Tag Archives: favored artists

“Andrew Bird’s one-man orchestra of the imagination”

“Alright. It’s kinda cool, like, songwriters can sorta get away with murder, you don’t really have… you can throw out crazy theories and not have to back it up with data or graphs or research…

“But uh, I think reckless would be my, uh, what the world needs now.”

It sounds more articulate when he says it.

Anyhow, I wanted to share this because I think Andrew Bird’s style is sweet. I like his fanciful instrumentation and lyrics, his unconventional use of the violin, and his enrichment of a single idea through looping. Glad to see that Mr. Bird is getting some TED action.


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Recommendation: Mirah’s (A)Spera


1. Generosity (3:44)
2. The World Is Falling Apart (5:00)
3. Education (5:18)
4. Shells (2:32)
5. Country of the Future (3:35)
6. The Forest (3:30)
7. Gone Are the Days (3:41)
8. The River (7:49)
9. Bones & Skin (3:12)
10. While We Have the Sun (4:41)

Over the last year Mirah has become one of my favorite artists. I find her lyrics sweetly impressive and clever. I think her lo-fi idiom is solid, well-practiced, but never boring. She mixes her troubadorial guitar with instrumental choices that might otherwise be surprising if you were listening to any other singer-songwriter. “The Forest” (off of (A)Spera) shows off a tight horn section with a military flavor; “Shells” is carried by a light, arpeggiated dulcimer (one of my favorite sounds in the world); “While We Have the Sun” unfolds over a thumb piano loop (thumb piano!), dulcimer (!!), and layered vocals. The overall scope of her records shows a positive correlation between her creative bravery and the progression of time.

Her newest album (A)Spera came out about a week ago and marks her first release of new material since 2004. It highlights all of her abilities as a musician, lyricist, and songwriter, furthering her arc of successful artistic projects. If you’re already a listener, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re not, now would be a good time to change that.

A well-written review of (A)Spera can be found here. Give her opening track a listen. And to all you folks lucky enough to live in Portland (her chosen artistic base), she’ll be playing the Aladdin Theater on the 4th of April. See you there.

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