Exposé Online banner

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic — 2001 Live Birds
(NEARfest Records NRF 005, 2001/2006, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

2001 Live Birds Cover artSince the moment I first heard Magnetic Flip around twenty years ago, I’ve been a fan of this band, and have followed their progress with pleasure, enjoying each new phase as much as the previous, but I’ve never had the chance to see them play live. To me, they’ve always represented the best of what “progressive” music can be, actually creating something new and unique. Being based around keyboards (especially piano) and percussion, their take on “Chamber Rock” is less dark than most other practitioners of the subgenre. The set list for this live recording reads pretty much exactly like what I’d put on a single CD best-of to introduce a newbie to the band, down to including their whimsical takes on the themes from Rocky & Bullwinkle and The Simpsons. Do the live versions improve upon their studio counterparts? Yes and no, though “improve” is not the proper word. The live versions are different in some cases, with the biggest change probably the higher profile of the guitar parts and some changes in the keyboard instruments used, but I wouldn’t pick either as superior. As a fan who didn’t make it to NEARfest in 2001, this is a great consolation prize; for those who were there, it makes a great souvenir; for those wanting to find out what the band with the strange name is like, it’s a great introduction.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2006 releases, 2001 recordings

Related artist(s): Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Ken Field

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Minimum Vital - La Source – On this, their fourth outing in nine years, les frères Payssan and company continue moving boldly into new territory, while retaining the essence of the sound that makes them unique among...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues