Mostly Bears do Daytrotter

I’ve been meaning to post on Mostly Bears for some time now, so the trio’s session at Daytrotter was an excellent reminder that I’d pretty much failed to do that. (If it makes anyone feel any better, I had a draft of a post – well, a title for a post – that I started in May.)

I’m mostly torn on Mostly Bears, who hail from Tucson, Ariz., not Tuscan, Ariz, as spelled in the Daytrotter write-up. While I love their Arcade Fire-meets-At the Drive-In prog rock on 2008′s The Ed Mitchell Clinic, I’m far less keen on the band’s public image, which seems forced and a little pretentious. For live shows (at least the two I’ve seen), the three band members go shirtless and wear day-glo paint/grease on their skin, which is illuminated by black lights attached to their mic stands. It’s one thing to want to stand out, but it’s another when the whole getup threatens to overshadow the music. They’re an excellent band, so why the big production? (Even the press photos are a bit much for me.)

I’ll leave it at that, lest I actually prove my point and draw unwanted attention to anything other than the music, a vibrant prog style that you wouldn’t expect to be birthed in Tucson (or even Tuscan).

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