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Monday, January 28, 2008

State Bird "Mostly Ghostly"

The fine people at Pirate! Pirate! recently introduced me to State Bird's latest release, "Mostly Ghostly", a rolicking journey through US history, spinning tales of Pilgrims and Indians with an odd assortment of mostly acoustic instruments (you can never go wrong with ukelele!), tribal chants, and even a touch of revivalist country twang. Now I must admit a personal aversion to country music, so when I hear a pedal steel guitar I also need to hear the reassuring strains of maximum "quirk rock" that power most of the album.

Our tale begins with the "Story of the Last Pilgrim and Indian", an introductory whistling over accordion, a song that might have been, but wasn't quite. From there we are treated to a mix of first person narratives of an earlier time, combining elements of two radically different cultures in a modern day stir fry of fun.

The standout track for me is "The Golden Glowing Mask", which starts with a captivating full stereo guitar riff and takes it from there. Mom even likes it! "Sounds kind of spiritual." You could say that about much of the album, or as we say here in Cackalacky, "spurachull". After "Mask" we are treated to an all-out native jam in "What's all that Racket in our Haunted Attic". More! More! More!

One shortcoming of this release is that it's a bit too short for what we have come to expect these days, clocking in at not quite 36 minutes. Clearly, they need to try Doctah Dave's Filler-o-matic. It works like this: jam like mad for 4 hours, and take the best 15 minutes. Poof! Instant success! Aside from that, State Bird has given us a real gem, and they leave us with this moral: "don't go out into the woods--there are bears and wolves waiting to hurt you." Instead, check out State Bird's music from the safety of the internet (website, MySpace).

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