The Brooklyn-based Bear in Heaven was initially started in 1998 as a way for Jon Philpot, who was then still living in his hometown of Atlanta, to express his musical ideas during the off hours of a local recording studio. After he moved to Brooklyn at the end of the decade, Philpot continued working on his music, which included the duo Presocratics, who released a couple of records on the experimental label Table of the Elements. During the next couple of years, as more friends and associates from Atlanta and the South moved to Brooklyn, Philpot began assembling the group of musicians who would later make up the band. They joined us for our 5GB series before their show on Sunday at the Black Cat.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
My first show ever was Lemonheads, The Judybats, and Love and Rockets at Stone Mountain Park, I was 14 or 15 and I got SUNBURNT beyond belief. Bad idea jeans.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
Best gig ever is pretty impossible to quantify. First time we played music hall, the first time we sold out Zebulon, any show in Mexico? There’s a lot of ingredients in the best gig ever recipe. Hard to list just one.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
Swans at Pop Montreal a few years ago has to be up there, floored me. We have tickets to go see John Cale perform 1919 in a couple of weeks, we have high hopes for that.
Gig you would most like to play?
We’ve been trying to book a gig at the opening of James Turrel’s Roden Crater for a couple of years now, still have our fingers crossed for that one.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
I’d like to see Lee Hazlewood’s ghost open for Bill Fay, then Scott Walker would be the special unannounced guest. J.D. Emmanuel would DJ the after party.
See Bear in Heaven, Jan.13th at Black Cat