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Bird Streets Take Flight at The Saint in Asbury Park


By Danny Coleman

originally published: 10/30/2018

Brooklyn based band Bird Streets will be making their Asbury Park, NJ debut on November 8 when they come to roost at The Saint; one of the town’s well know original music venues. 

Formed in both Los Angeles and New York by John Brodeur (the Suggestions, Maggie Mayday) via his partnership with multi-instrumentalist/producer Jason Falkner (Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher), Bird Streets is a departure from the normal and a rediscovery of Brodeur’s creativity.

“I’ve been making music under my own name going back almost 20 years and had a couple of different bands along the way,” he explained with a twinge of nostalgia in his voice.  “I started using the Bird Streets name about three years ago which is around the time I started the album with Jason Falkner; it just seemed like a good reset to put a band name on it because it felt sort of like a fresh new thing working with him and it just felt different from other things that I was doing.”

So with his attitude and creativity refreshed, it seems that John reached back to the past to come up with the Bird Streets moniker; which is also the title of the CD that was released this past August.

“When I started the album with Jason; he and I had actually done a song about four and a half years ago called, “Direction” and that was the first thing we cut together which was a couple of years before we actually got back into it. When I was out there doing that I was just kind of hanging out walking around L.A., looking for stuff to do and waiting for him to get a free afternoon and I came upon that neighborhood which I saw on Google Maps; the Bird Streets. It’s kind of a chic multi-million dollar mansion neighborhood up in the Hollywood Hills behind Sunset and all the streets are named after birds. I kind of felt a sort of coincidence because I lived in Albany for about 10 years before I moved to the city and that’s where I kind of wrote some of these songs and all of the streets in downtown Albany are also named after birds so I felt a synergy there.”



 
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“So yeah, the album is called, “Bird Streets” and it’s out on Omnivore Records but Jason and I don’t cross paths as much as I’d like to but when we were out there for some shows in August he played on those and hopefully I’ll get him up on the next one. We’re going to talk about doing some more recording because we finished this record up nearly three years ago and I’m anxious to get started on the next one.  This one took a while to get people to bite on it but hopefully the next one will go a little quicker. He has a lot of commitments, he’s producing four or five records a year for different artists and he plays with Beck which is kind of a big deal so he’s kind of working a lot; I just get him when I can.”

Recording a disc and performing live are totally separate entities and at the moment with Falkner in L.A. with such a busy schedule and Brodeur here in New York; how did he write the material and what does he do when it comes time to perform live?

“Essentially I am Bird Streets and Bird Streets is my thing but on the record Jason Falkner and I wrote some of the stuff together where I would bring him songs that were half to two thirds finished and then we’d finish them together. There are a couple of other songs that we worked on that were pretty well done but some of my favorite songs; the first three songs for instance were things where I had some ideas but I didn’t know how to get out of the chorus or I didn’t have a bridge and he’d say, “Why don’t you try doing this?” Then we’d sort of just flash it out from there.”

“My band is sort of a shape shifter right now; New York is tough to get people because everybody is in five bands, so I just kind of have to get people who can do the shows. The band that you’re going to see at The Saint is different from the band you might have seen had you caught us last weekend or the weekend before. On this particular show I’ve got Jay Preston on bass, Konrad Meissner on drums and Patrick Brennan on guitar; all local New York guys. We’re just doing this as a one off in Asbury; we’re just kind of doing stuff where we can jump out of New York easily. Hopefully we’ll be doing some more next year; we’re doing a mid-west tour in December and that’s pretty much going to eat up the rest of our attention span for the rest of the year. So it’s going to be like; hey who can do these shows? Then we’ll get those people together and do some rehearsals and that will be the band for about a week and a half,” he said with amusement. “It’s crazy because when I lived upstate and first moved to the city I had a pretty solid band and you get used to playing with the same people and now it’s a lot of the same people but I have a depth chart of different people at different positions. So it’s sort of mix and match and it’s kind of interesting to see how they play with each other and how each of them interpret the songs.”

“I think it’s great to mix it up and play with different people unless you’re a Foo-Fighters type band that has their sound and that’s their thing and if they were to veer away from that people would not understand what to do with it. I think for what I do, which is a lot of different styles and sounds within the larger trappings of rock or singer songwriter music there’s a lot of different influences at play so it’s good to hear how other people pick those out.”

The November 8 Asbury Park show is ages 18+ with the doors opening at 7:30 p.m. and this will be the first performance at The Saint for Brodeur who has been getting some help from local radio personalities and one station in particular.

“The Saint; one of our songs, “Carry Me,” which is the first song on the record has been getting a lot of play on Brookdale Public Radio. They’ve been angling to get us down there and we hooked it up and they’re going to help us promote the show a bit and hopefully they’ll keep playing our songs for a long time.”



 
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Tickets for this event are $12 and can be purchased at the venue or from the Bird Streets website at www.birdstreetsmusic.com. The Saint is located at 601 Main Street  and if planning on coming and purchasing at the door it is cash only for entry; credit/debit cards accepted at the bar only.

So what can one expect from a Bird Streets show?

“I think we just give a pretty solid rock ‘n’ roll show with a lot of different twists and turns; if you know the record, it’s kind of like that but maybe with a little less bells and whistles and a little more straight forward,” said a confident Brodeur. “Some heartfelt singing and playing and we’re looking forward to it.”


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Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.

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