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Andrew Bird On World Cafe | March 15, 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."(link)

Playlist

Hour 1

(( )) for interlude music

The Cure "Fascination Street" Disintegration
The Lumineers "Ho Hey" The Lumineers
Old Crow Medicine Show "Wagon Wheel" Old Crow Medicine Show

((Andrew Bird "Eyeoneye" 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 "Near Death Experience Experience" Recorded Live for the World Cafe))

John K Samson "When I Write My Master's Thesis" Provincial
The Band "When I Paint My Masterpiece" Rock of Ages

((Wilco "Impossible Germany" Sky Blue))

Hour 2

Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter "Your Side Now" Reckless Burning
Thao "Bag of Hammers" We Brave Bee Stings and All
Laura Veirs "Tumblebee" Tumblebee
Jim White "Crash Into the Sun" Transnormal Skipperoo
My Morning Jacket "Holding On to Black Metal" Circuital
The Decemberists "This is Why We Fight" The King Is Dead

((Jennifer O'Connor "Today" Over The Mountain))

((One Eskimo "Chosen One" One Eskimo))

M Ward "Primitive Girl" A Wasteland Companion
Wild Flag "Romance" Wild Flag
The War on Drugs "Brothers" Slave Ambient
The Shins "The Rifles Spiral" Port of Morrow
Fiona Apple "Sleep to Dream" Tidal
Radiohead "Lotus Flower" The King of Limbs