Stephanie Seymour, birdwatcher & singer-songwriter of “There Are Birds”

Stephanie Seymour—a singer-songwriter and veteran musician who was a member of The Aquanettas, which released its debut album in 1990, she just issued “There Are Birds,” a stellar solo album all about birds (literally, metaphorically, from their perspective, etc.)—explains that she’s a lifelong animal lover, growing up in house where there were plenty of pets, including birds. There was also plenty of music in the house, she recalls, saying that she distinctly remembers her Mom playing the Beatles, and notes that seeing The Police and The Go-Gos (particularly, the latter band’s ace drummer Gina Schock)—first on MTV, then live at Madison Square Garden—inspired Seymour to ask her Dad for a drum kit, which she received. She later played in, or fronted, a number of bands, including Psychic Penguin and Birdy, then after she married guitarist Bob Perry, they moved from New York City to New Jersey. After the move, Seymour explains, she became a birdwatcher, which quickly led to becoming an avid birdwatcher. This, of course, connects to the genesis, some years later, of  “There Are Birds.” She recounts how, in a period when she wasn’t actively pursuing music, a part of a song—what became “Ruby-crowned Kinglet”—popped into her head. And pretty quickly, the rest of the song came to her, as if it were already written. Most of the other songs on the album were penned with similar ease, typically translated —because she says she doesn’t play an instrument—by Perry from what she heard in her head to the music now heard on the 12-track album, with lyrics dealing with birds, including from the birds’ point of view, like on “Bald Eagle,” as well as some autobiographical ruminations.  Seymour also addresses the top-tier musicians who play on “There Are Birds,” including E Street Band keyboardist Charlie Giordano, drummer Sim Cain, who’s played with the Rollins Band, T-Bone Burnett, and the J. Geils Band, and ex-Bongos guitarist James Mastro, who’s in Ian Hunter’s band.  There is a comprehensive website devoted to “There Are Birds”–the only place you can buy the album: http://www.therearebirds.com (https://www.facebook.com/PurpleChickadee, https://www.instagram.com/there_are_birds/)

 

ALSO: I spoke with Gracie Grieshop, marketing maven for Pet Pal Animal Shelter in St. Petersburg, about the organization’s Diamond in the Ruff fundraiser, taking place Sept. 7, 6-9pm, at Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe, 2927 Central Ave., St. Pete. She explains there will be all kinds of new and gently used jewelry available for purchase, in an evening that will also offer beer, wine, and food—and is decidedly dog friendly.  (https://www.facebook.com/events/2102060850082403/, https://petpalanimalshelter.com)

 

COMEDY CORNER: Tom Papa’s “Fake Service Dogs”  (http://tompapa.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Stephanie Seymour’s “Veery,” “Northern Mockingbird,” “Migration Is Over,” “Northern Lapwing,” (snippets of those songs), Stephanie Seymour’s “House Sparrow,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  EELS’ “I Like Birds”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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