April 14, 2007

Today's Hotness: Andrew Bird, Guitar, Mazarin, Mogwai

>> We'd never considered that multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird's music was something we'd really like to see performed live, but that was quickly changed by his trio's performance on "Letterman" earlier this week. We watched the tightly wound and ticking performance of his delightful tune "Plasticities" several times before banishing it from our TiVo, and we've posted the TouYube clip above even though we expect it will be yanked due to the Viacom lawsuit any moment now. What we find exciting, besides Bird's performing quirks, is his and his sidemen's buzzing performance. Bird and his drummer in particular regularly switch among an array of instruments within their reach. When Bird isn't loading violin samples into a pedal, playing guitar, striking a xylophone or singing, he also throws in some whistling. It's fun to watch, and it has made us want to see more. Bird's latest set Armchair Apocrypha -- the set on which "Plasticities" appears -- was released by Fat Possum last month, and KoomDogg reviewed it for us here. Here's an MP3 of another cut from the record:

Andrew Bird -- "Heretics" -- Armchair Apocrypha
[right click and save as]

>> The last couple of releases from electropop act Guitar have snuck up on us. Word of Michael Lueckner's latest (and fifth, so we guess that would be four that have snuck up on us, including two that were only released in Japan) set under the Guitar moniker comes to us via this post at the solid Missouri-based blog Built On A Week Spot. The post contains the track "Sine Wave," which marks a bit of a return to the guitar-drenched sounds of early tracks such as "House Full Of Time," although the guitars rest in the background and give ample room for a rickety, popping percussion track and vocals. Anyway, the new set is called Dealin With Signal And Noise and it will be released May 15 on Onitor. The label also released Guitar's sophomore set; its debut Sunkissed was issued on Morr Music in 2002 and we reviewed it here for Junkmedia.

>> The artist/s formerly known as Mazarin (explanation here) are enjoying a bit of an afterlife courtesy of lifestyle brand Puma. The shoe and apparel maker is using Mazarin's "For Energy Infinite" in this new television commercial that you may or may not have seen. Us, we haven't seen it. The song is from Mazarin's excellent 2005 release We're Already There, which we reviewed for Junkmedia here. In more important news, leader Quentin Stoltzfus says the band is writing new music, trying to come up with a new band name, and plans a new MySpace and web site for the future.

>> In addition to the forthcoming Dinosaur Jr. show that we can't believe will be an in-store at the Urban Outfitters in Harvard Square (and have you seen this awesome video yet?), there are some other sorta different music events in Boston on the horizon. The new ICA will be screening the "Zidane: A 21st-Century Portrait" documentary May 6 and 10. The film features a soundtrack by Scottish post-rock behemoths Mogwai. You can watch eleven clips from the film here; you can buy tickets here.


Anonymous said...

I think it was a glockenspiel that Andrew was playing, not a xylophone.

Unknown said...

I knew I should have paid more attention to Emmy Boyer's flash cards.