The Wooden Birds - 12 April 2009: Washington, DC, The Black Cat
Andrew Kenny's new band swings through town, debuting material from its forthcoming debut LP, Magnolia. Words and pictures by Mehan Jayasuriya.
This past week, I spent my Easter Sunday at the Black Cat with the Wooden Birds, the latest project from American Analog Set frontman Andrew Kenny. AnAmSet fans will feel right at home with the Wooden Birds, as the band finds Kenny marrying his hushed delivery with dulcet tones and understated arrangements yet again. That's not to say, however, that the Wooden Birds are just the American Analog Set with different players. Longtime fans will notice that Kenny's latest vehicle favors acoustic over electric instrumentation and has a more rhythm-heavy bent (nearly every one of the band's songs features maracas and tambourine).
This distinction was emphasized live, as the band required two drummers in order to reproduce the rhythmic arrangements from Magnolia, the Wooden Birds' debut full-length (due out in May from Barsuk). And even though they chose to use electric guitars live, they still managed to craft note-perfect renditions of their mellow, indie-pop tunes with an air of nonchalance. "I feel like the mood in here is very post-Cadbury comedown," Kenny quipped in-between songs, noting the drowsy mood in the room. Luckily, for Andrew Kenny, a quiescent audience is usually the mark of a job well done.