This site too slow? Try a mirror  --  Subscribe to the Guide  --  Find artist:
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

the bird and the bee


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Alternative jazz-influenced indie pop

Status:

Most recent release, Recreational Love (2015)

See also:

the bird and the bee's site

the bird and the bee's MySpace page

Inara George also records as a solo artist, collaborates with Rod Jones of Idlewild as George Is Jones, and is a member of The Living Sisters with Eleni Mandell and Becky Stark.

Greg Kurstin did three albums with Geggy Tah and one as The Kurstins (duo with sister Pamelia Kurstin)

Comparisons:

Astrud Gilberto, Julee Cruise

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional cover

General comments:

As a duo, Inara George (bird) and Greg Kurstin (bee) make eclectic indie pop music with electronic touches and elements of jazz and lounge that they've described as "psychedelic Burt Bacharach." (JoAnn Whetsell)

Comments about live performance:

The Bird and the Bee are from the musical Land of Retro and Twee, with loungey Bacharach, Italian disco and girl-group touches to their electronic pop. It's not a place I visit often, but their melodies are catchy and live show a lot of fun, so I was a happy tourist. They're on Blue Note, which isn't inappropriate.
     Singer Inara George and the three backing musicians wore short nightdress outfits with plastic collars and shiny ribbons, one in yellow, one in green, one in blue and Inara in white and yellow. There were choreographed back-up dances and hand-claps for the two keyboardists which would have been too cutesy if it wasn't a bit shabbily done, amusing them as much as us. The 'bee', Greg Kurstin, was anonymous behind his deck of keyboards and computer. He has worked with Lily Allen and Sophie Ellis-Bextor and their own sound is similar.
     Enjoyed songs like 'Again and again', 'Polite dance song' and pop charmer 'Love letter to Japan' (check out the cute video). Inara made lots of unnerving eye contact during 'F*cking boyfriend' ("would you be my f*cking boyfriend?"), and again during 'Birthday' ("I will love you..."), which was less unnerving. A soaring atmospheric slower number (dunno name) touched on early Goldfrapp territory and was lovely.
     I would have been happier without the covers of Hall and Oates' "I can't go for that" and the Bee Gees' "How deep is your love?"—the arrangements fit well with the rest of the set but the annoying songs stuck in my head. The latter was in the Sex and the City movie apparently; wish bands could get noticed more for their own pop chops than covers or songs with swearwords in the title! (3/09, k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

Recommended first album:

The Bird and the Bee

Recordings:


The Bird and the Bee

Release info:

2007—Metro Blue/Blue Note—0946 3 68251 2 0/bte 68251

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Inara George—vocals; fuzz bass (1)
Greg Kurstin—all instruments except as noted below

Guest artists:

David Ralicke—horns (4)

Produced by:

Greg Kurstin

Comments:

I wasn't crazy about Inara's solo debut, but this album is so eclectic and inspired and her voice is just drop dead gorgeous, reminiscent of Astrud Gilberto in my opinion. The album has the same retro-feel as Camera Obscura, but it's catchier and more playful and there are so many killer tracks you're being spoilt for choice. "Again & Again," "I'm a Broken Heart," "I Hate Camera," and "Fucking Boyfriend" are obvious highlights. Presently they all seem stuck in my head. (christina_skov@hotmail.com)

I discovered the bird and the bee on NPR. My reaction is similar to christina_skov's. Never really got into Inara George's debut, but I LOVE this album. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Please Clap Your Hands

Release info:

2007—Metro Blue/Blue Note—509995 05959 2 1

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Inara George—vocals
Greg Kurstin—all instruments except as noted below

Guest artists:

Joey Waronker—drums (1)
Gus Seyffert—electric guitar (1)
Willow Geer, Megan Geer Alsop, Alex Lilly—background vocals (1)
Sia—background vocals (5)

Produced by:

Greg Kurstin

Comments:

This 20-minute EP is so catchy and fun, I keep playing it over and over and still don't know how to describe it. I don't think the Bee Gees cover is as strong as their original material (though it shows a different mood), but overall this EP is fantastic and another must-have for fans. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One Too Many Hearts

Release info:

2009—Blue Note Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Inara George
Greg Kurstin

Produced by:

Greg Kurstin

Comments:

This 4-track ep released on Valentine's Day showcases different versions of love and relationships, not just the sugary together-forever kind. Half the songs are in their laidback, lounge style, and half are musically upbeat, in keeping with their poppier side. I love it all. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future

Release info:

2009—Blue Note—50999 2 34556 2 7

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Inara George—vocals (all tracks)
Greg Kurstin—keyboards, guitar, bass, percussion, programming (all tracks); background vocals (3-5)

Guest artists:

Mike Andrews—guitar (4)
Gus Seyffert—guitar (10)
Joey Waronker—drums (1, 9, 10)
Megan Geer-Alsop—background vocals (10)
Willow Geer—background vocals (4, 6, 10, 14)
Alex Lilly—background vocals (4, 6, 10, 14)

Produced by:

Greg Kurstin

Comments:

Great fun, catchy pop. More electronic and more like their last two EPs (each supplies one song) than their debut. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of the year. (gordodo@optonline.net, christina_skov@hotmail.com)


Interpreting The Masters Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates

Release info:

2010—Blue Note Records—50999-6-26234-21

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Low

Group members:

Inara George—vocals
Greg Kurstin—bass, drums, programming, keys, guitar

Guest artists:

Shirley Manson—background vocals on "Maneater"

Produced by:

Greg Kurstin

Comments:

I really like the first song, the club/pop "Heard It On the Radio," which is, coincidentally or not, the only original song. Then there's the rest of the album, the 8 Hall and Oates covers. Sigh. I'm not a rabid Hall and Oates fan, upset by the mere idea of someone taking on my idol's work; I'm only familiar with half the songs here. I'm actually a big bird and the bee fan, loathe to criticize, willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, to listen to this album repeatedly in order to find its brilliance.
     But find it I can't. The vocals are bored, the synths are downright weird at times. The songs are done up in a sort of club/pop/lounge style, but it seems more lazy than thoughtful. They don't really *interpret* the songs and make them their own. (See by contrast Rachael Sage's version of "Rich Girl," also from this year.) I hope that next time (assuming they continue this ‘Interpreting the Masters' series) they will. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

the bird and the bee's "Carol of the Bells" appears on the Starbucks Stockings by the Fire holiday compilation (2007) and is also available as a digital download at stores like iTunes and Amazon.com. "What Happened to It" appears on the Post Grad soundtrack (2009). "A Christmas Compromise" appears on the compilation Safety Harbor Kids Holiday Collection (2009). Their cover of Herman's Hermits' "I'm Into Something Good" appears on the Valentine's Day soundtrack (2010) and is also available as a digital single.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

Why the ads?


Artists from
USA

81 - 120 of 797 entries

<<  10-An  An-Ba  Ba-Bo  Bo-Ca  Ca-Cr  Cu-Ed  El-Fu  Ga-Ha  Ha-In  In-Ke  Ki-Lo  Lo-Mc  Mc-Na  Na-Pa  Pa-Re  Rh-Sh  Sh-St  St-Tw  Tw-We  We-Zu  >>

Click the bullet for speed (drop the menu) or the name for convenience (keep the menu)


>
Basque

>
Perla Batalla

>
Baxter

>
Beach House

>
Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop

>
Johanna Beekman

>
Beirut

>
Marina Belica

>
Belly

>
Laura Benitez

>
Cynthia Bennett

>
Annika Bentley

>
Berlin

>
Jen Bernard

>
Cindy Lee Berryhill

>
Bethany

>
Betty

>
Betty Iron Thumbs

>
Emily Bezar

>
Alice Bierhorst

>
Big Brother and the Holding Company

>
Big Hat

>
the bird and the bee

>
Birds Over Arkansas

>
Martin Bisi

>
Black Tape for a Blue Girl

>
blackgirls

>
Ella Blame

>
Meredith Blis

>
Cheryl Bliss

>
Blondie

>
Danielle Bloom

>
Blue Line Highway

>
Lucille Bogan

>
Boiled in Lead

>
Melanie Bomar

>
Bonfire Madigan

>
Tracy Bonham

>
Karla Bonoff

>
Booth and the Bad Angel

<<  10-An  An-Ba  Ba-Bo  Bo-Ca  Ca-Cr  Cu-Ed  El-Fu  Ga-Ha  Ha-In  In-Ke  Ki-Lo  Lo-Mc  Mc-Na  Na-Pa  Pa-Re  Rh-Sh  Sh-St  St-Tw  Tw-We  We-Zu  >>


Other Countries...
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2016-05-21 19:12:31.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.

The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.