painter. Similarly, seeing works by Memling and his contemporaries in this setting, gives us an opportunity to truly appreciate their shameless realism, and the modernity of expression they gave to religious work of the 15th century still provides a resonant critique of the human condition today.