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Though I admit this may be mostly psychological, I think the old equipment helps give some value to the notes.
Andrew Bird has been recording at the Wilco Loft, which sounds like grandma's attic for post-rockers, and reflects on the range of gadgets (old and new) he's employing and why he does so. Also proof, if proof were needed, that The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction will never, ever not be relevant, at least until well after we hit peak oil and future Andrew Birds have to travel the country on mule, playing acoustic instruments to tiny camps of raiders. Come to think of it, a multi-instrumentalist and pitch-perfect whistler like Andrew Bird would have a big advantage over his contemporaries in that scenario.