Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Not Strictly for the Birds

BBQ Bat house

BBQ Bat house, 2008 by Stuart Haygarth

Last night, London auction house Phillips de Pury & Co auctioned off 34 upcycled bird, bat, and bee houses, made by architects, designers, and artists, using materials the company had discarded, including vintage chairs, plastic food trays, doorknobs, cardboard, and glitter. Hey, glitter... theoretically... shouldn't go to waste.

Bird house, 2008 by David Harrison

It's particularly silly to throw glitter away when, it's possible, with the addition of a certain amount of know-how and some cardboard, paper, stickers, food containers, and wood, to turn it into a ducky little hideaway for your feathered friend. David Harrison went all-out and constructed a sort of Barbie Dream Castle for birds. Or at least a prototype of a dream castle for birds.

In partnership with Adventure Ecology, Phillips de Pury & Co. commissioned prototype bird, bat, and bee houses (including David Harrison's castle-like Bird house) for The Birds, Bats and Bees Charity Auction, held to benefit Adventure Ecology's Sculpt the Future Foundation. The Foundation encourages sustainablity by supporting innovative "youth driven, grass roots organisations" and small initiatives".

Adventure Ecology and Phillips de Pury announced plans to choose three of the prototypes, which they deem most suitable for manufacturing, and, yes, have them manufactured...for sale by "high-end premium retailers and museums." This, too, is a charitable endeavor. "The proceeds of the sales will be donated to protect natural habitats," according to a jointly issued press release.

Protecting natural habitats is a worthy endeavor, but it's somewhat ironic to hold an auction partly devoted to focusing attention on the harmful environmental impact of accumulated waste, and also devoted to finding new goods to manufacture.

Manufacturing goods creates waste, lots of it. The environmental impact should hopefully be lessened if the items are upcycled, but that doesn't mean the items have a negative, or neutral carbon footprint.

It's a nice idea, though, and raises not only money (the auction proceeds haven't been announced yet), but awareness—of bird, bee, and bat habitats, Adventure Ecology, and our society's needless disposal of massive amounts of garbage (including glitter which some clever people may otherwise possibly have been able to use in a reasonable manner.)


Tu Fawning - Out Like Bats (on the Secession EP, which will be released July 8th.) Bit of an oddball, this one, but in a strongly enjoyable, old-world/post-modern hybrid way. I really like the lilting, warbling vocals, which are right both despite and because of their weirdness. Handclapping added in for good measure. RIYL Beirut.

Set of three bee hives, 2008, Tomoko Azumi

Alltruisms - Birds and the Bees (feat. Rusty Chains) (on the "explicit" version of Clusterbombs—and—warning—this song contains some "explicit" language. The album will be released July 1st. Pre-orders from his record label, Gravel Records will receive a bonus instrumental CD.) Neither rap nor hip-hop are usually my favorite cup of tea, but this is pretty good...

Collections of Colonies of Bees - Fun (the sixth track titled "Fun", that is, on Customer, on which every track is called "Fun" except the closing, "Funeral".) Nifty electronica, really nice. The titling of their album is funny, but the humor in that kind of redundant-titling wears off pretty quickly, and then it's just annoying. It's not realistic to expect people to always listen to an album as a whole.

Sparrow - Mountain on Mountain (on Sparrow) There was a Sparrow song in the last post, so it may seem a bit soon to post them again, but hey, this is quite a good bright pop song.

The Wrens - I Guess We're Done (on Abbott 1135) And here's another one. Go, bands-named-after-birds.

Speaking of which, Doves hope to finish their next album "by the end of summer", and announce some UK gigs in September,

Relient K is releasing a 2-disc album called The Bird And The Bee Sides on July 1st, half new songs and half previously released material—but wait—the old stuff has been remixed and remastered (and if you haven't heard it before, it's "new to you", anyway.)

Dracula's Four Season's Bat Hotel, 2008, Rolf Sachs

Bat for Lashes a.k.a. Natasha Khan offers an MP3 bribe ("Trophy", from 2007's Fur and Gold), in exchange for joining her mailing list. It might not seem that generous, particularly compared to artists who give away several MP3s, recognizing the promotional value in doing so, but considering she performs (partly) under the pseudonym of a bat, merely requesting an email address doesn't seem so greedy. Everything's relative.

Bee Hive, 2008, Michael Sodeau

The Bees arguably offer better value, offering a "TOTAL KILLER AND PREVIOUSLY UNAVAILABLE !!" Ashley Beedle remix of "(This is for the) Better Days" in exchange for signing up for ye olde Bees mailing list. They also call it a "treat" and "a soulful disco midtempo stomper, totally uplifting", adding "DON'T MISS OUT !!" If this music thing doesn't work out, they should try the advertising biz.

Sometime foe of bat, bird, and insect: the Bat Falcon. Bat Falcon would make a good wrestling name (though it sounds equally good followed by Attorney at Law.) Naturally, this presents me with a (must-not-write-"literally") kickass idea for a television program: Bat Falcon: Attorney At Law, about an attorney/pro-wrestler. He's passionate about winning in the courtroom and in the ring. He insists he can keep his two lives separate, but they keep criss-crossing in unexpected ways, to the fresh sounds of today's best new alternative and adult-alternative-friendly artists.

Behold: the fearsome, intimidating sound of the bat falcon.


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