Ball of Wax 33 Songs: Virgin of the Birds – “Victor Bockris”

I have to confess that listening to Virgin of the Birds songs occasionally leaves me feeling like I’m in a conversation with someone much smarter than I at a party. He keeps making these clever and obscure cultural references (not in a show-offy way, just because that’s the way his brain works), and sometimes I’ve at least heard of the thing he’s talking about, but other times I’m just left nodding knowingly and hoping he’ll say something else that will tie it together. But I’m not at a party, and if somebody sends me a song called “Victor Bockris” I can just discreetly look the up the name and find out that he’s a writer who co-wrote John Cale’s autobiography and has published work about Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, and William S. Burroughs (among many other works). And knowing VotB’s Jon Rooney and his work, that doesn’t necessarily explain the song, but it certainly explains why Victor Bockris is someone he might name a song after, even if just to get ignoramuses like me to look him up. We here at Ball of Wax are staunch champions of People You Should Have Heard of But Probably Haven’t, so I firmly support this Victor Bockris awareness campaign in the form of a song.

Oh, and as far as the song goes, being a Virgin of the Birds song it is a very satisfying piece of smartly crafted low-fi pop, anchored as always by Jon’s effortlessly pleasing baritone.

Virgin of the Birds will sadly not be performing at the Ball of Wax 33 release show (next Saturday at Conor Byrne!), but my band and I had the very good fortune of sharing a bill with them last night at the wonderful new venue Tiny Ninja, and I highly recommend you catch the full-band VotB experience at your next opportunity.

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