i wrote this about andrew on october 2 for my school paper and thought you might enjoy it as well.
Andrew Bird has a voice like warm honey and it comes at me through four gramophone-style horns, standing straight-backed to his left and right. At his feet are four pedals, five, concealed by amplifiers, and on each of these he records and replays pieces of things, divisions of songs, violin (two parts), whistling, clapping, guitar. He steps back and forth in a square like he is dancing with someone I can't see. With his eyes closed he shakes his head.
First he plays one song, wordless. He records one piece at a time and loops it seamlessly. He takes off his shoes. At the end he says "Hi, I'm Andrew." We know! He tells us how beautiful Tarrytown is - we know this too, but we like to hear it from someone else. He plays a few older songs. One is called 'Plasticities.' The chorus is "We'll fight, we'll fight for your music halls." Andrew Bird says later "It looks like someone fought, here." I'd been wondering if he would say anything about that line. Above the stage there is a mural of mountains and a river and marshlands, there are two little chandeliers, dimmed, the ceiling is recently repaired and incredibly ornate.
Andrew Bird says his album is complete as of today (it's called Noble Beast and will be released January 27). In honor of this he plays three or four new songs for us. Each of these is lovely in a classic and dizzying way. He tells little stories between them. He tries to explain the inspiration for each but I feel that few of us understand what he's trying to say. I do, and this might be all that matters.
He plays an old song called 'Skin Is, My.' He tells us "It's been a while since I played this." It's hard to believe these confessions of weakness when they come from him. All these songs are perfect, in a shocking kind of way, divided and combined, looped in this infinite circle, this beautiful thing however old or new. At the end Andrew plays 'Weather Systems' and carries his shoes offstage with a curt wave and beaming smile. The lights come back up. I keep wondering who fought for this place.
for la blogotheque, a while ago