A Sea of Heroes, Part 9: Eels – I Like Birds


Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

And don't we have just the right thing for you to celebrate this day! Granted, it's a song about being fed up with people so bad that you turn to liking birds (no, not the British girl-meaning kind, although I'm sure that's part of the joke...), but you know, who says your Valentine can't be a parrot?! A Monty Python sketch comes to mind, but alas, let's leave it at that...!

'Daisies of the Galaxy' is one of my favourite albums and Eels is just so poignantly on form on that one it's simply a joy to listen to. He's such a witty guy and his incredible talent of marrying his lyrics with unexpected pieces of music is beyond comparison. For me, there's no-one who does that better in the singer-songwriting world. 'It's a Motherfucker' is my favourite track off that album and the perfect example of Eels doing exactly what I just tried to describe. So of course I thought about covering that one first, but it's just not the same without the piano which I'd initially ruled out as an instrument to keep the tight trio sound although we're admittedly cheating a bit on our cover of  'Six Feet Under' by Jon Auer.

So in the end I'm not sure what made me choose 'I Like Birds' – I'm guessing it must've been summer time and that song popped into my head. Wouldn't be the most unbelievable of events... Anyway – like always with this series – I didn't listen back to the original and instead came up with a little guitar riff and built my version around that. I immediately started to hear the percussion part in my head, but only when I started wondering what the hell to do with the bass part and by complete accident came up with the Primus-ey Les Claypool-inspired chord stomp did I have a version I thought was genuinely worthy of being an Eels cover. After that I went even further into Primus territory and added some over-the-top Bible Belt accent backing vocals.

It's just a fun little number with some deep profound wisdom underneath that only Eels can create. I hope I was able to do his song a little bit of justice with this one!

'Til the next one!



P.S. Here's the original:

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