Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Andrew Bird Is the New David Byrne?

I read recently about how both Andrew Bird and David Byrne are speaking at the TED 2010 conference next week. If you aren't familiar with TED, it's a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, bringing together great minds and speakers from the Technology, Entertainment, and Design fields. TED has conferences, a website, and even a TED prize.

It sounds like the sort of global project that would draw a progressive and eclectic musician like David Byrne, no? Turns out, the conference also attracted Andrew Bird. Somehow it seems fitting to have the two in the same place at the same time. This may sound goofy, but they remind me of each other.

Bird would be Byrne's slightly toned-down little brother—the sibling who caves and goes to architecture school while his older brother goes to art school.

So, let's see...

They're both speaking at TED.

They look alike.

They both appear on 2009's Dark Was the Night compilation.

They both collaborated with St. Vincent recently: Ms. Clark toured with Bird in 2009 and recorded a track on Byrne's (and Fatboy Slim's) new disco-themed two-disc concept album Here Lies Love, which is centered on the well-heeled life of Imelda Marcos.

Regarding the Byrne/Fatboy Slim project... I know. What the hell?! Due out February 23, it was originally planned as a musical based on the wife of former Philipine dictator-president Ferdinand Marcos. Now it's an album featuring 23 different vocalists, including Annie Clark. The title of the album comes from Imelda's chosen tombstone inscription. (She's not dead yet, so the tombstone has yet to mark the grave in which she would be rolling over after listening to her Byrne/Fatboy tribute.)

The following YouTube "video" features a track from Here Lies Love recorded with Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine.

Admittedly, Andrew Bird hasn't aspired to such grandiose heights yet, but who's to say he might not one day? He can probably out-whistle Byrne.


  1. Thanks for you writing! I stumbled upon it because I was fazed with the similarities just as you were, and I googled "Andrew Bird and David Byrne"... I'm a big "fan" of David Byrne and I just discovered Andrew Bird completely by accident and was immediately interested in his work. (two years later after your original post!)


  2. Hey, better late than never, Hogar. Thanks for your comment, and happy listening. :)