From The Desk Of Bird Streets’ John Brodeur: Chevrolet Astro Vans

Omnivore just released the self-titled debut album from Brooklyn’s Bird Streets (a.k.a. John Brodeur). In addition to self-releasing records over the past two decades, Brodeur also worked as a music journalist (poor guy). For Bird Streets’ debut, Brodeur enlisted Jason Falkner (Beck, Air, Paul McCartney, Jellyfish, etc.) as co-writer, co-player and producer, while Miranda Lee Richards and Luther Russell contribute to a few tracks as well. Brodeur will be guest editing all week. Check out the Bird Streets track we premiered in June.

Brodeur: Most people would use this space to write about some “cool” car, but I’m here to lament the late, great Astro van. Also manufactured as the Safari by GMC and Pontiac, the Astro was marketed as a minivan but sat on a truck suspension, making it feel sturdy. You could pack a band and all its gear inside and not worry about the undercarriage scraping the pavement. I owned a few of these that I rode into the ground, and I would gladly own another—if only they’d not been discontinued in 2005. It was the ultimate tour vehicle for a three- or four-piece band with compact backline—and even better as a solo vessel. (I did an eight-week tour in mine, in 2011, and found it made a pretty comfortable mobile home.) Also its stubby front end made it parkable in places like, say, Manhattan. I often joked that I could fit my Astro into the same spot as a Jetta or Corolla, but I probably did exactly that on more than one occasion. And apparently it had a big cult following in Japan! I can only hope to follow in its footsteps.