Listening Party: Birds on the Ground, Afromotive and Shake It Like A Caveman

This week’s Listening Party starts off with Birds on the Ground, an experimental group that claims to be influenced by “everything that is and will be dreamed.” In practice, this means that they sound like a lot of other psychedelic-infused shoegazer bands, with a little bit of Nico thrown in for good measure. (This is particularly true on the song “cold night burning.”) In some songs, one can also hear echoes of local symphonic thrashers Descolada, who — if their MySpace page is any indicator — appear to be a major supporter of BOTG. We suggest starting with “Old Suit,” which is probably BOTG’s most accessible song.

Next up is The Afromotive, a group we predict you’ll be hearing a lot about in coming months. With the release of their radio-friendly album Scare Tactics only a few days away, the group is almost certain to find itself on playlists across the country, and perhaps the globe. With a big, jazzy, Afrobeat sound, it’s exactly the kind of music that festival crowds love, and we’d be very surprised if the group didn’t find itself on at least an East Coast tour by early 2008. Likely success aside, however, there’s not much happening in the Afromotive’s music that we haven’t heard before. Sure, they’re good, but the jury is still out on whether or not they are breaking new musical ground. Just to get an idea of what the band sounds like in performance, we suggest starting with the live version of “Yako,” which you can find on the group’s MySpace page.

Finally, we have Shake It Like A Caveman, Blake Burris’ one-man band project. SILAC seems to have found its niche, regularly landing bookings at bars and parties along the East Coast and Canada. The gritty, bluesy tunes are inspired by “avoiding paint fumes, disregard for using spell check and the prospect of not working in a sh**ty office for the man.” And it sounds like it, too. (Not that this is a bad thing, mind you.) We suggest starting with “love in the workplace,” which you can listen to here.

Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these groups by posting into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, so praise and pan as you see fit.

— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor


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12 thoughts on “Listening Party: Birds on the Ground, Afromotive and Shake It Like A Caveman

  1. Marcie

    Here’s WHY I am not going to be a fan of BOTG: There are too many — people … things … obligations … hobbies and interests — in the world all clamoring for my attention to spend much time acquiring a taste for a band like BOTG. Your referred to “Old Suit” as being their most accessible song — shouldn’t ALL of their material be somewhat accessible? In this fast-paced world, if it doesn’t grab me pretty quickly, I’m gonna pass on it. And they failed to grab me; I found myself wondering if I’d fall asleep during a live performance, and I could not imagine myself paying hard-earned cash for one of their CDs. But I tried, I honestly tried!

  2. Marcie

    The Afromotive may not be breaking new musical ground, but they got me moving! I’d definitely spend an evening listening to this group.

  3. Marcie: “And they failed to grab me; I found myself wondering if I’d fall asleep during a live performance …” That’s a very legitimate reason, actually. It’s exactly the kind of feedback I like to see in the Listening Party.

  4. Earth

    o.k., listen, for those of you lacking normal homo sapien attention spans- this band Birds on the Ground may put you fast to sleep. but some of us have time and are not intellectually lazy, so i gave it a good critical listen. they could do more to expand their sound, but these dudes are on the right trek. Large epic pieces of music are difficult to accomplish while not relying on the used up motifs of the past. and they do a good job of rattling the Soul.even when using simple song structures they shake me to the core. it’s like reading the Epic of Gilgamesh or something! Besides the lyrics are are frakin awesome!
    these mothus make me FEEL. which is what music is supposed to do.

  5. Green is the new Green


    Playing the same two bar riff really slowly for ten minutes is really kind of far from being “epic.” You want epic, go to the symphony.

    Not that I minded the BotG song. But the Gilgamesh thing was a bit much.

    Oh, and Shake It Like a Caveman is great.


    Birds on the ground, haunting vocals on “sophisticated” but the music is lagging, sounds they need a producers touch, but i see potential…………


    skake it like a caveman, raw stuff mate, dig it….yer letting it go…..i hear a dj’s suttle touch and some rude boy bass…….reminds me of R L Burnside……..


    Afromotive, i’ll be dancing to them saturday night ;-) and yes its all be done before…….but……its a mission to get “there” as well so respect……

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