The Magnetic Fields show last Sunday was good, but part of why we were interested to begin with was that Andrew Bird was opening. He plays violin, and is currently touring without his band, Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire. I’ve liked him since his Squirrel-Nut-Zipper-y days, though the stuff he’s doing now is not very much like that at all. There’s a nice little interview here.
So a solo violin show was kind of interesting; for the most part, he would begin with playing something which then got looped, and he’d start playing over it, and occasionally adding to the loop as he went, tossing in an effect pedal here and there.
We picked up a copy of his album Weather Systems, which I highly recommend. A lot of the live versions were different, though; the album version if “I” is missing the clever little lifting of the “We All Live in a Capital ‘I’” song from Sesame Street. That song has always given me an overwhelming and satisfying feeling of loneliness and melancholy. It was a nice little unexpected surprise to hear it paraphrased in the middle of a different song.
Also,he works out of his barn, which, I can’t lie, I think is enviable. My barn would also be in the middle of nowhere, but have wi-fi and nearby rail access to a major urban ganglion.