As a treat to those of you who wish to know more about Ostrich von Nipple’s world, we proudly present to you the first installment of our “Album History” series. We’ll get a deeper look at each album, its themes and get some questions answered from OVN and the Goons about each project. In this edition we will be taking a look at OVN’s self-titled debut album.
Initially released in 2006, Ostrich von Nipple’s first album (self-titled) was produced in a limited edition of 50 hand-numbered copies and sold at various performances and given to family and friends. No other pressings or digital releases currently exist.
At the time before the album was written, Ostrich von Nipple was traveling to the big city on weekends in order to perform with The Goons of Waxing Gibbous and Shitty Bedford. Living a distance away from his bandmates, Ostrich was itching to play and create more, but was finding a lack of like-minded souls where he lived.
One day, Shitty Bedford said to Ostrich von Nipple: “I want to hear an OVN album.” Armed with a borrowed 4-track recorder, he had the idea that he could essentially “jam” with himself if he only had a few more toys around. After a short period of saving money, Ostrich arrived at home with said toys and began recording that same evening–and never stopped…
…However, he never intended for anyone to hear it.
“I just never really considered it to be that sort of deal. I just wanted to play and kind of get these little demons out of my head. It was only “released” at the insistence of r0b0t and Shitty.”
The album’s conception took place during late 2005 and into 2006. Its public debut took place some time in the summer of 2006. All of the material written for the album was brand new, save for two songs that were previously recorded as 4-track demos; one of which was written as a pitch to Shitty Bedford for a Captain Wimwam show. The Goons learned it but it was ultimately rejected for the show, before finding its home on OVN’s debut album.
Some eight years later in the autumn of 2014, Ostrich von Nipple came across a handful of the original 50 copies that were never sold. The remaining copies were put to auction and included sheets of notebook paper from the writing sessions that resulted in the creation of several albums.
“Step Right Up!”: The ominous beginning, while possibly written merely as the ‘obligatory intro’ to fill the space…manages to set the scene for not only what would follow on the rest of the album, but also his entire discography.
“Ethnic Cleansing”: The intro is influenced by Ostrich von Nipple’s classical Indian music studies. It’s served as an opening “incantation” in relation to the record as a whole. A summoning, if you will. It goes through a child-like transformation in the middle culminating in the first groove of the album. The subject matter was influenced by a story that was urgently being told but contained nothing of substance due to one reason or another.
“I knew lots of people with words to say and sometimes I simply could not find meaning. I thought it would be fun to portray that as a crowd conversation”
“The Sleepy Creeper”: Placed early in the album for strategic purposes (everything Ostrich von Nipple does is not without strategic purpose), this instrumental was one of OVN’s pitches for Captain Wimwam’s Buffoonicus Spectaculus, essentially a piece to be accompanied by a theater scene. In the end, he kept it and it was completely re-recorded for this album. Compositionally, it is the same as the original. Word has it there is an opposite called “Dooby Scoot” which if it exists, is rumored to be an ‘inverse’ version of The Sleepy Creeper.
“Doppler radar”: “This is ultimately a satirical one lyrically…about the devastation of hurricane Katrina and the violence & looting I witnessed on television. Not overly political, just an odd observance of natural and man made tragedy”
“I’m Finished”: A father-son improvisation, with The Hatchling on microphone.
“Contemplation/Revelation”: At this point in the album, the overall tone starts to make a shift. Contemplation/Revelation was the other track that was pitched to Captain Wimwam’s Buffoonicus Spectaculus, but was also rejected. This tune was conceived as a soundtrack for a stage performance idea by Ostrich von Nipple.
“Someone is looking for unique ways to torture someone else. They all end up being ridiculous or not what the torturer is looking for. The revelation comes when the torturer thinks he has finally discovered the proper method of torture…then quickly realizes that it won’t work.”
Contemplation/Revelation later became a staple in the Goons repertoire, although performed as an instrumental.
“Silence Act I: (Meow Intro)”: At this point in the album we are exploring the awkwardness of silence. Or is it awkward? For some it’s golden, for others it is earth-shattering and can amplify awkward moments.
“Silence Act II: (Caterwaul)”: cat·er·waul (ˈkadərˌwôl/), noun: a shrill howling or wailing noise. It all begins with a peaceful intro, soft and clean.. if it weren’t for the meowing cats and grunting primitives.
“Silence Act III: (-40° at Yellowstone)”: By this point it becomes apparent that we are exploring the very concept of the contrast between stillness and noise. Silence defines the noise. Our minds are rarely quiet. Silence makes your ears ring. Or does your mind add that ring to protect you from true silence?
“Yellowstone at -40° is haunting so I’ve been told. The cold harsh silence of nature when the earth is frozen and crisp.”
“Where & How”: This is a song for the self-conscious. But it’s really about searching for something we can’t have and blaming anything we can think of instead of the obvious–yourself.
“Wither”: “…Just a poetic little ditty about a dying garden. Babies cry at the thought of any sort of death. Children sing and play in the background. Really simple contrasting ideas of innocence there. Plants die just like humans. Some laugh, some cry.
..I snore through the intro because it bored the shit out of me.”
“Oooh Owie Owie”: Ostrich von Nipple has always loved children’s music and wanted to write a simple child like tune, but the concept evaded him. One day The Hatchling stepped on his bare toe. Trying not to cuss like a sailor he shouted “oooh, owie, owie”…and that’s when the idea struck. It became a story about a cartoon-like family destined for unusual accidents and horrible family pranks. Each verse represents a different member of this highly functional family unit. The tune ends with an increasingly aggressive chant which was to imply the true sinister and non-innocent nature of the household. We may be paid another visit from this family some day…
“Thank you, but I really have to go now”: The final track and closing statement of the album. Another song about not fitting in, wanting to leave and go back to a familiar world..until the hatchling walks in and declares “daddy, you’re a monster!” Perhaps he was correct on levels he has yet to comprehend..but maybe everyone besides us are the monsters.
“I am merely a cynical reflection. Only time, and The Hatchling, can tell I suppose.”