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Wednesday October 01, 2014
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Breathe Owl Breathe

 

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sound that comes accompanied with plenty of props and crowd participation. For their song "Sabertooth Tiger," they've invented a special saber-toothed tiger dance that involves making ears and teeth with your hands. During "Black Bear," the band members hold paper bear masks in front of their faces (a black bear, a polar bear, and a grizzly bear), from which they all read the pertinent facts about their bear at the same time. Middaugh, in what surely must be a first, even had the audience at the Ark--where they return on April 14--doing the wave--yes, the popular stadium cheer. This might sound somewhat gimmicky, but the fact that all three members are adept at playing their instruments and are clearly having a blast allows Breathe Owl Breathe a free pass on such gimmickry.

Middaugh comments between songs in a laid-back, hypnotic drawl that is Garrison Keillor-esque in both tone and humor. His singing voice is not much different from this deep, sleepy speaking voice.

His songwriting is just plain zany. He has a song based on a picture on his shower curtain of two parrots, which he explains are either kissing or biting each other. In the song, he opts for biting. "Dragon," perhaps his most intriguing song, is about a dragon and a princess who are unlikely pen pals. The dragon is just looking for friendship and a chance to improve his penmanship, but when the townspeople in the princess's village find out he's a dragon, they take up pitchforks and various gardening tools and clamber up to his lair. Audience participation plays a vital role in this song via a series of staggered claps representing the mob mentality of the townies.

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