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Andrew Bird on World Cafe | July 23, 2012

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Whistling polymath Andrew Bird has become a perennial favorite of folk-pop aficionados and classical fans alike. As a trained violinist and a longtime touring musician, he has a way of expertly melding many genres and influences into his own unique brand of baroque pop. Showcasing his impressive skills with the violin, guitar, mandolin, glockenspiel and vocals, Bird is a picture of versatility.

He's been at it for more than a decade, when fresh out of college he released a jazz and folk inspired collection called Music Of Hair. Since then, he's steadily recorded several solo and band albums, live albums and EPs, and contributed to countless other artists' efforts. He's collaborated with the likes of Neko Case, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Ani DiFranco, My Morning Jacket and The Muppets.

Bird has just put out his sixth solo studio album, Break It Yourself. It's nothing if not heterogeneous — Bird employs a kind of tender balladry in this album, ominous yet pop-flavored with his assortment of whistles, horns and strings. His impressive lyrical bent is not lacking, and Break It Yourself, while darker than previous releases, is filled with contemplative poetry and lighthearted melodies. According to Bird, as interviewed on NPR, the contrast is intended: "I think that dark on dark is kind of boring, but the juxtaposition is what we call melancholy. That's the basis of most music, really."

This episode originally aired on March 15, 2012. (link)


(( )) for interlude music


Sharon Van Etten “One Day” Epic
Langhorne Slim & the Law “The Way We Move” The Way We Move
The Lumineers “Ho Hey” The Lumineers
((Andrew Bird "Near Death Experience Experience" Recorded Live for the World Cafe))
Andrew Bird “Eyeoneye” Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Andrew Bird “Danse Caribe” Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Andrew Bird “Near Death Experience Experience” Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Andrew Bird “Give It Away” Recorded Live for the World Cafe
((Andrew Bird "Eyeoneye" Recorded Live for the World Cafe))
The Decemberists “This Is Why We Fight” The King Is Dead
Dwight Yoakam “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” This Time
Dr. Dog “Lonesome” Be the Void
((Girls "Curls" Girls))


Anders Osborne “When Will I See You Again?” Black Eye Galaxy
Field Report “I Am Not Waiting Anymore” Field Report
Field Report “Fergus Falls” Field Report
Ryan Adams “Lucky Now” Ashes & Fire
Ray LaMontagne “Beg Steal Or Borrow” God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise
((John Mayer "Shadow Days" Born and Raised))
Rodriguez “Sugar Man” Cold Fact
The xx “Angels” Coexist
The Heavy “What Makes a Good Man” The Glorious Dead
Joe Cocker “Hitchcock Railway” Joe Cocker
Debo Band “Akale Wube” Debo Band
((The Budos Band "Up From the South" The Budos Band))
Band of Horses “Knock Knock” Mirage Rock
The Jayhawks “She Walks In So Many Ways” Mockingbird Time
Jonathan Wilson “Desert Raven” Gentle Spirit