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You might assume Bird Names is a D.C. band, given how frequently the psych-pop crew appears here. Nominally based in Athens, Ga., but more nomadic in their nature, Bird Names always seems to be coming through town, as if they’re on an infinite tour loop.
For a while, the duo of David Lineal and Phelan Lavelle lived in Chicago, but last fall they migrated to south. By touring frequently, Bird Names made lots of friends on the road, including the band of Athens musicians who play as Quiet Hooves and run the label Party Party Partners. Eventually Bird Names decided to join them. “I’m on spiritual second level with Chicago, like no other place,” says Lineal. “But blood starts to pool in your feet when you stand in one place too long.”
And Bird Names certainly doesn’t, home base notwithstanding. The group doesn’t actually tour year-round, just a lot. Summer’s the busiest season, which might have something to do with the band’s thing for solar energy: Their new album is called Metabolism: A Salute to the Energy of the Sun.
So, with a new album out, warm weather approaching, and South by Southwest on the horizon, Bird Names is in the middle of a 30-date tour. (You can see them tonight at Velvet Lounge). Want to tour like an indie pro? Here’s some advice from Lineal:
On Time-Management Foremost you need the will to organize the rest of your life around it. You need to make it jibe with your romantic life. You need to spend a lot of time booking shows. You need to plan five months ahead.
On Fitting Work Into the Picture You can work a full-time job to save up a nest egg, or you can perform seasonal work, like the sugar beet harvest or Alaskan fisheries. You can do freelance work or part-time for a sympathetic employer…you can deal drugs.
On That Sweet Cheddar You need money…you need to spend almost no money.
On Your Living Sitch You need to make all your meals at home. You need to pay less than $300 per month in rent; ideally less than $200.
On Comprising Your Budget “You need to not spend money at bars, buy new things, or indulge in decadence.
On Health You need to never go to the doctor or the dentist. You need to bet on the good health of your early life.
Bird Names performs with Lithia Corsica, Weed Tree, and Sacred Harp tonight at the Velvet Lounge, 915 U ST. NW. 8 p.m. $8.