The two of us spent a great deal of time in 2007 listening to Andrew Bird’s previous album – Armchair Apocrypha. It’s a formidable album, filled with whistling, violin, philosophical lyrics – but it was ultimately a very rewarding experience, although initially we were both less than impressed. One heard “Heretics,” the other saw “Imitosis” on Conan, and neither came away with a favorable review. And while first impressions might often be the most important, they are not always correct.
Capable of playing numerous and varied instruments such as the mandolin, guitar, and violin, Bird is perhaps most importantly proficient with the glockenspiel. Trained in the formidable Suzuki Method – where the pupil’s first lesson consists of simply bowing to the teacher and then going home – Bird can seamlessly incorporate pizzicato into any of his songs, alongside his impressive whistling and inspired lyrics.
What’s odd about the poor experience that Dave had seeing Mr. Bird on Conan, however, is that performing live is where he stands out. While neither of us have personally seen a concert of his, the live renditions of his songs are often reworked, drawn out experiences, sometimes bearing little resemblance to the original. It takes a talented musician to do that, and an even more talented one to do it as well as Andrew Bird does. He allows for taping as well, so take yourself to his page at The Internet Archive to get a full listing of available (free!) shows.
Get a whiff of what we’re talking about and go out and buy his new album Noble Beast, released this past January 20th. Check out his shop for more merch, and get his Daytrotter session as well. Tour dates after the tunes.
Andrew Bird – Anonanimal (mp3) off Noble Beast
Andrew Bird – Fitz and the Dizzyspells (mp3) off Noble Beast
Andrew Bird – Fiery Crash (Live) (mp3) – original on Armchair Apocrypha
Currently on a lengthy tour, Bird has dates scheduled up until mid-May. Once again, however, no love for the upstate areas of New York is shown. The state is more than just The City, artists. Here’s what’s left for February.
Andrew Bird On Tour:
Feb-06 The Plaza Theatre Orlando, FL
Feb-07 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
Feb-12 The Paramount Theater Austin, TX
Feb-13 El Rey Theater Albuquerque, NM
Feb-14 Rialto Theater Tucson, AZ
Feb-15 SOMA San Diego, CA
Feb-18 Orpheum Theatre Los Angeles, CA
Feb-19 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
Feb-20 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
Feb-21 Roseland Theater Portland, OR
Feb-23 The Moore Theater Seattle, WA
Feb-24 The Knitting Factory Boise, ID
Feb-25 Murray Theater Murray, UT
Feb-26 Ogden Theatre Denver, CO
Feb-27 Slowdown Omaha, NE
Feb-28 Hoyt Sherman Place Des Moines, IA