Finally, Spring is here!! With it, comes my favorite part…the birdsong. It is thought that the human ear can recognize at least 1000 different voices. Experienced birders, and novices alike, often identify birds initially from their song. All of the above phrasing is taken from Peterson’s Field Guide to Eastern Birds. It makes for excellent and quite humorous reading. Each line is a phonetic description of a different birdsong. If you want to hear extensive recordings of different birds singing, might I suggest going to the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Last night I went with my husband and a few friends to hear First Aid Kit perform to a sold out house at Webster Hall in NYC. The band comprises two gifted Swedish sisters – Johanna and Klara Söderberg – who, along with a drummer, perform in a folky, indie-rock style. But, aside from those classifications, the music is very much their own. My husband attributes their unique sound to the kind of vocal harmonies that can only come from siblings singing together. I very much agree. I first saw them in this video (posted by a colleague of mine) on Facebook back around 2009, and I was instantly charmed. Anyway, here is their first performance on Swedish television in 2008 when they were 15 and 17 respectively. They are far more polished and self assured now, but no less compelling. They have a new album called The Lion’s Roar. It’s good.
I just saw this now (4 12 times) on Frances Mao’s tumblr blog. I already liked The Black Keys a whole lot. Now I am completely smitten. The early release from their new album, El Camino. And here is the backstory to this video.
I went for a walk this morning along the Brooklyn Bridge waterfront. The city has been working at a steady pace to create some public green space from the previously inaccessible concrete piers. I love a decrepit urban landscape as much as the next person, but to hear the sounds of all the birds this morning, in the barely leafing trees, made me appreciate the transformation. And while the finches above are playing a decidedly different and less melodious tune, I thought, why not. Video is courtesy of French artist, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. It’s a little like watching a Sonic Youth concert, especially the part where the finch has a stick between the strings.