Andrew Bird

Adele has announced a European tour for Spring 2011

Adele has announced a European tour for Spring 2011

Adele has announced a European tour for Spring 2011

Adele has announced a European tour for Spring 2011. Adele has announced a European tour for Spring 2011, which comes to the UK and Ireland in April. ‘Rolling In The Deep’, Adele’s forthcoming single is released on Sunday January 16th. Written and produced by Adele and award winning British producer Paul Epworth, it’s a ‘dark bluesy gospel disco tune’ according to Adele herself. Adele’s new album ’21′ is set to be released on Monday January 24th. Most of the album was recorded in Malibu with the legendary Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Jay Z, Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and back in Kensal Rise in London with Paul Epworth (Plan B, Bloc Party, Florence). Adele cites Wanda Jackson, Yvonne Fair, Andrew Bird, Mary J Blige, Mos Def, Elbow, Tom Waits and Kanye West amongst others as key influences on ’21′.  About its release she says ‘ It’s taken a while and it knocked me for six when writing it. It’s different from ’19′, it’s about the same things but in a different light. I deal with things differently now. I’m more patient, more honest, more forgiving and more aware of my own flaws, habits and principles. Something that comes with age I think. So fittingly this record is called ’21′. The whole reason I called my first album ’19′ was about cataloging what happened to me then and who I was then, like a photo album you see the progression and changes in a person throughout the years’. ‘Rolling In The Deep’ is released on XL Recordings on Sunday January 16th ’21′ is released on XL Recordings on Monday January 24th.  The full dates are:

12th – Olympia, Dublin, Ireland
14th ‘ O2 Academy, Leeds, UK
15th ‘ O2 ABC, Glasgow, UK
17th – Ritz, Manchester, UK
18th – HMV Institute, Birmingham, UK
20th – Guildhall, Southampton, UK
21st ‘ O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK

Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band will play a number of UK dates

Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band will play a number of UK dates

Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band will play a number of UK dates

Josh Ritter announces autumn dates. Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band will play a number of UK dates as part of a European tour this September. The tour will follow Josh Ritter’s fifth full length album ‘So Runs The World Away’, which will be released on August 23rd. The album comes after Ritter was named amongst the 100 Greatest Living Songwriters by Paste magazine alongside the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. A literary work as much as it a musical one, ‘So Runs The World Away’ is an ambitiously bold project and features the exceptional song ‘The Curse’, a love story between and archaeologist and her mummy. A unique performer, the Idaho born singer, songwriter and guitarist’s gorgeous brand of un-distilled American music has to be seen live to be believed, Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band play:

Fri 17th Oxford, Town Hall 0871 230 5595
Sat 18th Glasgow, Oran Mor 08444 999 990
Sun 19th Nottingham, Albert Hall
Tue 21st Bristol, St Georges
Wed 22nd Manchester, Royal Northern College of Music
Thu 23rd London, Barbican 020 7638 8891

Tickets are on general sale now.

Dawn Landes and the Hounds will support all dates. Dawn is also Josh’s wife.

Josh is also working on a novel, titled Bright’s Passage, to be published in 2011 on Random House / Dial Press.

“Funny People” Soundtrack Features Rare John Lennon Track

funny-people-soundtrackThe reason I looked at this soundtrack twice is because the film’s director, Judd Apatow, gave me 17 unforgettable hours of “Freaks & Geeks.” Apatow has been franchising himself a bit thin, and it’s troubling that Adam Sandler is his go-to guy this time, but he has a touch with soundtracks. The selling point here is an unreleased live version of Wilco’s “Jesus, Etc.,” with Andrew Bird sitting in, and it doesn’t disappoint. James Taylor’s “Carolina on My Mind,” another unreleased live track, also shines. Jason Schwartzman’s band, Coconut Records, scores with some wistful pop, and all of the Beatles are represented, most enjoyably by Ringo’s epic “Photograph.” Sandler reins in the middle school antics on a Continue reading →

Andrew Bird UK tour dates

andrewbirdIn the UK, Bird is currently Rough Trade Shop’s ‘Album of the Month’. He follows this overdue breakthrough by announcing a UK tour for May 2009. Dates are below, including a headline date at London Shepherd’s Bush Empire on the 11 May.  Details on an exclusive EP release will follow shortly.

Andrew Bird UK tour dates:

Sun 10 May Bristol Thekla £13.50
Mon 11 May London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Wed 13 May Manchester Academy 2
Thu 14 May Glasgow Oran Mor 

About Andrew Bird.
Born in 1973 near Chicago, IL. Education: Northwestern University, bachelor’s degree in music, 1995. Addresses: Management–Andrea Troolin, Ekonomisk Management, P.O. Box 249, Buffalo, NY 14205. Website–Andrew Bird Official Website:

Based in the Chicago area, singer, songwriter, and violinist Andrew Bird has attracted a following to his unique blend of swing, jazz, rock, and blues music. Bird performs as a soloist and with his group the Bowl of Fire, as well as with other musicians such as Kristin Hersh and Howe Gelb. Bird got his start with the zany swing band the Squirrel Nut Zippers in the 1990s, and then left that band to produce his own CDs. After releasing three albums and playing on the soundtrack of the 1999 film The Cradle Will Rock, Bird turned to recording more accessible, pop-sounding music with his 2001 release The Swimming Hour. Featuring rock drums and electric guitars, this album achieved critical acclaim and brought the composer to a new level of success. He followed this up with the more experimental Weather Systems in 2003.

Bird grew up in a musical household in the Chicago suburbs of Evanston and Lake Bluff. He grew up listening to classical music, which became his music of choice later in life, although he was also influenced by other styles. At the age of four he learned to play his first instrument, the violin. Although he was later to play many other instruments, the violin remained his primary instrument through high school and college, and in his career as a recording artist.

Bird first learned to play music using the Suzuki Method. Under this style of instruction, students learn to play music without learning to read music. It was only when he got to high school that Bird had to learn to play by reading music. He called this a traumatic, although invigorating, experience. In high school he developed a reputation among his teachers for being musically lazy. He worked hard to overcome this impression. “My teachers always said you have a nice tone and you’re very musical, but you don’t do the work,” Bird explained to National Public Radio’s John Schaefer. “I just wanted to get in here and play, I wasn’t very patient.”

Following high school, Bird attended the music school at Northwestern University in Chicago. There he received rigorous training and developed a strong foundation to his work that was to serve him well in his later career. But he also felt confined by the strict adherence to classical music that marked his training at Northwestern, and he began to seek out other styles of music, including jazz and music from around the world. Bird graduated from Northwestern in 1995.

After his graduation from college, Bird continued his musical explorations, picking up jobs playing in musical theater, in studio sessions, and at renaissance fairs. For a brief time he played with the rock band Charlie Nobody. This period of Bird’s musical development culminated with his joining the avant-garde jazz and swing band the Squirrel Nut Zippers. After playing on the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ second and third albums, and playing with them in concert, he self-produced and released his first solo CD, Music of Hair.

Bird then teamed up with a couple of his Charlie Nobody band mates, drummer Kevin O’Donnell and bass player Josh Hirsch, to create his own band called Bowl of Fire. The trio was soon joined by two other musicians, guitar player James Mathus and singer Katharine Whalen of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. After cutting some demo tracks, later released as the album Thrills, Bird and his band mates were signed by the Rykodisc record label.

While his new band still focused on the same pre-1940s jazz and swing inspirations of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Bird soon began to branch out in other directions. Much of this new music was inspired by pop music, and culminated in his 2001 album The Swimming Hour. He later explained that the reason he waited so long before turning to pop music for inspiration was because he had never listened to it before. He told Mark Guarino in the Arlington Heights, Illinois, Daily Herald, that until his stint with the Squirrel Nut Zippers, “I was as much in a vacuum as I could have been.”

Bird left Rykodisc in 2001, after cutting The Swimming Hour, citing their diverging interests as the reason for the break. Rykodisc sought to appeal to a wide audience, while Bird was more interested in continuing his genre-defying musical explorations. He opted to move to another, smaller label, where this would be more possible.

In 2002 Bird moved from his apartment on the North Side of Chicago to a farm in rural Illinois, near the town of Elizabeth. There, not far from where his parents made their home, he set up his studio in a converted barn, spending the majority of his time letting inspiration come to him from his surroundings. He farmed crops such as soybeans and corn, and raised chickens and cows. His daily routine during this time consisted of getting up in the morning, gathering eggs for his breakfast, and then letting ideas for musical compositions slowly grow like the crops all around him, until they took strong enough hold in his mind for him to commit them to recordings.

It was at the barn that he conceived his 2003 album, Weather Systems. Although each piece on Weather Systems is a complete composition in itself, the nine songs on the album blend thematically to create a whole, in which Bird’s violins, voice, and other instruments evoke the Midwestern farmlands surrounding his barn. This music follows no conventional musical form; the music is pure artistic creation. “I’m getting away from style now,” he told Schaefer in 2003. Just as Bird’s compositions defy convention, they also leave interpretation up to the individual listener. With surreal, poetic lyrics, Bird enjoys making his audiences think about what they are listening to, rather than giving them answers.

In addition to his familiar violins, Bird plays the glockenspiel on Weather Systems, and also sings and whistles. Adding a high tech element to his work, he plays an electronic violin that records melodies as he plays them. At key points he has the violin repeat what it has recorded. The effect is as if a small orchestra were playing the music, and not just Bird. He is able to create this effect even while playing the music in concert.

In addition to recording and performing his own music, Bird continues to collaborate in the work of other artists, including Kevin O’Donnell, Kristin Hersh and Howe Gelb, both in concert and in the studio.

Andrew Bird’s Career
Learned to play violin at age four, 1977; played in musical theater, a rock band, and in studio sessions immediately after college; joined avant-garde swing band the Squirrel Nut Zippers and recorded with them, 1990s; self-produced and released first solo album, Music of Hair, 1996; formed band called Bowl of Fire, signed with Rykodisc, released Thrills, 1998; released Oh! The Grandeur, 1999; played on soundtrack of film The Cradle Will Rock, 1999; released pop-inspired album The Swimming Hour, 2001; left Rykodisc, released self-produced live album Fingerlings, 2002; released Weather Systems, on Righteous Babe, 2003.

Albums and singles released in UK today

the-viewThe View unleash second record ‘Which Bitch?’ on the masses today (February 2), hoping to get their second chart-topping album.

In the singles chart, Coldplay’s ‘Life In Technicolour II’ is up against Mark Ronson’s buddy Daniel Merriweather’s ‘Change’.

Singles released in the UK this week:

Colin MacIntyre – ‘You’re A Star’
Coldplay – ‘Life In Technicolour II’
Daniel Merriweather – ‘Change’
Dirty Projectors & David Byrne/The National – ‘Knotty Pine’/'Around The Bend’
Of Montreal – ‘An Eluardian Instance’
Seasick Steve – ‘Happy Man’
Albums released today:

Andrew Bird – ‘Noble Beast’
Tom Morello – ‘The Nightwatchman’
Spider & The Flies – ‘Something Clockwork Comes This Way’
The View – ‘Which Bitch?’

A Musical Guide to Inauguration Weekend

adeleIn less than a week, the new guy finally gets his chance to save our republic. So cue the music! If you’re heading into Washington for the festivities, here’s a rundown on 10 shows worth catching.

10. Metallica (Thursday at the Verizon Center. Sold out). It would be so awesome if Dick Cheney appeared during “Enter Sandman.” 
9. The People’s Inaugural Ball, featuring Blaqstarr (Tuesday at the Rock and Roll Hotel. $10). The venue sounds kinda strange (the day after the inauguration, they offer “amateur female jello wrestling”), but it’d still be fun to spend inauguration night getting crunk with a legend of Baltimore club music.
8. Adele (Saturday at the 9:30 Club. Sold out). Not sure whether she’ll be good live. But at least you can count on hearing that one song. Hard to imagine that one being less than great.
7. Raveonettes (Saturday at the Black Cat. $15-17). Remarkable that this show isn’t yet sold out. Get your tickets now, boys and girls. 
6. Rock The Vote presents “Hey, America Feels Kinda Cool Again,” featuring the Beastie Boys, Sheryl Crow and Citizen Cope (Monday at 9:30 Club. Sold out). If America is cool again, that fact has very little to do with Sheryl Crow. Still, it’s great to live in the country that gave the world the Beastie Boys. 
5. The Big Shoulders Inauguration Ball, featuring Andrew Bird, Ted Leo, Tortoise, Waco Brothers, Jon Langford, Sally Timms, David “Honeyboy” Edwards and author Thomas Frank. (Monday at the Black Cat. Sold out). Between sets, see if you can get Honeyboy, who was born in 1915, to tell you stories about the Depression. 
4. Let Freedom Ring, featuring Aretha Franklin (Monday at the Kennedy Center. Free tickets distributed at 4 p.m. on the day of show). If you’re willing to stand in line, you can see the Queen of Soul for free. What a country! 
3. Frightened Rabbit (Monday at the Rock and Roll Hotel. $12). A former Paste intern tipped me off to this show, which seems likely to take the indie-rock overflow crowd that couldn’t get into the Black Cat.  
2. Jay-Z (Monday at Warner Theatre. $100-500). Exorbitant ticket prices aside, this one could be hard to beat. 
1. We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, Bono, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, John Mellencamp, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Shakira and more (Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial. Free). The grandaddy of all inaugural concerts. There will also be readings by Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III and, yes, Queen Latifah. If you can’t be there, HBO will—according to the official inaugural blog, y’all—broadcast the show from 7 to 9 p.m. “on an open signal, working with all of its distributors to allow Americans across the country with access to cable, telcos or satellite television to enjoy the Opening Celebration for free.”  
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