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August 9 at Glasslands.
the Rock*a*Teens are one of my all-time favorite bands. i grew up in Atlanta and these guys shaped my musical brain in so many wonderful and twisted ways. the inspiration for our band name was taken from a RATs album, Sweet Bird of Youth, which Merge is reissuing on vinyl on June 3.
they are an incredible band and everyone should come to this show. good bye.
get tix here.
on another note, our new album is basically finished. sadly no one in my band will let me call it Street Pizza. more details/news on all of this very soon.
yes, we’ve been rather quiet lately. no, it’s not because we don’t like you or that you smell or anything like that. we’ve just been in the studio hard at work on album #2 and it’s all very exciting.
we also just booked our first show of the new year – Friday, February 15 at Union Pool in Brooklyn opening for the inimitable Ken Stringfellow (Big Star! The Posies! more!). this is also very exciting and we’re gonna play a ton of new songs and it’s going to be wondrous so please come.
we’ve hunkered down for the winter to work on new songs and prep for album #2. this means a lot of writing, demo’ing, more writing, more demo’ing and a fair amount of goofing off in our practice space. luckily the goofing often results in fun things like spontaneous covers, which we plan to periodically record and post to our SoundCloud page to remind you that we still exist. there’s a cover of “Nine Times Blue” by Mike Nesmith up there now.
check back regularly for more.
also: Nesmith for President.
August 18, 2011 – New York NY – The Living Room – 9pm
May 10, 2011 – Brooklyn NY – The Rock Shop – Tower of Song featuring Jennifer O’Connor, Beth Wawerna, Dawn Landes & Kaia Wilson
August 17, 2010 – New York, NY – residency @ The Living Room w/Kendall Meade of Mascott
July 14, 2010 – New York, NY – Ars Nova – The 54/10 Music Marathon
June 24, 2010 – Brooklyn NY – Coco 66 - The Northside Festival
March 20, 2010 – Austin TX - SXSW – Kung Fu Saloon – Piano’s Showcase
March 19, 2010 – Austin TX - SXSW – Rusty Spurs – Musebox/Pirate! Promotion Showcase
June 1, 2009 – New York NY – The Cake Shop w/Rock Plaza Central
Beth Wawerna’s involvement with rock music started a couple minutes after she was born, when her 14-year-old brother stubbornly insisted she be named for the 1976 KISS power ballad”Beth.” Her parents consented – thus unwittingly sealing their daughter’s fate.
Beth now fronts her own rock band, Bird of Youth, whose debut album Defender (out May 24) was produced by Will Sheff of Okkervil River and Phil Palazzolo (The New Pornographers, Ted Leo, Neko Case), with acast of players that includes members of The Wrens, Nada Surf, The National, Okkervil River and The Mendoza Line.
Growing up in Atlanta, GA, Beth spent her formative years sifting through her brother’s abandoned record collection. She became taken with artists like Elvis Costello and The Replacements, whose rowdy intellect fit in nicely with the Southern indie-rock she’d already been exposed to – bands like R.E.M., Pylon and The Rock*A*Teens. When it came time to leave the South, Beth got a job, moved to Brooklyn, got laid off, went to bars and stayed up late with her musician friends – drinking beer and singing songs. But she was also writing songs of her own – songsthat felt both brainy and tough, thoughtful and tossed-off, vicious and vulnerable. For so long, Beth had been the consummate green-room insider, but dubious creative outsider – comfortable hanging backstage, but terrified of being on it. For that reason, she wrote for years before sharing so much as a note.But she kept writing, and the number of songs grew. Then finally, a few years down the road – armed with a collection of home-recorded demos – she mustered the courage to send them to friends, and they encouraged her to make an album.
Defender recalls the classic and college rock Beth grew up with, as well as the swagger of old New York girl groups and the insight and sarcasm the early new wave songwriters. Inherent in Beth’s voice is a cool stoicism – a dry, knowing wink that is as affecting in Defender’s moments of dark humor and ornate storytelling as it is in its flashes of unvarnished heartbreak. Beth’s dry delivery finds a perfect match in lead guitarist Clinton Newman, whose lush, multilayered harmonies and intertwining guitar parts give this record its distinctive sound – something like Chrissie Hynde fronting Squeeze orNico signed to Stiff Records. As intricate pop songcraft crumbles into gauzy atmospherics and literate observations devolve into boozy chaos, Bird of Youth’s rave-ups and kiss-offs turn indie-rock braininess back on itself with a casual frivolity.
Over the past few years, Beth has put that wonderfully unstable marriage to the test on stage, appearing with The Wrens, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie, The Mendoza Line, Okkervil River, Roky Erickson, A.C. Newman, Mark Eitzel and others. With the band’s permanent lineup rounded out by bassist Johnny North, drummer Ben Lord and keyboardist Eli Thomas, Bird of Youth are currently in the studio working on their second album