Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha

Andrew%20Bird%20Armchair%20Apocrypha.jpgOne thing I love about Chicago's own Andrew Bird is the evolution of his songs, lyrics and rhythms through the years on stage and through different recordings. I have been a die hard fan of his music for several years, and I rarely missed a live performance back when he used to perform frequently at Schubas, the Metro, the Hideout, etc. So when each album has come out in the last few years, it always sent a thrill up my spine to hear the songs that I heard performed a million different ways on stage finallized in a studio recording. So I was a little nervous that since his growth in popularity, resulting in more international tours, I wouldn't know the songs on his newest release Armchair Apocrypha. While that was mainly the case, there were a few neat surprises: his song Capital I, which morphed into I on 2003's Weather Systems, is released here as Imitosis. The lyrics and tone of Sweet Breads from 2002's live release Fingerlings are retooled with new music here as Dark Matter. The rest of the cd is a lovely and haunting mix of harmonies and orchestrations--the perfect representation of the direction that Bird has been headed over the last few years. Since Armchair Apocrypha's release on March 20th, I have rarely listened to anything else.If you are new to Andrew Bird, I suggest picking up his last album The Mysterious Production of Eggs as a good introduction to his work, then moving onto Armchair Apocrypha.In addition to the recent release of his new album, Bird composed original music for the upcoming Molly Shanahan/ Mad Shak Dance Company piece My Name is a Blackbird at The Building Stage Thursdays through Sundays, April 12-22 at 8pm.Andrew Bird will be playing April 20th at the Riviera Theatre.