Andrew Bird is a talented Chicago-based multi-instramentalist and performer who has steadily released music since the late 90s. Mastering the violin from a young age, Andrew likewise excels at singing, whistling (yes, whistling), guitar, and a plethora of other instruments he uses live, leading to him being nicknamed “The One-Man Orchestra”. Combined with the remarkable support of Martin Dosh (a like-minded percussionist, pianist and electro programmer), their live shows are amongst the most impressive and often entirely flabbergasting performances I’ve ever seen. If you listen to a live recording, you might expect there to be 5-10 backing musicians present, and it seems almost impossible that only 2 could build so many looped layers, maintain such dynamic intonation, and still play in eyes-closed passion throughout. Over the years, I’ve watched more Andrew Bird live footage online than most other bands combined, a natural consequence of his genius and ingenuity (here’s a prototypical example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUjBe21xEgk).
Cruising effortlessly between indie, folk, country, blues, jazz and about any other genre he feels like gracing with his proficiency, Andrew never sacrifices in artistic quality, charm or wit. With semi-savant likeness, he writes music entirely in his head, relying on the catchiness and memorability of his ideas to self-select into what is album worthy and what can pass over into wherever the forgettables go. He also believes in sustainable touring, traveling in organically-fueled vehicles, biking to venues when possible, and planting trees along cross-country journeys. Quite the gentleman.
His modern streak of genius started with with the release of 2003’s “Weather Systems”, followed by the masterful “Mysterious Production of Eggs” two years later. Since then, Andrew continues to deliver magnificence with 2007’s “Armchair Apocrypha” (my personal favourite of his), “Noble Beast”, “Break It Yourself”, a series of covers / re-works in 2012’s “Hands of Glory”, as well as a host of EPs, live albums and compilations. Outside his solo work, Andrew plays a collaborative role in projects ranging from productions of Walt Disney’s The Muppets to children’s TV shows (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnRoGSmgLKw) to crafting arrangements for fellow indie acts. In short, I think Andrew Bird is one of, if not the most talented and versatile artist in indie music today.
Favourite track: Imitosis (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2m90GEsnIs)… I mean, who else can get away with singing about bunsen burners, petri dishes, and research studies examining mitosis?