Listen to “Heretics”
Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Andrew Bird picked up his first violin at the age of four. Actually, it was a Cracker Jack box with a ruler taped to it, and the first of his many Suzuki music lessons involved simply bowing to the teacher and going home. He spent his formative years soaking up classical repertoire completely by ear so when it came time for a restless teen-ager to make the jump to Hungarian Gypsy music, early jazz, country blues, south Indian etc., it wasn’t such a giant leap. It’s fitting that now, though classically trained, he has instead opted to play his violin in a most unconventional manner, accompanying himself on glockenspiel and guitar, adding singing and whistling to the equation, and becoming a pop songwriter in the process.
Listen to “Monster”
The Beauty Shop released their first album in 2002 (Yr Money Or Yr Life; Mud/Shoeshine) and immediately garnered impressive notices in the press. From Champaign IL, this three-piece have been compared with Nick Cave, Violent Femmes and The Handsome Family with a Leonard Cohen “bad attitude” vocal twist.
Listen to “Pymy Suite”
Sex Mob is a band out of time: a smartly old-fashioned quartet of world-class musicians with a satchel full of charts. Sex Mob is a band of the now: post-modern waltzes mutating into dub-echoed free jazz. Sex Mob is social music: a rollicking midnight set with clatter and drinks and a band. Sex Mob is a happy contradiction: an experimental jazz outfit whose music has slid readily into the mainstream via Saturday Night Live, MTV, and National Public Radio.