by Michael Todd
You knew because the changes were written. It was early March after all, and The Mynabirds were just about to leave the nest.
These changes, or sheets of chords and lyrics, had been flipped through countless times as the band prepared for a number of dates that swung westward, down to Austin for South by Southwest and back to Omaha. Those songs from the last record, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, were neatly typed, and those from the new one, GENERALS, dropped Tuesday and given a release concert Friday at Slowdown, were written in pen. That's how you knew the difference.
On that unusually temperate late winter day, the Love Drunk crew filtered into the band's basement practice space. Burhenn had flown in her band from various plotpoints on the map only a few days before, and their first show with this setup — Nicole Childrey on drums and backing vocals, Patrick Damphier on bass, Rebecca Marie Miller on backing vocals and Tom Hnatow on guitar — was scheduled for the next night at The Zoo Bar in Lincoln.
As Burhenn and her dog, Charlie, roamed about over cords and camera equipment, we were introduced to the stompboxes and a box of lights. The neon-colored pedestals for Burhenn and Miller were left over from Tilly and the Wall, soon to be painted over. The box of lights we strung up, and along with our own lighting, made sure to show the out-of-date map on the back wall.
After a few runthroughs and the take that made the video, we were humming the song, "Buffalo Flower," during teardown. It's the opening repeated throughout that sticks with you, a sort of work melody that could be punctuated by the swing of hammers driving in railroad spikes. It's a blue-eyed soul song for the weary ones about to take flight. Fly on, folks.
audio recorded/mixed by django g-s
video edited by django g-s
* performed on March, 5, 2012
Michael Todd is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. He awoke this morning with the intro to "Buffalo Flower" in his head. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.