October 7, 2008
Andrew Bird 'Oh No'
1) Andrew Bird is the kind of musician who tends to bore me. The kind who seems to have forgotten the "sex, drugs, and..." part of the mantra. You know who I mean: Chris Martin, Sufjan Stevens, Jens Lekman, the guys in Weezer or Sigur Ros, and 90% of indie-rock in the last long while. Lots of artists I enjoy. Bird seems like he fits in that soporific crowd. He's conforming to this new cliche of rock stars as well-educated, middle-class, and effeminately, vaguely elitist. They've completely thrown away the "fuck you" attitude, or even the apathy.
But I like him. At least a little. And his song 'Heretics' is a near-masterpiece.
2) His newest song 'Oh No' comes so close to being too smart (read "ironic") for its own good. Oh so very close! Self-consciousness has a shameful track record of diluting rock and roll, and this song is millimeters from crossing that line. Like I said, he's not the kind of guy I expect to do something interesting.
But, it turns out it's a great track. Close to terrible, but really great. And it has vocal harmonies worthy of Emmylou Harris. Woe.
Listen to it here.
Or, fill up on the opposite: something interesting in every sort of rock and roll way here or in this incredibly compelling performance. Good, aggressive, rebellious, over the top sexy or drugged up rock.
This is also delightful (for Bon Iver and/or Lykke Li fans), and falls comfortably and properly somewhere in the middle.