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  • Writer's pictureThe Rough & Tumble


"From the desk of the self-appointed tiny folk band fan club president (Alabama chapter) I am listening to the new CD for the first time as I type this. Because you care, I thought I would share my thoughts...

"Vultures - ok this is just Mallory showing off her amazing voice (again). I like the rock sound in the chorus. Might be my favorite track on this disc (besides Cicada of course)."

--Larry Jelley, Self-Appointed Tiny Folk Band Fan Club President (Alabama Chapter)

You've seen them eating dead things on the side of the road and you've heard The Rough & Tumble song about them, but how much do you really know about Vultures?

Like, did you know that a bunch of vultures sitting on a tree or a telephone line is called a volt, a venue or a committee? And when they're in flight, they're called a kettle? Or best of all, when the birds are eating their dead things, the group is called a wake? Isn't that cool?

Did you know that a vultures stomach acid is much stronger and more corrosive than other animals' stomach acid? This allows them to eat rotting meat flesh that other animals won't consume, thereby providing the important ecological role of getting rid of garbage.

Here's something amazing: On a particularly hot day, a vulture will urinate on its legs and feet to keep cool. While extremely resourceful and socially acceptable, this serves the dual purpose of sanitizing their legs and feet after spending a hot day stomping around in rotting meat flesh. Neat.

Also, Vultures have adopted the bald head and legs- in other circles known as the mid-forties, mid-life crisis, aging-anarchist-punk look- so that their feathers don't become infested with bacteria and other harmful parasites that are most often found in rotting meat flesh.

Did you know that a few years back Mallory became a little obsessed with vultures and started seeing them everywhere? Her good pastor friend Bryan said that maybe they were there for a reason. Mallory looked into it. Turns out, they were there for a reason. To eat all that excess anger up from her recent divorce and pile it into an up tempo, fun-loving song all about these interesting animals who would eat her metaphorical leftover relational rotting meat flesh.

We tracked this song with Matt Langston at his Rock Candy Recording studio a couple years before we recorded the rest of Cardboard and Christmas Lights and it waited around on a hard drive for a while and were scared that we lost it. And so when Matt was able to dig it up and dust it off, it was so much fun to hear again. This is the last time you'll hear Mallory's pink ukulele on a track by The Rough & Tumble before it became a staple in our niece's toy box. Sometimes, you gotta let the old be carrion-ed out to make way for the new.

Hope you enjoyed this little PSA for vultures. Now, you can think of all those spectacularly gross things we said while enjoying our "Vultures" track on Spotify. Or maybe on your own copy of Cardboard and Christmas Lights, should the beak fit.

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