Brooklyn Boro

Puerto Rico ‘jungle pop’ band relocates to Brooklyn for music scene

A Flying Dodo Society Brings Imaginary Story-Telling Genre to City

September 16, 2014 By Meghan McDonald Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A Flying Dodo Society band member belted as they practiced on the Coney Island boardwalk on Sept. 14. Eagle photo by Meghan McDonald
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At Pete’s Candy Shop’s dimly-lit Sunday open mic night, new Brooklyn talent, A Flying Dodo Society, was heard with an introductory and looming pattern of strums that hushed the packed room as they played their original song “We Ate the Sun.”  

With the band’s eccentric lyrics and ’20s sound, listeners may have known that these folks are new to town.  

A Flying Dodo Society members Maira Vergara, 29, and Federico Ausbury, 26, moved more than 2,000 miles from Puerto Rico to Ditmas Park with the intention of expanding their music careers.  

“We’ve been playing our songs for about four years now, and we wanted to try things out here,” said Ausbury, who has early Brooklyn roots and sings and plays the guitar and kalimba.  “It’s good to be in a place where there are a lot of venues to play at, and there’re so many people, so you get a different crowd all of the time.”

Ausbury additionally works through Brooklyn College and is a tutor.  

Vergara is an animator.  For Flying Dodo, she sings and plays the Xylophone, melodic and minor percussion.

The two of them lived in Argentina prior to their stay in Puerto Rico.  

However, Ausbury said with Puerto Rico being small, the music scene wasn’t as satisfying — especially for their genre.  

“We try to do catchy melodies,” he said.  “We kind of write from a certain world — if I had to describe it, it would be a jungle made out of cereal boxes.”

After listening to their “We Ate the Sun” opening lyrics of “I like stealing starfish while my friend diverts the cops” or the later “there is something wrong with something real,” this imaginary cereal box imagery may not seem as far away for listeners.  

“We used to describe our music as jungle pop,” Vergara said.

As for their name, A Flying Dodo Society, they reassured that it was not merely random, but rather thoughtfully planned out.  

“So the Dodo was a bird that lived in a very comfortable situation — in this paradise where they had no predators and they just ate fruit that fell from the trees, which made it so they did not need their wings,” Ausbury said.   “When the humans got there, they had no way of preparing themselves for anything.

“I see humans that way, where it’s a pretty dangerous situation to not have to struggle to survive.  So I see the human race pretty much as a Dodo — and we have this story where someday the Dodos will come back flying and will avenge what we did to them back in the 1600s.”

Back to 2014, Dodo Society members additionally commented on the Brooklyn music scene — the reason why they’re here.  

“We have seen a lot of different things,” Vergara said.  Ausbury said despite the diverse amount of talent, it has a community feel.

“I see a lot of genuine people trying to help each other out,” he said.   

Within their first month in Brooklyn, they have played at Path Café, Ceol and Spike Hill, among other venues.  Their next show is across the river at Path Cafe on Sept. 20 at 10 p.m., with their next Brooklyn appearance at Putnam’s Pub & Cooker (419 Myrtle Ave.), part of Putnam’s Unplugged series, on Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.  

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More for Dodo Society, see their YouTube video of “Birthday Cake in July” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAcrZ4QxSiE, or visit https://aflyingdodosociety.bandcamp.com/releases for their newly released “First Sighting.” 


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