Jesse Jarnow

postcard from austin #1: the grackles

“Austin grackles, 3/13/08” (download)

(file expires March 25th)

The most surprising music I heard during South by Southwest took place within 30 seconds of my first arrival on 6th Street: a tree full of grackles. The field recording I made the next day at dusk, across the street from Whole Foods, doesn’t quite capture the manic density of that first encounter. Composed more of the siren-like yelps (heard at approximately the 12 second mark on this track) that was more of a pitched conversation — as if the birds were in heated council — than the idle chatter heard here. Indeed, as 6th Street filled with meat marketeers and temporary stages, I never once found the grackles occupying that same tree, surrendering downtown to the tourists like the righteously pissed off locals they are.