Andrew Bird

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Andrew Bird

Postby Kris » Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:23 pm

Wow, we don't have a thread for him? Weird....

I got to see the amazing, sickeningly brilliant Mr. Bird again last night. He was much more animated than I've ever seen him before and really seemed to be enjoying himself. He played a lot of old favorites from the Fingerlings albums, a couple from Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire, some from the Mysterious Production of Eggs, but mostly he played new songs from his upcoming album, which will be out next March. It was a sold out show and the audience was captive.

He really is one of the most brilliant musicians I've ever seen and I can't wait for the new album.
It's the same old thirst for more
Until they put you in the dirt

*

You saw me through a keyhole
Of a door that I kept locked
But I decorate the threshold
Just in case you knocked
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Postby elcorazon » Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:28 pm

his last album was amazing. I've never seen him live nor heard any of his other stuff though. Looking forward to the new one.
If I died, he'd hear about it, eventually.
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Postby Fool On Fire » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:42 pm

He needs to move his ass and come tour to the southeast.

Lately I've been bingeing on Thrills, which is a Bowl of Fire record. Love, love, LOVE the song "Glass Figurine." For a long time I had trouble understanding how he could've been in the Squirrel Nut Zippers...I mean, his solo stuff doesn't sound anything at all like SNZ. But listening to Bowl of Fire, I get it now, I have arrived on the bandwagon. lol.

Very cool that he's working on new material. I am excited to hear it. Now if he'd move his ass and tour to the southeast, I could hear him play it live... :p

wishful thinking,
~Elise
I've become the beggar now, and you've become the saint somehow
twist the words and place the blame, and tell me now, aren't we the same?

-- Amy Ray

born under a bad sign, been down since I began to crawl
if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all

-- Albert King

the saints and all the martyrs look down on dying converts
"what makes the water holy," she said, "is that it's the closest thing to rain..."

-- Josh Ritter


...the blues is the roots...everything else is the fruits...
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Very strong new disc

Postby irishcornboy » Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:08 pm

Picked up Andrew Bird's new disc, "Armchair Apocrypha". On first listen it's a darker release, but extremely rewarding. Major points to the graphic team as well, beautiful photo's, text, etc. I own Andrew's last three discs and even though this isn't to far off his path, it's a natural progression to a more structured songwriting and recording. Some passages are absolutely, breathtakingly, beautiful... Of course, the whistling is as stellar as ever. Four stars, with room to move up.
Tour dates, record info, etc. at:
http://www.andrewbird.net/
"I once thought that when you understood something, it was with you forever. I know now that this isn't so, that most truths are inherently unretainable, that we have to work hard all of our lives to remember the most basic things."-Lucy Grealy
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Postby Turk » Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:41 pm

I love it when old threads are dug from the dirt.
Thanks, Irish.

I am listening to "Heretics" now.
Very nice...
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Postby Fool On Fire » Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:31 pm

I saw Andrew on Wednesday night this week.

I think he may have seduced me. I'm still not sure. At the very least he slipped roofies into my drink, because I still have no idea where the world went during his show.

The set was heavily taken from Mysterious Production of Eggs, (Nervous Tic, Happy Birthday Song, Opposite Day, Sovay, Masterfade) along with some super-old stuff like "Wait"...which was very, very cool. He did a handful of selections from the new album, and although he didn't do my favorite "Imitosis," I didn't care. I could've watched him for hours.

He's a total weirdo evil supergenius. As my friend Carra put it, "He seems like a child who was locked up when he was little and forced to read the complete works of Jacques Cousteau, with only his stuffed monkey and a violin for company."

still blown out of my skull,
~Elise
I've become the beggar now, and you've become the saint somehow
twist the words and place the blame, and tell me now, aren't we the same?

-- Amy Ray

born under a bad sign, been down since I began to crawl
if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all

-- Albert King

the saints and all the martyrs look down on dying converts
"what makes the water holy," she said, "is that it's the closest thing to rain..."

-- Josh Ritter


...the blues is the roots...everything else is the fruits...
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Postby Fool On Fire » Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:10 pm

I found this blog post that reviewed Andrew's show at the 930 club in DC...and I basically agree with everything this dude says. Yes.

Presented for your reading pleasure: http://listenist.wordpress.com/2007/05/24/the-avett-brothers-and-andrew-bird-try-to-kill-me-pt-2-andrew-bird/

Stop messing with my mind, Andrew Bird.
I’m warning you.

So. As if the Avett Brothers weren’t enough for one weekend, Andrew Bird played Sunday at the 930 Club, and it was almost too much for one man to take.

The man is making nerdy music from another planet, seriously.
I want to live there.

Everyone talks about Mr. Bird’s “process,” wherein he builds songs with a sequencer by looping violin, guitar, glockenspiel, voice, and his eerie whistling, with Martin Dosh laying down loops on drums and Rhodes (and now for this tour, he’s added Jeremy Ylvisaker on bass and backing vox.) People get so caught up in describing this, in fact, that they often forget to talk about the actual resultant music.

The songs are some sort of jazzy, folksy, bluesy, classical, “indie” gypsy tunes that, clearly, defy anyone’s faltering grasps for categorization.

I call it, “What-the-Fuck-Rock.”

So.
First Martin Dosh takes a seat at the drum-and-Rhodes-kit, lays down the cute spacey little intro and rides it out for a minute.
Andrew Bird comes out, picks up his violin and here comes a big, mystical, beautiful swirl from about 6 tracks of his violin, like the auditory equivalent of mixing twenty colors of paint in a can, and…and…

What the fuck.

Behind him there’s what looks like a gargantuan two-headed Gramophone, and he hits a button and it starts SPINNING AROUND REALLY FAST. Is this doing something to the sound? Which, by the way, seems to be coming from everywhere at once?
Apparently, yes. it’s something called a “Janus Horn.” It…um….well according to the website the sound coming from it “envelops the listener in a variety of merging wave fronts both emanating directly from the horn, and reflected off surfaces in the environment.”
According to the same website, “Twisting phase relationships and Doppler-effect pitch-shifts occur within this unique kaleidoscope of sound.”

I would explain this, except my brain exploded halfway into that sentence.

So we’re getting swirled around in the sequenced mystical twisting phase kaleidoscope for a minute or two, and I’m wondering which Metro stop is closest to Mars and how I’m going to get home and just who am I anymore, and Andrew’s cool as a cucumber, adding more tracks and maybe doing a little whistling.
Still with me?

Mercifully, this fades out and the spaceship drops us off and I can see that yes, I’m in the 930 club and I think I remember who I am. I’d better take a dram of this beer to make sure. The Janus Horn will be whisked into motion from time to time, at different speeds, throughout the evening.
Immediately, Bird starts up with the brisk-walk-tempoed intro to Imitosis, from the phenomenal new “Armchair Apocrypha.”
The intro is drawn out a bit, chopped up and rearranged according to Andrew’s whims; the live show is an ever-changing and improvisational thing and Bird reinvents each song as he plays it. Every night.

I’m trying for the first couple of songs to follow the sequencing, see if I can keep track of all the loops. I give up fairly quickly, as it takes too much concentration and I’m too feeble-minded to figure it out. I’m much less disoriented after I stop trying.

The set is kind of frontloaded with more upbeat numbers- Imitosis is followed by a beautiful rendition of the also-new “Fiery Crash,” with an amazing multitude of vocals that all belonged to Andrew Bird, and then the “smash hit” “Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left.”

But then things get serious.

“Why?” is a song from an album called “The Swimming Hour” that Bird released with his former band, Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire. Which is, incidentally, the greatest band name in the history of rock music.

The recording is a slow, tense, seductive bluesy lament to a girl whose feelings aren’t as intense as the narrator’s. “Damn you for being so easygoing,” goes the refrain. Bird’s nimble fiddling takes center stage.
For the live version, Dosh and Ylvisaker leave the stage and Bird goes it alone.

A haunting drone comes over the PA, mournful little trills over it, and then a slow, halting, plucked blues hook takes its place. Bird’s voice floats angelic and sad over it, and then the fiddle gets tense, vibrating and shuddering into a frenzy. It’s like a Hitchcock film. It’s downright nerve-wracking- and then it stops all of a sudden, and that plucked blues hook comes back in; a quick solo rides above it.
This plays out over several minutes, the song alternating tension and release to devastating effect, stretching out and then recoiling as required by the pained vocal. It’s mesmerizing, and the whole thing leaves the listener gasping for breath.

I mean…what the fuck.

This guy’s command of mood and of melody is absolutely mind-boggling. Voice, violin, and loop, and nothing else, and 1300 people stood speechless for 4 minutes. It is awe-inspiring to see talent like this.
In an NPR interview, Bird says of the violin, “I don’t think of it as the instrument I grew up with anymore. It’s just sort of something I pull sound out of.”
And pull he does. This performance displayed an unbelievable range of sound and feeling drawn out from a single instrument.

“Masterfade,” from “The Mysterious Production of Eggs” followed, then a wonderful new environmentalist rant called “Dear Dirty.” A quick aside- the whole tour is planned out to be as close to carbon-neutral as possible; the band travels in a biodiesel fueled bus. This is a good thing to do.

I keep using the word “haunting” for Bird’s music. This was probably nowhere more evident for me than in a stunning extended version of “Simple X,” a song Dosh wrote that Bird wrote lyrics and violin parts for. The song, framed by a skittering mid-tempo drum beat, swells and ebbs, rises and falls, with a verse like a walk underwater and a chorus that builds a gigantic atmosphere of sound continuously crashing in upon itself.
Whether that makes any sense or not, it’s about the best I can do. As noted, this stuff defies easy description.

A few more similarly otherworldly numbers, and the set closed with the majestic and dark new “Scythian Empires,” about a world after the apocalypse we’re apparently on the verge of. “Now they’re offering views of exiting empires/Such breathtaking views of Scythian empires,” sings Bird over a sparse hook that’s both whimsical and desolate.

It’s been said that Andrew Bird hates encores, as they’re by now contrived rites in a rock show. It appears he’s succumbed to the pressure, however, and did a short encore.
Starting with a cover of BOD DYLAN’S “OH, SISTER.”

What the fuck.

Though everybody thinks it’s okay to cover Dylan, they’re wrong, you see. You just sound stupid when you cover Bob Dylan. This is virtually always the case.
Not here. Beautiful, and Bird owned that song. The verses were just a single guitar and vocal, and then the violin and that unbelievable whistling were laid out over a looped hook from the guitar. It was simple, beautiful, and all Bird. Magnificent.

The anthemic (well, as anthemic as Bird gets) Tables and Chairs followed. I wish that I had more to say about this, one of my favorite songs.
Unfortunately, there was a DOUCHEBAG right behind us who would not SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Listen up, Mr. Dickhead-who-can’t-stop-talking-and-also-laughing-this-horrible-
laugh-that-made-the-hairs-on-my-neck-stand-up.

I tried being polite. So did those girls who asked you to be quiet before I did, and also my friend who asked you to be quiet before I did. What the fuck was your problem?

Me: Listen man, you paid 25 bucks to get in here, too, right?

Douchebag: Yeah, so?

Me: Well, don’t you want to watch what you came here to see? You’re missing it by talking through the whole thing, and you’re distracting people, buddy.

Assbiscuit: Man, just shut up, man.

Friend of Douchebiscuit: Dude, you’re missing the show! Turn around!

Me: Jesus. I’m not gonna get anywhere with you morons, am I?

Assbag: he-he-he-he-he.

That said.

This was an amazing show. I was floored when I saw Bird last year at the Black Cat, and predictably, he had since only grown better with the release of a brilliant new album, the addition of a new band member and the selling-out of way larger venues with this tour. I’m happy for him, and I’m excited to see such a massive talent getting some well-deserved recognition.


LMAO at the Assbiscuit thing. Oh, how many times have I gone through that shit at shows.

And, yeah. Andrew Bird is playing music from another planet and I am looking into booking seats on the next space shuttle to get there.

~E
I've become the beggar now, and you've become the saint somehow
twist the words and place the blame, and tell me now, aren't we the same?

-- Amy Ray

born under a bad sign, been down since I began to crawl
if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all

-- Albert King

the saints and all the martyrs look down on dying converts
"what makes the water holy," she said, "is that it's the closest thing to rain..."

-- Josh Ritter


...the blues is the roots...everything else is the fruits...
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Postby Fool On Fire » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:57 pm

So, yeah. Andrew's new album, Noble Beast, is bangin'. Weird and spacy and gorgeous, as always. My favorite song is "Effigy," which is typically word-bending and clever, with the layers upon layers of wacky violin and guitar and whistling.

And I'm finding myself studying every night listening to the companion cd, Useless Creatures, which is totally instrumental. There is something so literate about his music, even the songs without words. It's haunting.

I can stop listening to him any time I want. Any time. I swear.

...I might be addicted,
~Elise
I've become the beggar now, and you've become the saint somehow
twist the words and place the blame, and tell me now, aren't we the same?

-- Amy Ray

born under a bad sign, been down since I began to crawl
if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all

-- Albert King

the saints and all the martyrs look down on dying converts
"what makes the water holy," she said, "is that it's the closest thing to rain..."

-- Josh Ritter


...the blues is the roots...everything else is the fruits...
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