Andrew Bird Previews St. Vincent Tour, Debuts "Anonanimal" Video

September 28, 2009 10:09 AM ET

Months before he released his killer disc Noble Beast, Andrew Bird was already at work on the video for "Anonanimal," which the Chicago indie-pop songwriter has been perfecting since last fall with director Lisa Barcy. The track is one of the most personal tunes Bird has ever written, and he wanted an ambitious clip to match song's depth. (Fans of Tim Burton will dig the bizarre stop-animation creatures that populate the clip.) "I've never cared much for the music video medium," says Bird. "But I'd seen this short film that Barcy did, which involved a giant squid, and I thought she'd be perfect for the song. It has a similar theme with aquatic animal life and cave-like animals." Rolling Stone has the video's exclusive premiere — check it out up top.

This week, Bird takes off for a 22-date fall tour with St. Vincent and he promises plenty of surprises. On the docket: new songs like the jammy "Lusitania," which Bird says has "œan African feel to it," onstage collaborations with St. Vincent; and plenty of covers, including a re-worked version of Pink Floyd's "Bike." "I really wanted to cover that because Syd Barrett's lyrics are so good," says Bird. "The phrasing of the words — no songwriter would ever think it was a good idea. That's what makes it so great."

Related Stories:
Andrew Bird's High-Flying Folk
Review: Noble Beast

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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