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The Bird and the Bee

WHERE: Avalon, Wednesday November 8, opening for Sia.

WHO: Songbird/bassist Inara George, hatched from late Little Feat guitar hawk Lowell George; and instro-bee Greg Kurstin, repped as an ace session dude (Beck, Flaming Lips, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sheryl Crow, etc., etc.) and past co-bandleader (Geggy Tah, the Kurstins). The L.A. duo met when Greg played on Inara’s 2005 singer-songwriter disc.

WHAT: Greg lays down crisp arrangements with the lilt of ’60s pop (Bacharach; Beach Boys: warm brass, sleigh bells) and a whiff of his jazzbo schooling; Inara lends a teasingly pokerfaced chirp to her skippin’ melodies and ironic lyrics about sex & love (“Again and Again,” “My F-cking Boyfriend”). the Bird and Bee sounds like nothing either has done before.

SAY IT, STUPID: “Say my name say my name say my stupid name/It’s stupid how we always seem to do it again.”

NATURALLY POP: “Greg and I realized the best songs we wrote were just kind of those that tickled our fancy,” says Inara. “But fortunately, whatever we do together seems to appeal to a broader audience [than our individual material], which is great. I don’t think I’ve ever appealed to a younger audience before — even when I was younger!”

STRUNG OUT: Inara says people keep telling her they’re addicted to the songs. Greg’s friends call him up and sing one of the choruses before they say hello.

WHAT DO YOU LEARN FROM A LEGEND? Greg studied with Jaki Byard, the great pianist who played with Charles Mingus. (Byard was murdered in 1999.) “He was that fine line between something old and familiar and something new and avant-garde. I liked his touch on the piano. He was a great guy too — he looked at music like a little kid, and I loved that about him.”

DREAM DATES: If they could have dinner with anyone from the past 30 years, whom would they choose? Inara: “Prince.” Greg: “Miles Davis and Charles Bukowski. Get those two and listen to them talk.”

GREG’S FIRST GIG: A band with Dweezil Zappa in seventh grade.

GREG’S FAVE BEACH BOYS LP:Pet Sounds.

IN YER FACE: Bird and Bee just finished a month’s residency — every Friday at the Silverlake Lounge. Live, they’ve got a drummer and backup singers.

GET IT NOW: Though the two have already stirred a buzz with their MySpace song postings, their first Blue Note EP just arrived, with a full-length coming up early next year.

INARA, DID THAT GUY IN “BOYFRIEND” EVER BECOME YOUR BOYFRIEND? “No. He never became my fucking boyfriend.” Greg: “That’s why we keep singing it.” Inara: “Because if he became my boyfriend, the song would just fall flat.” Greg: “She gets that boyfriend, the band’ll just be over.” Inara: “Boys like that don’t ever become boyfriends. They die old and alone.”

—Greg Burk


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