MusicRecord Reviews

The Birdhouse Collection

It’s odd to find formal coherence in a free Internet video, but with Put Your Head in the Clouds (also available on DVD), the Birdhouse Collection manages just that. Eleven odd tracks in genres ranging from garage to ambient (with a lot in between) combine with Lindsey Klonoski’s visuals.

Kaleidoscopic cloudscapes act as a kind of homegrown iTunes visualizer, bringing the playlist together. You might be dismissive. Go ahead: put this on at a party and make stoner jokes. Act clever for your guests. But actually engage with what’s happening onscreen and you’ll find the visuals have an ingenious way of holding your attention for the duration of the video. They force you to consider the compilation as a whole, rather than a 40-minute assortment of tracks. And when the visuals depart from the standard radial symmetry, they acquire an eerie, unsettling quality—subversive almost. The overall impression is of a group of affiliated acts, each doing something noteworthy.

Pretty Bird’s “Fallin’ Skys” serves as the centerpiece. One line stands out: “Everybody thinks they know what’s going on/ but little do they know.” Towards the end, on “Cockroach Mosaic,” Green Gerry has this comforting reply: “No one has anything to hide.”