Birdsongs of the Mezosoic – back together with Roger Miller after 22 years (Phoenix, 7.22.09)

Posted on July 23, 2009


We talked for way too long for it to be able to fit into one of my “Cellars by Starlight” columns, but let it be known that the guys in Birdsongs — Roger Miller, Rick Scott, Michael Bierylo, and Erik Lindgren (Ken Field opted out, since he’s being replaced by Miller in this summer’s touring lineup) — make for great conversation inside empty pubs on turbulent, stormy afternoons. They trash-talked, discussed collaborations with Micheal Stipe and Timbaland, and went down a list way too long to print of weird shows they’ve played in the past, including opening for Mission of Burma, the guy from Throbbing Gristle, South Carolina garage rock bands on their home turf (“We thought we were fucked for sure” says Miller), and more.

From the article:
“People liked Birdsongs shows more than they liked Burma ones,” Miller remembers. “Burma shows were notorious for being completely misunderstood and irritating, but Birdsongs was so obviously outside of the mold that it was easier to assimilate.”

Miller, Lindgren, and Scott flaunted reckless minimalism and a gleeful, aggressive use of every knob on whatever stone-age effects boxes they could find. The results suggest the missing link in among Terry Riley, the Residents, and Battles. Everything was fair game: some of the drum-machine breakdowns on Cycads would sound at home on Purple Rain; others sound like John Zorn doing prog-metal.

To everyone’s surprise, it worked.

Link to the whole thing at the Boston Phoenix here.