For an artist so revered by the indie community, Andrew Bird doesn't seem to care much about rock 'n' roll. His list of influences doesn't include any trendy touchstones or major players along the wide spectrum of pop—Bird writes music that feels like his alone. He's not beholden to anyone else's sound, which allows his prodigious talent to manifest itself in ways that sound fresh even as they utilize rustic elements (strings, shimmering cymbals, and whistling, to name just a few). He's an auteur, but one who knows just how to connect with a crowd (it seems unwarranted to accuse him of navel-gazing), and that ability has earned him a following that believes wholeheartedly in his vision, eagerly awaiting and collecting his material like communiqués from a new world. You can hardly blame them; it's singularly exciting to watch an artist reach a certain level of uninhibited self-expression while remaining entertaining, and Bird walks that tightrope with an uncanny confidence that suggests he's only ever been interested in being himself. With Alpha... More >>>