Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha (Spunk) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

 |   |  <1 min read

Andrew Bird: Dark Matters
Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha (Spunk) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Years ago this Chicago singer-songwriter-violinist helmed his band Bowl of Fire through strange back-alleys of music which referred to blues and jazz of the 20s, circuses and travelling shows, low-rent bars and brothel music of old time New Orleans, and a bit of Tom Waits.

After a while I gave up telling people how good he was.

It's that time again however -- but for very different reasons, and very different music.

Bird now makes a kind of eclectic, bent and sometimes dramatic folk-rock with dark alt.rock overtones -- although every now and again you can hear echoes of that earlier stylistic implosion.

As with Richard Swift (see tag), he is uncompromising in his arrangements but is profligate of melodies and almost throws them away. And shoots these songs through with disconcertingly clever (but not clever-clever) lyrics: you might never want to fly again when you read the incisive and economic lyrics of the opener Fiery Crash.

Dreams, half-remembered visions, oblique stabs at contemporary politics through the prism of history, lives of boredom and tension . . .

Bird is one smart cookie, but it is his music which will initially transport you.

This is a real grower and could appeal to Arcade Fire and Richard Swift fans alike.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music at Elsewhere articles index

The Fireman: Electric Arguments (Shock)

The Fireman: Electric Arguments (Shock)

Paul McCartney -- who is half of The Fireman with producer/remixer Youth -- has always adopted a curious but probably sensible dichotomy when it comes to music outside of his pop-rock releases.... > Read more

Terry Allen and The Panhandle Mystery Band: Just Like Moby Dick (POB/Southbound)

Terry Allen and The Panhandle Mystery Band: Just Like Moby Dick (POB/Southbound)

It always seems a little strange that John Prine should be (rightly) hailed and his peers like the wonderful Terry Allen and Elsewhere's particular favourite Tom Russell should not enjoy similar... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SNAPSHOTS OF STRANGENESS: A Collection of Odd Anecdotes

SNAPSHOTS OF STRANGENESS: A Collection of Odd Anecdotes

Walt Disney Regrets Last week I spent a morning in the company of a woman who has a curious obsession: she collects soundtracks to those Walt Disney nature programmes which occasionally still... > Read more

GUEST WRITER VIKY GARDEN is seduced by the Impressionism, again

GUEST WRITER VIKY GARDEN is seduced by the Impressionism, again

To be honest, I was very sceptical about the forthcoming documentary The Impressionists (Sky Arts Channel, Thur April 19, 8.30) I mean, the Impressionists – what don’t we already... > Read more