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March 22, 2016

Some Songs About Cicadas

Filed under: Music,Pop Culture — Dan @ 1:26 am

Everyone knows cicadas love to sing (the males) or be serenaded (the females).

A lot of people like to write songs inspired by cicadas. If you search online music stores or YouTube, you’ll find hundreds of songs about cicadas, in every genre imaginable including rap, country, rock, folk, dance, parody, classical and experimental.

Here are some cicada songs:

The Cicada Song by CincyPolly

Genre: Rock.

Cicada Serenade by The Pheromones

Genre: 1980s Rap.

Cicada By Hannah Gansen

Laura Imbruglia sings her song Cicada on a talk show for teens (YouTube Link):

(You might want to skip ahead 20 seconds to when the music starts.)

Here’s one of my favorite bands, Southern Culture on the Skids peforming their song Cicada Rock (YouTube link):

CICADA Song – SICKA CICADAS by Kathy Ashworth:

Not quite a song, but still very much an audio performance about cicadas: Tessa Farmer and David Rothenberg perform Magicicada in Dublin (YouTube Link):

Do you have a favorite cicada song? Let us know in the comments!

Bonus: Another cicada song send by a reader:

CICADA by Liam Titcomb (YouTube link):

And more:

Seventeen Years (a cicada love song) – Lloyd H. Miller (YouTube Link):

Baby Bug by Samm Bennett:

“Seventeen Years” by Jen Schaffer and the Shiners:

I Ate A Cicada Today:

Periodic Cicadas by Dr. Chordate:

No video for this song, but Dr Chordate wrote a song called Periodic Cicadas.

March 13, 2016

The 17-Year Locust Tour by The Agency

Filed under: Music — Dan @ 7:12 pm

I buy things just because they’re cicada related.

Here is my latest purchase:

The Agency

This week I bought The 17-Year Locust Tour by the band The Agency. It was recorded in Leetown, West Virginia, and copyrighted in 1993. Periodical cicadas are known as “17-Year Locusts” in the U.S., which is where this band got the name for the album. My guess is the album title was inspired by the Brood XIV emergence of 1991.

I haven’t yet listened to the album from start to finish but it falls into the hard rock genre.

The artwork is very nice and was done by bassist and singer Paul Sager using Corel Draw. I used Corel Draw to create the first Cicada Mania logo.

October 11, 2013

Laura Imbruglia’s Cicada Tattoo

Filed under: Australia,Music,Tattoos — Dan @ 10:45 pm

Australian singer/songwriter Laura Imbruglia sent us this photo of her cicada tattoo. Of course, we love it! And we love her music too.

Laura Imbruglia's Cicada Tattoo

June 4, 2013

David Rothenberg, John Cooley and the New York Times

Filed under: Books,Brood II,David Rothenberg,John Cooley,Music — Dan @ 8:52 pm

It isn’t often that cicada celebrities show up on your Mother’s lawn, but when you have a healthy supply of easily catchable singing M. septendecim, and a cicada website, these things happen.

Last Saturday I met up with cicada researcher John Cooley, Japanese cicada researcher Jim Yoshimura, and musician and professor David Rothenberg at Roosevelt Park in Edison NJ. They were looking for male cicadas to perform with David at a World Science Festival event in the Bronx later that night. New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was also there to interview David and John, and artist Asher Jay was there to lend David support.

The cicadas in the park weren’t performing well enough, so I directed them to my Mom’s place in Metuchen.

The Metuchen location yielded many screaming cicadas. David collaborated with the cicadas on the spot with his Ani-Moog iPad app, and a clarinet. John Cooley dropped some cicada science for Stephen Farrell’s video camera as well. My Mom served refreshments. Once enough cicadas were collected, the cicada celebrities departed — before leaving David left my Mom an autographed book and CD. Very cool!

Here is the result of the visit: a video article on the New York Times website:


John Cooley being interviewed by the New York Times in Metuchen with David Rothenberg in the foreground

A beautiful day for enjoying the song of cicadas in the suburbs of New Jersey.

More from David Rothenberg:

David Rothenberg plays Animoog on iPad live with cicadas:

More about David Rothenberg:

Man composes music with cicadas (news story with a video).

Cicada Mania: A 17-Year Benchmark on PBS (BTW, nice name for a TV PBS):

More from John Cooley:

BBC’s The Code:

Here’s a photo of David Rothenberg’s book Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise:

Bug Music How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise by David Rothenberg

May 23, 2013

Are you a musician? Do a duet with cicadas!

Filed under: Magicicada,Music,Periodical,Pop Culture — Dan @ 8:51 pm

Update: Here is the show that featured the finished cicada songs: http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/51182

Are you a musician? Would you go out in the field ( or your yard ) and jam with some cicadas? WFMU DJ Kurt Gottschalk wants you to send him your duets with cicadas!

Visit Send Me Your Insect Duets! WFMU 17-Year Itch Special Forthcoming! to learn more about Kurt’s appeal to musicians.

I want to hear you sing with the cicadas! They’re out in DC and starting to emerge in Jersey. From what I’ve been able to discern there’s little agreement about where they’ll be in NYC.

My friends form the band Blithe Doll are already planning on contributing their cicada collaboration.

Speaking of musicians who have jammed with cicadas, here is David Rothenberg jamming with some 17 year cicadas:

David also has a new album called Bug Music featuring his collaborations with insects!

Last night at the Judson Church in NYC I opened David’s “Richard Robinson: Song of the Cicada (World Premiere), Insect Music, based on the calls, chirps and clicks of various insects” event with a presentation about the 17 Year cicadas. David’s film and music were extraordinary. Here is a review of the event.

Cicada Event

cicadas in Washington Park