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Boomkat Product Review:
Originally released as the second disc in the special edition of Andrew Bird's Noble Beast album, Useless Creatures now gets a release in its own right. Performed as part of a trio with double bassist Todd Sickafoose and percussionist Glenn Kotche (of Wilco fame) this album is an instrumental affair with more of an experimental slant than the singer-songwriter styled album that it originally emerged alongside, making good use of Bird's talents as a violinist. Among the highlights are the romantic, classical strains of 'Carrion Suite', the manipulated drone experiments of 'The Barn Tapes', and 'Nyatiti', a reworking of a traditional Kenyan folk melody. Possibly the finest of all is 'You Woke Me Up!', featuring some incredibly melodious multitracked strings and a line in tuned percussion that sounds somehow a bit magical and Christmassy.