Separation Anxiety

Andrew Bird live at Black Cat — Nov. 17, 2005 >>

Andre Bird live photo
photo by Ellen Tunney

“…my uniform steps delivered a distinct click as they slapped the hardwood floor. Contemplatively pausing at the masterpiece, I was overwhelmed by the layering of the components, resulting in a statement of woven complexities. I offered intent focus to where my attention was innately drawn, at the expense of the nebulous stream of individuals shuffling onward over my shoulder…”

Smithsonian exhibit description? Hardly.

Andrew Bird delivers music of substance. Polished, intricate tomes draw upon their predecessors and antecedents, to capture a chronological flow mirroring a scrutinized view of a piece of art, starting, taking it all in, concluding, and delivering a cumulative emotive response. Bolstering the cohesive musical swirl are the lyrical underpinnings that lack any repetitive nature, but serve as a welcome accessory, exhibiting the same crafted harmony as the accompanying sound. “A Nervous Tick Motion of the Head to the Left”, from The Mysterious Production of Eggs delivers fulfillment as it presents musical range and capability in all facets, to be reviewed subjectively and accepted or cast off.

Misplaced in the chin-up, arched-back review of Andrew Bird’s body of work is the elemental premise that his music should be acceptable, to be swallowed and repeated, at the top of one’s lungs while moving to a distinct, recognizable rhythm.

Andrew Bird delivers a music style that is palatable, but his style does not bridge the gap between well-crafted song and audience appeal. The exhibits cannot be fully grasped, and the explicit distance prevents assimilation to the music. A good song should comprise both affection and an undertaking, and while Andrew Bird’s music is astoundingly good, it not as digestible as most music, presented for consumption, and the listener must be aware of that fact, and welcoming of it. It won’t lend itself to being thrown against the walls of the shower on a frigid-tile morning. It resides on the wall, cordoned from the public, where he chose to place it.