Today, The Bird and The Bee proclaimed their love for another legendary act announcing the release of Interpreting the Masters Volume 2: A Tribute to Van Halen, a collection of covers of some of the most massive and wild songs from David Lee Roth-era Van Halen. The beloved indie-pop duo of vocalist Inara George and multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin also released a delightful new-wavey fever dream rework of “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love,” from Van Halen’s 1987 self-titled debut. This is the second track available off the album, having recently released “Panama”, a song where Kurstin’s lush piano work replaces the revved-up guitar riffs of the original. The album is out August 2nd on No Expectations / Release Me Records.
The Bird and The Bee will embark on a 15 – date North American tour kicking off in Los Angeles’ John Anson Ford Amphitheater. This special one-off performance will feature help from Dave Grohl on drums and Justin Meldel-Johnsen on bass. A full run of tour dates detailed below.
The fifth full-length from singer Inara George and multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin, Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 2: A Tribute to Van Halen both sheds new light on the glory of classic VH and further proves the playful brilliance of The Bird and The Bee. Though it arrives on the heels of 2015’s Recreational Love, the album more closely follows Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates, a 2010 release hailed as “wink-free pop bliss” by Entertainment Weekly.
Produced by Kurstin—a seven-time Grammy Award-winner who’s recently worked with Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, and Adele—Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 2 alchemizes the outrageous dazzle of Diamond Dave into something delicate and dreamy and softly shimmering. And while it features guest musicians like bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen (known for his work with Beck and Nine Inch Nails) and drummers Joey Waronker(R.E.M., Elliott Smith) and Omar Hakim (David Bowie, Miles Davis), George and Kurstin made most of the album on their own, infusing even the most over-the-top tracks with a gentle intimacy. With the release of Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 2, The Bird and The Bee hope to spread that near-lifelong Van Halen love to a whole new crop of listeners. Not only evidence of their ingenuity as song interpreters, The Bird and The Bee’s nuanced reading of Van Halen has much to do with their deep emotional connection to the band.
The Bird and The Bee’s love for Van Halen will not be news to their fans. Their 2009 release Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future included an original song called “Diamond Dave” which delves into a school girl crush on David Lee Roth, and a re-recorded piano/voal version appears on the forthcoming album. The record also includes a super meta moment of a band covering a band’s cover by including “You Really Got Me”, TheKinks song often performed live by Van Halen.
“When I want to listen to hard-rock music there’s still nothing that hits me like they do,” Kurstin notes. “Every time I hear them it takes me back to when I first found them on the radio, and it felt so dangerous to me—like they were from a whole other world. It would be so great if people who would never usually listen to Van Halen heard this record, and then ended falling in love with them too.” “I remember being 10-years-old and seeing their videos and feeling both excited and totally terrified—I responded to them in this very visceral way,” adds George. Check out the album bio HERE.
- Runnin’ With The Devil
- Hot For Teacher
- Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love
- Jamie’s Cryin’
- You Really Got Me
- Diamond Dave
Following the August 2nd Los Angeles performance, the tour continues sans Greg, with stops in Chicago, Brooklyn, Atlanta and more before culminating in a performance on August 30th at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. Supporting Inara for these dates, and playing in her band, will be Alex Lilly and Samantha Sidley. Barbara Gruska and Vikram Devasthali will be playing in each act, the former on drums and the latter playing guitar and trombone, while Inara will be taking on singing duties in the opening acts, as well. See all dates below and be sure to sign up for the band’s mailing list HERE.
08/02/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ John Anson Ford Theater # – TICKETS
08/11/19 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club * – TICKETS
08/12/19 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village * – TICKETS
08/14/19 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre * – TICKETS
08/15/19 – Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre * – TICKETS
08/16/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live * – TICKETS
08/17/19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere * – TICKETS
08/20/19 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle * – TICKETS
08/21/19 – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5 * – TICKETS
08/22/19 – Birmingham, AL @ The Saturn * – TICKETS
08/24/19 – Dallas, TX @ Trees * – TICKETS
08/25/19 – Austin, TX @ Parish *
08/28/19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom * – TICKETS
08/29/19 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah * – TICKETS
08/30/19 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop * ^ – TICKETS
# = featuring Dave Grohl on drums and Justin Meldel-Johnsen on bass
* = support from Samantha Sidley and Alex Lilly
^ = additional support from DJ Aaron Exelson
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