#22 on the 2010 Musical Bacon Calendar
The Mistress by Yellow Ostrich
I’m not sure if things have always been this way and I’m just now noticing it (I’ve been paying close attention for a relatively short time), or if this is indeed a phenomenon of the way the internet is shaping the music industry today, but the process of going from a nobody to “oh my God everybody is talking about this new band right now and I must partake” has sped up considerably this year. There are a number of acts on the 2010 Musical Bacon Calendar that have gone this route, and #22 is the first we’ve come to.
I first heard of Yellow Ostrich via a tweet from @loserboy on November 2. I give messages like this a lot of clout, because @loserboy is John Richards, aka John in the Morning on KEXP, the most popular/influential DJ in indie music today on the most popular/influential independent music station in the nation. (A quick aside — if you’re reading this and have not heard of KEXP, please turn off whatever ambient noise (TV or otherwise) you currently have playing and tune in immediately). Man it’s taking me a long time to just get to the music already!
So, based on the tweet from @loserboy, I sought out “Whale,” the song posted above, by Yellow Ostrich. Then I downloaded the rest of the album (for free) and proceeded to devour it whole. Infectious, slow and brooding, upbeat and melodic all at the same time, it was a shining example of the DIY ethic and a triumph for the “little guy.” Yellow Ostrich is Alex Schaaf, who looks like he’s about 23 years old, from Wisconsin. Each song was written, recorded, performed and produced by him.
There are videos out there showing him doing the Andrew Bird / St. Vincent thing (using a sequencer to record multiple layers of sound linearly and have them overlap to create a full-band sound), but it appears as though he has done little to no performing outside of New York City. It’s great to read his Tumblr site, because you can see his popularity growing by reading from the first entry on June 7 to now.
OK, I’ll shut up now. If you hit play when you started reading this, then you’ll know if you like Yellow Ostrich or not. There’s not much else I can say.
23. Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter
24. Been Listening by Johnny Flynn
25. The Wild Hunt by The Tallest Man on Earth
26. Lisbon by The Walkmen
27. Scratch My Back by Peter Gabriel
28. All Day by Girl Talk
29. A Storm – A Tree – My Mother’s Head by Bobby Bare Jr.
30. 03 to TEN by Knathan Ryan
31. In This Light On This Evening by Editors