Music » Livewire

Radio Birdman

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Because second acts in rock are tiresome, it would seem Radio Birdman's reunion is a completely unnecessary exercise by a band whose existence was roughly as obscure as it was brief. But nearly 30 years of mythologizing dictated the inevitable comeback.

These Aussie proto-punks, who released just one proper LP, 1977's Radios Appear, disbanded in '78 without making it to America -- until last year, that is. A successful 10-city tour made it clear that a full-on comeback was in order, complete with a CD -- last year's Zeno Beach -- and another quick go-round in the States.

Deniz Tek, one of the genre's lesser guitar deities, remains the star of the show, which features four members from the seminal lineup. Tek is the Michigan expat who took his love for all things Stooges, BÖC, and MC5 and turned them loose down under, virtually igniting the Aussie punk scene. Well into his '50s and an ER doc in Montana, Tek continues to kill in the mold of James Williamson and Fred "Sonic" Smith. It's almost as if he knows he's the final link to the iconic Detroit scene of his youth.

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