There comes a time in one’s life where it is necessary to reach a little deeper, sometimes to find a purpose, to find one’s voice, perhaps courage, or to rekindle a passion. At this moment there are friends and colleagues who are dealing with the ultimate struggles day to day, real health emergencies and the fundamental fight to survive; or have been caring for sick and at-risk parents and grandparents. The latest plot thickening developments of conspiracy-driven protests at hospitals incite in many a particular rage, another blow to the weary.
These struggles were not at all lost on me and the rest of my band, So Dirty the Flamingos, while we squirrelled away late-night hours and endeavoured to record this last record. 2020 - 2021 has been marked by anger, pain, and stress, but also a resolve to survive and carry on. Not long ago my wayward internet ramblings discovered an image of what I was to learn was the bloodroot flower. A simple yet beautiful species with roots that produce a blood-red dye, historically used by Indigenous populations to decorate pottery and their faces with war paint. I, of course, love the imagery here - a beautiful flower that reaches deep into the earth and spews fake blood. That captures our times perfectly! After all, the band’s name, So Dirty the Flamingos was inspired by an elegant bird that eats dirt - (answering the most asked question regarding the band). And thus the title of our forthcoming EP, “The Bloodroot Sessions” was born.
The songs we’ve been cobbling together this last year had not yet been given their full life until most recently. They were played at shows here and there and in rehearsals and then as the COVID times emerged - they should have been killed altogether, as the pandemic has crippled and ended so many good things. For over a year, the five of us had not been able to collaborate or rehearse. Somehow we pushed on in our silos, and these songs survived by sheer will alone. I had a small studio built in my basement. I pushed aside the kids’ toys, doll houses and organized some storage - et voilà, 170 square feet of semiacoustically isolated space for me to do my thing. This new space, called “Bloodroot Studio” is where I recorded all the guitars and lead vocals on this record, while the rest of the band contributed their respective tracks in isolation. The rhythm section was recorded off and on at the steadfast Sodipop Studio. This was not fun, it was actually more akin to a fight, however, the frustration of recording vocals by myself, (with the ubiquitous summer construction season on my street), coincided with the pandemic and its annoying effects on government and society, and then you add their annoying and idiotic responses to it, well, it fueled the whole project with a very necessary, and possibly, saving ingredient: pure rage. The first single, “I’ll Take You On” is this rage incarnate. It’s a challenge to fight on its surface, but a deeper reading proves it to be an angsty love song, with lyrics like, “If you’re falling to pieces, just another reason, that I’ll carry yours and you carry mine. If you feel it, you’ll know I mean it, I’ll take you on by myself.”
SO DIRTY THE FLAMINGOS
This is a record that came to be in all its juxtapositions – the love and the hate, the creation and the destruction, like the beautiful flower that sits in blood, “The Bloodroot Sessions” has bloomed.
So we push on, always steering to the light, working together and separately to overcome the difficulties and to achieve a common purpose. On October 30th, at Living Colour, 3367 Dundas Street West, we will celebrate the official release of two songs from “The Bloodroot Sessions” with a live 45-minute set of our best music. At 9:30 p.m. we let loose the material that fought, bit, and raged to live. Just like we’ve all been doing.