Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I have renamed my musical project yet again. This time will hopefully be the last. Can't make any promises, though.

Here is a complete "bio," copied from my MySpace page.


Bill Baird = vocals, guitar, lapsteel, electric piano.
John Kolar = drums.
John Musil = acoustic guitar, bells, and vox.
Sam Sanford = bass and vox.
Sam Miller = acoustic guitar and vox.
Willis McClung = pedal steel and vox.
Cliff Brown, Jr. = keys, acoustic guitar, and vox.
Occasionally: Tim, Dave Longoria, Jim Fredley, Martin Crane, Will Patterson, Jordan Johns, Joey Koehl, Eric Katerman, Jason McNeely, and Zane Ruttenburg.

DISCLOSURE: Hi, this is Bill. I am just going to go ahead and refer to myself in the 3rd person for the duration of this "bio." I put the word in quotes because I have a little disdain for hyperbolic music-industry boilerplates; I've often called "bios" the "obituaries for those ain't dead." Anyhow, I will heretofore refer to myself as "Bill," in 3rd person form. I realize that, if somebody were doing that whilst you were talking with them in person, it would be incredibly strange and even creepy. Hence my full disclosure.

Bill has been writing and playing songs for a while. The early songs were "lo-fi" and contained numerous recording experiments. Lots of backwards flange pedal. These tapes were given to friends and sold to foes. "Sounds great, Bill," they would smile out the words through gritted teeth.

Besides engaging in 4track experiments, he also began "jamming" with his dad, who passed along a love of old blues (Robert Johnson, Hound Dog Taylor, Mance Lipscomb, Leadbelly, etc) folk (Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez), and 60's pop ( Beatles, Beatles, Beatles). Some of their jams even made it onto Bill's tapes, notably a cover of Elvis' classic "Little Sister."

Bill played out a number of shows of a "performance art" style, meaning he and his "bandmates" would find any way possible to make the audience feel uncomfortable and unsure of why they'd attended his show. "What is art?" they might ask themselves after a particularly riveting Bill Baird performance. Or not. Most people said, "Why is that guy screaming a Madonna song and banging a coat hanger on his lapsteel guitar?" Bill was banned from a number of clubs in the Austin area during this early "performance art" phase.

He had already put out several tapes and cd-rs when he met Matt Oliver and they started SOUND TEAM together. For the next few years, Bill concentrated mostly on ST material. As time progressed and his vocal duties diminished in ST, Bill started writing and recording on his own again.

So Bill compiled some song-y, folk-y, strum-y, pop-y songs and called the album {{{ SUNSET }}}. He simultaneously compiled a whole bunch of instrumental ambient soundscapes and called that album SILENCE !

Bill also made a DVD, "Candlelit Television Eyes," the 1st in a genre he calls the "DIY DVD" --- take the same DIY spirit of self-released tapes, cd-rs and zines and apply that to our new, YouTubed, media-overloaded age. It's like a zine, except you can watch it. Same basic idea.

Anyhow, back to our "bio." After releasing {{{ SUNSET }}} and SILENCE !, Bill toured the country, playing to small crowds all over this great land. He played taquerias, open mike nights, parking lots, Taco Cabana, sheet metal factories, historic statue plazas, you name it.

Upon returning to Austin, Bill assembled a group called {{{ SUNSET }}}. Bill originally intended on naming his stage act after his latest release. Like if Michael Jackson had called his band "THRILLER." You get the picture.

But this proved an unsatisfying approach, and a search was undertaken for a new name. In the end, Bill decided to conflate the names of his two recent releases and keep his own name at the top. This conflation represented his hope for the group : a combination of the ambience, experimentation and "New music" of SILENCE with the spontaneity and folk songwriting of {{{ SUNSET }}}. This delicate synthesis is still a work in progress, but their shows have been interesting and even occasionally engaging. Sometimes they march through the streets like a parade. Sometimes random crowd members join the show. They played a show outside the Clear Channel World Headquarters, which was pretty strange.

BILL BAIRD AND SILENT SUNSET are currently working on a full length album which, in my personal opinion, is going to be just great. They are also playing lots of shows in your area, if your area happens to be Central Texas. If not, they will probably hit the road sometime in the next few months. Keep your eyes / ears peeled.

{{{ SUNSET }}}, Bill Bard, Bill Bird, Will Weird, Bill Baird and Family, Buck Stephens, Stitch, Strum Strum Here We Come, Acoustic Alchemy, Base Elements and Acoustic Alchemy, Cabeza de Vaca, the Uncollected Hand, etc.

It is a project still very much in its formative stages, and will probably remain that way for the duration of the project. Beginnings of things tend to be the most exciting times. We strive to keep that excitement always!

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