Andrew Bird and Yola
Multi-instrumentalist and singer Andrew Bird has headlined venues ranging from Disneyland to Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House, both as a solo performer and as a longtime member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. You may recognize him as the Whistling Caruso in a fairly recent Muppet movie. He’s also worked on several site-specific short improvisational films and recordings called Echolocations, taped in offbeat locales like an abandoned beach bunker, a canyon in Utah, and the middle of the Los Angeles River. Bird’s new album My Finest Work Yet dropped last month, preceded by a video for “Manifest” that demonstrates his penchant for mixing political lyrical content with what are essentially dramatic vignettes, narrated by your coolest high school science teacher. The video is animated by Andrea Nakhla, unfolding a sort of kiddie cartoon lesson in the history of the planet’s environmental and organic evolution.
Produced by Paul Butler and recorded live to tape at L.A.’s Barefoot Studios, the single for “Bloodless” is a gospel tinged, soulful number as topical and timely as anything ever put to tape by Bob Dylan or Joan Baez. “I’m interested in the idea that our enemies are what makes us whole,” he says in a press release about the project. The album features guest players such as bassist Alan Hampton, keyboardist Tyler Chester, and guitarists Blake Mills and Mike Viola. The tour bringing Bird to downtown’s House of Blues on October 24 includes Yola, who’s featured on the recent Bird track “I Forgot to be Your Lover.”