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Like a Bird: An Alex Schaaf Anthology (2010-2021) coming out on March 26th.  

The Mistress Deluxe Edition out now, get the vinyl here
Yellow Ostrich

︎ Home
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︎ Albums
︎ Videos

︎ Instagram
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Like a Bird: An Alex Schaaf Anthology (2010-2021) coming out on March 26th.  

The Mistress Deluxe Edition out now, get the vinyl here


STRANGE LAND


release date: March 1, 2012
as: Yellow Ostrich
on: Barsuk Records:
format: digital, CD, vinyl

PURCHASE ALBUM



SONGS


Elephant King
Daughter
Marathon Runner
I Got No Time For You
Stay At Home
I Want Yr Love
The Shakedown
Wear Suits
Up In The Mountains
When All Is Dead

LYRICS


Elephant King

I am the elephant king, the one and only
I am the blood of the lamb, I am the holy
I am the teller of tales, I am a story
I am the elephant king but I am lonely

I am the prophet’s confession on his deathbed
I am the soil of the earth, I am the purebred
I am the listener hearing all that’s unsaid
I am the magazines hiding under your bed

And you can’t take my kingdom away from me

I am the elephant king, the one and only
I am the voice of the song, I am the lowly
I am the chosen protector of the dreary
I am the elephant king but I am lonely

So take my jewels and gems, take all that shines bright
Take all the signs of my power away from my sight
I will go to a land of constant daylight
I will talk to myself ‘til I am alright

But take good care, I’ll be back sooner than you think
‘Cause you can’t take my kingdom away from me

Alex: vocals, guitar
Michael: drums, vocals
Jon: bass, trombone, euphonium, french horn, vocals

Daughter 

I won’t let you bring me down
Said the man with his grin
I’m in this war with an army,
and we’re not letting you win

We’ll make it complicated for you

I’ve read all that you have written
I know they say you’re a star
But I’ve heard stories from your daughter
In the back of your car

We’ll make it complicated for you

We can make a deal, I know it
Well I’ve got things that you want
And you’ve got what I need
So why don’t we be men,
pretend we’re friends,
and then move on
(We can make a deal, I know it)

Alex: vocals, guitar
Michael: drums, vocals
Jon: bass, baritone sax, tuba, trombone, euphonium,  trumpet, cornet, peck horn, flugelhorn, vocals

Marathon Runner

When I was a boy of seventeen
I know it’s mean, but I
I told my friend to give up on her dreams,
she hated me, but I
I knew that dreams were for the best of us,
not for the rest of us,  and I
I didn’t want to share with anyone

I need a way to sing the greatest dance
and make them laugh
I could win the wars
or lose the battles too, whichever’s true
I can live in other people’s lives
I CAN’T STOP PUTTING ON OTHER PEOPLE’S CLOTHES
I love them ‘til I leave

I am a marathon runner
and my legs are sore
and I’m anxious to see
what I’m running for
I am a hot air balloon
on a sailboat
I would make this my home
if I’d learned to float

So take my treasures, take my earthly life,
I’ll try to cry, 
I will live without the things I love the best
So hold them to your chest
I will lose my faces, lose my stolen wigs,
the heads of kings I will run until I know what to believe

I am a marathon runner
and my legs are sore
and I’m anxious to see
what I’m running for
I am a hot air balloon
on a sailboat
I would make this my home
if I’d learned to float

Alex: vocals, guitar
Michael: drums
Jon: bass, organ

I Got No Time For You

I got no time for you

When you were seventeen
I was nothing but a thought because
you were then in ‘53, there’s nothing yet of me
When you were taking your first steps
my grandfather took his test
to get into the second grade a million miles away

So I got no time for you

I saw the pictures of the day
when you grew up and moved away
Your mother, she looked proud of you
It’s all that she could do
I saw the photos when you cried,
I saw the photos when you died
I saw the start, I saw it all
I know you better than yourself

But if I was alive when you were alive
Things would be better

So I got not time for you

Alex: vocals, piano, guitar, Korg MS-20
Michael: drums
Jon: bass, bass clarinet, Korg MS-20
Beau: Korg MS-20

Stay at Home 

If I see you 
then you’ll know this has gone too far
‘Cause our romance
can only live behind all the walls there are

No we never can meet
We never can greet
We never can say hello
‘Cause our bones are too weak
to be sold on the street
To survive we must stay at home

I’ll think of you
every other day just to throw them off
I’ll know you by the color of your walls
and the beauty of thought
‘Cause out there, every little bird
is shivering and cold from the spiteful air
and out there, every little spark
is quickly fading dark from each stranger’s stare

No we never can meet
We never can greet
We never can say hello
‘Cause our bones are too weak
to be sold on the street
To survive we must stay at home

Inside, inside
is where I will hide from you

Alex - vocals, guitar
Michael - drums
Jon - bass

I Want Yr Love

I want your love
I don’t know if we’re still friends
I don’t know if you’re happy
But I will love you ‘til the end
‘Cause I’ll still want you badly 

I want your love

All that I take for granted
is always right beside me
And all the things I most want
are miles away and happy
‘Cause you won’t know me if you try
‘cause I’ll make you a stranger
And that is how I’ll get by
it’s my idea of danger

I want your love

I never said this to you
when we were close together
If I could take one thing back
I would have known you sooner
I know you live so far away
but that’s where all my dreams are
If I could take one thing back
I would have known you sooner

I want your love

Alex - vocals, optigan, piano
Michael - drums, djembe, donkey’s jawbone
Jon - bass, baritone sax, bass clarinet, Korg MS-20

The Shakedown

Sadie, can you break me? 
‘Cause I’m calm now,
but I could come around
and I’ll make you, if I see you
in the Shakedown

Sadie, bring your arms to me
‘Cause I can’t be still
until I’ve had my fill
And these people, they are so cold
and their stories, they get so old
in the Shakedown

But every now and then I see
that no one is in front of me, no
The people like to laugh and stare
but I can live if there is someone there

Sadie, can you save me?
‘Cause I’ve made up my mind
not to ask you twice
and these people, they are so cold
and their stories, they get so old
in the Shakedown

Alex - vocals, guitar
Michael - drums, vocals
Jon - bass, vocals

Wear Suits

I’m coming home and I don’t know why
I’m coming home and I don’t know why
It’s three a.m. and I finished the lie
It’s three a.m. and I finished the lie

I read about places I’ll never see
I sing about things that I’ll never be
I’m coming home and I don’t know why
I’m coming home and I don’t know why

I’ve got the same people at my door
I’ve got the same way of waiting for more
Though I can run, I can never escape
all of the things that will keep me the same
I’m writing stories that I’ll never live
I’m making presents that I’ll never give
I’m coming home and I don’t know why
I’m coming home and

Wear suits
and talk about the futures
of all your children
Sing of serious things that kill you
Wear suits
and bring your love a flower
Don’t come home for hours
Smile when asked about it

I’m coming home and I don’t know why
I’m coming home and I don’t know why
It’s three a.m. and I finished the lie
It’s three a.m. and I finished

Wear suits
and talk about the futures
of all your children
Sing of serious things that kill you
Wear suits
and bring your love a flower
Don’t come home for hours
Smile when asked about it

Alex - vocals, guitar
Michael - drums
Jon - bass, trombone, euphonium, trumpet

Up In The Mountains

To get to my home
To get to my home, make known
all of the things you’d rather not say
To get to my home
To get to my home, breathe low
The balance, it is hard to maintain

I understand it all
it never was so clear, but I see
the answer staring right back at me
I know it, I swear
I know it, I swear, come near
You tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine then

I can see it all now
Up in the mountains I will be found
There will be ponds and horses to ride
and I will be free
I could leave this behind
all of the people making me sigh
I’ll be gone
Maybe you’ll be there too, it’s up to you

To get to my home
To get to my home, be alone
You cannot trust what you cannot control
You leave it all behind
You leave it all behind for me
I am so grateful, you’ll be so relieved

I can see it all now
Up in the mountains I will be found
There will be ponds and horses to ride
and I will be free
I could leave this behind
all of the people making me sigh
I’ll be gone
Maybe you’ll be there too, it’s up to you

Alex - vocals, guitar, piano
Michael - drums
Jon - bass

When All Is Dead

When the bridges all fall down
and you think your words are dead sound
I will wait for you
That’s all I will do

When the bears and tigers are chasing
all the streetcar vendors erasing
The fashion stops
The curtain drops

When your boyfriend leaves for the outside
but he’s cold the minute the horns cry
I will see you then
when we’ve reached the end

A mass of black to pierce through
a chance to focus on you
The hunt of one
The journey’s done

When all is dead and I am
the only one with legs to stand
Will it be right when we’re at the end?

And to Adam, Eve was the only
‘Cause nobody wants to be lonely
So they settled down
and she came around

So if they could do it, it’s easy
If you have no choice but to love me
Will you settle down?
Will you come around?

When all is dead and I am
the only one with legs to stand
Will it be right when we’re at the end?

Alex - vocals, guitar
Michael - drums
Jon - bass, baritone sax, trombone, trumpet, cornet, Korg MS-20





CREDITS


Yellow Ostrich is:
Alex Schaaf
Michael Tapper
Jon Natchez

Produced by Yellow Ostrich and Beau Sorenson
Engineered and mixed by Beau Sorenson
Recorded at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY and The Drawing Room in Kingston, NY, in August 2011
Mixed at Type Foundry in Portland, OR in September 2011
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA
Assistant Mastering Engineer: Maria Rice

All songs written by Yellow Ostrich
(Eastman Locker Publishing, BMI)
Alex Schaaf, Michael Tapper, and Jon Natchez

Cover and back photographs taken by CJ Foeckler in Milwaukee, WI
Layout by Michael Fusco

Thanks to all our friends and family, Ryan Matteson, Beau Sorenson, Jeff Lipton, D. James Goodwin, Justin Rice, Darbie Nowatka, Molly Nearman, Eli Walker, CJ Foeckler, Trey Many and everyone at  Billions, Josh Rosenfeld and everyone at Barsuk, Andrew Joanis, Alex Bunke, Michael Fusco, Adam
Selzer, John Strohm, Michael Azerrad, Ever Kipp, everyone at Bank Robber, NH87sm, and anyone who has come to a show, bought a record, or supported us in any other way.

VIDEOS