Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Noble Beast

Andrew Bird releases new album, hits the road

Photo By Cameron WittigCameron WittigAnother day, another example of my wanton disregard for traditional press cycles. In this case, it’s Chicago’s Andrew Bird and his 2007 release Armchair Apocrypha. There’s no good reason why I never wrote it up – it’s a fine record – but in my defense, the cardboard sleeve was really tough to get off the jewel case… However I’m not going to bother with a review now, if you want some endorsements head over to Metacritic. Instead, I’m going to look to the future.

In particular, January 20. That’s the date that his new album Noble Beast will be released, a week earlier than originally announced. It’ll be available in both a standard single-CD/double-LP form as well as a fancy pants deluxe edition that will include a second CD of instrumental compositions entitled Useless Creatures as well as an assortment of deluxe edition-worthy liner note goodies.

And another date – or set of dates – of note are those of his North American tour. The original February leg ran from the east coast of the US, through the south and up the west coast but those have now been augmented by a second batch covering the middle of American and extending into Canada, including an April 3 date at Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

If you’re not familiar with Bird, imagine an individual who seems to be a virtuoso at every instrument he touches but is most noted for his violin and whistling skills. Oh, and who’s just as good as a singer and songwriter. And he’s a mesmerizing live performer. He’s probably also kind to animals and small children. It’s really kind of disgusting, if you think about it. Check out a track from his last album and his Live In Montreal record, also released last year.

MP3: Andrew Bird – “Heretics”
MP3: Andrew Bird – “Skin Is, My” (live)
MP3: Andrew Bird – “Why?” (live)
Video: Andrew Bird – “Imitosis”
MySpace: Andrew Bird

NOW and The Guelph Mercury talk to D’Urbervilles frontman John O’Regan. Congrats to Stephanie and Meghan who won the passes to the band’s two-night Rock Em Sock Em shows at the Tiger Bar on Friday and Saturday night.

Emily Haines of Metric talks to The Globe & Mail and JAM about the Jingle Bell Rock tour that brings them to the Sound Academy tomorrow and Saturday night – and congratulations to Michael and Greg, who won the passes to the Toronto shows. Vancouver ones are still up for grabs!

NPR talks to Parts & Labor.

Editors frontman Tom Smith uses reference points like “Terminator” and “Blade Runner” in describing their new album to BBC.

Billboard talks to Adele about where she wants to go with album number two. The Telegraph talks to her about finding success in America.

PJ Harvey will release a new album – another collaboration with John Parish – on March 30. The Quietus has details on the record, entitled A Woman A Man Walked By.

NME reports that Patrick Wolf is looking for investors to help finance his next album Battle. He’s hoping fans will buy 10-quid shares via and allow him to fulfill his vision of releasing a double album for next Spring.

Kele Okereke of Bloc Party reflects on the band’s eventful 2008 with BBC.

Bradley’s Almanac is sharing a recording of The Wedding Present’s show in Cambridge, Massachusetts this past October.

The Skinny talks to Frightened Rabbit siblings Scott and Grant Hutchison, gets some questions answered by Scott.

4AD is closing out 2008 by offering a downloadable MP3 mix featuring songs from all their releases this year.

Some of you may recall my gushing about Phonogram back in January 2007, it being a thoroughly enjoyable blend of Britpop nostalgia and comic book fantasy. Well the second series, Phonogram: The Singles Club, went on sale this week and there’s a 6-page preview available over at Comic Book Resources. It looks great – I’m not waiting for the trade on this one.

By : Frank Yang at 8:15 am
Category: General

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  1. Web Sheriff says:

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    Hi ‘Chrome Waves’,

    On behalf of Fat Possum Records and Andrew Bird, many thanks for plugging “Noble Beast” (street date 20th January) … .. thanks, also, on behalf of the label and artist for not posting any pirate links to unreleased (studio) material and, if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks, “Oh No” is available for fans and bloggers to link to / post / host etc via Pitchfork – … .. also check-out the artist’s MySpace – and for details on “Noble Beast” and the artist’s 2008/09 shows … .. you can also view official Andrew Bird videos at and, for details of further preview material and pre-release promotions, keep an eye on these official sources.

    Thanks again for your plug.