Friday, March 8, 2013

andrew bird: a muppet of a man

Preamble: last march I went to go see Andrew Bird at the Ryman. Despite being up in the balcony- it was a fantastically transfixing two hours of sound petals and impressive whistling. it was such an amazing show that i meant to write about it at the time. However, a couple days after the show, I began the Kimmie v. Gall bladder saga of '12 and my love letter to Mr. Bird got back burnered. Now I get my Round 2. Booyah.

Last night I got the pleasure to get a to see Andrew Bird, the whistling troubadour, play a secret show at Grimey's Too. [Tangent: Well it was not really secret...I mean it was announced last minute, but unless you are totally plugged into the proper twitters and Facebook channels 24/ would likely not know about it. Thankfully, my ginger is all over that kind of stuff because he gave me the heads up and we immediately knew we would be there.] It was the first in-store for the new shop which just opened a couple weeks ago and the place was packed to the book stacks with people! [Tangent: I wanted to get a picture of the crowd but felt creepy as hell doing so.]

Despite getting there at 4:30, [Tangent: Thee opener Caitlyn Rose started at 6:00.] it was already getting abuzz with people and had some time to kill by drinking coffee, chatting and wasting iPhone battery doing stuff like this:

Before even getting there, I had committed to fully exploit the wheelchair card. I tried making eye contact with everyone around me whilst straining to see and/or kicking the heel of the guy in front of me until he turned around and offered to switch places. Normally these techniques are fail proof and will keep from seeing nothing but asses and elbows for a shows entirety. It took a while, and I started to fear this would be my fate.
I touched this guy's ass three times by mistake because he was practically sitting on me

Eventually this strategy paid off and we were front row VIP. [Tangent: That is until some teens with an unspecified odor and go phones plopped down basically on top of us. Oh well. 'Twas fun while it lasted.] We were so close!

When The Bird-man came out I was reminded why I love him so much. He seriously is like a beautifully voiced Muppet.

Last year, when he sang Rainbow Connection live at the Ryman, it was like all the puzzle pieces clicked and I realized that he was indeed a muppet of a man.  Not because he was the lung power behind Walter's whistling solo in The Muppets  and not because he sang It's Not Easy being Green on the Muppet tribute album (Muppets: The Green Album)-  it's just unfathomable to me that this man wasn't cut out of cloth at Henson studios.

You make think this is an odd theory, but trust- I have my reasons.

1. his signature wobble 

One of the most endearing things about Andrew Bird is his self professed  'nervous tic motion of the head to the left.' His lanky, somewhat jerky head bobble and almost puppety arm movements have a definite Grover Near/Far vibe to them...but in such a positive lovely way. 

2. he sings with such conviction about so many subjects.

You know how when you'd watch Sesame Street or Muppet Babies and all the characters would sing a song about something random like sharing or recycling and they did so with no sense of irony or loss of commitment? Well, such is Mr. Bird. My favorite song of his is one that he sang last night, Sweetbreads, which is a song about eating organ meat. [Tangent: I know I'm a weirdo....but it's always been a favorite.] While singing a song, which could be completely nonsensical- he next levels it and does so with complete conviction.  [Tangent: Above is a sampling of his Sweetbreads/Dark Matter performance, but I always feel weird taping a performance so it's abrupt.]

3. he's multi-instrumental

I know Rolf has his go-to piano and Animal plays drums in the Electric Mayhem band, but some of the other monsters just pick up instruments completely casually and play them effortlessly.  Andrew Bird does the same; he bounces between playing violin and guitar and using his high tech pedals and low tech whistling with such ease.

4. he's adorable. 

If you polled every woman in Grimey's Too yesterday, I dare you to find one that didn't share this assessment. Maybe it's that jauntily worn scarf or maybe just his friend to everyone Kermit's almost hard to put your finger on. [Tangent: Is it weird that I want to hug him and have him teach me how to count to 10 in Spanish? Probably. Oh well. ]

If he comes your way, check him out and you can thank me later. In the meantime: 



  1. Thank you for my new crush. Move over, David Bowie.....Love this post! And you could be a pretty successful pick pocket if the job search remains dry much longer ?

    1. Seriously check out his stuff. It's all really good and relaxing...and muppetty.

  2. You are my new favorite person!

    1. YAY!!!! I checked out your blog and know we are destined for friendship!


I thrive on comments, so what do you think?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...