Playing Around 

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Andrew Bird, opening for Nickel Creek Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St., Denver Thursday, Dec. 1, 8 p.m. $25; visit fillmoreauditorium.comor call 303/837-1482.

Andrew Bird is a one-man band. He recently explained to the Indy that during his stage performance, he plays one instrument, loops it, plays another, loops it, and so on, until he manufactures the sound he wants. He uses a variety of instruments, including his voice (for singing and whistling), violin, glockenspiel and guitar. He'll also perform with a drummer (who plays the keyboards while drumming) to create another warm layer of sound.

Bird says he "plays his own jukebox" instead of listening to music outside of his head, and "forces himself to try new things every day," especially while touring. His music is honest and scattered and, as a result, completely refreshing in a way that fans of Belle and Sebastian, The Beatles and Jeff Buckley all will appreciate.

When lyrics like "sing me Happy Birthday / sing it like it's going to be your last day / like it's "Hallelujah" / don't just let it pass on through ya / it's a giant among clichs / and that's why I want you to sing it anyway" glide over carefully strummed string melodies, Bird transforms the simple into the elegant.

-- Sara Gallagher


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