Blowin Breeze Through Talkin Trees
Dark Oz is a musical landscape, a whole planet really, a new reality sprung from the black sand where the yellow brick road meets the golden gate bridge. The songs are as diverse as the megaflora in this strange land, ranging from poppies to lollipops, talking trees to mushroom houses. Brain Scarecrow, your multi-instrumental visionary songwriter guide on this amazing journey, leads you through a dream of technicolor textures that is playful one minute and alrmingly surreal the next. Harmonicas, mandolins, some slide guitar, a banjo, and a trusty twelve-string pave the yellow brick road for your imagination on Blowin Breeze Through Talkin Trees, the band's first release. The songs also lead the listener on a historical journey made possible by Brain Scarecrow's ability to condense time into rhyme in a way that reveals the fruit of mystic truth behind seemingly incomprehensible or unrelated events. 'Peacepipe,' the opening track, sets the stage historically leading up to the twentieth century by adressing events such as the genocide of the Native Americans, the California gold rush, and the constant conflict in Jerusalem. Brain Scasrecrow feels collectively responsible for the great atrocities of history that happened before he was born. Neither hopeless nor disillusioned; he seeks to suck the moral marrow from these bones of evidence so dead, still, and forgotten as he sings, 'The sun falls on the apple all across the earth/ And the bees come buzzin in the window/ Day by day we grapple towards the truth/ Gaining light from history's dark shadow.' The next track, 'Wakeup,' carries on in the same vein, trying to rouse the listener from lethargy, ignorance, and apathy--in his own words 'the dark night of society/ Waiting on succeeding kings.' Brain's harmonica breathes new life into his plea for common sense and tolerance, moving the melody towards the triumphant and trumpeting in the era of reason and understanding. The album then takes some rapid twists and turns. 'Ego Shell' frees the spirit from the prison of person, allowing Brain and his listeners to inhabit new characters who find themselves in unfamiliar lands where the rules have all been rewritten. The characters all feel that that something is missing, that something just beyond their grasp is slipping away. 'Crystal Ship' dives through the cobwebs of memory and illusion, plunging you into the surreal astral party dreamscape of 'Moontower' while 'Scarecrow Blues' brings the listener back to the Oz home base while bringing Brain Scarecrow back to his lightning bar blues roots. From here, the album grows darker and heavier, hailing the inevitable fall of night, gathering the gloom once more and receding into the seedy shadows populated by strippers with ruby slippers, circus freaks, and dissatisfied ghosts. The sounds of night drip steadily towards loneliness before the curtain falls far too soon on a jealous love affair in 'Cross your Life.' Fortunately, Dark Oz is already hard at work on it's second release, tentatively titled The Irate Pirates of OZ, due out next year. The real magic, however, always happens live at venues in the bay area such as thee Parkside, Beale St. Bar, and El Rincon where Brain Scarecrow (and sometimes a mysterious dark 'goth' Dorothy) treat audiences to a trip back to a time whose 'kindly philosophy has not been put out of fashion.'