Spill Challenge – Who Gets The Bird?

This week there’s a bit of a bird-brained story going on. Choose which song you think should get the bird, and in the spirit of Twitter, give your reason for hating it in 140 characters or less. For an extra feather in your cap, recommend another birdie song to replace it.

1. As The Crow Flies – Rory Gallagher
How I miss your sweet caress! As the crow flies baby, that’s how I’m on my way …

2. Bird On A Wire – Joe Bonamassa (Leonard Cohen cover)
Like a bird on a wire, I have tried to be free – sorry if that didn’t go down too well …

3. Birdsong – Lene Lovich
Ha! A little bird told me you were untrue …

4. The Bird That Winds The Spring – Lau
I’m drowning my sorrows … hic!

5. Birds – Kathryn Williams (Neil Young cover)
Feathers fall around you – it’s over!

6. Black Swan – Thom Yorke
Do yourself a favour and pack your bags – buy a ticket and get on a train …

7. My Lady’s A Wild Flying Dove – Tom Paxton
Possible ending (1) – they make up …

8. Pretty Polly – Queen Adreena
Possible ending (2) – murder most “fowl”…

9. Strange Meadowlark – Dave Brubeck
Let’s have a think about it while they bring round the ice-cream …

10. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
Everything’s gonna be alright! I love a happy ending …

11. Turkey In The Straw – Bill Monroe and Doc Watson
Yippee! Let’s have a hoe-down!

48 thoughts on “Spill Challenge – Who Gets The Bird?

  1. 140 characters or fewer:

    lovely mix – Joe goes, as he’s not laughing Len – I need it gruff, the birds don’t need to be higher… as they sit on their wire.

  2. Quite a few I already know and like here, Queen Adreena, Lene and Bob are going nowhere. I wouldn’t really feel the need to replace any of them, the selections flows nicely and I like it, but if I was forced to, it would be Joe Bonamassa because he didn’t improve the song for me either (I got a free album of his with a magazine once, didn’t grab me at all). I would replace with The Storks by Marc Almond, which is miserable, but wonderful, I think.

  3. Thanks, I need this after this week’s RR… I’m a hard hearted bastard but there’s only so much funeral music you can take.
    1. This is perky. Echoes of Terry Callier’s Gonna miss your candyman.
    2. Starts well… is that an oboe…. urghh, thudding drums… fuzzy guitar and some kind of eastern stringed instrument… hmm, a bit too much in the mix. I’ll string this one up pending further listening…
    3. quaint, but the trilling and histrionic vocal get a bit nervy… string it up next to 2…
    4. another nice start, good blend of rhythm and harmony… vocal is refreshing after the last two. No qualms about letting this one go about its business.
    5. Soothing. Lovely voice… good vocal harmonies.
    6. An old favourite. Thom can be my black swan any time. My mother just told me this morning she saw black swans covered in snow standing on ice in the central South Island at the weekend… in NZ all swans are black… relatives of a species once extinct, they were reintroduced from Australia.

    *interlude*

  4. 7. inoffensive.. this doesn’t ruffle my feathers either way.
    8. This is a lot better. Good blend of sounds and harmony. Vocals are very reminiscent of Martina Topley… well, you know. I’ll excuse the mention of digging graves. Good loud part too. Very enjoyable.
    9. Dave’s cool. I’ve just re-bought Time Out again after about 20 years. A brilliant album. This is probably the most relaxed track on it, with some beautiful interplay between Brubeck and Desmond.
    10. This is a bit skeletal for my tastes… nothing to really get excited about. But nothing makes me want to ditch it particularly either.
    11. A bit too jolly for my present mood. I’d rather eat the damn turkey than chase it round and round in this straw. But short and sweet, at least.

    On balance I think Lene Lovich is the chirping bird outside my window at 5 am. I won’t shoot at it but I wish it would go away. I’d much rather have- obviously- Dave Holland’s conference of the birds in its place.

  5. Right, I listened through but didn’t have the time to make my usual in-depth comments. There were a couple that didn’t really work that much for me; Tom Paxton and Joe Bonamassa, but I’ve never much liked the Bob Marley track, mainly because I reckon that he went downhill rapidly after Natty Dread and the live album that followed it. He became too commercial for my liking and the interesting stuff in reggae was happening elsewhere, so Bob goes.

    I would cheerfully replace him will all sorts of things, I shall resist saying Bird Song by The Grateful Dead and instead nom White Bird by It’s A Beautiful Day, which is here;


  6. I won’t get round to listening until tomorrow, Ali, but I’ve just solved 15 down in today’s crossword [Deflate daughter’s alternative band (3,8,4)] and so have to post a link to their Bird Song. Carole chose an acoustic version for her B song; this is an electric one from 1972 (natch). It floats in the summer sky.

      • No. According to DHL, my ’77 box has been sitting in Des Plaines, IL, for the past week, waiting for a plane.
        I don’t think there are many better versions of Bird Song than Veneta, although Branford Marsalis added nice things to some of the later versions, and the Reckoning acoustic version is rather fine.

  7. Bonamassa must go ! It’s laughin’ Len or no one for me.Close run thing though, don’t like the Marley track ( for similar reasons to Carolebristol) and , nothing against the singer but I don’t like Pretty Polly much ( parrotaphobia ?)
    To be replaced with

  8. Will listen, I promise but currently a bit manic preparing to take my parents away for a week.

    Can’t believe there is a playlist of “bird song” without an Albatross!

    Come to that what about T-Rex and Ride a White Swan!

  9. 1) Rory Gallagher – nice! i should really listen to more of him, ace guitarwork. keeper.

    2) Joe Bonamassa – ha, i loved this. I think this is one of those Lenny songs that i knew of but never knew. Mr. B is a kickass guitarist and a decent vocalist, i like his voice. So i’ll give it some seed if no one else will.

    3) Lene Lovich – It’s ok. I’ve never liked her voice. Bit Siouxieish, but not as interesting. Toss candidate, depending on subsequent company.

    4) Lau – don’t think i’ve ever heard Lau before. Scottish? It’s lovely. keep.

    5) Kathryn Williams – Well, i love the Neil Young, but this is lovely too. (Reminds me how much i love the Neil though.) Keep.

    6) Thom Yorke – Oh, i like this too! Don’t think i’ve really listened to much of his solo work. Keep.

    Loving this set so far, Ali.

    (to be cont’d)

    • 7) Tom Paxton – This is nice. Keep.

      8) Queen Adreena – Never heard of her, but love it. Was she on one of Shane’s lists? Keep.

      9) Dave Brubeck – This is really nice. Not generally the biggest jazz fan, but i do like Dave Brubeck. (Even better though i love Nilpf’s Dave Holland).

      10) Bob Marley – Know it, love it, not going anywhere.

      11) Turkey in the Straw – Can’t hate on it, but i do prefer a more fiddle-heavy version.

      Thanks Ali, that was a really lovely set. I haven’t been able to listen to music for quite awhile, but that might have got me back into it again.

      What to toss – Ms. Lovich. But i didn’t dislike it either.

      Waht i’d add –

      Eels – I Like Birds

      • Queen Adreena – is katie jane garside
        Daisy Chainsaw, Queenadreena, Lalleshwari, Ruby Throat and added vocal to others – also co-created the comic book Indigo Vertigo with artist Daniel Schaffer.

        But she’s most famous for running at the mic in our local – missing it – launching down the two steps of the ‘stage’ and ending up in my arms – the force of her crashing into me, made 6 hairy bikers around me fall flat on their arses (think of Newton’s cradle) – I held onto katie and my full pint. Hairy bikers thought she was bat shit crazy and knew I was at the time….stroked their zz top beards and went to re-fill their pints shaking their heads in bemusement. I had an ace night.

      • Thanks Amy. I like Eels. And a vote for Joe to boot.

        Rory Gallagher is / was brilliant. Still the best gig I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a few.

        Lau are Scottish – Kris Drever is kind of the ‘lead’, his dad is Ivan Drever, a folk singer who comes from Orkney and who was part of the Wolftones for a few years. (kind of Celtic rock). I like Lau because they fuse together different types of music into a folkish sound – very good musicianship IMHO.

  10. PSA here – don’t think anyone is signed up after this week – so grab a week if you want it, like we used to do with the old challenges. You don’t need my approval.

    June 25 –
    July 2 –
    July 9-
    July 16 –
    July 23-
    July 30 –

  11. Enjoyed this a lot Ali. Nothing I much disliked, but like others, I’m going to take aim at Joe Bonamassa, for the crime of not being Leonard Cohen. Kathryn Williams, on the other hand, does a beautiful job of not being Neil Young – I love her voice, though I’ve never been blown away by her songwriting. Lau were great, and I really liked the Dave Brubeck. Thom and Bob I know already, and are going nowhere.

    Birds was one of my favourite ever weeks on RR – lots of great songs found their way into my library. Favouritest of all probably being “The Littlest Birds”, by Jolie Holland or the Be-Good Tanyas (take your pick).


  12. Rory (really like that – never heard of him before) and Dave Brubeck (Time Out a favourite on sunny days like today, as I trill along to it like a batty old bint, pottering round the garden) are the birdhouses in my soul this week..
    Me too not keen on Joe – started off lovely, but then it lost me somewhere – sorry.

    I’ll swap him for Jimmy McGriff – The Bird. (I wondered what MrM had done with all those tasteful nude shots of me. He’s a magician with a camera you know – makes me look just like a beautiful black sister!)

    • [Yeah – thank f*ck for photoshop – MrM]

      F*ck off baldie bastard! – wilemena

      Sorry Ali. Playful domestic tiff – excuse me while I grab his throat!

      • Ha! Aww, I wouldn’t touch a hair on his spiky little tuft in reality (tho I have wanted to throttle him many times hee hee).

        And glad you like Nostalgia77. That is a wonderful album. Good luck with the guruing this week. Hoping I can get all hot, funky and sweaty on your as!s (apols for the rather un-pc vid πŸ™‚ )

      • One of the joys of living in a cycle-friendly town is that blessed with such scenery on my long ride into work. I do like a 12 km ride to work! And some of the hot pants this year! I have wider belts!

        BTW. If one of topics I asked for comes up you had better get funky!!! Time to get on my bike.

      • Mmmm, hot Fin bots sound yummy. I must say, since MrM started training for a triathlon, I’ve developed a thing for hot sweaty men in lycra!

  13. 1) Rory Gallagher – love the dobro. Glad there are no vocal histrionics. Damned fine stuff.
    2) Joe Bonamassa – love the intro and the instrumentation. Not sure the heavy beat and wailing guitar are suited to the song but I can forgive it because they fade back out.
    3) Lene Lovich – oh dear. Sub-Siouxsie/Toyah. Red Army choir guesting?
    4) Lau – an unsettling rhythm (actually 16 beats broken into (4 x 3) + 4). Rather interesting tune too. I like.
    5) Kathryn Williams – lovely harmonies on a perfectly nice little song. I don’t know the original but I’m sure I’d prefer this.
    6) Thom Yorke – groovy bass. Not his really whiny voice, so I’m OK with this. The break near the end rescues it from outstaying its welcome.
    7) Tom Paxton – OK but rather vanilla. Turtle necks and print frocks.
    8) Queen Adreena – Ooh, girly voices! Works for me. As does the musical build.
    9) Dave Brubeck – I could have done with fewer trills/runs in the intro/outro but, yeah, it’s ‘nice’. The playful sax is great. As is the piano/bass duet. A very pleasant meander through the meadows.
    10) Bob Marley – well, it’s Bob. Has to stay.
    11) Turkey in the Straw – short & sweet. Monroe was a hero of Garcia’s.

    A good set, Ali, but Lene needs to fly the coop. Ta muchly.

  14. Enloyed those – will join the herd and chuck out Joe. Keep Thom or Monroe and Watson. Cheers!

    I would add Piano Magic’s beautiful “Music for Annahbird” but it ain’t on Youtube – soz!

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