The Mynabirds at Schubas | Concert preview
Laura Burhenn shakes her fist at the man. You’ll just want to shake it.
Laura Burhenn is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore. Check out the revolutionary way in which she drops not only Walt Whitman and Gandhi’s charge to “be the change you want to see in the world,” but also Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Gloria Steinem and Naomi Wolf. And that taxidermied animal head perched atop her blond locks. The singer-songwriter leaves little to the imagination in the bio accompanying the Mynabirds’ 2012 release Generals, explaining that the “protest record” is the product of a decade of frustration with war and injustice and corporations…man.
But before you go gagging yourself with a tiny American flag, hear this: Despite its sophomoric political undertones, Generals is Burhenn’s strongest effort to date, a welcome departure from the sleepy soul-folk of 2010’s What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood. There’s never been any arguing the girl can sing, going back to her days in the cheery boy-girl duo Georgie James, and all the fist-shaking has injected extra oomph into the Nebraskan’s performances and tunes.
The vintage sonic stylings of Generals cruise through girl-group garage on the title track, classic piano balladry on “Mightier than the Sword,” and even a dash of electro and doo-wop on “Greatest Revenge.” You’ll be too sucked in to the hooks to pay any attention to lyrics like, “But they keep putting all our cash / Into the next bloodbath / Honey, tell you I am sick of it.”