Concert Preview: Yellow Ostrich

Yellow Ostrich is playing at San Diego's Belly Up Tavern on Wednesday, November 9.


By Haley Earl-Lynn

Yellow Ostrich
Belly Up
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 

From the perspective of a twenty-something year-old lady on the prowl, the dating scene here in San Diego can seem pretty complicated.  That poor little lady may wonder, “Are we dating? Are we just friends? Are we supposed to ignore eachother next time we are both ordering a So-Cal chicken sandwich at Urbane during our lunch break?” Lucky for that lady though, the up-and-coming band Yellow Ostrich has put all of her worries and ponderings to rest.

On their newest album, The Mistress, Yellow Ostrich breaks it down and makes it real simple for distressed ladies. Their track “Hate Me Soon” could easily be made into a how to guide: Hooking up for Dummies. The most helpful line: “You’re gonna hate me soon if you don’t understand that what we’re doing here has got no long term plan… I’m gonna love you soon when you are out of reach and when I see you ‘round, you never wanna speak.”

Spreading the word about this song until it reaches as many twenty-something year-old lady friends as possible is the best way to clear up the whole hookup culture confusion. Yellow Ostrich is just what modern women need. Beyond that, the rest of their music happens to sound darn good as well.

Yellow Ostrich began as Alex Shaaf’s solo project. He found himself in New York with a lot of music, but no band. He hooked up (platonically, unfortunately) with drummer Michael Tapper of the band Fool’s Gold. The two began collaborating and found themselves with a complete album. The Mistress hit the Internet and built up enough fan support to allow for Shaaf and Tapper to head out on a mini tour around New York. Early this year the band added Jon Natchez to round out the trio.

Yellow Ostrich is best categorized as an indie-rock band – go figure, right?! Shaaf’s strong vocals define the band’s sound. Their distinct sound is comparable to that of San Diego natives, Dirty Gold. Both bands represent youth and inexperience in the best ways possible. The Mistress has a fun, free sound. It can’t be compared to a band like Coldplay’s perfectly-crafted pieces or a band like !!!’s intricately produced beats.

“Whale” is Yellow Ostrich’s biggest hit. Unlike “Hate Me Soon”, “Whale” is much more friendly sounding. While the former provides a valuable lesson to the needy, the latter wins hearts over. Other eargasmic tracks include “Hold On” and “Mary”.

Yellow Ostrich stop by San Diego’s Belly Up Tavern this Wednesday night, along with Ra Ra Riot and Delicate Steve. Fans can expect a notably charismatic live performance. Critics have raved that Yellow Ostrich have a notably strong presence on stage. If you can’t make it out Wednesday, fret not. Even though the band won’t be playing in San Diego again soon, they will be just a short drive away in L.A. at El Ray Theatre on Thursday night. Tickets are moving fast.

What’s to come for the band is still unknown. After the tour they will be recuperating and relaxing back in New York. They have high hopes for future albums. Taking inspiration from the likes of Neil Young and the Velvet Underground, The Mistress was wildly more successful than originally anticipated. Fans can only hope for more lessons and charming tunes in a sophomore album from Yellow Ostrich.