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Bird is the Word

Posted by Drew / November 15, 2005

Andrew Bird with Head of Femur and Oh Bijou @ Petit Campus, Sat. Nov. 12

Traffic holdups held the show up and Oh Bijou took the stage without a soundcheck and pretty much wowed the crowd. I saw them at Pop Montreal. I liked them then. I like them even more now. Carefully crafted and heartfelt pop that never gets too cute, which is a considerable feat as they are all very adorable people. Sure they could rock a little more and they do not finish their songs as much as they just stop playing, but, again, without even a soundcheck, they took the stage and owned a roomful of people who had all come out to see the headliner. You should see them next time they are in town.

Head of Femur
Seemed like a group of super nice guys with a tired, tired forgetable sound. Wish I could say something else.

Andrew Bird
Andrew Bird is the thinking person's Jeff Buckley, which is to say he's Tim Buckley. His voice and his sensibility, anyway, if not his sound. Unlike the new psych-folk guys, who, regardless of how long they grow their hair, still remain firmly rooted in the contemporary, Bird is a true throwback. He has the brittle arrogance and the cad-like quality that I associate with Buckley Sr. and, cerainly, Bob Dylan; a quality that is difficult to associate with, say, Devandra Banheart, who seems, well, nice. Bird is a charismatic, generous performer, but he has an edge that keeps things barely comfortable. You get the sense he could turn on you at any second.

His sound is difficult to pinpoint, although easy to associate. He sounds like he plays the songs he wants to listen to. And his liquid-voice-with-a-catch convinces you that they are the songs you want to listen to, too. I don't know. You have to love this guy. He is a genuine capital-A artist, playing the genre-less sountrack for all our mistakes, joys, and thwarted desires--sometimes on a tattered violin, sometimes on an electric quitar. And he brought along Jay Ryan, who was selling some of his work at the show (he did a wild poster for the Wolf Parade show in Chicago).

P.S. The sound was awesome.

Other Cities: Toronto