SPANNING GENRES AND STYLES AND WITH A SWEET TENOR BUT OFTEN BITING SENSIBILITIES ANDREW BIRD LANDS AT KINGS THEATRE
BY EVAN MONROE
It’s almost a desperate need for short pieces like these to categorize an artist right up front, so to put readers in an “interested or-not” mindset. But give us a minute, because Andrew Bird just about refuses to be genre’d. Our best summation is that, since coming onto the music scene in the mid-90s (gaining early notoriety through collaborative work with the band Squirrel Nut Zippers), he’s embraced, with a classical music training and background, European folk tradition, jazz, blues, alternative rock, and indie-folk and even that sweeping assessment doesn’t do him justice. Solo albums have included rills (1998), Oh! The Grandeur (1999), and no fewer than 10 more (even as he was also collaborating with bands like Bowl of Fire, Kevin O’Donnell’s Quality Six, and e Hands of Glory, along with artists like Fiona Apple). Fans of Net ix’s Orange Is the New Black might recognize his show-featured track “Pulaski at Night.” More recently, Bird has released a series of site-specific improvisational short films and audio tracks called Echolocations, recorded in remote and acoustically interesting spaces—a canyon in Utah, an abandoned seaside bunker, the middle of the Los Angeles River, and a stone-covered aqueduct in Lisbon. He also scores the current FX series, Baskets.
By turns sweet and biting, with low-key production and filled with a combination of hooky, Bill Withers-like tracks (“Capsized,” “Truth Lies Now”), pseudo abstractions, and poppy dreamscapes, his latest disc, My Finest Work Yet, was just released in March (cover art seen here). His sweet tenor is center stage as the disc assembles a gorgeous mix of the tunefully unexpected.
Seats for his September 22 performance in Brooklyn were still available at time of press (starting at $39). Ambassador Club Premium Seats, sold directly by Kings Theatre (doors open at 7:00 p.m.), include a personal greeting by a theatre representative, expedited access to both the venue and its Ambassador Club Lounge (with pre-show Happy Hour), an exclusive balcony box seat, and food and beverage service.
1027 Flatbush Avenue / kingstheatre.com