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Bicentennial Bear

When Columbus stalwarts Miranda Sound broke up in the fall of 2008, Billy Peake and Sean Sefcik at first seemed content to fade into obscurity. Instead of spending long weekends and occasional weeks in glued-together Ford Econolines, canvassing the country with a frenetic and potent live show, their free time would now be spent on quieter pursuits: domesticity, day jobs, soldering, Obama campaigning, sports watching, etc. That dream lasted all of about two months.

By December of 2008, Peake and Sefcik, who have been great friends and bandmates since their undergrad days at Bowling Green State University, had formed a new band at the urging of original Miranda Sound drummer Scott Haynes. Sefcik moved from bass to guitar and they recruited another college friend, Adam Dowell (Celebrity Pilots, Last Hotel), to play bass. The band accepted an offer to play a January show before their first rehearsal. Songs were written quickly. A set was thrown together. Sefcik learned a new instrument. Bicentennial Bear, named for their 1976 birth dates, was born.

For 6 or 7 months, the band played a few shows, wrote some tracks, threw away a bunch of songs, played a few more shows and spun its proverbial wheels. But the band was uninspired and something was missing. Then Peake and Sefcik, who also worked together at Shift Global, a digital design agency in downtown CBUS, met new-hire Leah Wahlin. Wahlin had great taste in music and a snarky sense of humor. She also played the viola. Wahlin was invited to a practice. It sounded fucking awesome. Bicentennial Bear had found the missing piece. Partial steam ahead!