Localized Appreesh: Coo Coo Birds

Pub date November 29, 2012
WriterEmily Savage

Localized Appreesh is our thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. To be considered, contact emilysavage@sfbg.com.

Music should be fun. We forget that little factor, those of us drenched in so many layers of irony we can no longer differentiate between sounds. Lest we draw another blank, I present Coo Coo Birds.

The band – made up of singer-guitarist Jonny Cat, producer-bassist Charles James Gonzalez, and singer-drummer Ryan Zweng – is connected to the Convent arts collective (hence the song, “Convent Girl”), and seems to have a real good time making music together. It dropped full-length debut, Don’t Bring You Boyfriends, in September, quickly followed that up with the forthcoming Psychedelic Warrior, and have another release already on the horizon: Sultan of Cats, due February 2013.

So far, the tracks have been about things like rock and roll animals, sake babies, and marshmallow pies, sonically mixing in swishy psychedelia, swinging 1960s pop, and the band’s professed love of rock’n’roller Link Wrap, and the Kinks.

And the Birds have some pretty fun musician friends too: Steve Mackay of Iggy Pop and the Stooges, who lent some tenor sax to Coo Coo Birds’ first release; fellow locals and Localized Appreeshers Brand New Trash, and legendary song-man/ex-Modern Lover Jonathan Richman, who recently gave them a Big Star boxset, and invited them to open for him at the Great American Music Hall this weekend.

Also, a note for the not-so-distant future: the band will perform as the Order of the Holy Coo at the First Church of Sacred Silversexual’s Very Bowie Glampocalypse blowout Dec. 21 at Cafe Du Nord. So you’ll be able to spend the last night on earth in style. 

First, get to know the Coo Coo Birds, the rarest of the species:

Year and location of origin: November 2011 at the Condor Strip Club in San Francisco.  That was when we first played together and felt something extraordinary.  At that moment Coo Coo Birds were born.

Band name origin: A film maker who now lives in New York named the band after who knows what.  We just like the sound of it so we kept the name.
Band motto: Don’t Bring Your Boyfriends.

Description of sound in 10 words or less: The Sound of Coo Coo Birds is 1 part LINK WRAY, 1 Part KISS, and 1 part T-REX.

Instrumentation: All band members sing behind a wall of guitar, bass, and drums.

Most recent release: Our first LP, entitled Don’t Bring Your Boyfriends was released in Sept. 2012.

Best part about life as a Bay Area band:
Girls, drugs, fun and very loud music.

Worst part about life as a Bay Area band:
Girls, drugs, fun and very loud music.

First album ever purchased:
KISS ALIVE II with the cutout corner. Things were never the same afterwards.

Most recent album purchased/downloaded: BIG STAR box set on vinyl. Jonathan Richman gave us a copy a couple weeks ago. I guess that counts.

Favorite local eatery and dish: Coo Coo Birds have regular band meetings at Da’ Pitt BBQ on Divisadero and Grove in SF.  We usually order a rack of Ribs, with mac & cheese, collared greens, white bread and hot sauce on the side.  We always wash it down with 32oz bottles of Coors (Banquet) beer.

Coo Coo Birds
With Jonathan Richman
Sun/2, 8pm, $16
Great American Music Hall
859 O’Farrell, SF