Thornbird brings crazy rock show to SDSU

Erik Ebsen

Erik Ebsen

Thornbird, a three-member band from Los Angeles, promises a dynamic, interactive concert on Nov. 13, unlike anything else SDSU audiences have seen.

“Anything I’d say would just belittle it,” said Spanky, the band’s bassist, about their live show. “You’ll see and hear and do things you’re not going to do at other concerts. You’ll have to be at the show to get what I’m saying.”

(Two members of Thornbird phoned the Collegian office from a Hampton Inn in Marlboro, Mass. In the effort of having a good time, band members present for the interview, Bella and Pat, requested all their statements be attributed to Spanky, who was not present, so he would feel included in the article. When Spanky doesn’t remember giving any phone interview to some college reporter in South Dakota, “We’ll tell him he was drunk,” Pat said.)

Spanky wouldn’t say much else about the band’s live show, except that it differed from their recorded sound. Some of their recorded tracks are available on the band’s Web site, Their CD can also be heard at times outside the University Program Council office in The Union.

Spanky answered a challenge to describe the band’s sound without using any musical references. He likened the band’s sound to a combination of Red Bull and Stolichnaya vodka, with a little orange juice.

“That way you get some nutritional value with a little kick,” he said.

Spanky said most bands today have boring live shows filled with self-absorbed schmucks. Thornbird tries to avoid having either. They also haven’t taken a significant break from touring since they started three years ago.

“We’re as totally indie as it gets – no support from anyone,” Spanky said.

When the band does make it home for a spell, it takes some adjustment.

“We learned not to unpack, since we can’t really get settled in,” Spanky said. He said it’s hard to breathe back home as well.

“L.A.’s not known for quality air.”

The recorded tracks available on their Web site have a distinctly polished, poppy sound.

The song “Captain Picard” features some quirky, yet touching, lyrics in conjunction with vocal harmonies and acoustic picking. All the Web site’s songs have a pop-ish, radio-rock sound to them, but none sound too much like each other.

Spanky asked that this article “create a magical journey. Say we opened for the Stones – or they opened for us – back in ’62.”

Were any of the band members alive in ’62?

“No,” said Spanky, laughing. But it would make the band sound cool, he said.

The fact that Thornbird will say so little about their live act adds a sense of mystery and intrigue to their coming to SDSU. Whether or not they live up to their game remains to be seen.