Andrew Bird played the first of two sold out shows at the Chicago Civic Opera House last night. The single greatest musical experience of my life took place in that building and I would love to be there tonight to add another to my list. But I won’t be. I will have to settle for this live set from the NPR All Songs Considered archive.

I first encountered Andrew Bird on the cover of Time Out Chicago (I love that magazine!) about two years ago, on the heels of his Armchair Apocrypha. He was selling out large venues then, too. The difference is that now they sell his music at Starbucks (a rant on this topic is forthcoming). This is unfortunate because it means his indie reputation is about to be shattered. Andrew Bird the status symbol will be no more and all that will be left is the music (which, let’s face it, is pretty much the least important aspect of the image we are trying to cultivate out here in the blogosphere).

We, of course, will continue to support him (he has long been a favorite of ours): neither of us has to worry about his or her reputation (Kristin’s is pretty much set now and I never had much of a future to begin with). Still, so long as I have your attention, I urge you to head over to npr.org and listen to this live set because it is brilliant, because he whistles better than you can read, and before it defines you as a soul-less trend-chaser incapable of independent thought like I am.

**NOTE** Tragically, near the end of last night’s show, Bird’s trademark violin slipped from his hands, fell to the floor, and, apparently, cracked in two. We will, no doubt, all mourn with him.

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