“[Bird] is a prodigious multi-instrumentalist [and] a lyricist of
obscure and subtle wit.”—Vanity Fair
“There are few stranger, magical creatures in the indie rock world than
Andrew Bird.”—Associated Press
Andrew Bird’s Useless Creatures—previously only available with the deluxe edition of Bird’s 2009 album Noble Beast—is set for release as a stand-alone LP and CD for the first time on Fat Possum Records October 25. An instrumental companion piece to Noble Beast, the album features Glenn Kotche on percussion and Todd Sickafoose on double bass.
Noble Beast was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “[Bird’s] most instantly inviting album by far,” while Pitchfork called the record “fantastically detailed.” Pitchfork went on to say that “the bonus disc that comes with the deluxe edition, Useless Creatures, has a captivating looseness that finally brings some of the high-wire energy of [Bird’s] unpredictable live shows into the studio.” Described by Bird as an “ambient experimental record,” Useless Creatures was recorded over the course of a week in Chicago. “The result may be not unlike some electronic dance music only with woody, grainy sounds rather than the perfect sine waves of a synthesizer,” notes Bird. “How to be minimal and repetitive without being insipid is the challenge.”
In addition to the release, Andrew Bird will reprise last year’s intimate solo “Gezelligheid” performances in select cities this winter. Appropriating a Dutch term that loosely translated means “cozy,” the performances concentrate mainly on instrumental violin pieces amplified only by Bird’s signature giant Victrola horns. Bird notes, “What I hope to do with these shows is adapt my music completely to the atmosphere of the space and the season. I’m inspired to do this based on childhood memories of performing Handel’s Messiah in various churches on an annual basis…I want the audience to be both lifted and comforted as we head into another cold and dark winter. I feel the space should be sacred so the audience can experience my music in a different atmosphere.” Tickets for these performances go on sale September 25.
Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Andrew Bird picked up his first violin at the age of four and spent his formative years soaking up classical repertoire completely by ear. As a teen Bird became interested in a variety of styles including early jazz, country blues and gypsy music, synthesizing them into his unique brand of pop. Since beginning his recording career in 1997 he has released eleven albums, his first solo recordWeather Systems coming in 2003. Bird has gone on to record with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Most recently he collaborated with inventor Ian Schneller on Sonic Arboretum, an installation at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.
ANDREW BIRD’S GEZELLIGHEID SHOWS
December 6 Sixth & I Historic Synagogue Washington, DC
December 7 Sixth & I Historic Synagogue Washington, DC
December 8 Sixth & I Historic Synagogue Washington, DC
December 10 Converse Hall at Tremont Temple Boston, MA
December 15 Fourth Presbyterian Church Chicago, IL
December 16 Fourth Presbyterian Church Chicago, IL
December 17 Fourth Presbyterian Church Chicago, IL