A/Viary

Discography

artworkBreak It Yourself

Break It Yourself
Mom & Pop
2011

1. Desperation Breeds…
2. Polynation
3. Danse Caribe
4. Give It Away
5. Eyeoneye
6. Lazy Projector
7. Near Death Experience Experience
8. Behind the Barn
9. Lusitania
10. Orpheo Looks Back
11. Sifters
12. Fatal Shores
13. Hole in the Ocean Floor
14. Belles

normanNorman

A film by Jonathan Segal. Original score and songs by Andrew Bird

(All tracks by Andrew Bird except 5, 9, and 11)

NORMAN (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Mom & Pop Records
2011

1. Scotch and Milk
2. 3:36
3. Arcs and Coulombs
4. Hospital
5. S.O.S (Performed by The Blow with Richard Swift)
6. Nice Hat / Exit Sign / Angelo Speaks
7. Medicine Chest
8. The Kiss / Time and Space / Waterfall
9. You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son (Redux) (Performed by Wolf Parade)
10. Cancerboy Strikes Again / Monsterstream
11. Rabid Bits of Time (Performed by Chad VanGaalen)
12. Build Up to the Fall
13. Epic Sigh / The Python Connection
14. The Bridge
15. Night Sky
16. Afterspeak / Things Come to a Head
17. Darkmatter

fingerlings4Fingerlings 4

Featured live recordings from the December 2009 Gezelligheid performances at 4th Presbyterian church in Chicago, IL.

Artwork by Jay Ryan

Fingerlings 4 (Gezelligheid Chicago)
Wegawam Music Co.
2010

1. Dance of Death
2. Master Sigh
3. Make Hay
4. You Woke Me Up!
5. Danse Carribe
6. The Barn Tapes
7. The Sifters
8. Carrion Suite
9. Meet Me Here at Dawn
10. Oh Baltimore
11. Section 8 City

Bird_CoverUseless Creatures

Originally an instrumental companion piece to 2009’s Noble Beast, the Useless Creatures album features Glenn Kotche on percussion and Todd Sickafoose on double bass. Pitchfork characterizes the album as having “a captivating looseness that finally brings some of the high-wire energy of [Bird’s] unpredictable live shows into the studio.” Described by Bird as an “ambient experimental record,” Useless Creatures was recorded over the course of a week in Chicago. “The result may be not unlike some electronic dance music only with woody, grainy sounds rather than the perfect sine waves of a synthesizer,” notes Bird. “How to be minimal and repetitive without being insipid is the challenge.”

Useless Creatures
Fat Possum
2010

1. Master Sigh
2. You Woke Me Up!
3. Nyatiti
4. The Barn Tapes
5. Carrion Suite
6. Spinney
7. Dissent
8. Hot Math
9. Sigh Master

noblebeastNoble Beast

January 20th, 2009. Andrew Bird releases Noble Beast on Fat Possum Records in North America, and on Bella Union in Europe. The self-produced album consists of 14 original songs recorded primarily at the Beech House in Nashville, with additional recording taking place at various Chicago and Minneapolis locations over a period of five months. As usual, Bird handles violin, vocals, whistling and guitar, with back-up from live cohorts Martin Dosh (percussion, looping, keys), Jeremy Ylvisaker (guitar, bass, organ, shortwave) and more recently Mike Lewis, plus a supporting cast that includes Kelly Hogan and the band Loney Dear.

The Deluxe Edition of Noble Beast includes the bonus CD Useless Creatures, a 9-track collection of instrumental works. Todd Sickafoose and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche appear on this disc.

Noble Beast – Standard Edition
Fat Possum
2009

1. Oh No
2. Masterswarm
3. Fitz and the Dizzyspells
4. Effigy
5. Tenuousness
6. Nomenclature
7. ouo
8. Not a Robot, But a Ghost
9. Unfolding Fans
10. Anonanimal
11. Natural Disaster
12. The Privateers
13. Souverian
14. On Ho

7VO2ZEY3ioev9y68Kljx1oV5o1_500Fitz and the Dizzyspells EP

Fitz and the Dizzyspells EP
Phantom Sound & Vision
2009

1. Fitz and the Dizzyspells
2. Sectionate City
3. Ten-You-Us
4. See the Enemy
5. The Nightshade Gets It

liveinmontrealLive In Montreal

Recorded by sound engineer extraordinaire, Neal Jensen, on September 26, 2007 at La Tulipe, this show catches Andrew with Martin Dosh and Jeremy Ylvisaker at the height of the band’s Armchair Apocrypha touring. Hot!

Live in Montreal
Grimsey
2008

1. Intro
2. Why?
3. Opposite Day
4. Simple X
5. Cannonade
6. Imitosis
7. Spare-Ohs
8. Skin Is, My
9. Darkmatter

soldieronepSoldier On EP

Soldier On –a tour only European EP released in November 2007. It’s now available on CD exclusively from Fargo Records mail order.

The EP collects album outtakes, demos, alternate mixes, and Andrew’s covers of Bob Dylan’s “Oh Sister” and a tune from a collaboration with Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak dance company. Artwork by the mighty Jay Ryan.

Soldier On EP
Fargo Records
2007

1. The Trees Were Mistaken
2. Sic of Elephants
3. The Waterjet Cilice
4. Plasticities (Remix)
5. Heretics (Early Version)
6. Sectionate City
7. How You Gonna Keep ‘Em Down On the Farm
8. Oh Sister

armchairapocryphaArmchair Apocrypha

Armchair Apocrypha, released March 20, 2007 is Andrew’s 7th studio album. It was recorded mainly in Minneapolis at Crazy Beast Studios (Ben Durrant) and Third Ear Studios (Tom Herbers).

A cast of collaborators was drawn from the surrounding music scene: Drummer and keyboard player Martin Dosh, singer Haley Bonar, bassist Chris Morrissey, and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Ylvisaker (who, along with Dosh, now features in Andrew’s live lineup) added their talents to the album, which was mixed at the famed, haunted Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.

The album opens with “Fiery Crash,” which Bird describes as a superstitious incantation to protect him from plane crashes (“just a nod to mortality before you get on the plane”). As the album progresses, songs of “Dark Matter” (“do you wonder where the self resides, is it in your head or between your sides, and who will be that one who will decide its true location?), “Heretics” and “Plasticities” are sung with humor and lightness that belies their lyrical depth. “Scythian Empire,” amid lush pizzicato violin, considers an obscure corner of history and its lost civilizations, and apocalyptic horsemen. And so it goes, through to the final notes of “Yawny at the Apocalypse,” with varied and stunning musical tapestries embellished with lyrical vignettes and musings that veer fluidly from almost childlike innocence to seasoned, darkly comic wit, with unexpected twists at every turn.

Armchair Apocrypha
Fat Possum
2007

1. Fiery Crash
2. Imitosis
3. Plasticities
4. Heretics
5. Armchairs
6. Darkmatter
7. Simple X
8. The Supine
9. Cataracts
10. Scythian Empires
11. Spare-Ohs
12. Yawny At The Apocalypse

fingerlings3Fingerlings 3

Fingerlings 3 is Bird’s third in an ongoing series of live albums – this edition is a slight anomaly in that for the first time it isn’t composed entirely of songs recorded live in front of an audience. “Dear Dirty” is a studio track that didn’t make it onto an album and “The Water Jet Cilice” and “Ethiobirds” were recorded live (solo) to an audience of crickets and cicadas at Andrew’s home studio in a barn in rural western Illinois. From that audience of a few hundred interested insects to a performance of “Measuring Cups” for an crowd of thousands at Lollapalooza, the songs span the last few years of live performances, and include live versions of favorites from The Mysterious Production of Eggs and the upcoming 2007 album Armchair Apocrypha (“Dark Matter” and “Scythian Empire”). Covers of Son House’s “Grinnin in Your Face” and The Handsome Family’s “Tin Foil” round out the setlist. Drummer / multi-instrumentalist Dosh appears on 4 tracks.

Fingerlings 3
Grimsey
2006

1. Grinnin’
2. Dark Matter
3. The Water Jet Cilice
4. Measuring Cups
5. The Happy Birthday Song
6. A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
7. Scythian Empire
8. Dear Dirty
9. Tin Foil
10. Ethiobirds

mysteriousproductionofeggsThe Mysterious Production of Eggs

February 8th, 2005, Mr. Bird releases his first studio album in nearly two years, The Mysterious Production of Eggs, on Righteous Babe Records in the US and Fargo records in Europe.

The recording sessions for Eggs saw Bird scrap the album three times and travel between studios in Chicago, Los Angeles and his own home studio on a farm in Northern Illinois. The album took final shape with the production help of David Boucher whose credits include Randy Newman and Paul Westerberg.

The record deals with nothing less than the mysteries of childhood, creativity and modern science – epic in scope and minute in detail. It is accompanied by artwork and illustrations for every song by accomplished Chicago based artist Jay Ryan. Equally unusual is Bird’s solo live show at which, with the aid of a sampling pedal, the songwriter takes his often dense, orchestrated recordings and rewrites them anew each night, adding layers of fiddle, electric guitar, and glockenspiel to his vocals and whistling.

The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Righteous Babe
2005

1. /=/
2. Sovay
3. A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
4. Fake Palindromes
5. Measuring Cups
6. Banking on a Myth
7. Masterfade
8. Opposite Day
9. Skin Is, My
10. The Naming of Things
11. MX Missiles
12. /=/=/
13. Tables and Chairs
14. The Happy Birthday Song

fingerlings2Fingerlings 2

Fingerlings 2 is Bird’s second in an ongoing series of live albums. This particular collection contains some solo works in progress from Andrew’s latest album, The Mysterious Production of Eggs, as well as some great collaborations, including 2 tracks as a duo with Nora O’Connor, one with My Morning Jacket backing him up, and 2 full on band rockers with the Bowl of Fire.

Mojo Magazine named it a December 2004 album of the month: “If there’s one thing besides bank balance that distiguishes indie from major artists, it’s the stop-gap records – often live – that they put out between official albums. Major label ones are generally throwaway; indie ones, sold via gigs and websites, are often as good as, or better than, the “real” releases. The second in Bird’s live Fingerlings series falls into the latter category, for one simple reason: Bird is extraordinary live. Switching seamlessly between violin and guitar, and with a haunting voice that at times recalls Jeff Buckley, he creates a compelling if unclassifiable hybrid of alt country, introspective folk, classical and jazz. On Spanish for Monsters he sings the blues over gypsy violin; on Happy Day he’s clapboard gospel; but First Song is the highlight, the vocal and guitar, bucolic whistles and warbles riffing wonderfully off each other.”

Available again with new artwork by Jay Ryan!

Fingerlings 2
Grimsey
2004

1. First Song
2. Skin Is, My
3. Masterfade
4. Banking on a Myth
5. MX Missiles
6. Spanish for Monsters
7. Sovay
8. Way Out West
9. Depression Pasillo
10. Happy Day

weathersystemsWeather Systems

Weather Systems
Righteous Babe Records
2003

1. First Song
2. I
3. Lull
4. Action/Adventure
5. >
6. Skin
7. Weather Systems
8. Don’t Be Scared
9. <

balladofredshoesBallad of the Red Shoes

The Ballad of the Red Shoes is a collaborative project between Andrew and his mother, Beth Bird, who is a printmaker. In its original printing in 2001, the artwork consisted of an accordion folded set of prints illustrating a story tucked inside a sturdy printed / handpainted chipboard folder. The new package is slightly less deluxe, the artwork is now in a booklet instead of an accordion fold – otherwise, all of the images remain the same. The CD contains 12 minutes worth of instrumental violin pieces. Short and sweet.

Available again!

The Ballad of the Red Shoes
self-released
2002

1. Theme 1 (waltz)
2. Something Sinister
3. Chorus of the Swan
4. Theme 1 (restated)
5. Dance of Death
6. The Door
7. Swedish Folk Tune

fingerlingsFingerlings

Available again with new artwork by Jay Ryan!

Fingerlings
Grimsey Records
2004

1. Action/Adventure
2. Trimmed + Burning
3. Gotholympians
4. Richmond Woman
5. Sweetbreads
6. Why?
7. Headsoak
8. How Indiscreet
9. T’N’T

theswimminghourThe Swimming Hour

AB: “The Swimming Hour was recorded over a five month period in 2000, it required a great deal of preparation and organization which doesn’t come easy to me. The trick was to record these complex multilayered songs without having them sound labored. So even though there are many things going on, at the base it’s a live spontaneous performance. Still working with Mike Napolitano and a host of local musicians in addition to the core BOF line-up at that time- Kevin, Josh, Colin and Nora. We also had Pat Sansone playing keyboards and vibes + LeRoy Bach on Wurli and Kelly Hogan singing back-up.

“The songs started taking shape when I was bumming around New Orleans getting into trouble. I wanted to make a good juke-box record and started with the Memphis style Indiscreet and Satisfied. Headsoak and Why? were old songs that I recorded for Thrills and Grandeur, but weren’t quite ready and benefited from the soul treatment. 11:11 and 2-way Action were the real monsters – the ones that I didn’t recognize in playback. It was exciting because it suprised me. Recording is boring if you realize all your ideas as you hear them in your head.

“It’s funny. When I am subjected to the first two Bowl of Fire records they now seem very foreign to me. I think “who is that lunatic?” They are almost so far away as to sound new and strange.”

The Swimming Hour
Rykodisc
2001

1. Two Way Action
2. Core and Rind
3. Why?
4. 11:11
5. Case in Point
6. Too Long
7. Way Out West
8. Waiting to Talk
9. Fatal Flower Garden
10. Satisfied
11. Headsoak
12. How Indiscreet
13. Dear Old Greenland

grandeurOh! The Grandeur

AB says: “Oh! The Grandeur was a weird one. I could feel this conceptual thing getting beyond my control. Rather than fight it I tried to embrace it. The title was poking fun at this self-awareness, the delusions of … required to follow an idea through to the finished product. It also contains some heavier subject matter, and bizarre intros and outros creating a sort of theatrical feel. Many songs are like character profiles: “Feetlips” is about an obnoxious sort who still gets ahead just because he’s always on the scene, “Vidalia” is about my grandfather, “Tea and Thorazine,” about my autistic brother. It was a hard record to make, but I’m proud of it. Even the moments when I can hear my mind melting. I was trying to create a sort of through line or narrative and I had forced myself to stick to one medium or era and see it through. I was ready to cut loose, though, and immediately started on The Swimming Hour.”

Oh! The Grandeur
Rykodisc
1999

1. Candy Shop
2. Tea and Thorazine
3. Wishing for Contentment
4. Wait
5. The Idiot’s Genius
6. Vidalia
7. Beware
8. Dora Goes to Town
9. Feetlips
10. And So…
11. Coney Island Shuffle
12. Respiration
13. (What’s Your) Angle?
14. The Confession
15. Beware Reprise

thrillsThrills

AB: “Thrills is a good time. It is from the time when I had just gotten my conceptual shit together. We had fun making it and I think you can hear it. Jimbo Mathus was really locking in with Kevin and me and Josh. We were happily and unapologetically into that early 20th century thing, 3-penny opera, Calypso, Slim and Slam, Charlie Patton, the weirder corners of it, and we recorded the whole thing to one or two microphones, old-school. We were running around New Orleans having a time, Jimbo in his jellies and basketball jersey. The first record we made with NOLA native Mike ‘Nappy’ Napolitano.”

Thrills
Rykodisc
1998

1. Minor Stab
2. Ides of Swing
3. Glass Figurine
4. Pathetique
5. Depression – Pasillo
6. 50 Pieces
7. Woman’s Life and Love
8. Swedish Wedding March
9. Eugene
10. Gris-Gris
11. Cock o’ the Walk
12. Nuthinduan Waltz
13. Some of These Days

musicofhairMusic of Hair

Bird says:  “Music of Hair was made over a 2-year period age 20-22 and captures a period when I was into different ethnic fiddle music: Cape Breton – Irish Scottish – Swedish Klezmer and Gypsy, Indian to Miles Davis & experimental word play. Actually, it’s divided into 3 groups of 4 songs. The first is sort of American. The second is N. European. The last is sort of my own melange and was done just when I was getting mixed up with the Zippers. I was somewhat embarrassed of it for a while but now I think it’s kind of cool. It is sort of a relic from the time before I got my conceptual shit together.”

Music of Hair
Self-Released
1996

1. Nuthinduan Waltz
2. Ambivalence Waltz
3. Oh So Insistent
4. Rhodeaoh
5. Two Sisters
6. St. Francis Reel
7. Ratitat/Peter’s Wolf/Oblivious Reel
8. The Greenhorn/Exile of Erin/Glasgow Reel
9. Pathetique
10. Song of Foot
11. Minor Beatrice
12. Oh So Sad