Exotic Birds

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Exotic Birds
Exotic-birds sep84-1.jpg
Adams, Kubiszewski & Freer in 1984
Background information
Origin Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Genres Synthpop
Years active1982 (1982)–1991 (1991)
Associated acts Nine Inch Nails, Stabbing Westward, The The
Past members Andy Kubiszewski
Tom Freer
Tim Adams
Trent Reznor
Chris Vrenna
Mark Best
Frank Vale
Richard Carpenter
Marty Step
Doug Beck
Nick Rushe
Kubiszewski & Freer in 1984 Exotic-birds sep84-2.jpg
Kubiszewski & Freer in 1984

The Exotic Birds was a synthpop music group formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1982 by three Cleveland Institute of Music percussion students, Andy Kubiszewski, Tom Freer and Tim Adams. They wrote their own music, and were described as synthpop and dance. They achieved mainly local success, but appeared as an opening band for Culture Club, Eurythmics, and Information Society.

Cleveland Institute of Music

The Cleveland Institute of Music is an independent, international music conservatory located in the University Circle district of Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is led by President Paul Hogle.

Andy Kubiszewski is an American musician, songwriter, remixer and producer. He has worked with bands Exotic Birds and Stabbing Westward, contributed to several other bands, and composed music for TV shows and films.

Dance music music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing

Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement. In terms of performance, the major categories are live dance music and recorded dance music. While there exist attestations of the combination of dance and music in ancient times, the earliest Western dance music that we can still reproduce with a degree of certainty are the surviving medieval dances. In the Baroque period, the major dance styles were noble court dances. In the classical music era, the minuet was frequently used as a third movement, although in this context it would not accompany any dancing. The waltz also arose later in the classical era. Both remained part of the romantic music period, which also saw the rise of various other nationalistic dance forms like the barcarolle, mazurka, ecossaise, ballade and polonaise.

Contents

History

The band's first single, "Dance the Night Away," was backed with an earlier recording, "Who Knows Why," by Kubiszewski and Nick Capetanakis (who performed with Kubiszewski in a prior group.) The order of the songs was accidentally flipped on the record, so the older song appeared as the A side. "Who Knows Why" received moderate local radio play and became a surprise hit in Japan. The band eventually grew to five members. Adams left to do orchestral work, but Mark Best and Frank Vale signed on. Then by 1985, Trent Reznor (who later formed Nine Inch Nails) joined the band on keyboards, programming and backing vocals. Shortly after that, Freer departed the band for the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra and was replaced by Reznor's roommate, Chris Vrenna who would also later join Reznor in Nine Inch Nails. Still, this was clearly Kubiszewski's band as neither Reznor nor Vrenna wrote any of the songs. By 1988, the band had broken up.

Trent Reznor American musician

Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, which he founded in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success. He has since released nine Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.

Nine Inch Nails American industrial rock band

Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1988. The band consists of producer and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, as well as English musician Atticus Ross. Over the course of their three-decade existence, the band has signed with several major labels, the most current being Capitol Records, under the name The Null Corporation.

Chris Vrenna American musician

Chris A. Vrenna is an American musician, Grammy-winning producer, engineer, remixer, songwriter, programmer, and founder of the electronic band Tweaker. Vrenna played drums for the industrial/rock band Nine Inch Nails from 1989 until 1997, and was the keyboardist and drummer of the American rock band Marilyn Manson from 2004 until late 2011.

Reformation

Kubiszewski reformed with a new line-up including Doug Beck and Richard Carpenter, and released the group's first CD Equilibrium. In 1990, they signed to Alpha International Records out of Philadelphia, PA for what was to be their next album. Instead, Alpha repackaged Equilibrium, cutting several tracks, and adding the new song "Imagination" to lead off the disc. Alpha was bought out just days after "Imagination" was released as a single. After Beck departed, Rodney Shields (keyboards) and Marty Step (guitar) joined, rounding out would be the final Exotic Birds' line-up.

In 1993, Kubiszewski left to play drums with The The, but returned for one final gig on Saturday, January 22, 1994.

The The are an English post-punk band. They have been active in various forms since 1979, with singer/songwriter Matt Johnson being the only constant band member. The The achieved critical acclaim and commercial success in the UK, with 15 chart singles, and their most successful album, Infected (1986), spent 30 weeks on the chart. They followed this with the Top Ten albums Mind Bomb (1989) and Dusk (1993).

Reznor, Vale and non-Exotic Birds member Mark Addison were the fictional band "The Problems" in Paul Schrader's 1987 Cleveland set movie Light of Day featuring Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett.

Paul Schrader American film director

Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and film critic. Schrader wrote or co-wrote screenplays for four Martin Scorsese films: Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Bringing Out the Dead (1999). Schrader has also directed 18 feature films, including his directing debut crime drama, Blue Collar, the crime drama Hardcore, his 1982 remake of the horror classic Cat People, the crime drama American Gigolo (1980), the biographical drama Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), the true life biopic Patty Hearst (1988), the cult film Light Sleeper (1992), the drama Affliction (1997), the biographical film Auto Focus (2002), the erotic dramatic thriller The Canyons (2013), and the dramatic thriller First Reformed (2017), the latter earning him his first career Academy Award nomination.

<i>Light of Day</i> 1987 film by Paul Schrader

Light of Day is a 1987 American musical drama film starring Michael J. Fox, Gena Rowlands and Joan Jett. It was written and directed by Paul Schrader. The original music score was composed by Thomas Newman and the cinematography is by John Bailey.

Michael J. Fox Canadian-American actor

Michael Andrew Fox, known professionally as Michael J. Fox, is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, author, and film producer with a film and television career spanning from the 1970s. He starred in the Back to the Future trilogy where he portrayed Marty McFly. Other notable roles have included his portrayal of Alex P. Keaton on the American sitcom Family Ties (1982–1989) and Mike Flaherty on the ABC sitcom Spin City (1996–2000). He has won five Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, a Grammy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

One-time Exotic Birds manager John Malm was Reznor's long-time manager and co-founder of Nothing Records.

Nothing Records was an American record label specializing in industrial rock and electronic music, founded by John Malm Jr. and Trent Reznor in 1992. It is considered an example of a vanity label, where an artist is able to run a label with some degree of independence from within a larger parent company, in this case being Interscope Records.

Kubiszewski played percussion on some of Reznor's early Nine Inch Nails tracks and went on to drum for The The, Crowded House, Prick and Stabbing Westward.

Crowded House Pop rock band from New Zealand/Australia

Crowded House are a rock band, formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1985. Its founding members were New Zealander Neil Finn and Australians Paul Hester (drums) and Nick Seymour (bass). Later band members included Neil Finn's brother, Tim Finn, and Americans Mark Hart and Matt Sherrod.

Kevin McMahon is a musician, singer, and songwriter for the long-standing bands Lucky Pierre and Prick.

Stabbing Westward band

Stabbing Westward is an American industrial rock band. Christopher Hall and Walter Flakus formed the band in 1986 in Macomb, Illinois. The band released an extended play in 1992, followed by four studio albums from 1994 to 2001. Stabbing Westward announced a dissolution on February 9, 2002. Two compilation albums were later released in 2003. Stabbing Westward reunited in 2016 to celebrate their 30th anniversary together, and has since continued to perform live shows.

To this day, Freer, now with the Cleveland Orchestra, and Adams, with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, remain close friends and often teach together.

Discography

Who Knows Why/Dance the Night Away 7" (1983)

  1. Who Knows Why (A. Kubiszewski/N. Capetanakis)
  2. Dance the Night Away

Exotic Birds (1984)

  1. "I'll Never Say Goodbye" (A. Kubiszewski 3:52)
  2. "Waiting For You (Na Na)" (A. Kubiszewski 5:40)
  3. "No Communication" (A. Kubiszewski 3:38)
  4. "Fade Away" (A. Kubiszewski 5:40)
  5. "Take Your Chances" (A. Kubiszewski 5:03)
  6. "Demon Dance" (T. Adams 5:30)
  7. "No Communication (TV Version)" (A. Kubiszewski 3:53)

L'oiseau (1986)

  1. "Dancing on the Airwaves" (A. Kubiszewski 3:40)
  2. "Have You Heard the News" (A. Kubiszewski 3:42)
  3. "The Meaning of Love" (T. Freer/A. Kubiszewski 2:37)
  4. "This Must Be Heaven" (A. Kubiszewski 4:53)
  5. "Nothing Lasts Forever" (T. Freer 3:54)
  6. "Fighting Fire With Fire" (A. Kubiszewski 4:58)

Backing Vocals by Rebecca Harper [1]

Equilibrium (Pleasureland) (1989)

  1. Everything Is Different Now [4:16]
  2. Day After Day [3:12]++
  3. The Rhythm of Machinery [3:42]
  4. Fashion and Luxury [4:11]
  5. Heartbeat Like A Drum [4:31]
  6. This Feeling [3:35]
  7. The Touch [3:33]
  8. Dance With Me [4:33]
  9. Pleasure [3:39]+
  10. Every Star Was You [4:40]
  11. Day After Day (Remix) [4:47]
  12. Heartbeat Like A Drum (The E-Z Listening Mix) [7:04]
  13. Dance With Me (Disco Invader Mix) [6:34]
  14. Pleasure (Dreamworld Mix) [5:35]
  15. Every Star Was You (Celestial Mix) [6:03]

All songs written by A. Kubiszewski except +by Doug Beck, and ++by Pete Ham.

Equilibrium (Alpha International) (1990)

  1. Imagination [4:20] (Andy Kubiszewski/Richard Carpenter)
  2. Day After Day [3:12] (Pete Ham)
  3. Everything Is Different Now [4:10]
  4. Heartbeat Like A Drum [4:16]
  5. Every Star Was You [4:35]
  6. Fashion and Luxury [4:11]
  7. The Touch [3:33]
  8. This Feeling [3:34]
  9. Rhythm of Machinery [3:44]
  10. Dance With Me [4:36]

All songs written by Andy Kubiszewski except as indicated

Unreleased demos

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References

  1. Album Cover