thedonproject
Secret Highways, Bird Show of North America, Crown Aruba Chop Suey
Review
Published 08-14-2008 on my old wordpress blog.

Bird Show of North America sent me a myspace message about their show tonight. I’ve been thinking about getting some art for my room, so I thought I’d go. If that doesn’t make any sense to you, read on!

The first show I saw at The Break Room (um, Chop Suey) was Easy Big Fella. So, I’ve been going there for about ten years. However, I go very rarely. The best show I saw there was a free show starring Don Caballero! At any rate, I think I like how it’s set up these days. Plus, even though they “upgraded” to LED stage lighting, they have air conditioning! The crowd tonight was pretty limited, but not ridiculously so. It was a good scene and not full of pretentious jerks. Bonus!

Crown Aruba
I must apologize. I was screwing around making a weird synthesizer song with flute lead lines and didn’t leave until well after I wanted to. Also, I thought the rocking would start at 9 since doors were at 8. So, I only got to see about 30 seconds of Crown Aruba. The crowd was appreciative of that last thirty seconds. And they seemed like a fun band in all their sporting attire. I thought they were a new band by the way they were slowly getting off stage (taking cymbals off stands instead of taking the whole stands, for example), but it turns out they’ve been around at least four years. That’s what I get for making assumptions. And for showing up late.

Bird Show of North America
Listening to the music of BSoNA, you might not think it very special. It sounds great, has fantastic melodies, excellent tempo/dynamic/rhythmic changes, interesting composition and is generally pretty awesome. It’s clearly only drums and guitar, though. But why are there three names on their myspace page? And what is this “paints” instrument? OH! There’s painting involved! And, my friends, that’s what elevates this trio from pretty good to wow. BSoNA is the only band anywhere that can exchange the word “song” for the word “bird.” As in, “the next bird is the Scarlet Ibis.” All of their songs are about birds. While the guitarist and drummer craft lovely audio interpretations of the lives of these birds, a painter provides an actual visual interpretation of the bird. Difficult to do in just the few minutes of the song. I find myself wondering if he paints certain parts of the bird first because of the song or because of the necessity of how painting works. At any rate, after the set, all of the paintings, finished or not, go up for sale. $20 gets you a painting and a CD. $20 got me a sort-of-finished Chihuahuan Raven. I bought it because I liked how it wasn’t done yet. And it looks mean. And it’s probably my favorite Bird Show of North America song. The Snowy Egret is pretty good too, but the bird doesn’t look as badass as a Chihuahuan Raven. Folks, if you haven’t been to one of these shows, or if you just need a cool picture of a bird to hang on your wall and a story to tell your friends, go. They’re playing in Burien on September 6th at the art walk and in White Center on September 26th at Full Tilt Pinball and Ice Cream. You’ll thank me later.

Secret Highways
I’m getting real tired so I’m going to just stream of consciousness this one out. delays, echoes, all the high notes, weird tunings, the guitar amp also broadcasts the radio but not on purpose, michael stipe on drums, the quietest girl vocals ever (but kind of like the vocalist from the fastbacks!), a clarinet hanging out on stage, sounds like three people playing three separate songs at the same time or maybe the people in separate rooms trying to guess what the other is playing but can only get the rhythm right because there is windows that allow them to see each other. the songs were slow and layered and intricate and weird. i wanted to stay and hear the clarinet. i wanted to figure out what the heck was going on. but i was incapable. i took my Chihuahuan Raven and left.

i put on some American Football and smiled a little on the drive home.

Keywords: bird show of north america, chop suey, crown aruba, secret highways, show
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