Sunday, March 31, 2013

I gave up listening to Andrew Bird for Lent. And I lived to talk about it.

As the title suggests, I did indeed give up listening to Andrew Bird for Lent.

I don't know why I did it. Mostly because well, I'm not religious. I am not a fan of the Catholic Church, or any organized religion, anymore, and haven't followed Church doctrine in it at least seven years. But because I like attention, I told everyone, "Guess what I'm giving up for Lent? Listening to Andrew Bird!"

I find it difficult to really get sick of Andrew Bird's music because there's so many layers, so many things to discover with every listen. I often binge on him, and get in these moods where all I want to listen to is live versions of "Lull." I may fall in love with other records by other artists every so often, and I've binged on other artists throughout the years but it always, always comes back to Bird. (Not to mention, the man has a lot of music. It's not difficult to not get sick of him.)

But other than a few "oh, I want to listen to [insert song title here]" thoughts as they came up on shuffle on my iPod, I can't say I really felt like I was missing something. And why? Well, Lent started on when, February 13? And Pedestrian Verse was released...when, February 5? I think we figured out why. I often joked that I do listen to artists other than Andrew Bird, I just don't like anyone else. Congratulations, Frightened Rabbit, I like you too. I realized it when I had a bit of a overly-dramatic moment, complete with tears, and thought, "I just want to listen to 'The Loneliness and The Scream' over and over again." Andrew Bird's music wasn't the only thing that could possibly make me feel better. I'm not sure if I've ever had that reaction to another artist. Anyway, thanks to those scruffy fellas from Scotland, I made it through Lent (with "Old Old Fashioned" in my head).

What else did I listen to over the forty days?

Did I mention how much I like Frightened Rabbit?

No, no, I'm kidding.

I re-discovered Frank Turner (not so much re-discovered but gave him another chance) who is not only a lyrical genius with a brilliant voice but he reminds me of The Pogues. And anyone who reminds me of The Pogues is fantastic in my book.

And who else?


Well, I like the new Youth Lagoon record, even though I think it's incredibly long and the vocals aren't the most pleasant thing to listen to (but my opinion could change, i.e. Dan Bejar). I do like parts of the Phosphorescent record, and I like the new Cloud Cult too, even though I'm not blown away. I have a feeling I am going to really love it after I see them live but right now, it's tough to want to revisit it.

I actually attempted to listen to a bunch of other records, some of which I just turned off after a song or two. The one that sticks out most in my mind is the new Josh Ritter record. What a disappointment. I couldn't even get through it all on two separate listens. And he's one of my favorite songwriters. It got great reviews for the most part but I just found it so boring. Maybe in time I'll learn to really like it (even though it's not on Spotify, which is aggravating) but right now, it's not for me.

I don't think my inability to enjoy a lot of this new music has anything to do with my "WHEN CAN I LISTEN TO 'THE TWIST' AGAIN?" attitude. Or maybe it does. The real test is really whether or not I want to listen to Andrew Bird again. I listened to "Fitz and the Dizzyspellls" and "Souverian" this morning but I'm not clamoring to listen to all of Noble Beast. In fact, I'm currently listening to Liver! Lung! FR!

But knowing I can listen to "Anonanimal" again just makes me happy.

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