On Sept. 5, 2001, indie rock songwriter Andrew Bird invited WTTW into his Wicker Park home for a raw rehearsal with his band Bowl of Fire. The occasion was a half-hour music special for the TV program “Artbeat Chicago.” Other artists featured on the show included Neko Case, Lonnie Brooks, Cheap Trick and Alejandro Escovedo.
Bird had recently released his fourth studio album, “The Swimming Hour.” To date, he’s released 15 studio albums – including his most recent, “My Finest Work Yet.”
In 2001, the 28-year-old Lake Forest native spoke of pop music, his songwriting process, and his omnivorous appetite for music. He also played violin, sang, and gave us a sample of his impeccable whistling style. He performed early versions of “Banking on a Myth” and “The Happy Birthday Song” with his Bowl of Fire bandmates – a who’s who of sought-after Chicago musicians, including bassist Jimmy Sutton, drummer Kevin O’Donnell, guitarist Andy Hopkins and vocalist Nora O’Connor.
We dug into our archives to share this rarely seen video of Andrew Bird and his band making new songs soar in an intimate setting.