Art Bears

The one and only.

Moderators: Antoine, niwi

Post Reply
User avatar
rolandtravy
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:40 pm

Art Bears

Post by rolandtravy »

Hi guys! Some months ago I've discovered Henry Cow music, bought Unrest, Leg End and the brilliant live double album "Concerts". Now I've just come across this group formed by Krause, Cutler and Frith after Henry Cow dissolved, called Art Bears. Where to start?

User avatar
J.F.
Posts: 1074
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:41 am

Re: Art Bears

Post by J.F. »

Not sure there are many Art Bears fans here.

I had a period where I loved them to pieces, and still return to them occasionally. There's those three regular albums from 1978-81 and all of those have their ups and downs. I can't recommend one... why not buying all?

There's also some box set which collects said official releases plus live stuff? remixes? But I never had the urge to buy it.

In recent years, those guys reunited to do "Art Bears song book" shows - that was the three original members, plus a few others... I remember Carla Kihlstedt, a classical trained second vocalist plus maybe a live electronics guy. I didn't like what I heard.
rolandtravy wrote:Now I've just come across this group formed by Krause, Cutler and Frith after Henry Cow dissolved, called Art Bears. Where to start?
There's a little more to this: In 1978 there were two tendencies how to continue in Henry Cow. One was the complex instrumental stuff that ended on "Western Culture", the other direction was overtly political via lyrics/songs.
A few tracks from the Art Bears debut actually is Henry Cow in the studio (maybe even from the "Western Culture"-sessions?*), but that band didn't have any use for the song material. So there where a few first fruits of a new concept, Henry Cow wasn't the band for that, so that apparently was the starting point for Hopes and Fears - and the Art Bears themselves.

* edit:
The wikipedia entries for "Western Culture" (Cow) and "Hopes and Fears" (Bears) give details about which tracks were recorded during that recording session in Switzerland in January 1978. Those combined would be an actual Henry Cow album (some members wouldn't have been happy with though).
.
.

User avatar
rolandtravy
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:40 pm

Re: Art Bears

Post by rolandtravy »

There's a little more to this: In 1978 there were two tendencies how to continue in Henry Cow. One was the complex instrumental stuff that ended on "Western Culture", the other direction was overtly political via lyrics/songs.
Yes, I read it somewhere. But do not know why (maybe because of his later stuff) I've always thought Cutler was more near to the complex/instrumental side of the band while I know already some Frith song records although I've never purchased them (Cheap at half the price etc.). Hearing now some tracks from Hopes and Fears on the Tube. Love it!

rostasi
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:51 am
Contact:

Re: Art Bears

Post by rostasi »

Always loved The Art Bears. Hard to choose,
but Frith really shines on The World As It Is Today
and it's their most political...with short tunes.
Hopes and Fears is pretty incredible too...
and Winter Songs often falls on the lesser side
with critics, but I've always loved the cut Rats
and Monkeys
, so maybe a trip to Spotify may
be in order. The box set is quite good as well,
but maybe too much for a newcomer.

ܘ


---
Now playing: Incapacitants - Don't Sleep While We Explain

User avatar
rolandtravy
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:40 pm

Re: Art Bears

Post by rolandtravy »

Don't know if i'm going off-topic, but do you have any tips about hodgkinson's solo career after Frith and the others founded Art Bears? I've red on wiki that after the '70s he founded an english Post-punk band called The Work. The group recorded in '89 also an industrial/noise music record called Rubber Cage. This one seems pretty interesting.

User avatar
Alastair
liver the size of brazil
Posts: 847
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 4:01 am
Location: Kairmbra

Re: Art Bears

Post by Alastair »

As an owner of the box set and of LP and CD issues of the albums before, I'd say that the three main albums are all you need. Quite a body of work, which I have listened to over and over and over.

The remixes on the box set are, almost without exception, horrible. The live and other bits also on the box are ok but inessential.

There is a live recording out there of the touring band (Cutler, Frith, Krause plus Marc Hollander and Peter Blegvad) playing at the RIO Festival in Milan in May 79 which is fun if you're craving more, and not to be confused with an Art Bears Songbook set from a more recent festival. That was probably ok live but a bit pointless otherwise.

Make sure you get "In Praise Of Learning" by Henry Cow too. And see if you can see the DVD from the Cow box set, most of which can be found on youtube.

And then start on the Slapp Happy...

Gil Sansón
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:32 pm

Re: Art Bears

Post by Gil Sansón »

I dearly recommend Hopes and Fears, Wunter Songs and The World as it is Today to any serious art rock aficionado. There's nothing quite like it, the band itself has a definitive character that's quite different from that of Henry Cow or Slapp Happy, but as Alastair points out the comparative listening of these bands can be very instructive. Hopes and Fears has Henry Cow as house band yet it does sound different, more biting, short and focused songs as opposed to Western Culture extensive instrumental developments. On Winter Songs we have the trio we mostly associate with the name and The World as it is Today maintain the same formation. My favorite is Winter Songs, but I dearly love all three. Heard some remixes, none of them did anything for me and some were just plain annoying.

User avatar
RFKorp
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 5:01 pm
Location: next to my computer

Re: Art Bears

Post by RFKorp »

rostasi wrote:Always loved The Art Bears.
Art Bears. No "the".

"bears" is a verb. :D
The grammatical rules associated with diagrammatic reduction become apparent by considering a more tractable diagrammatic representation, applied to the Windsor knot in Fig. 8. - Fink & Mao, Tie knots, random walks and topology, (Physica A 276)

User avatar
rolandtravy
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:40 pm

Re: Art Bears

Post by rolandtravy »

Gil Sansón wrote:I dearly recommend Hopes and Fears, Wunter Songs and The World as it is Today to any serious art rock aficionado.
Thanks Gil, I'll check them out.

User avatar
frozen reeds
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 2:32 am
Contact:

Re: Art Bears

Post by frozen reeds »

I am a big Art Bears fan. Vastly prefer them to Henry Cow and all the other associated/family of acts. It's a great body of work and dipping in anywhere you like will do fine. That said, for me Winter Songs is the highlight album.

Have the boxed set but never bothered with the remixes... can easily imagine they are exactly as described above. =)
http://www.frozenreeds.com/
Now available: Morton Feldman - Crippled Symmetry: at June in Buffalo, performed by The Feldman Soloists (Eberhard Blum, Nils Vigeland, Jan Williams)

User avatar
rolandtravy
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:40 pm

Re: Art Bears

Post by rolandtravy »

Purchased Thursday winter song/the world as it is today for 14 euros only. Both the albums are contained in the same cd. Winter song is already in my favorites! Yes, definitely better than any Henry Cow album I've ever listened to. More expressive and darker. Reminded me a bit of Public image's second album. I'd like to know more about the connection existing between the songs and the carvings of the Amiens cathedral in France. Does somebody of you knows something about it? I think has played a relevant role in the creation of the album.

User avatar
frozen reeds
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 2:32 am
Contact:

Re: Art Bears

Post by frozen reeds »

Each song is derived from a poem by Cutler inspired by one of the carvings. Frith then set these words to music. The original artwork shows the carvings as illustrations alongside the titles.
http://www.frozenreeds.com/
Now available: Morton Feldman - Crippled Symmetry: at June in Buffalo, performed by The Feldman Soloists (Eberhard Blum, Nils Vigeland, Jan Williams)

User avatar
Alastair
liver the size of brazil
Posts: 847
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 4:01 am
Location: Kairmbra

Re: Art Bears

Post by Alastair »

In about 45 minutes' time I'm playing an hour of Art Bears Music on Fine Music 102.5, as I've been given an extra hour to fill. What better way to do so? Stream it here http://finemusicfm.com/play.html Selections from all three albums. On relistening to them in preparation for this show I've decided that "The World As It Is Today" is my favourite. Thirty-two minutes of unadulterated excellence.

Gil Sansón
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:32 pm

Re: Art Bears

Post by Gil Sansón »

Great! It turns out there are quite a few fans here. My favorite is, I think, Winter Songs, perhaps because the folk elements are more present in that one with lots of violin and harmonium. The CD I bought is the one which pairs Winter Songs and The World as it is Today, so the two are very close to me. Long time ago I used to host small parties at home and Rats and Monkeys was the tune that told people that it was time to leave.

User avatar
rolandtravy
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:40 pm

Re: Art Bears

Post by rolandtravy »

Gil Sansón wrote:The CD I bought is the one which pairs Winter Songs and The World as it is Today
Am I the only one who has noticed that the tracklist on the back of the album is wrong?

User avatar
J.F.
Posts: 1074
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:41 am

Re: Art Bears

Post by J.F. »

rolandtravy wrote:
Gil Sansón wrote:The CD I bought is the one which pairs Winter Songs and The World as it is Today
Am I the only one who has noticed that the tracklist on the back of the album is wrong?
No, but the first one here who mentions it.

Yesterday I listened to an Art Bears mix-CD I made years ago, and still like several tracks a lot. Others - which I liked earlier - now made me want to press to "skip forward" button of the player.
.
.

User avatar
rolandtravy
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:40 pm

Re: Art Bears

Post by rolandtravy »

Listened this morning to the world as it is today. More explicitly political than winter songs in my opinion, also angrier, while winter songs is definitely more mysterious and hermetic. In winter songs Cutler's lyrics reminded me a bit of Blake poetry. Am I the only one? Just a curiosity.

User avatar
Alastair
liver the size of brazil
Posts: 847
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 4:01 am
Location: Kairmbra

Re: Art Bears

Post by Alastair »

rolandtravy wrote: Am I the only one who has noticed that the tracklist on the back of the album is wrong?
And then when they did the box set it got stuffed up again. You'd think they'd have learnt...

User avatar
Alastair
liver the size of brazil
Posts: 847
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 4:01 am
Location: Kairmbra

Re: Art Bears

Post by Alastair »

Gil Sansón wrote: Long time ago I used to host small parties at home and Rats and Monkeys was the tune that told people that it was time to leave.
:lol:

Return to “I Hate Music”