Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tunesday: "Marathon Runner," Yellow Ostrich

Check it out: I am not writing about old ish today. Waxing nostalgic is easy — so much history and many tales to tell about hundreds of songs from backinnaday.

Fortunately, there are some new faves that hop into my heart quickly. Yellow Ostrich's "Marathon Runner," the first single from "Strange Land," is that kind of song. The title alone is a good start (though you shouldn't expect tips for BQing).

The musical genius behind Yellow Ostrich is Alex Schaaf, a New Yorker via Prairie du Chien, Wis., who you may remember for his "re-imagining" of Radiohead's epic "Kid A" (the original album is most certainly one I will write about in a forthcoming nostalgic Tunesday). Schaaf's story is familiar — he started tinkering with recordings in his room, gained buzz and signed with a hot indie label (Barsuk). Read more about Schaaf at Mission Critical.

In the first seconds of "Marathon Runner," we hear a looped voice, a technique that Schaaf employed frequently on YO's first album, "The Mistress." The intro is a false start that could easily turn off a first-time listener; but hang with the band a bit longer and you're rewarded with a straight-forward rock song with a catchy chorus.

Favorite lyric: "I run until I know what to believe."

What else? You like good music for free, yes? Then pay a visit to Spin magazine's website, where you can download "Marathon Runner" for free. If you like Yellow Ostrich enough to pay for their music, you're in luck: Schaaf and Co. are playing Sunday at the Prophet Bar in Dallas.


That Pink Girl said...

Nice new header!
I recently discovered Yellow Ostrich when NPR featured them back in January.
Brilliant. Of course, any group that sings about libraries, well, thumbs up.

Robert Tracy said...

Gracias! I dusted off Photoshop the other day. NPR highlights some of the best bands. All Songs Considered is terrific.