Picture it: one minute you're soaring through the skies with your fly, feathered friends, and then the next minute you're all stone dead and plummeting down to Earth like oversized, tar-coated hailstones. Why? It almost doesn't even matter why. No explanation - rational or irrational - is any match for the power of personal imagination, the myriad justifications one can conjure up for something a happening this bizarre. You could do that, and a lot of people likely did, but Gimme Noise went in another direction: we brainstormed songs about birds. We thought a bit about how "birds" is hip-hop parlance for packaged drugs in large quantities, and how "birds" is rock'n'roll parlance for giggly, loose women.
Then we said, "fuck it."
"If a flock of birds could somehow collectively share an iPod, what songs would it be funny to imagine them blaring just prior to the moment of truth?"
[jump] M.I.A., "Bird Flu"
So obviously "Bird Flu" is the official anthem of this weird-ass kerfluffle - not necessarily because of the song's content, but because the title references an unrealized pandemic from a couple years back. Then again, "Bird Flu" sounds a lot like flocks of birds meeting their maker: thrashing and squawking and divebombing and entering their death throes. (Or a brainwashed freak wearing a chicken suit while being subjected to electro-shock therapy.) Now for a show of hands: does anybody really, seriously like this song in non-academic sense, as something more than a noisome percussive exercise or intellectual endurance test?
Bobby Day, "Rockin' Robin"
Now, now, cruel parental units: it's just not nice to whistle "Rockin' Robin" ever-so-innocently as CNN's never-ending coverage of this unexplainable avian tragedy plays over and over again on your humongous wall-sized flat-screen television set and your young, impressionable children cower in fear behind their Nintendo DSs.
Ween, "Little Birdy"
Somewhere, right now, a tenderhearted little kid is finding these dead, maggot-ridden birds just everywhere and cradling them in his skinny arms and murmuring worriedly - and it isn't coming across anywhere near as twisted as this curdled, chromosome-deprived song does. You sick bastards, you! Did you really think I was going to make fun of poor tearful emo toddlers here?
Tom Petty, "Free Fallin'"
This is almost like shooting fish in a barrel. I kind of wish dead, rigor mortis-seized birds would shoot into the bandshell during an outdoor Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers gig. You know, until today, I didn't even realize this song had a line about vampires; in case you weren't aware of it, vampires are kind of a big deal commercially these days, which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that ol' bottle-blonde Cryptkeeper Petty was way ahead of his time.
This pointed, what-now? response to TLC single "No Scrubs" still packs plenty of discursive, urban-pop pow, even if it isn't quite as explosive as whatever caused thousands of bird corpses to rain from the sky Arkansas a few days back.
Oh, and just in case you were worried that this freak-of-nature shit was the end of the world, a sign of the apocalypse?