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Picking Up Crumbs: No Bird Sing

10 Sep

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The story behind the name No Bird Sing, the band and the self-titled debut, is telling as to the band’s intentions. MC Eric Blair (Joe Horton in Clark Kent mode) and guitar player Robert Mulrennan were passing by a bookstore in northern California, debating the name of the band and decided that they were going to pick from amongst the titles on display. The choices came down to “Little Universe” and “And No Birds Sing“, an “ecological thriller”. The title of the latter nicely dovetailed with the John Keats poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci (The Beautiful Woman Without Pity), whose first stanza includes the telling line:

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

So what does ail these three young men (adding drummer Graham O’Brien into the mix)? There narrowness of genre definitions is certainly troubling to them, the sugary expanse of popular music, possibilities for the apocalypse, de-sensitized mechanization, the list does go on. The layers of drums, guitars and samples are so thick on this debut record that it’s almost a surprise that the words aren’t lost, but the strength of the wordplay is a great hook. Sure, Keats may not have written a courtship couplet that rhymes “author” with “Chaucer”, but he also didn’t have nuclear armageddon floating around. In the face of all these dark worldly shadows, the gentlemen of No Bird Sing are still of a sunny disposition on the other side of the music- happy they are alike to many of us, it is in the dark sadness that they establish their difference.

No Bird Sing the record is now available on iTunes, you can read this further piece in City Pages and catch them at Eclipse Records on September 11th for an all ages show and at the Triple Rock Social Club on the 12th.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Cake In 15 » Blog Archive » Video Premiere: No Bird Sing “Devil Trombones” - October 18, 2009

    […] in the year, I sat down with MC Eric Blair and drummer Graham O’Brien of No Bird Sing to interview them for City Pages regarding their eponymous debut. One of the things that they were most excited about was the video […]

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