Tuesday, October 16, 2007

bird and the bee @ amoeba records

I knew I was in trouble the second time I sent an angry e-mail to Pitchfork. Second time. Apparently music blogs are the soap operas of post-collegics seeking meaningful employment1. Had I been wearing a bathrobe or eating bon-bons I might’ve had to kill myself. Thank goodness for the much needed distraction of Amoeba and their free in-stores.

Tonight was Inara George and Greg Kurstin...better known as Bird and the Bee. This you might have already known. I’ll go ahead and confirm what you might have already guessed...they are cooler than you. Much cooler. Life is their crazy retro dance party, we're just living in it. Even during the non-costumed sound check this was abundantly clear, so much in fact, that when the band reemerged in dresses three shades brighter and six inches shorter it took me a song to realize the first outfits were not, in fact part of the preconceived image. Inara pointed out their costume change, cracking that she "felt like Clark Kent being unmasked." Then again, maybe their street clothes are just another part of the intrigue: hard working musicians wearing calculated hipster get-ups, like Superman, dressed as Clark Kent, masquerading as Batman2. Or they might just be that cool. Hard to tell.

Live, the Bird and the Bee are a collection of earworms, perfectly harmonized choruses, and danceable beats. "Again and Again", "Bird and the Bee, "La La La," every song was, as they say on their myspace, "the soundtrack to a futuristic 1960s American film set in Brazil." Sadly it was film without visuals as even during "Polite Dance Song" the audience held out, only swaying, well, politely. Perhaps the problem was, as Inara pointed out, "it's not dark and we’re not serving drinks." I disagree - while it's a well-documented fact hipsters don’t dance, would-be hipsters (parked in our predictable place, first row dead center) take this maxim to a new low; we fold our arms and look awkward about the whole suggestion of dancing...yea sorry 'bout that.

If one had to actually complain about the set (other than the ever-present complaint about its brevity), it was that, as a band, Bird and the Bee are a bit too perfect. Inara and her back-up singers are pitch perfect, Greg not only nails the album piano parts, but riffs on each theme, while still managing to maintain every song's studio quality, dance party-ready tightness. Yes, okay we get it! You're cooler than us.

Not that we'd have it any other way.


1. If anyone is in need of a snarky 20-something to write self-reflexive music reviews I can be reached at wouldbehipster@gmail.com.

2. Take that White Stripes!

mp3: "Again and Again (live)" by Bird and the Bee
mp3: "I'm a Broken Heart (live)" by Bird and the Bee

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