“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings,” J.M. Barrie once wrote.
It’s tempting to think he was dreaming of someone just like Jonathan Meiburg, the notorious front man for Shearwater.
(They’re playing the Turf Club on March 22 at 7:30 p.m., so book your tickets and clear for landing now.)
Meiburg isn’t notorious for reasons generally associated with indie rock. He’s not a boy-who-won’t-grow-up; he doesn’t trash his hotel rooms; he’s not known to consort with underworld types of any kind.
In fact, he’s so far above the ground you could say he flies for a living. As the indie scene’s he’s-got-to-be-the-only-one “birder” (which probably shouldn’t even be in quotes because it’s in the dictionary; file it under another name for bird-watcher), Meiburg is the ornithologically-obsessed “hobby” scientist, who can be so cerebral you feel your IQ score dropping as he talks and sings along on his merry way, who once got rid of nearly all his possessions and lived out of a single bag.
He said the divestment set him free, but in reality Meiburg has been setting himself free through his music — and, by extension, us, too — since he first hit the scene in 1993 with Whu Gnu in Texas.
If so many of Shearwater’s songs and album titles are bird-related, Meiburg is in part responsible.
This time around, the band will be performing and promoting their sixth studio album, “Jet Plane and Oxbow,” which has been met with general acclaim.
Not too bad for a guy who could’ve been a scientist, minored in religion, spent time in Kowanyama, the Falklands, Kimmirut, and Tierra del Fuego on a fellowship studying remote communities, and scored a book deal focused on evolution in South America as seen through the eyes of falcons.
Didn’t I say he could fly?
When: 7:30 p.m. March 22
Where: Turf Club, 1601 University Ave., St. Paul