Sunday, December 7, 2014

Electric Jury and Strong Like Bear Converge to perform Pink Floyd’s “Animals”

Two Ames bands will join forces and perform Pink Floyd’s dark and critically acclaimed album 'Animals'. The show will take place in Ames at DG's Tap House on this Saturday night, December 13. Electric Jury and Strong Like Bear will each perform individual sets before joining to play 'Animals' in it's entirety.  

To enhance the experience, a light show will accompany the performance, provided by Entertainment Lighting Company.

"We won't necessarily have a flying pig," said Dylan Boyle of Electric Jury, "but a friend is making one to have on stage." Of course he is talking about the infamous flying pig that Pink Floyd featured at their concerts during the late '70s into the '80s.

Pink Floyd Animals

Although 'Animals' might not rank as high as 'The Wall' or other Pink Floyd releases, critics consider the 1977 release to be one of the band’s darkest and most harsh releases, lyrically. It remains one of just a handful of albums that have been given 10/10 by Pitchfork.

The album consists of three main songs – “Dogs,” Pigs (Three Different Ones),” and “Sheep,” and two short songs  - “Pigs On the Wing 1” and “2,” that bookend the album.

While the short “Pigs On the Wing” tracks convey an idea of a romantic escape from the struggles of life, the three longer tracks heavily dissect different classes and types of people in society through an Orwellian paradigm – business people (dogs), politicians (pigs) and the idiot masses (sheep).

"I think, for all of us involved, 'Animals' is our favorite Floyd album," Boyle explains. "There's so many progressive and interesting things happening in the music and a lot of really challenging parts." 

"Personally, I really enjoy the songwriting and concept of the album," he explains further. "The album's songwriting dissects humanity very well, and is driven by a kind of nihilistic view that political and economic systems are cyclical and nothing will really change, and your life will never really change, no matter how much propaganda business people, politicians and media personalities dispense."

Upon it's release in 1977, New Music Express called the album "One of the most extreme, relentless, harrowing and downright iconoclastic hunks of music to have been made available this side of the sun."

Also in 1977, Melody Maker’s Karl Davis called 'Animals' an “uncomfortable taste of reality in a medium that has become in recent years, increasingly soporific.” Interestingly, this medium has now gravitated to be the norm, and 'Animals' is as relevant today as it was when it was released.

Boyle agrees. "If you look at contemporary American society, especially the right-wing of our country - but also supporters of President Obama - the lyrics of "Sheep" are invigorating and describe my observations about our current political system exactly. The last line of the song, Have you heard the news, the dogs are dead. You better stay home and do what you're told, get out of the road, if you want to grow old is as telling then as it is now."

Strong Like Bear. (Stolen from their Facebook page.)

Strong Like Bear has been a staple rock act in Ames for the past five years and has released two full ­length albums. Strong Like Bear consists of Bryon and Rachel Dudley, Greg Bruna, and Jordan Mull.

Electric Jury is a surrealist blues experience from Ames, consisting of Adam Brimeyer, Caleb Swank, Vedran Surlan and of course, Dylan Boyle.

Boyle finishes by saying, "Doing this, for me has been musically challenging, inspiring as someone who tries to write songs, but mostly it's been therapeutic.

Fun fact: Roger Waters wrote Animals in part as a sneer to the punk rock movement, most notably Johnny Rotten who smeared Pink Floyd when he wrote "I Hate" in ink above their band name on a t-shirt he wore publicly. As a result, "Animals" was written in response to Rotten's nihilistic attitude.

Electric Jury on Facebook

Strong Like Bear on Facebook 

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