Music

Friday Feature: Andrew Bird

friday feature 2The best thing about my new job is the people who I work with; the fellow educators and support staff. If it weren’t for them, I would run screaming from that school, but that is another story that would make this blog very depressing and political, so…..

I quickly became friends with the other Special Education teacher in the building. We actually knew each other from 5 years ago but this time get to spend every day together molding the minds of these very challenging children. We have the exact same taste in music. We are constantly talking about new indie/alternative bands. She is soooo cool that she even takes her two teenage sons to Lollapalooza! She is about 10 years older than me and continues to stay current and on top of all the new music out there. It’s awesome to say the least.

We were catching up briefly in the hall and she asked if I liked Andrew Bird. YES!! I replied and then we began yammering on about our favorite songs of his and the new album that just came out and then it dawned on me how many people probably do not know about him and how amazing he is.

He grew up in Lake Forest IL and graduated from Lake Forest High School in 1991. Then graduated from Northwestern University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in violin performance. (I find it exciting and cool that he grew up a few miles away from where I grew up and we are about the same age!) He was known as a “violin prodigy” when beginning his music studies at age 4 and become a very talented multi-instrumentalist. Many of his songs feature references to Chicago and he has been known to frequent the city with his performances.

I fell in love with his music in 1990 when he released the album, Noble Beast. Here is a favorite song from that life-altering album titled “Fitz and the Dizzyspells”.

Still not familiar? Have you seen the Muppet Movie? The new Muppet Movie? “Whistling Caruso”? Andrew Bird is well-known as a whistling wonder. Here he is as “Walter”.

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He has over 10 studio albums, 6 or so live albums, and appears on more than 50 albums as a musician for some bands like Neko Case, The Verve Pipe, Ani DiFranco, My Morning Jacket and a recent Friday Feature, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. He is just soooo talented and his music moves me. This latest single “Pulaski at Night” from his new album I Want To See Pulaski at Night, released on November 12, 2013 and is a new favorite of mine. I can’t stop listening to it. Not because he mentions Pulaski (a street in Chicago) but the song just gets under my skin and gives me the chills. I want to cry and smile at the same time. He may be a whistling wonder and play a mean guitar but when he plays the violin, well, it’s just magic.

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