Music » Critics' Picks

Andrew Bird

8 p.m. Thursday, March 22. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.

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Watching an Andrew Bird concert is a little like viewing one of those time-lapse videos of a high-rise being built: With architectural precision, he layers loops of violin, guitar, vocals and whistles atop one another until a perfect, structurally sound pop song is left standing. His live show gives a visual analog to his recordings, which are breezy, elastic affairs. On the just-released Break It Yourself, Bird's trademarks are in place — the pizzicato plucks that scatter like warm raindrops, the whistle solos that should by now feel tiresome but never do — and yet the LP feels both looser and more cohesive than his past few records.

Birds of a Feather: For the new record, Bird collaborated with his touring band instead of carrying the weight on his own, as he has in the recent past.

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