Andrew Bird--c/d?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
I've had it on repeat for, oh, about three days straight. Anyone else agree that it is a definite top 10 contender for 2005?

jenn K (satellitesynth), Tuesday, 15 March 2005 22:10 (fourteen years ago) link

Why is this album suddenly getting a lot more buzz than his previous records? Is it really that much better? Is it because he's on Righteous Babe now?

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 15 March 2005 22:17 (fourteen years ago) link

I'd never heard of him before. Then I saw a couple of blog mentions, along with relatively good Pitchfork and Stylus reviews, so I decided to give it a listen.

Maybe because it is really quite good? His whistling impresses me.

jenn K (satellitesynth), Tuesday, 15 March 2005 22:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Classic. I don't think the new one's not as good as Weather Systems, the last one, though, the quality of which I think has led to more press for this one. (Call it the Russell Crowe effect.) But whatever. He deserves respect. Live he's intense as hell.

good luck in austin, Tuesday, 15 March 2005 22:24 (fourteen years ago) link

I have Oh the Grandeur, and it rocks.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Tuesday, 15 March 2005 22:26 (fourteen years ago) link

Sorry, that's "I don't think the new one's as good as Weather Systems. . . ."

Alex, I haven't heard that one. I have The Swimming Hour, though, which rocks and cloys intermittently.

good luck in austin, Tuesday, 15 March 2005 23:01 (fourteen years ago) link

I love both The Swimming Hour & the new one, which I reviewed for the Frock - look for the egregious grammatical error! I'm all for cloy in spurts. Full-on cloy makes me feel weird.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 15 March 2005 23:05 (fourteen years ago) link

I think the new one may better than "Weather Systems" (which was also on Righteous Babe). The song about fake palindromes is great.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Tuesday, 15 March 2005 23:20 (fourteen years ago) link

Call it the Russell Crowe effect.
Good band name.

Quit glaring at Ian Riese-Moraine! He's mentally fraught! (Eastern Mantra), Thursday, 17 March 2005 01:26 (fourteen years ago) link

rocks and cloys intermittently


I really, really like the new record. Really. A lot. And I'm surprised that it's better than Weather Systems. This guy keeps surprising me. Every record is better than the last.

And yes, please see him live, k thanks.

sunburned and snowblind (kenan), Thursday, 17 March 2005 03:07 (fourteen years ago) link

(In Chicago, that means April 16 at the Metro.)

sunburned and snowblind (kenan), Thursday, 17 March 2005 03:07 (fourteen years ago) link

I would've thought most people, had they heard of him previously, would know him for his fiddle playing with the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

I have the same problem with him as I have with them, although less so. The SNZ just aren't good technical musicians - they can't really solo. They do the pop-swing thing really well though, and write great catchy tunes that I enjoy listening to despite the lame soloing. It's "pop" I guess.
I sortof feel like there's a certain "inauthenticity" to what they do, although they get a lot of the sound and feel really well. But I tend to worry that Andrew Bird is a bit like that too. Thus "cloy" is indeed OTM, and a certain feeling of "yes, but listen to the original stuff and that's where the shit is really at".

Still, I haven't heard the latest and am certainly keen!

Peter Hollo (raven), Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, the SNZ comparison hasn't been relevant for like the last four of his albums. Dude's a good musician and not a swingin novelty monger like those other guys.

good luck in austin, Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:24 (fourteen years ago) link

Why is this album suddenly getting a lot more buzz than his previous records? Is it really that much better? Is it because he's on Righteous Babe now?

Yeah, someone kicked up the marketing, but maybe the album's also more accessible to the adult alternative set (less eclectic, more tuneful)? Whatever it is, he definitely took off.

Re: the swing years, he's a much better musician than anyone in SQZ, and his Bowl of Fire was a stronger and more entertaining band. Thrills, his first record (aside from a self-released solo disc) is underrated and definitely stands on its own, swing revival or not - it's vital and innovative hot jazz and it doesn't lean on nostalgia. Check out "Glass Figurine" for an example. Also, recording straight to two RCA mics just sounds good.

Chris Dahlen (Chris Dahlen), Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:47 (fourteen years ago) link

(In Chicago, that means April 16 at the Metro.)

Sorry, I'm going to Out Hud!

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 17 March 2005 04:49 (fourteen years ago) link

See, I haven't even heard his first two albums. The fact that he was part of the swing revival sound for a while seems odd to me. I guess The Swimming Hour has some of that going on, but not in any overt "This is a swingin' band!" way. He's a very good musician, I think, and that includes his whistling. But he's also an excellent songwriter and lyricist -- check out "Lull," for instance, which is a great example of what goes on in your head when you're deliberately wallowing in your own misery. Or the lyrics to "Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to The Left," which is a creepy little tune. Or hell, just check that title.

sunburned and snowblind (kenan), Thursday, 17 March 2005 06:46 (fourteen years ago) link

Why is this album suddenly getting a lot more buzz than his previous records? Is it really that much better? Is it because he's on Righteous Babe now?

i was thinking the same thing.
Weather Systems had some good songs. The best WS song returns on the new album (Sovay) I like the first 5,6 songs of the new one, but then it gets incredibly boring.

Ludo (Ludo), Thursday, 17 March 2005 10:45 (fourteen years ago) link

So I should go back and give The Swimming Hour a proper listen then? I got it ages ago after a friend said he was really good live.

Greig (treefell), Thursday, 17 March 2005 11:09 (fourteen years ago) link

After reading about the Squirrel Nut Zipper link, I immediately thought, "Gosh, I don't think I ever would have listened to him if I had heard that first."

I can't seem to find any evidence that he is coming to NY. Anyone heard otherwise? Does he usually stop by when he releases a new album?

jenn K (satellitesynth), Thursday, 17 March 2005 22:00 (fourteen years ago) link


I know this stuff has an audience, and he obviously has talent with a fiddle. But ultimately, his albums and live show bore me.

Pete Scholtes, Thursday, 17 March 2005 23:12 (fourteen years ago) link

This is an Andrew Bird plug, not a Pitchfork blug - Joe Tangari reviewed "Fake Palindromes" off the new album, and the mp3 is available for download here, if anyone wants a sample of the new album.

Chris Dahlen (Chris Dahlen), Friday, 18 March 2005 14:01 (fourteen years ago) link

I saw him when he was touring for The Swimming Hour with his Bowl of Fire and it rocked. When I saw him solo a couple of years ago touring for Weather Systems, the songs did not rock. They were pretty songs and all, but the previous performance was electrifying and memorable.

camandas, Friday, 18 March 2005 17:18 (fourteen years ago) link

eight months pass...
Yeah, I'm such a dork I registered to express my immediate, post-show enthusiasm. My friend and I left the show tonight beaming. The only songs I'd heard before tonight were from "Oh the Grandeur."

good luck in austin, OTM. I was was pleasantly surprised to find that he'd dropped the quirkiness of "Oh the Grandeur" in favor of lush, well-written pop songs. I like that sort of thing, of course. I'm also all "Sing out, Louise!" and I'm very, very happy when singers don't just mumble the lyrics. (I probably shouldn't admit to such things on ILXOR). I guess it probably helped that he is well-loved in Chicago and the crowd was all hype.
One more thing. Man can whistle.

dana (siracha), Sunday, 27 November 2005 08:32 (thirteen years ago) link

ten months pass...
Just caught his act at the Aladdin in Portland, OR this evening- totally incredible. This guy should be way bigger than any of his peers IMHO.

darin (darin), Thursday, 28 September 2006 05:42 (twelve years ago) link

I'd like him much better if he had a different voice. He sounds too "white boy trying to sound 'hep' and miserably failing". Good tunes, though.

Bumblepuppy (Horbgorbling Slubberdegullion), Thursday, 28 September 2006 14:48 (twelve years ago) link

six months pass...
My friend is playing a mix in the office, and I'm kindof amazed! That seems to be a reaction that's happened before with this guy? I dig it.

Surmounter, Thursday, 5 April 2007 14:05 (twelve years ago) link

I liked it. And I'd never listened to his stuff before! I attribute a lot of my newfound appreciation for stuff like this to liking actual songs again, and not just amorphous "songs." There's a little of both on Armchair Apocrypha though.

fukasaku tollbooth, Thursday, 5 April 2007 14:49 (twelve years ago) link

I totally fell in love with Mysterious Production of Eggs, and I like most of his other stuff... listened to the new one a couple times now, but the only tracks that really grabbed me were the "thank god it's fatal" one and the ones with shit-hot chinese movie soundtrack violin riffage. I'm sure it will improve with repeated listens, though.

bernard snowy, Thursday, 5 April 2007 15:01 (twelve years ago) link

I haven't liked what I heard from the new record all that much. It's OK, but it's a little too guitar-centric for me (tho I'm saying this more in relation to what I like about AB, not what I like about muzak - I'm a total indie jerk). It's not that much different than Eggs - hell, even some of the lyrical themes are the same - but the songs seemed stronger there than on the new one. More violin & less mushmouth, please!

&, yeah, it'll probably grow on me.

David R., Thursday, 5 April 2007 15:04 (twelve years ago) link

i guess the basis for apocrypha is that some of the songs are "re-imagined", so that explains the lyrical themes part a little bit.

fukasaku tollbooth, Thursday, 5 April 2007 15:09 (twelve years ago) link

but only so much as the last record, yes? I thought it was only "Imitosis" reimagined, similar to "Skin Is, My" on Eggs?

David OTM on it being guitar centric -- not nearly enough whistlin 'n' violins here, and I'm not entirely sure it'll "grow on me"

lucas pine, Thursday, 5 April 2007 15:15 (twelve years ago) link

Ha - I am a shitty listener. The repeated lyrical theme I caught was probably just on the "Imitosis" rewrite.

David R., Thursday, 5 April 2007 15:18 (twelve years ago) link

i missed it in my review of "heretics" but i'm fairly certain he plucks violin strings and even plays it a bit like a ukulele at times elsewhere on the record.

fukasaku tollbooth, Friday, 6 April 2007 16:57 (twelve years ago) link

this reminds me of Jeff Buckley. some good songs, lots of nice textures and stuff, some annoying lyrics here and there.

Shakey Mo Collier, Friday, 6 April 2007 22:40 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

His song Oh No, is quite excellent - I'm quite looking forward to his new album
Noble Beast is set to drop on January 20th on Fat Possum in the U.S. and on February 2 on Bella Union in Europe

I really like this video for Nervous Tic Motion (not from the upcoming album)

❤ⓛⓞⓥⓔ❤ (CaptainLorax), Wednesday, 7 January 2009 09:12 (ten years ago) link

Noble Beast is great!

Bee OK, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 09:41 (ten years ago) link

Bird's last was one of my very favourites of '07. 'Oh No' is a pleasant Wednesday surprise! Thanks.

Millsner, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 10:20 (ten years ago) link

I just hope "Effigy" (from the projected tracklisting) is a CCR cover.

staggerlee, Thursday, 8 January 2009 02:00 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Noble Beast is another typical Andrew Bird records as far as I'm concerned - a couple great tunes ("Oh No" and "Effigy"), a couple loose sketches, and a lot of just "decent" stuff. The instrumental bonus disc, Useless Creatures, is fantastic.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Thursday, 22 January 2009 16:32 (ten years ago) link

this was on in the record store yesterday. i am going to rock a cliche right now but he makes the shins sound like disfear.

THE HIPSTER DILEMMA (call all destroyer), Thursday, 22 January 2009 16:40 (ten years ago) link

Your cliche was top notch!

scott pgwp (pgwp), Thursday, 22 January 2009 21:10 (ten years ago) link

Pop White People Like

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Thursday, 22 January 2009 21:17 (ten years ago) link

He was awesome at the Big Shoulders Inaugural Ball at the Black Cat in DC Monday night.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 22 January 2009 22:56 (ten years ago) link

He's awesome live, just pretty good on record. I'd go see him in a sump pit.

staggerlee, Friday, 23 January 2009 01:04 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

he is right now doing an "Sirius XMU session."

it is sounding pretty cool!

Bee OK, Thursday, 19 March 2009 01:18 (ten years ago) link

it's now over, they only gave him a half an hour? anyways you can here it replayed tomorrow at 6 AM Pacific Standard time.

Bee OK, Thursday, 19 March 2009 01:37 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

i had no idea this guy had a new album coming out today, hope it's on Spotify.

good luck Peeta Mellark (Bee OK), Wednesday, 7 March 2012 06:23 (seven years ago) link

New album is terrific.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Monday, 12 March 2012 16:56 (seven years ago) link

It is pretty good. I'd really tired of his schtick on the last couple, but this one was pretty enjoyable to sit through. I'm still not 100% a stan and I think this meanders at times, but it was enough to respark my interest in him.

stan this sick bunt (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 12 March 2012 17:02 (seven years ago) link

this one is a bit more rough around the edges than the previous bunch. it's weird, but i like that he sounds like he's straining his voice on some songs. he was venturing too far into "pleasant" territory, and this seems like him fighting back a bit.

borntohula, Monday, 12 March 2012 22:40 (seven years ago) link

Saw the "Fever Year" documentary the other night. Makes me want to check out some of his stuff. (I only knew Bird as the guy who does "that peppy whistling song" that gets played on the radio from time to time.)

henry s, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 10:34 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

I've loved every proper album from Mysterious Production of Eggs through Break It Yourself. But I haven't felt super enthused to buy the two most recent releases, which both feel like they're just filling time until a real record. Hands of Glory has some decent stuff, and so does this new Handsome Family covers record—but they're not special enough. The Handsome Family thing in particular feels a little lifeless.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Sunday, 13 July 2014 18:33 (five years ago) link

Did you get/hear the EP (I Want to See Pulaski at Night)?

austinato (Austin), Sunday, 13 July 2014 21:43 (five years ago) link

Oh I forgot about that one. Nice song but it kind of passed me by.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Sunday, 13 July 2014 22:05 (five years ago) link

That's the only proper song on the EP; the rest of it more loop station doodle-y stuff along the lines of Noble Beast.


austinato (Austin), Sunday, 13 July 2014 22:19 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

Just now getting caught up to his release from earlier this year ('Echolocation: Canyon'). It's solo instrumental violin/loop station/whistling doodlery. Very loverly.

Austin, Friday, 13 November 2015 01:47 (three years ago) link

I'm eager for him to do a new full-length of proper, original songs. He's done two instrumental releases and a covers record, all fine, but I'm ready for the real goods!

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 13 November 2015 05:36 (three years ago) link

Well, with the flyer that came in the mail with Echolocations, it explicitly says, "NEW ALBUM IN 2016. . ." (yes, in all caps!) so we may get just that pretty soon.

Austin, Friday, 13 November 2015 06:12 (three years ago) link

oh good.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 13 November 2015 15:29 (three years ago) link

Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the themes from these last two instrumental releases get developed into whole songs. So, who knows, maybe we've already heard the new album in bits and pieces!

Austin, Friday, 13 November 2015 15:46 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

And here we go. . .

Austin, Friday, 5 February 2016 19:40 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Well this is quite lovely. <3 <3 Fiona

Roz, Thursday, 17 March 2016 09:22 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

This is a great album — very streamlined and concise. Overall, probably his most song-oriented LP yet.

And yes, 'Left Handed Kisses' absolutely rules.

Austin, Friday, 1 April 2016 18:43 (three years ago) link

And hey, the bonus 7" that came with my version has two extra songs! The great as anything else on the album 'Shoulder Mountain' and a fancy new recording of 'Pulaski at Night' (retitled here just 'Pulaski'). Great bonus!

Austin, Friday, 1 April 2016 19:26 (three years ago) link

eight months pass...

"Left Hand Kisses" is one of my favourite tracks this year. I wish Fiona did more but it makes anything she does somewhat of an event

Everything Moves Towards The Sun (Ross), Friday, 30 December 2016 20:13 (two years ago) link

eleven months pass...

This is easily better than the first one. 'Down Under the Hyperion Bridge' is quite beautiful. Maybe even the prettiest thing he's ever done.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Wednesday, 13 December 2017 04:27 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

I guess this was just a one-off single released last year. I really like it.
I hardly know anything about this guy. He has a new album coming out in March.
I might check out an old album or two. I saw "Eggs" won the albums poll.

nicky lo-fi, Friday, 8 February 2019 14:24 (six months ago) link

Eggs is his best. Start there and go forward.

He was my absolute favorite for a long time and I forever love the run from Eggs to Armchair to Noble Beast. The two that came after are also very good though i don’t think they necessarily offer something the others don’t.

I’m not super crazy about the songs I’ve heard from the new album but I’ll wait for the whole thing.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 8 February 2019 16:16 (six months ago) link

Break it Yourself is his best overall record.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 8 February 2019 19:47 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

New album is out today.

There are moments that jump out on first listen—“Cracking Codes” is an early highlight for me. Need to listen to the whole thing a few more times. He’s done other albums that I’ve been vaguely disappointed in on first listen and then turned out to be real growers.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 22 March 2019 15:41 (four months ago) link

I haven't cared about him in a while, but this latest album is sounding really strong on first contact. His sonic hallmarks haven't really changed but the songwriting sounds a lot sharper than it did on....whatever the last album I heard was

Simon H., Friday, 22 March 2019 23:05 (four months ago) link

i put john coltrane on the stereo at my work. the middle aged woman i worked with after discussing the nuances of the swedish language (this is at a swedish museum) said out of nowhere- 'do you like andrew bird'? it was such a non sequitur that i said, 'i mean, yeah he's good... ummm... does he sing in swedish ever or something?' then she said, 'no, i'd just rather listen to that than this.'

classic minnesota passive aggressive

global tetrahedron, Friday, 22 March 2019 23:11 (four months ago) link

then she put on a Sami radio station and we listened to the Sami version of ICP for 35 minutes. anyway!

global tetrahedron, Friday, 22 March 2019 23:11 (four months ago) link

Armchair Apocrypha was the first that I heard and I fell in love with it. Kept trying other albums but nothing lived up to that one. "Dark Matter" rules.

Cow_Art, Friday, 22 March 2019 23:34 (four months ago) link

Second time through and it is growing on me.

I admit to listening on earbuds but there is something about the production on this - like his vocals sound a little bit thinner than usual or something. I’m not sure what it is.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Saturday, 23 March 2019 01:26 (four months ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.