The guys in Yellow Ostrich are familiar with Oregon. They spent several weeks in Portland this past summer recording their new album, Strange Land. For them, it was like a homecoming visiting Portland and playing a show at Mississippi Studios. Fortunately, while they were here, they agreed to join me at Wealth Underground Farm to participate in the Farm to Artist project.
With help from Talia, we cooked the meal, which consisted of steamed brussel sprout raab, an egg scramble, and roasted rutabagas. After the tour of the farm we sat down to eat the food. The conversation varied but we talked about the transition from singer/songwriter to full band, their 10 show marathon at SXSW, their best tour meals, and the future of the band.
They had the night off and stayed at their producers house in the Mississippi neighborhood. The following night my folks, Talia, and I had dinner at Interurban and then headed down the street for the show at Mississippi Studios. My mom had arrived by train and my father by plane earlier in the afternoon, both travelling to Oregon from Indiana. Yellow Ostrich started their set around 10 pm, which was 1 am for my folks, who drowsily watched the show from the comfortable movie theater style chairs in the balcony.
Yellow Ostrich, as a full band, had an incredibly rich sound. At times they lost the sparseness of the earlier recordings with the arrangements for multiple instruments but the set-up also allowed them to swell to heights that were previously unreachable. As musicians, you could also sense how much they loved playing the songs and were willing to pour their emotions into the music. They sounded great. I'm also glad that I got to see them at this point in their band life. I'm excited to hear more output from them and to witness them grow and evolve but it's exciting to get to hear all of your favorite songs from a band, which will change over time as they write more music and have to remove songs from their set.