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Andrew Bird — Scythian Empires
Album: Armchair Apocrypha
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 545









Released: 2007
Length: 4:24
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Five day forecast bring black tar rains and hellfire
while handpicked handler's kid gloves tear at the inseams
their Halliburton attaché cases are useless
while scotch guard Macintoshes shall be carbonized
now they're offering views of exiting empires
such breathtaking views of Scythian empires

Scythian empires, horsemen of the Russian steppe
Scythian empires, archers of an afterthought
Routed by Sarmatians, thwarted by the Thracians
Scythian empire

Scythian empires, exiting empires
Scythian empires, exiting empires
Routed by Sarmatians, thwarted by the Thracians
Scythian empire
Kings of Macedonia, Scythian empire
Comments (113)add comment
 Hannio wrote:


A google search turned up almost 2.5 million references to "Russian steppes".    You've got a lot of work to do.

 
Actually, there are steppes (vast and mostly treeless plains) in Ukraine, in Russia, in Kazakhstan, adjacent -stans, and in the Asian part of Russia dubbed Siberia. Millions of square miles of steppes across a few time zones. Inhabited by tribes of the ultimate horsemen, parts of Scythia were in the Persian Empire. 
I've heard the song only once. Interesting, but it seemed to be abstract and a tad pretentious. I'm not sure Bird sold the concept of the song to me.  
 Hannio wrote:


A google search turned up almost 2.5 million references to "Russian steppes".    You've got a lot of work to do.
 
Perhaps, but "alien autopsy" turns up About 1,060,000 results.
 alezz_ua wrote:
"Scythian empire, horsemen of the Russia steppe"
It never was Russia steppe. Ukrainian steppe if modern analogue required.

 

A google search turned up almost 2.5 million references to "Russian steppes".    You've got a lot of work to do.
God save us from pop musicians trying to be profound beyond their intellects.
The strings on the right track sound like my neighbor's dog barking in time to the song..!
This song will be over soon! {#Dancingbanana_2}
bump 


Honeyman wrote:

Simplet in empa
at tusee enka
sorta bout fusta
—-WHISTLING—- simplet in empa
siset in enfah
simplet in empa
 


 danagle wrote:
I try not to be a hater... but this guy really drives me nuts for some reason.  He opened for Nickel Creek a couple years ago and I absolutely couldn't stand him.  I was pulling my hair out during his whole set.  Most of the people near me were complaining as well.

Wish I could put my finger on what exactly he did to evoke this response from us.
 
I can see that. It's the nonsense lyrics - they just don't sound right, and really grate. It sounds unnervingly wrong and I'm usually at the end of my tether halfway through one of his songs, so an entire concert would drive me nuts, too.
 danagle wrote:
I try not to be a hater... but this guy really drives me nuts for some reason.  He opened for Nickel Creek a couple years ago and I absolutely couldn't stand him.  I was pulling my hair out during his whole set.  Most of the people near me were complaining as well.

Wish I could put my finger on what exactly he did to evoke this response from us.
 
I've seen Andrew live three times and the crowd is ALWAYS cheering madly and raving about thisthis amazing and unique virtuoso performer. I really can't imagine what anyone could find unpleasant about this stunningly talented and Suzuki trained violinist/multi-instrumentalist. Maybe it's because I played in a band for 30 years and true and stunning talent is so obvious to me.
Andrew Bird is one of the most amazing performers on the msuic scene today. If you have a chance to see him live, DO IT!

I had the pleasure of photographing his show a couple years a go in Denver and it blew my mind, you can see photos of the show on my concert website here; https://gonzoshots.com/archives/139

son of lame
lame
I heard a live version of this performed with Calexico at the Newport Folk Festival. Absolutely stopped me in my tracks with its beauty.
 membeth wrote:
I love this album.  However, the first several times I heard this song, I understood "Sithian Empires" and couldn't figure out what the Russian steppe had to do with Star Wars.
 

{#Roflol}


 RadioDoc wrote:
Wearing thin.

{#Arrow} 6
 
Yep. 4 -> 1. Nice budgie on the cover, though. It surely does go on and on and on....

Wearing thin.

{#Arrow} 6
 danagle wrote:
I try not to be a hater... but this guy really drives me nuts for some reason.  He opened for Nickel Creek a couple years ago and I absolutely couldn't stand him.  I was pulling my hair out during his whole set.  Most of the people near me were complaining as well.

Wish I could put my finger on what exactly he did to evoke this response from us.
 
Don't you remember? He burned the flag, insulted your grandmothers, and his intense pyrotechnic show misfired and half the audience was showered with burning debris.{#Wink}  (those things did not actually happen)

I try not to be a hater... but this guy really drives me nuts for some reason.  He opened for Nickel Creek a couple years ago and I absolutely couldn't stand him.  I was pulling my hair out during his whole set.  Most of the people near me were complaining as well.

Wish I could put my finger on what exactly he did to evoke this response from us.
Fun trivia: Bird was a member of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. As for Scythian Empires, Bird was fascinated with the Scythians in middle school, and made this into a songwriting exercise.

 rdo wrote:
This really brings to mind Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, as well as Neutral Milk Hotel
I always hear Red House Painters.
I enjoy this song for different layers in the soundscape, but there's one effect I just figured out why it sounds familiar to me. Remember that giant apparatus they built in "Contact"? When the outer arms are revolving around the sphere, they sound just like that! It's really appealing. What is Andrew Bird using to make that sound?

I love this album.  However, the first several times I heard this song, I understood "Sithian Empires" and couldn't figure out what the Russian steppe had to do with Star Wars.
Looking forward to his new album coming up in January.

I'll join the empire, thnx

This really brings to mind Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, as well as Neutral Milk Hotel
Among Bird's best, and that's saying a lot.
 Honeyman wrote:

Simplet in empa
at tusee enka
sorta bout fusta

—-WHISTLING—-

simplet in empa
siset in enfah
simplet in empa
 
bump


 alezz_ua wrote:
"Scythian empire, horsemen of the Russia steppe"
It never was Russia steppe. Ukrainian steppe if modern analogue required.
Another thing - Scythians had no empire neither emperor.

Those artists... facts are not worth their attention usually.

Nevertheless song is exactly "quite likeable" {#War}
 

correction -it's outstanding
 Baby_M wrote:
That's no ordinary budgie, mate. That's Ozymandius, Parakeet of Doom.
 
Thanks for the laugh! I needed one just about now.

"Scythian empire, horsemen of the Russia steppe"
It never was Russia steppe. Ukrainian steppe if modern analogue required.
Another thing - Scythians had no empire neither emperor.

Those artists... facts are not worth their attention usually.

Nevertheless song is exactly "quite likeable" {#War}
window wrote:

This isn't Car Talk, but I think I can help. Try the button labeled "eject".

There's one in every crowd. *grin*

 Dragonfly_Launch wrote:
I cannot take this disc out of my car.
 
This isn't Car Talk, but I think I can help.  Try the button labeled "eject".
 Baby_M wrote:
That's no ordinary budgie, mate. That's Ozymandius, Parakeet of Doom.
 
Gaze upon my paper-lined cage, ye mighty, and despair.

 Papernapkin wrote:
Scythians were nomadic herders of the steppes north of the Black Sea. Their origin, just like their mother tongue, is essentially unknown. They were among the first nomads riding domesticated horses, which gave them tremendous mobility and power. From the seventh century B. C. they dominated the Eastern part of Europe by conquering most other nomads and agricultural tribes.
 
Horrible bloodthirsty land-hungry George-Bush lovin' Scythians!  That is all.

still no Scythian Bow, damnit
Oh yeah. . . I'm saving my money for a motorcycle
This is a terrific CD....including the whistling (and yeah I hate that Andy Griffith Mayberry whistling stuff)
I love the whistling in this song. Finally a song (that isn't the Andy Griffith intro) where whistling works.

The annoying whistling bit was in my head all over the weekend - grrrr!
jools wrote:
Actually, it was Thumper in Bambi who said that first.
Unless your mum was Thumper of course....
ick wrote:
I could care less what a Scythian is... this song sucks! Oh, maybe I should delete my comment? Mom, always said if I didn't have anything nice to say I shouldn't say anything at all. Mmmmm... screw that, this song still sucks.
Actually, it was Thumper in Bambi who said that first.
spumoni wrote:
Why's the bird looking into the void?
That's no ordinary budgie, mate. That's Ozymandius, Parakeet of Doom.
I could care less what a Scythian is... this song sucks! Oh, maybe I should delete my comment? Mom, always said if I didn't have anything nice to say I shouldn't say anything at all. Mmmmm... screw that, this song still sucks.
Scythians were nomadic herders of the steppes north of the Black Sea. Their origin, just like their mother tongue, is essentially unknown. They were among the first nomads riding domesticated horses, which gave them tremendous mobility and power. From the seventh century B. C. they dominated the Eastern part of Europe by conquering most other nomads and agricultural tribes.
:eek:
Honeyman wrote:
sorta bout fusta
fo'shizzle my Scythizzle :iamwithstupid:
spumoni wrote:
Why's the bird looking into the void? Drawn to the side of dark depressions and desparately seeking a light that inspires flight? Self reflective emotional dwell - outstanding!
When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes into you.
I like this more and more.
:yawn:
Honeyman wrote:
Simplet in empa at tusee enka sorta bout fusta ---WHISTLING--- simplet in empa siset in enfah simplet in empa
I gotta laugh at this. Also like the deep mellow mood of the song along with its probable social comment content.
I bought this album based on this song (on RP) and I can't get enough of it. One of the best I've heard this year.
Why's the bird looking into the void? Drawn to the side of dark depressions and desparately seeking a light that inspires flight? Self reflective emotional dwell - outstanding!
Since its the first time I've heard this; hey, not bad. As usual, I've heard something new I'd never hear on commercial radio ('course I haven't listened to those yahoos in ages) Well done Bill.
ciabates wrote:
Scythian empire, horsemen of the Russia steppe Scythian empire, archers of an afterthought Routed by Sarmations, thwarted by the Thracians Scythian empire
Y'uh-huh. I'm sure you figured that out just by listening very carefully. :music: You didn't look that up on a lyrics website, oh no. I'm with Honeyman on this one. Honeyman wrote:
Simplet in empa at tusee enka sorta bout fusta ---WHISTLING--- simplet in empa siset in enfah simplet in empa
araujokrl wrote:
I feel a bit wrong in saying this, BUT, you don't HAVE to listen to only RP all of the time. I stray and then come back and appreciate it. Also, seems like this song should be in a Wes Anderson film.
One of the nice things about RP is the sets the music comes in. Usually stylistically, it's easy to tell if this is particular song one might not like or an entire set list. Wait out, or mute the song, if its a set list come back later. Occasional "bad" sets are a small price to pay for introduction to many great bands. And one persons "bad" set is another's treasure.
araujokrl :drunk: then wrote:
I feel a bit wrong in saying this, BUT, you don't HAVE to listen to only RP all of the time.
:eyes:
gclement wrote:
Getting old! Surely this band has another song
I feel a bit wrong in saying this, BUT, you don't HAVE to listen to only RP all of the time. I stray and then come back and appreciate it. Also, seems like this song should be in a Wes Anderson film.
Getting old! Surely this band has another song
miahfost wrote:
The Scythian empires are roughly the "Huns" who overtook the Roman Empire with Atilla at the helm. I think Mr. Bird is trying to draw a parallel with the US and the fall of Rome.
Not really... The name 'Scythes' was given by the Romans to many people the were involved in the 'big emigration' (I don't know the word in English) in Europe at the end of the 4th century, not only the Huns. The 'real' Scythes have their origin in what nowadays is called 'Iran'. What definitely shows another interesting parallel to the US....
I'll take a Scythian bow. I have a horsebow of generic style, but Id love one each of the many differing styles of composite bow.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians
I sure do like this song. It gets better every time I listen to it. It has an addicting effect on my ears.
PureGirl wrote:
Nice song to relax by. I may have to get this CD.
You should (because I did) :-) If you start collecting Andrew Bird CDs its going to become an expensive hobby.
Nice song to relax by. I may have to get this CD.
I do like Andrew Bird, we can all whistle but few do it well!:whistle: nice interesting songs too, check out fake palindromes
For historical allegory, I go for Floyd's ANIMALS, not this insipid marbles--in-the-mouth stuff... I do refrain from negative as a rule, BUT this is getting awful heavy rotation (and on my nerves)...
miahfost wrote:
The Scythian empires are roughly the "Huns" who overtook the Roman Empire with Atilla at the helm. I think Mr. Bird is trying to draw a parallel with the US and the fall of Rome.
Thanks for the explanation. :whisper: I'm pretty uneducated in World History. :eek: Maybe someday when I get past working so much to make a living, I will go and get a proper education...:whistle:
IMGoph wrote:
woo hoo! finally, a song i uploaded! EDIT: i uploaded this at the same time as someone else, it appears. so this wasn't my copy, per se. oh well, still a great song!
Well, they say "It's the thought that counts". Nice thinking! :cool:
Scythian empire, horsemen of the Russia steppe Scythian empire, archers of an afterthought Routed by Sarmations, thwarted by the Thracians Scythian empire Honeyman wrote:
Simplet in empa at tusee enka sorta bout fusta ---WHISTLING--- simplet in empa siset in enfah simplet in empa
odd, I like Imitosis, but my ability to remain interested in this maudlin cut is dwindling. . . 5 :arrow: 3
alanb wrote:
The lyrics sound interesting, if only I could understand them. Sounds like scathing social commentary. I think.
Simplet in empa at tusee enka sorta bout fusta ---WHISTLING--- simplet in empa siset in enfah simplet in empa
duggerd wrote:
Was 7 but now 8 - growing on me. May make a 9 in time perhaps?
Me too. It's growing on me. 6 -> 7.
Was 7 but now 8 - growing on me. May make a 9 in time perhaps?
The pizzicato strings sound like Vivaldi. The lyrics sound interesting, if only I could understand them. Sounds like scathing social commentary. I think.
twp wrote:
Love the instrumental, the vocals are just puzzling. He sounds like he's mumbling the whole song. That's not necessarily bad (I'm a Tom Waits fan, for goodness sake) but it kinda detracts from the song's charm for me.
I agree, especially after his "mysterious production of eggs" album which is brilliant and has some of the most clever lyrics ever... and he follows up with this "armchair" disk, most of which I can't even tell what he's singing.
Dragonfly_Launch wrote:
I cannot take this disc out of my car.
Yeah, I used to have the same problem with my CD player in my car - the eject button just didn't work. ;) P.S. True story.
Dear Andrew, This is a pleasant song. However, please remove the rocks from your mouth. Thnx. Cordially. blah blah blah
I cannot take this disc out of my car.
I like! Not to play every day, maybe, but for an occasional spin/change of pace...
DeliBoy wrote:
Not bad. Thought this was the Red House Painters at first.
Me too. Actually, I thought it was Sun Kil Moon, but same voice.
There will be snacks...
Andrew......WAKE UP!!!
Not bad. Thought this was the Red House Painters at first.
Now I'm whistling while I work!! :whistle:
Love the instrumental, the vocals are just puzzling. He sounds like he's mumbling the whole song. That's not necessarily bad (I'm a Tom Waits fan, for goodness sake) but it kinda detracts from the song's charm for me.
brownbrown wrote:
we just went to see him play last night in richmond and it was AMAZING. i've never heard someone whistle like that in my life!
He is playing tomorrow night, but I'm not going to be in town. :(
the more i hear andrew bird, the more i enjoy & appreciate his music. he is certainly an acquired taste. thanks for playing him!
this is so bad ! i dont want to hear it anymore !
Odyzzeuz wrote:
I just can't figure Andrew BIrd out. There's a lot about him I like, but his mannered delivery just bugs me. It sounds like he sings this whol song without opening his mouth more than a teensy bit. But the lyrics are intriguing. And then he whistles. Wow. I just don't know. Whistling? But then, as whistling goes, it's not too bad. Damn. I'm so confused.
And what's with the bird lookn' the other way?
Odyzzeuz wrote:
I just can't figure Andrew BIrd out. There's a lot about him I like, but his mannered delivery just bugs me. It sounds like he sings this whol song without opening his mouth more than a teensy bit. But the lyrics are intriguing. And then he whistles. Wow. I just don't know. Whistling? But then, as whistling goes, it's not too bad. Damn. I'm so confused.
Yeah, he's affected, but I like the plucking strings and how unusual the music is on the whole ... hmmm.
I just can't figure Andrew BIrd out. There's a lot about him I like, but his mannered delivery just bugs me. It sounds like he sings this whol song without opening his mouth more than a teensy bit. But the lyrics are intriguing. And then he whistles. Wow. I just don't know. Whistling? But then, as whistling goes, it's not too bad. Damn. I'm so confused.
woohoo! man, great selections today.
I like it. And I could have heard it only here on RP. Thanks, Bill!
miahfost wrote:
Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard.
I take it you're a sophomore.
This is cool.
we just went to see him play last night in richmond and it was AMAZING. i've never heard someone whistle like that in my life!
Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard.
OK, I'm hatin' on this less than I was. It's kindof growing on me. Though I'm still not convinced he's not just repeating the phrase Scythian Empires the way a sophomore in college keeps saying, say, Kierkegaard. It sounds cool anyway.
ndad47 wrote:
i must have been sick the day my ancient history teacher covered the scythian empires.
The Scythian empires are roughly the "Huns" who overtook the Roman Empire with Atilla at the helm. I think Mr. Bird is trying to draw a parallel with the US and the fall of Rome.
I notice I give a lot of 7s.
"their Halliburton attaché cases are useless while scotch guard Macintoshes shall be carbonized now they're offering views of exiting empire such breathtaking views of Scythian empires" Oh.. that's nice.
I had to come out of my way to give this song the highest rating I could. This song is one of many Gods.
Nice track, something a little different.
Rufus-esqu. 7
i must have been sick the day my ancient history teacher covered the scythian empires.
Is that the sound of someone knocking over an amp with mechanical reverb? I've made that sound a few times myself.
I wouldn't know. How about some Dissociatives?
Pretty bird! Pretty bird!
Ehhh Budgie!
This song is great. This is definitely on my short list of albums to buy!
IMGoph wrote:
woo hoo! finally, a song i uploaded!
Thanks for your contribution. I give it a 7.
wow bird, well done.
woo hoo! finally, a song i uploaded! EDIT: i uploaded this at the same time as someone else, it appears. so this wasn't my copy, per se. oh well, still a great song!
It's nice enough.