The Bluebird Migration Project, Week Two

Jon is halfway through the Specials’ European tour; one-quarter of the way through the whole thing.  The European response to the Bluebird Migration Project so far has been subdued, if not bemused: Our Man in Havana has been followed by passers-by trying to return “dropped” CDs to him, believing that he’s simply forgetful (Jon, let’s see the new Le Carre film when you’re back – it may give you some tips).  We did receive a mysterious Facebook “like” from a gentleman in Madrid who was kind enough to post our link and a most excellent comment about the music on his profile page.  My mother is learning Spanish, so we recruited her as a translator to send him a message of gratitude, and to ask where he found the CD.  We’ve had no reply, however, suggesting either that he is a diffident listener to whom the element of mystery inherent in the Bluebird Migration Project appeals, or that the message was reported as spam.

The CDs are in Milan tonight, and back to Germany for the weekend.  We’ll keep our fingers crossed for contact before we start spreading the wealth to UK shores.

And readers – if you found this blog by Googling “Migration Watch”, then shame on you.

Gig Alert: Bluebird Acoustic – Acoustic Rooms, the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham – Monday, October 3rd 2011

A wordy heading that nonetheless says what needs to be said.  Acoustic Rooms is the Nottingham venue’s regular open mic night “with a difference”, according to their website: “Acoustic Rooms seeks to unearth new talent such as Dog is Dead, Harleighblu, Jake Bugg, Frontiers and Maniere des Bohemiens, as well as put on special guest slots from the likes of Animal Collective, Trail of Dead, The Rifles, Tall Ships and Pete Lawrie”.  And, on October 3rd, yours truly.  It should be a fun night – and, if they have arrived by then, we can leave a smattering of our new business cards (smaller size + recycled paper = more environmentally sensitive than flyers?  I’ve been struggling with the equation myself – not sure what the best approach is.  Moreover, will people realise we’re a band when confronted with material that traditionally represents the insurance entrepreneur, the door-to-door toothbrush merchant, the clown at a child’s birthday party?  Your thoughts please.  And think on this, another question about presentation of identity that was highlighted by the last one: American or English spelling in this blog?).

The Bluebird Migration Project

Introducing the Bluebird Migration Project (also known as Guerilla Bluebird…): an experiment in musical altruism, or shameless promotion?  We like to think the former.  Jon is about to embark on two months of European and UK touring as trumpet player with iconic band the Specials.  His hand luggage will consist of a pair of clean underwear, two bottles of valve oil, and a few dozen Bluebird Parade CDs.  He’ll hang onto the underwear, and no doubt use the valve oil for its intended purpose, but the CDs, adorned with an explanatory label, will be scattered surreptitiously in random locations throughout his cities of travel – think airports, venues, pubs, hotels, taxicabs, etc.   You’re contemplating your next duty-free when a glint of plastic catches your eye – What’s this?  A musical disque?  Pour moi?  Mais oui!  It’s okay to pick it up!  It’s okay to put it in your handbag!  It’s yours!  But – but – No buts.  Put it on your iPod!  Pass it around among your friends!  Give it as a bar mitzvah present!  Excuse me, madam…Security.  May I see your passport?  Okay, maybe airports aren’t such a great idea.  But you get the picture.  We’ve spent five long years on this album; do you honestly think we expected to make a profit?  The important thing to us is sharing the music.  After all, “Bluebird Parade” refers to a celebration of the small, unexpected connections between us human beings.  And the Bluebird Migration Project is like the balloon experiment we did in elementary school, name and address written on a tiny postcard tied optimistically to helium-filled latex, then set free in the winds over Long Island Sound.  Mine never came back.

But that was in the days before e-mail.  So do look out for the random gifts in life.  And let us know if and when you get one.

Gig Alert: Bluebird Acoustic – The Priory, Loughborough – Tuesday, December 6th 2011

Ming, Mark, and Jon present a set of acoustic Bluebird Parade as part of Howard Coleman’s Loughborough Acoustic sessions.

Lassoing the Website

The website is now up and running!  Remember, you can also visit us and leave a trail of comments on Facebook, Myspace, Soundcloud, and Amazing Tunes.  Amazing Tunes is affiliated with the digital radio station Amazing Music, which plays a wide range of material from unsigned artists.  It makes you realize how much great stuff is out there – so much of it better than the mainstream drivel that’s in the charts and earning millions.  A personal favourite of mine on Amazing Tunes is pale marble movie – check them out if you have a minute.  And while we’re on the topic of good music, I can’t get Warpaint’s “Billie Holiday” out of my head…bliss.