What’s funny about these Oswalds practices now is that we’ve basically been rehearsing the same set of songs for three years. Or so it seems. I mentioned this to Bassist Mark and he disagreed. He pointed out that 2013-2014 were devoted to learning the songs such that we could record HASTA LA BYE BYE (in a bare minimum of sessions) in the studio; and that now we’re creating arrangements for a live performance, which is a different beast altogether. (He didn’t say it quite this way, what he said was smarter and shorter.)
He also made the point that this REALLY isn’t the same set of songs, because we’ve added several new ones since we recorded HASTA LA BYE BYE. The three I recall right now are “Starling,” “Make Me a Coin,” and “Before We Disappear.” I’m actually very proud of how these three are shaping up.
Drummer Mark sings “Starling,” and it’s always heavenly to listen to him sing. He’s far and away the best singer out of the three of us, plus he also huffs and puffs soulful harmonica in the middle of it, and I love listening to that too. I wrote “Starling” but never felt comfortable singing it. I began the song as my take on the traditional bird metaphor folk song but it drifted far from there. Starlings are, to me, gorgeous birds, all purplish black, and their murmurations are mesmerizing, but they’re also an evil that was innocently unleashed at a Shakespeare Festival in Central Park and grew to take over the continent. The ultimate invasive species. I don’t mean this casually. I mean: this the world we live in now, cross-contaminated and crowded out. But in the song, starlings represent a form of insatiable greed, and by extension it’s about the mega-super-rich in this country. “Sterling silver, starling black/rapacious greedy souls/from high above how small we all seem/small and completely controlled.” But also hopefully it’s more than just a political song.
We’re recording the song and should have a version of it available in a month or so.