Directed by Matthew Daniel Siskin. From My Finest Work Yet, out March 22 on Loma Vista.
You know the story of Sisyphus: the Greek king condemned to to roll a big boulder up a mountain for eternity. As soon as he gets close to the top, it rolls back down.
Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like the whole goddamn world in 2019, doesn’t it? Feels like we’re all doomed to repeat the same mindless bullshit over and over, and the moment it seems like things might be getting better, we gotta start all over again.
Hopeful people say that the arc of the moral universe is long, and it bends toward justice.
Whatever gets you through the night, but it’s getting harder and harder to believe it.
History forgets the moderates
For those who sit
Recalcitrant and taciturn
You know I’d rather turn and burn than scale this edifice
Bird says the song “is about being addicted to your own suffering and the moral consequences of letting the rock roll.”
Andrew Bird always sounds cool and calm. Even when he’s scared and angry.
They’re profiting from your worry
They’re selling blanks down at the DMZ
They’re banking on the sound and fury
Makes you wonder what it all’s got to do with me
“Bloodless” has a jazzy, mellow vibe but its message is hardcore.
Bird says, “We find ourselves in a cold civil war. Everyone is playing their part too well. Certain actors are reaping power and wealth from divisiveness. Echoes of the Spanish civil war when fascists and clergy win because they put up a united front against the individualistic and principled (yet scattered) left. We can turn this ship around but need to step back and be honest with ourselves about what’s happening while it’s still relatively bloodless.”
Just last year, musician Andrew Bird spent four days recording at the Loft. He spent the entire first day arranging the studio space just to get the right violin sound. Using microphones placed around the room, he was able to pick up the acoustics of his violin as well as the sound of the amps bouncing off the walls. The sixty-plus guitars sitting around the room all hummed along, as the vibrations from everything else shook and resonated the steel strings, adding even more texture to the sound. The Loft is, essentially, an instrument of its own.
Looks like they’ve done a fine job of replacing all the gear that Jay Bennetttook with him after they kicked him out, ha ha. But do they have a Mellotron? There are apparently additional photos in the print version of the magazine.
This song features all the things you love about Andrew Bird: whistling, nerdy smart lyrics, violin, plus hand claps. What more could you want? The album is a bit of a sleeper, but repeated listenings will reveal more and more.
With the economic crisis this country is facing right now we can’t afford Andrew Bird. There are too many jobless folks out there for us to allow Bird to fill so many roles by himself. In the span of an hour and a half and with the aid of multiple digital delay pedals and the sheer force of his talent, Bird displaced as many as an entire chamber orchestra by dint of sonic cloning. Imagine a world in which each one of us could simply conjure the idea of a car and then build it piece-by-piece before your neighbor’s incredulous eyes. That’s exactly what I saw in Portland this weekend and it is unsettling.
The big news out of this week’s album sales is not in the Top Ten (nine of which were already there last week), but just beyond that into the 11-20 range. Specifically:
12. Andrew Bird – Noble Beast (Fat Possum) – 26,000
13. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino) – 25,000
16. Bon Iver – Blood Bank EP (Jagjaguwar) – 23,000
Noteworthy is the fact that Merriweather Post Pavilion “debuted at No. 38 two weeks ago on the Top Independent Albums chart purely on vinyl sales.” Clearly, they found their “room of bros to buy t-shirts and vinyl albums for bros who don’t have record players.”
If you give a crap, you can see the Top Ten after the jump…
Andrew Bird is recording his new album at the Wilco Loft in Chicago. He writes about it for the New York Times:
Often times the choice becomes: Do you give the song what it wants? Or do you go against its demands? “Oh No” seemed to be asking for a 1970s Jackson Brown or Fleetwood Mac type of dead snare drum sound. That “everything’s gonna be just fine” sort of beat. The pitfall of approaching it like this is that your song can get hijacked by someone else’s record collection. I personally feel that the world has had its fill of 70s light rock. So we’re forced to be more creative. Not a bad alternative, though sometimes, you just say, “Why fight it? This just feels too good.”