Tag Archives: Music For Dead Birds

Interview Project #15: Music For Dead Birds


Music For Dead Birds is the name for the music made by Jimmy Monaghan (vocals, guitar) and Donal Walshe (drums, vocals). They are from Galway and they come from the Rusted Rail stable of artists that also includes the likes of United Bible Studies, Mirakil Whip and an early record from So Cow. They specialise in a form of ever-so-slightly off-kilter acoustic folk, atmospheric but close-focused and endearing. Not the furthest thing in the world from Mt. Eerie at times, to my ears. Their 3″ mini-album And then it rained for seven days came out earlier this year on Rusted Rail.

Music For Dead Birds – Pill Oh

Music For Dead Birds – Ghosts and Water (demo)

Q 0.5 How are you?

Reasonably well.

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Gealt-teach iargúlta lastiar den ré

Hideaway House. What a good idea. Take a place that is available, whether by chance, circumstance or charity, and put on gigs there. But don’t make it into a “venue”. No bar. No need. No anything. Just a room in a house with a PA. Get bands you think are good rather than bands you think will draw, because you don’t have to cover any particular monetary figure, and the room is tiny anyway. Charge five euro. If you charge less, you won’t be able to get those touring bands, or pay expenses for bands from elsewhere in the country. If you charge more, Ian MacKaye will murder a yuppie.

The Hideaway House is art in itself, in a way. It’s just a guy’s house. But open it up as a place to have gigs and the posters on the walls from festivals in Europe or movies in French, the cracks in the ceiling, the receding branchy darkness of the garden and the huge banner saying “This Area Is A Social Space” all seem to take on some kind of… significance?

It’s a cool place. Better acoustics than a church hall. Better entertainment (and definitely better manners) than a house party. Better couches than… Whelans…

The gig itself wasn’t actually that impressive. The Creeping Nobodies ( from Canada) are essentially avatars of form over content. They aren’t quite as no-wave blanked-out as Cap Pas Cap while playing, and they did attempt to crack a couple of poor jokes to a cold-ish room, but their music is repetitive and amelodic. It’s not that they come off like they write bad melodies. It just seems like melody doesn’t figure in their songwriting process at all. They make a kind of arty murk, with enough danciness for the indie-rock shuffle, but not enough that anyone would have to challenge their own self-consciousness.

Music For Dead Birds (Galway), who were before the CNs, were a little better. They had some good anti-folk moments, and the guy’s voice is interesting, but they veered back too often towards that regular sincere acousticism that I have a very low tolerance for (cf Heathers mini-review).

Cap Pas Cap were probably my favourites of the evening, and the first band that I saw. Last time I saw them was about a year ago and I was on the verge of falling for their shtick. This time, it was a little hard not to find the dead expressions and quarantined sound kind of affected, but they still played a good set. They didn’t even play the hits (off the 12″ that I bought when they supported Crystal Castles in Kennedys – the night I realised that even serious people can fall for bad music if it’s energetic and it looks cool. Fuck anyone who hated on Nialler9 that time). But some of their newer stuff, particularly the last song they played (which featured a tom-heavy drum beat – a mini-departure for CPC) was interesting.

I was late for Ran, consensus was that they were deadly though. So well done Ran.

I’m going to leave this gig without the customary plus or a minus, because I didn’t think that much of the headliners but I liked the whole idea. Check it out if you haven’t been.