49 Burning Condorsis a Gothic Americana Alt Rock Folk band based out of Philadelphia, PA. We thrive off of ghost stories, all manners of good-for-nothing witches, and tales of sinful cowboys told at unseemly hours of the night over a straight glass of whiskey. Our acoustic style is simple and reminiscent of the folklore that has been passed down, time and time again, getting slightly twisted and darker with each passing listen.
It’s not altogether an unfamiliar story. There’s familiarity in the meadow and the wildflowers and strawberries overgrowing your favorite summer landscapes. There’s familiarity in the blue dress that tickles your knees, and the sky painted blue, and the blue sounds of the bells. There’s familiarity in the twigs that snap and the burnt breeze and the voices that say your name. You’ve always known this very sun that shines and the thickness of the heat laying hands on your skin.
There’s familiarity in the way you place one foot in front of the other and look up at the suddenly starlit sky and their little mirrors on the ground. And even though it’s the first time, there’s familiarity in the touch of the moon on your fingertips and the way it feels slippery and feathery and light and fragile in your hands. And in the moments between passing stars and bated breaths, you hold the glass globe to your chest, and the air falls in on itself over Marigold Lake.
She is a naked tango
A plump strawberry
She is the silk you can’t afford
And the straw you use to fill your scarecrows
She is the raven that remembers
She is the wooden spoon that stirs and stirs and stirs
She is the clock striking midnight
She is the dawn that spills in
She is the breathe that gasps inwards
In delight and in fear
She is the darkness that transfixes the senses
And the light that pulls you towards
And she is a cat
All night long
Over her rotten milk
The river witch sells baubles and beliefs. She looks onto the world with milky eyes and kaleidoscope nails with a sandpaper tongue. She is garbed in dry, rotted fish skins, and yet, she smells sweet, like roses. She holds in her knotted hands a strand of my hair and a bit of clay from my soul. She whispers me to the Mississippi where I cast away my last hope. Unrequited love enhances our desire to seek folly and our chances of being the fool.
There’s all sorts of stories that hang about the Mudcat Saloon. Tales are written on napkins and left on tables or drawn on stalls or printed on the back of greasy menus. You couldn’t leave the Mudcat without a story stickin’ to you. Sometimes when you got home, you’d find one stuck to your shoe or braided in your hair. But some of the tallest tales are etched into the glassware.
So when you take a sip of whiskey on a late summer night as midnight passes, you see glimpses of another world out the corner of your eye with monsters, and frenzy, and blood. And when you set the glass down, you see the story in full, in tiny, ghoulish scrawl, and you wonder who etched this particular glass. You wonder why the story doesn’t end. You think you’re a hero. So you tip your bartender and you go to where the story began -- within the woods.
Arizona is scorched
and so am I.
I don’t know what else to do. In the days and weeks I’ve longed for her and watched her and waited for her, she has grown more and more indifferent. I thought, perhaps, the week before last that she had smiled at me, but as the days progress, I fear it was simply a ghost of my imagination. I’m prone to unlikely and wrongful daydreams. This Sunday after church, she looked passively through me to the live oak trees in the distance, as if she would prefer the rough of their bark on her lips than mine own.
My Hazel sings in the choir, and I’ve heard her stare longingly at the larks in the trees. She wears a silver bracelet with charms that sing her lullabies when she walks. I see her sway and close her eyes as the church bell chimes. If only my voice were not made of cottontails and hornets nests and toads.