Exposé Online banner

The Holy Modal Rounders — Bird Song - Live 1971
(Water 130, 1971/2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

Bird Song - Live 1971 Cover artSometime in 1971, the Holy Modal Rounders, having recently expanded to a seven-piece, visited WLIR and recorded a set of songs, including their contribution to the Easy Rider soundtrack (“Bird Song”) and the warped classic “Boobs a Lot.” To say this band is an acquired taste would probably be an understatement – they delight in obscure Americana filtered through recreational drugs and a wacky sense of humor. They also, it appears, helped invent the “jamband” genre, as evidenced here with an extended take on “Give Me Your Money” that drags a bit, but shows the band trying something new for them. The ragged, unrehearsed sound of their studio albums is certainly in evidence on this live set, with numerous vocal flubs and haphazard arrangements. The vocals themselves are one of the greatest barriers to the band’s wider popularity – none of the members has a strong voice, and they revel in the everyman amateurishness of it all. If you’ve heard the Fugs, you know what to expect. The sound quality is quite spotty, with clicks, dropouts, and so on, but given the dearth of live material from this band, some leeway is due. All in all, you have to give them credit for combining – or trying to combine – folk, ragtime, rock, blues, and jazz. Throw in a bit of down-home freak show humor, and you’ve got what the Rounders were all about. If that sounds appealing to you, check it out, but don’t expect Music from Big Pink.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 31, 2004 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): The Holy Modal Rounders

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Aka Moon - Invisible Sun – Invisible Sun is the tenth release by Aka Moon whose name derives from the band members’ experience with the Aka pygmies of central Africa. Invisible Sun is a part of Aka Moon’s musical triptych...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues