02 October 2007

A Bird, Some Truckers

My concert season seems to be as nonstop as Bob Dylan’s tour. Let’s catch up on a couple of great shows I have yet to tell you about.

Andrew Bird @ Variety Playhouse (Sept. 13)

This was my first time seeing Andrew Bird. To be honest, I wasn’t all that familiar with him until FBB Scrivener gave me a CD of MP3s filled with aural goodness last fall. I was hooked. So of course I jumped at the chance when Scrivener asked if I wanted to join his entourage for the show.

And what a show it was.

It’s hard to describe Andrew Bird. In an industry where “original” is overused … he’s truly an original. He whistles as brilliantly as he plays violin and guitar. His music is as much of-the-moment indie as it is something from the 1920s. I spent much of the show with my eyes closed, letting his songs take me to other worlds, other times. (Crikey. I just went back to writing like a pretentious college paper critic, didn’t I? But it’s true, kids.)

The show was brilliant. At times the lighting reflected his image on the side walls, giving us a bit of a Polynesian puppet show. I tried snapping shots of the shadows … but you’ve seen my concert photography enough to know the shots didn’t come through.

In case you’re not familiar with Andrew Bird, here he is on David Letterman a few months back:

Drive-by Truckers @ Variety Playhouse (Sept. 28)

Can you believe that this Georgia-bred and Athens-worshipping gal has never seen the Drive-by Truckers? I’ve loved their albums lo these many years, but had yet to see them live. The Northwest Doppelganger gave me sh*t about that, so I knew it was a must for 2007.

Thank God I have pushy pals.

I’m sorry, Dale, but I missed your beloved Amy Sedaris. I was handed a rush project late Friday, and didn’t get out of the office until nearly 8 p.m. But Baby Got Books’ Tim had a grand time with your girl.

This was one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen in a while. Patterson Hood (this month’s crush) was in fine form. I haven’t seen anyone have that much fun on stage since Glenn Tilbrook back in January. He was charming. He was funny. He broke my heart and made me laugh with his songs. As did the rest of the band. For two and a half hours. As my co-concertgoer said, “They sound like Charlie Daniels and The Byrds had a bunch of children.” We’re both Southern-bred, so we know our Southern rock.

The band played a lot of new songs from their upcoming album (and a couple that didn’t make it), as well as some of their fans' faves. I walked out eagerly awaiting that 2008 release.

Patterson Hood, workin’ it.

See that Chia-Petted head in the bottom right corner of the photo? His hair looked … fake. I so wanted to yank the back to see if it came off. But I’m weird that way.

The crowd was very UGA, rather homogenous. The guys sported khaki shorts, Hog's Breath Saloon T-shirts (seriously, two to every one Allman Brothers T-shirt), sandals, high-fives, and pumping fists. The gals were overdressed, working the floor in four-inch platform sandals and dresses that I would hang in the T-shirt section of my closet.

Guys, please explain the Y-chrome phenomenon of shouting lyrics into each other’s faces. I don’t get the thrill of someone an inch from your mouth, shouting the lyrics being sung. And yet I see those college boys doing it all the time. Is it to give their pumping fists a breather?

Get online now, kids, to check your local listings for Andrew Bird and Drive-by Truckers. You need to get out of the house. You need to experience something new. You need to get all raunchy and Southern. Tell ‘em Beth sent you.

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At 10/02/2007 09:47:00 PM, Blogger So I've Been Laid Off said...

that's not hair, that's rock wool. they pulled 60 bags of it out of my attic this week. but beth, as curly-haired persons, shouldn't we be more understanding?

At 10/02/2007 09:52:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

If you saw the front, you'd want to do the same thing, Laid Off Person. It was unnatural ... not lovely like our curls.

At 10/02/2007 11:25:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

There's a kid at my daughter's school who has that exact same hair, but I don't think he was in your area lately.

I have one of Andrew Bird's albums and I love it, although I admit I know next to nothing about him. And I really do know nothing about Drve-by Truckers. I really must check them out!

At 10/03/2007 12:13:00 AM, Blogger BeckEye said...

Ok, enough showing off with your 5 million concerts.

I was supposed to see Drive-By Truckers for free this summer, but it rained, of course. I missed a lot of good stuff this summer because of the stupid weather.

At 10/03/2007 08:20:00 AM, Blogger bigshoulders said...

i can't explain why it's cool to *shout* lyrics, but i for one, can't help but sing along at Wilco shows. Jeff Tweedy often invites "us" to sing along. I put us in quotes, since I'll be seeing them again this month. :)

Glad you finally got your DBT show! on a related note, the last time i saw Patterson Hood was at the tabernacle-- at the Tom Waits show. he was in the balcony.

the thing about the truckers that you may not know is that their amps actually do go to 11. seriously. ear plugs make it more comfortable for the 2 or 3 days following if you know what i mean.

they always have put on a good show. i haven't seen the new line-up (sans Isbell). is his wife still in the band? is Shanna still his wife even? it's been a while.


At 10/03/2007 08:30:00 AM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

What can I say? Andrew Bird...Chicago native. Saw a simulcast of his Lollapalooza performance in 2006. He was kind of an unknown then, but he was amazing. Score one for beautiful and unusual.

At 10/03/2007 05:55:00 PM, Blogger Allison said...

I feel in love with the Mysterious Production of Eggs last year and have been enjoying Andrew Bird goodness ever since. I'm happy to hear he puts on a great live show.

At 10/03/2007 07:38:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

I feel like the Drive-By Truckers are, like Wilco, one step or two too far towards the country end of the dial for me. I'll accept Lucero, but that's as far as I'm going towards alt-country.

At 10/03/2007 11:56:00 PM, Blogger Artful Dodger said...

If I admit that I never heard either of these two artists, will I be banished from the cool kids table? Oh and that guys hair does look fake. It looks like that french poodles puff of hair that chases Bugs Bunny in the cartoon. Hmmm..now I wanna watch cartoons.

At 10/04/2007 04:15:00 AM, Blogger barista brat said...

i've missed you - but i'm glad to read how much fun you've been having!

At 10/04/2007 07:58:00 AM, Blogger bigshoulders said...

@ pistols:
I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but have heard Wilco lately?

there is nothing alt.country about them, excepting their first 2 albums.

for me, it's like having 2 favorite bands. one is decidedly country-flavored, and the other is straight up rock and roll, and have been for a while now.


At 10/04/2007 10:08:00 AM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

My sister and her husband in Tar Heel Land LOVE Drive-by Truckers. They really do.

"People Who Died" cover, eh?

At 10/04/2007 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

I saw Drive by Truckers at Jazz Fest last year and they were almost as good as the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

They Rock!

And for the other thing - at age 22, you genetically stop screaming song lyrics into the faces of other boys -

UNLESS you have been initiated into the firebird/camero club or the club whose name I don't know where they take the little japanese cars and put the stupid big mufflers on them to make them sound like flying squirrels......

They you still do the screaming thing up until age 32.

I have no idea why they get 10 more years but I do know that many of them have careers in the food service industry.


At 10/04/2007 01:03:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

Bigshoulders, it's true about Wilco's country tinge disappearing - I just hear that twang in the voice (and the ruining of the non-Billy Bragg-fronted songs on the Mermaid Avenue discs) and I instantly am uncomfortable. I'm just not comfortable rockin' out southern style.

But I do like Waffle House.

At 10/04/2007 01:13:00 PM, Anonymous m said...

um...that was me with the curly 'locks'...i was too shy to say hello to you coz i am not as cool. maybe next time?

the truckers are cool, aren't they? the guys (and gal) are a liberal lynyrd skynyrd..

At 10/04/2007 02:56:00 PM, Blogger Mother Goldstein said...

Great post - I have my tickets for the minneapolis DBT show... i think it's two weeks from tomorrow - at 1st ave!
I'm glad you enjoyed it - one of my favorite bands.

Hey is Jason Isbell still playing with DBT?

At 10/04/2007 03:43:00 PM, Anonymous gifted typist said...

Oh how I'd love to have a musically passionate Beth living close to me. I can seem to fire up any girls of a certain age to go see music these days.

At 10/04/2007 03:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope, Jason is not still playing with the Truckers; he is off doing his own thing, and on tour supporting his great new album. His ex is still with the band--I guess she got it in the divorce.

At 10/04/2007 09:34:00 PM, Blogger mellowlee said...

I'm really curious, and will come back and listen tomorrow when I have the place to myself :O) Happy almost Friday! xo

At 10/08/2007 08:00:00 AM, Blogger Coaster Punchman said...

Those college boys just like an excuse to get one inch close to each others' faces because there's a chance they could kiss.

Wait, maybe that was just me.

At 10/09/2007 11:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swear I saw this guy at the Montreal Jazz fest with Greg Howard in 2005 but I can't prove it. He's awesome! Ever seen Greg Howard play that Hybrid Chapman Stick? Tis wicked I tell ya!


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