May 03 Union Transfer Philadelphia, PA
May 04 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
May 05 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
May 06 House of Blues Boston, MA
May 08 9:30 Club Washington, DC
May 09 Ramshead Live Baltimore, MD
May 10 The Fillmore Detroit, MI
May 12 Auditorium Theatre Chicago, IL
May 19 Nelsonville Music Festival Nelsonville, OH
Jun 02 Field Day 2012 London,UK
Jun 04 Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Ireland
Jun 06 Trinity Bristol,UK
Jun 08 Fruit Market Glasgow,UK
Jun 09 No Direction Home Festival UK
Jun 10 Theatre Royal Brighton Brighton,UK
Jun 12 Teatro Circo Price Madrid, Spain
Jul 08 Fifth Third Bank Ballpark Geneva, IL
Jul 10 Museum Park Theater Raleigh, NC
Jul 11 Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Richmond, VA
Jul 14 Forecastle Festival at Waterfront Park, KY
Jul 15 Frederik Meijer Gardens Grand Rapids, MI
Jul 16 Artpark Lewiston, NY
Jul 18 Theatre De Verdure Montreal, Canada
Jul 19 Echo Beach Toronto, Canada
Jul 20 The Green at Shelburne Museum Shelburne, VT
Jul 21 Hope Artiste Village Courtyard Pawtucket, RI
Jul 27 Sound Town Fest Somerset, WI
Aug 10 Golden Gate Park Festival San Francisco, CA
Aug 11 Spreckels Theatre San Diego, CA
Aug 12 Greek Theatre Los Angeles, CA
Aug 14 Red Butte Garden Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 15 Chautauqua Auditorium Boulder, CO
Aug 17 Denver Performing Arts Complex Denver, CO
Aug 18 Caldera Festival Jackson, WY
Aug 20 Holland Performing Arts Center Omaha, NE
Aug 21 Simon Estes Amph Des Moines, IA
Nov 08 Roundhouse London, UK
Here's a funny video called "I'm Sorry", featuring Andrew Bird and Margaret Cho. Note the distinctive whistling that Bird is known for in the song.
Break it Yourself
This is Bird’s sixth solo album proper, and is released on the “Mom+Pop” label. It has already been commercially successful and has brought him many plaudits. It’s quite easy to see why. To many of the songs there is a quiet delicacy, a definite folky feel – something that came about after his initial musical project “Bowl Of Fire” disbanded. "Bowl Of Fire" was formed with Kevin O'Donnell, Joshua Hirsch, Nora O’Connor, Andy Hopkins, Jimmy Sutton, Colin Bunn, and Ryan Hembrey who were all musicians from Bird’s hometown of Chicago and was heavily influenced by musical idioms like swing and post and pre-war lieder. Once this project disbanded there was a swing shift towards a more folky sound.
Bird is typically known for his verbose lyrics and “Break It Yourself” is no different in this respect. The song “Desperation Breeds” is a beautiful example of this, containing lines like:
“This peculiar incantation, sure you heard it before, instead of breeding desperation, make me a pallet on the floor”
When mixed with a delightful blend of pizzicato strings and floaty, ethereal guitars it just has this aura of otherworldliness. When Bird sings the word “Bees” it’s almost as if there are a gentle swarm of them in the air around you such are the harmonies created by his voice.
Songs like “Near Death Experience” are a lesson in softness and strength at once:
“You used to be like toffee in the kitten’s teeth, used to build air raid shelters out of sticks and leaves and spend the whole day underneath”
Again, the notion of pizzicato guitar strings coupled with the harmonics of the dual vocal performance add this edge of delicacy. Quiet, contemplative and quite, quite beautiful.
Where Bird really excels is in the telling of tales. Real folk tales. In his song “Lusitania” there is a true feel that this is where his heart lies, in getting to the meat and bones of a historical story, the horrors of war and in a way comparing it to real life and the present day. Hearing the music is in many ways liked being haphazardly tossed in the ocean – that maybe sounds a little trite, but the gentle sway of the percussion sounds like crashing waves, sounds like the wind that carried the liner on it’s fateful journey.
“If your loose and libel lips, keep sinking all my ships then you’re the one who sank my Lusitania”
There is a definite calmness to the music, something that you could definitely imagine lying back on your recliner sofas and immersing yourself fully in, rather than having to be sitting bolt upright and listening intently to every track. This is quiet, contemplative music with a sense of history and a sense of truth to it. The impression Bird gives is one of a serious musician entirely dedicated to producing truth in music and not just hopping on whatever bandwagon happens to be in his path. With whatever he does and whatever he produces you feel safe in his charge.
Can I see Andrew Bird Live?
Yes you can. Throughout May he will be playing a series of gigs which will showcase the new album. These start off with a date in Philadelphia on the 3rd of the month, then taking in New York, Boston, Washington, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago and Nelsonville before he brings his blend of perfect folk pop to the UK with a fairly major gig in London on June 2nd. He’s back in the US for another series of dates in July, taking in Geneva, Raleigh, Richmond, Louisville, Grand Rapids and Louiston. The tour continues in Canada and back to the US throughout August. A full list of dates and where to buy tickets to see the master at his work can be obtained here Andrew Bird.net. Not only this album, but Bird’s back catalogue of work is a definite recommendation for perfect ethereal beauty and wonderful listening. A true musical treasure.