Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bird's noble beast + the music he's listening to these days

Very recently I crossed paths for a minute with Andrew Bird, whose music I discovered little ago. His latest album, "Noble beast" has just been released and it has pearls such as "Oh, no" and "Fitz and the dizzyspells", both of which I'm pretty sure we'll soon hear on some stylish tv commercial. They're that catchy but so good too -and yet difficult and dark at the same time, partly because of the intricate lyrics. That contrast is what makes him specially interesting (go figure out what Fitz& Dizzyspells is about!). That said, once you know their meaning they make such perfect sense you wonder how you could not realize: point made with oh no, which everybody knows by now (but hardly anybody guessed before he spoke) is about the idiotic obsession of humans with hiding their emotions & thoughts (like that makes things easier for anybody!).
His music, which has steadily been increasing in popularity with time, revolves around the violin (his playing is more than impressive), sobriety and more and more the whistling - same sonic neighborhood as the violin-, as well as the gorgeous resonance his voice hits sometimes. Check out the amazing violin loops he does live (see what I mean here, specially in Fitz. And how beautiful is that smile at the very end, how shy and happy and short). Most clever stuff. This release is making a lot of noise and getting rave reviews from music gurus everywhere.
Anyway, was able to ask this very determined, thin and bony man of most intimidatingly sharp gaze (who by the way looks much younger in the flesh) about what he is listening to these days, and this was his answer: mainly jazz from the early fifties (instrumental), he named a couple of artists but they didn't sound familiar and I forgot (Lester Young? Not sure -pff I'm a total ignorant in that area, asked if Coltrane, not, older stuff). And nothing contemporary?: Department of Eagles.
So there you go!
A real treat to be able to hear him play and shake his hand.
And find the lyrics for "Noble beast" here (took me a while to find them, really a bummer not to understand every word of a song I like..which is almost always the case when I can't find them written somewhere). -YOu can also check out the song "Fake palindromes" and read what people say about it, wow!
And good interview here (Wireless Bolinger) and mini talk clip here.

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