Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Favorite Whistle-blower


Sunday night I rarely ever make it out to a show. I have a couple of jobs, and the most notable of those jobs requires that I make a hard 8 a.m. deadline every Monday morning. So being the good steward that I am with my time I traditionally deny myself the pleasure of staying out late on Sunday. However, there is one caveat to that rule, and it's name is Andrew Bird. I saw Andrew Bird live for the first time in 2007 at the Gypsy Ballroom, which turned out to be one of the very last shows at that venue. It was an experience I'll never forget for many reasons. I loved Gypsy, I love Andrew Bird, and at the time it was two days before I was about to get married to the love of my life, my wife Rebekah.

Coming back to the present for a moment - I was excited for my second opportunity to see Mr. Bird play. This time around wasn't much different than the first. I love Granada Theater, I still love Andrew Bird, and I am all set to embark on my next major life change - the birth of my first child. Perhaps it's silly to be highlighting such personal events in a concert review, but Bird's lyrics and unique storytelling ability just bring it out of me. What's music if not personal anyway?

I like being drawn in by the way Bird plays his violin. At first he strums it playfully, as if playing a banjo around a campfire. Without hesitation he easily jumps from playful strings to a moody ballad which enslaves even the chattiest of all teenage girls (who happened to be standing right behind me). His looping melodies swarm the crowd until everyone is entranced.

Songs from all Andrew Birds albums were played, the most coming off his latest full length, Noble Beast. The highlight of the night for me was Anonanimal, the standout track from Beast. However, if you listened and watched the sold out crowd at Granada, you'd be hard pressed to name a fan favorite. All of the songs seemed to please the loyal crowd.

It was apparent that Bird gave it his all in a well rounded and classic performance. Though, at times he did look tired. Perhaps it was from the fatigue that a week at Austin's South by Southwest Music Festival can surely bring. Opening act, Haley Bonar, alluded to the relief of being done with such an overwhelming event during her performance.

I had never heard of Bonar, but I was pleasantly surprised by several of her songs, especially the most memorable, Arms in Harm.

Not many things can get me out on a Sunday night - not when the week seems ready to drown my weekend bliss and quench out all of my renewed energy - but I knew before I even walked inside Granada that I'd made a wise decision. I left Sunday night with a smile on my face, ready to press into the week before me. A good songwriter can change the outcome of anyone's mood, and Andrew Bird did not disappoint. J. Swords

Check out the video below from the show:

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Episode #126 - SXSW - WEEKEND (03.24.2009)

Featuring Saturday & Sunday SXSW

1.Terra Naomi - You For Me
2.Ra Ra Riot - Too Too Too Fast
3.Illinois - Screendoor
4.Afternoons - Line 'Em Up
5.I Love Math - Only Clowns Are Scary
6.Bosque Brown - This Town
7.White Lies - Death
8.The Duke Spirit - My Sunken Treasure
9.Iran - Buddy
10.Say Hi - November Was White, December Was Grey
11.Earlimart - Face Down In The Right Town
12.Violens - Violent Sensation Descends
13.Telekinesis! - Imaginary Friend
14.The Little Ones - Gregory's Chant
15.Explosions In The Sky - Day Three

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Listen to Dallas Does Indie Episode #126 (SXSW - WEEKEND)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Episode #125 - SXSW - FRI (03.11.2009)

Featuring Friday SXSW

1.Beach House - Gila
2.Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears - Master Sold My Baby
3.The Tiny - Burn
4.Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele - Meet Me In The Garden
5.Headlights - Cherry Tulips
6.The Forms - Red Gun
7.O+S - We Do What We Want To
8.Thao With The Get Down Stay Down - Swimming Pools
9.Motel Motel - Coffee
10.City Center - Bleed Blood
11.Dag For Dag - I Am The Assassin
12.Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
13.Yellow Fever - Hellfire
14.Cut Off Your Hands - Turn Cold
15.Glasvegas - Flowers & Football Tops

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Listen to Dallas Does Indie Episode #125 (SXSW - Friday)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Episode #124 - SXSW - THURS (03.02.2009)

Featuring Thursday SXSW Music

1.Arkells - Oh, The Boss Is Coming
2.Women - Group Transport Hall
3.Two Hours Traffic - Nighthawks
4.Ecstatic Sunshine - Ramontana
5.My Sad Captains - Great Expectations
6.Langhorne Slim - Colette
7.Pretty & Nice - Tora Tora Tora
8.Here We Go Magic (featuring Luke Temple) - Fangela
9.Maps & Atlases - Witch
10.The Low Anthem - Charlie Darwin
11.Foreign Born - Escape
12.Daniel Martin Moore - That'll Be The Plan
13.Akron/Family - Don't Be Afraid, You're Already Dead
14.The Tallest Man On Earth - The Sparrow And The Medicine
15.Passion Pit - Live To Tell The Tale

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Listen to Dallas Does Indie Episode #124 (SXSW - THURS)


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