Favorite

Rhythm & Views 

Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird is a motherlode of charisma, enigmatic with a winking streak of anachronism. A violin virtuoso with a presence that would humble Bono, the boy is a wizard of electronic effects and a brilliant compiler of lyric metaphors. He's a sui generis rocker with an aesthetic compelling enough to carry it off.

Take, for instance, the aggressive gypsy violin rock of "Fake Palindromes." It opens with what Phil Spector's "wall of sound" might be had he hailed from Eastern Europe. The ensuing pop melody and its punchy chorus are impelled by a driven bassline. A cautionary love song, its lyrics reference blood, knee socks, monsters, lipstick and a rheostat.

Bird borrows the name of an old English folk tune, "Sovay," for a lilting ditty contemplating warmongering: "They're playing 'Ride of the Valkyries' / with no semblance of grace or ease ... acting on vagaries / with their violent proclivities." He tweaks his vocal timbre with the same dexterity he applies to the violin.

"A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left" features a lyric inspired by an afternoon under Howe Gelb's backyard mister, with passing mention of 16 tons of HAZMAT. A clangorous electric guitar leads into a pizzicato violin overdubbed with another violin tuned like a cello. Incredibly, Bird is able to embellish on all this live and solo, thanks to the wonders of modern technology. It's not to be missed.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In The Next 10 Days

Nine Questions: DJQ

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Guitar Hero

    Tucson-raised Robby Lochner always managed to earn a living with his guitar. Then his discipline inspired new life in a suicidal nostalgia act.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Vintage Vinyl Tucson

    This week: The Spiders 'Don’t Blow Your Mind' b/w 'No Price Tag'
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation