16 Thoughts on the New Andrew Bird Album*
1. I just don't understand why Andrew Bird isn't wildly famous. Is it because people associate him with his time in the Squirrel Nut Zippers? Can't we just forget that ever happened?
2. My goodness, Andrew Bird's voice is sexy.
3. And no one else really sounds like him. How many other musicians use the violin as their primary instrument to make accessible pop music? That aren't Irish, that is?
4. And he whistles! Really well!
5. The ideal way to experience Andrew Bird is alone on a stage, just him, his violin, and his myriad of sampling pedals. Oh, and that voice.
6. His recorded work can't quite capture the intensity that he brings to a live setting, and Bird has said his preferred form of musical expression is through touring. I'm glad we're on the same page about this.
7. But even so, this album is an incredibly compelling collection of inventive folk-tinged melodies.
8. Seriously, there's no swing on here. Forget the Zippers already.
9. Unlike his live show, this album is not all violin loops and whistling. He's got a full band going here, with Bowl of Fire alumni Kevin McDonnell and Nora O'Connor pitching in on drums and guitars and things to complement his innovative violin playing
10. And his lyrics are so clever and funny! I mean, the man found six different ways to rhyme "formaldehyde." Where does he come up with this stuff?
11. Apparently he comes up with it in the barn he built outside of Chicago to double as a recording studio for this album. He has some chickens there, whose mysteriousness seemingly played a part in naming the album
12. That last point was entirely true. Bird said it himself; I wasn't just trying to be funny
13. And if 14 remarkably well-written and engaging songs aren't enough, the album's packaging is well worth your hard-earned money. Chicago-based artist Jay Ryan of art-collective The Bird Machine drew 14 pictures to accompany each song, inspired by the song itself
14. I guarantee you've seen some of his screen-printed concert posters, whether in magazines, on the Internet, or being sold at shows. They're really amazing. He draws a lot of animals in them -- not just birds
15. See, buying this album shows your support for independent music and art! That's two birds with one stone! And the bird theme continues!
16. Did I mention his voice?
*Inspired by Adam Boyle of nerve.com
3. Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
4. Fake Palindromes
5. Measuring Cups
6. Banking on a Myth
8. Opposite Day
9. Skin Is, My
10. Naming of Things
11. MX Missiles
13. Tables and Chairs
14. Happy Birthday Song