Take a Load Off Your Feet…

15 Jun

Oy vey, my feet are killing me! They look as if they’ve been through a cheese grater- a cheese grater that both shreds and gives blisters which REALLY HURT! But at least my heels were cute. ;) Currently looking into the possibility of learning to walk on my hands until my poor piglets recover…

But today’s topic: birds. I love when they croon, when they cheerfully whistle, when they have impromptu dance breaks during concerts… wait what? I had an avifauna filled couple days this past weekend: The Dodos concert on Thursday (6/9) at the Bowery Ballroom, Andrew Bird’s free concert at Prospect Park on Friday (6/10), and a chicken dinner Saturday night (6/YUM)!

The Dodos

  • Scientific name: Extinctusaviarus (but living in) Sanfranciscus
  • Last spotted: The Bowery Ballroom in NYC (after, they said, over a year away from New York- unless you count a layover in Newark (which they didn’t))
  • Solitary or group-oriented: Usually travel in packs of three, though for a while they were observed in a pair.
  • Distinct markings/features: The one that is the most vocal (Meric) has extremely lush hair, which is thought to be one of Mother Nature’s greatest works of art. The arms on the one identified as “Logan” has arms that seem to defy nature: they move so quickly when he plays the drums that one wouldn’t be surprised he flew up into the air- alas it seems he is only ground-bound. He plays with the force of ocean waves in a storm. Crash! Bang! Boom! Cymbals! The third Dodo is the most elusive of them all, a new addition and more research is required for this one.
  • Notes about their birdsong: Their vocals make one’s knees wobble and heart beat as fast as a hummingbird’s. Truly a sight to be seen… errr a sound to be heard. High notes and low notes are reached with ease and all the bird watchers in the crowd on Thursday were thoroughly pleased, as was this scientist.
  • Mannerisms: These birdies don’t like to play it safe. Especially in their latest album “No Color”, syncopation is featured in a number of the songs. I remember from band practice at school how frustrating it is to master, but how great its effects are. The best way to describe my feelings towards it is that it makes me just the right amount of uneasy. My brain wants the notes to start on the top of the beat, and when they don’t it’s a surprise which adds a lot of interest to the music. Oh, and the impromptu dance sessions mentioned above? That comment was directed at these feathered friends. During one song Meric and Logan had a moment where they went off the beaten set list and jammed out, with bonus body rockin’.
  • Additional comments: Elusive, these birds are, and I’ve been waiting a long while to see them live. I had high expectations, and armed with charming smiles, a great stage presence, and quick guitar-pluckin’ fingers, The Dodos delivered. I got to chat a little with Meric afterwards, and he was as wonderful a human being as my imagination had made him out to be. He was sincere, gracious towards compliments, and seemed like the kind of person who would write the heartwarming songs found in The Dodos’ catalogue.

Andrew Bird

  • Scientific Name: Whistleus Magnificus
  • Last spotted: The Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn for the kickoff night of the “Celebrate Brooklyn” concert series
  • Solitary or group-oriented: Though preferring solo endeavors, in the pre-2003 era he was known to mingle with with others under the name “Bowl of Fire”
  • Distinct markings/features: Bird’s appearance confounded this scientist- how does he look so great at 37?!
  • Notes about their birdsong: The beak on this one! Parakeet whistles for shame when put up against Bird’s clear and bright call. Exposure to his whistle may result in an urge to practice one’s own whistling immediately afterwards in an attempt to recreate such skill. Or that may just be me… When the whistling is put on pause and words are put into play, the subject’s voice has that it-almost-sounds-like-I’m-moaning-and-mumbling-while-talking-but-whatever-the-case-may-be-it’s-lovely-on-the-ears quality to it. His voice is so soothing that one wants to fall asleep, but can’t because they’re so captivated by his presence.
  • Mannerisms: It’s not clear if his fingers are moving too quickly while plucking his violin that he loses sight of his surroundings or if he recently fell from a high perch and was a little disoriented, but cues were missed. A lot. Songs were restarted. A lot. However, rather than becoming frustrated and in turn frustrating the audience, Bird displayed a Hansel-like (Zoolander reference, if you didn’t catch that) casualty about the hiccups and either made jokes or explained why the mistake occurred then went right back on playing.
  • Additional Comments: My favorite album of his is “Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs”, so I was most excited when he played “A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left” and “Tables and Chairs”. Not that I have a short attention span, but long instrumental breaks don’t usually strike my fancy. I’m all about short solos or prominent instruments during vocals, but 10 minute orchestral seshes just remind me of forced school trips to the symphony. However, with Andrew Bird it felt different. Even from a ways away, I could feel the passion with which he (and his backing band, can’t forget about the little guys) played. It’s kind of like when a friend is excited about a subject that you’re not crazy about, but their passion for the material is infectious and sponges out to you. Bird had passion for the crazy long instrumental breaks, so so did I.
After all this bird talk, I’m so in the mood to do dig out my binoculars and see if I can find any chart-toppers in the tree outside my window. Unfortunately, it’s 1AM and dark outside, so I’ll just have to settle with digital chirping for now.


Currently listening to: Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac, on repeat

2 Responses to “Take a Load Off Your Feet…”

  1. lundygras June 18, 2011 at 2:09 AM #

    Love how you nested this wonderful post so gently into your blog and didn’t break any eggs in the process. :)

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