The Origin of Birds

by Dinosawh

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

    ^Download the album to receive some liner notes and a bonus track!^

      name your price




65 million years in the making.


released June 6, 2014

Peter - vox, guitar
Lexie - vox, viola
Adam - vox, banjo
Mojoceratops - vox, mando, violin, percussion, banjo, lyrics*
*(except track 8, by Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra)

Aaron Levine - vox (Zeroes & Ones)
Mosi the Dog - vox (Old Friend)
Noah Newkirk - sample (Cure for Cancer)

Mixed by Adam Scholl & Aaron Levine
Album art by Tom Parker ( ) & Adam Scholl

Many thanks to:
Hanna Miller, Hannah Connor, Becky K., The Magpie String Band (, Dollar Signs (, Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra (, Paul Weintrob (, our families, and all of you lovely Internet fans



Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.


Dinosawh Washington D.C., D.C.

contact / help

Contact Dinosawh

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Zip Ties & SSRIs
| Em | G || x4; | C | Cm | //INTRO/INTERLUDE
| G | Em | Cm | G || x4 //VERSE

I been kept on two tight leashes, one in my brain, one held by leeches
and a choke collar constructed out of chain-linked circumstances
wound tightly around my neck, loose enough so I can clearly see
my personality's being made up by someone other than me, these

Imagined communities; cultural norms’ silent suppress
and imaginary mass gravitating empty concepts of success
putting all of us in our place, we mistake our chains for happiness;
swallow more pills, eat up, get dressed, buy once again into this mess

This game's been fixed, been from the start; you audition for your favorite part,
but you're never gonna get just what you want if you haul around that bleeding heart
It's dog eat dog, better get your fill, 'cos if you won't another will;
grab all you can, give out no gifts, keep running, don't look back until

Misanthropy is closing in--sedate it, don't frustrate it, just
lie to yourself: you always treat your neighbor with kindness and with trust;
Life's an absurdity, free will's no solace, bite the bullet so you have less problems,
strap right on those puppet strings, turn off the switch, give into them
Track Name: Cure for Cancer
| G | G+ | Em | G+ || x4 //INTRO
INTRO x2, replace G+ with G7 on last time //VERSE
| C | Cm || //CHORUS

This counterculture's counting sheep
content, we count along; italicize the z's but
the breeze that carried it has waned
stuck out at sea, ship sinking, oars stolen by charade campaigns
(and don't expect to get them back)

Treating people like they're dumb, manipulating them for fun, under that rhetoric they're scammers and they're scum and I can't take this anymore

I'd run away, forget the things I fled
and live alone inside my head
but this status quo has got to end

This fraud they call democracy
enriches psychopaths, commends conspiracy
those pigs in suits act out the common's tragedy
while they sit at their thrones, speech never will be free
(they're laughing while we lie in wait)

Until dissent isn't a brand but common discourse and demand, we need a plan, not these red herring ropes of sand 'cos I can't take this anymore

I'd run away, forget the things I fled
and solipsize away instead
but there's still some hope left to defend

This insincerity's a cancer,
ground down, we're growing up
mistaking apathy for answers
to questions we don't ask enough

Enough's enough, we're getting too old for this stuff
the bricks that make this wall are tough,
but if we break them down maybe we'll rise up.
Track Name: Cancer Strikes Back
|F#m | A || x2; | A C B | Bb A Fm || //INTRO
|F#m | A || x4; | A C B | Bb A Fm || //VERSE
|D | Dm || //BRIDGE
|F#m | A[dim.] | A | B7 D7 || x2 //CHORUS

The lights will go out one by one
The ties that bind have come undone
This system buckles from the weight of lies and greed
The greater good’s turned obsolete

The politicians play their games
Our status quo remains the same
Contrived polemics keep the livestock in their place
While dirty money takes the race

The swelling crowds ain’t gonna stop
The paramilitary cops
The legionnaires align to polarize the one percents
Shut down the cameras; quell dissent

This ship’s been sinking all along
Thought things could change? Guess ya thought wrong

The pundit puppets prance along
Singing their endless piper’s songs
The television turns into a two-way mirror
They watch as your thoughts disappear

Consumer zombies mill around
Keeping their eyes glued to the ground
Behind the scenes massive machines chug on and on
Milking more money from their pawns

The prison populations grow
The warden’s pockets overflow
The gabble falls, failing to dodge the system’s flaws
Treating the symptoms, not the cause

This ship’s been sinking all along
Thought things could change? Guess ya thought wrong
Track Name: Tide Rider
|C | C7 | Am | G# || //INTRO
INTRO x4, replace G# with D on last time //VERSE
|C | Em | Am | F || x2 //CHORUS

You’re getting sick of storing memories in binary code
You let your body do the talking, put your head in the phone
So when the Internet’s down your brain’s an empty cup because
You put yourself on Facebook; didn’t back yourself up

You live another life, a brand new way to exist
In which you’re always keeping track of all the shit you think you missed
We sit and suffer as anxiety invades our lives, one day
These buzzing little minds are gonna turn into a hive

If you throw up your hands and say it’s gone too far
The world will go on; you’ll stay the same as you are
A scowl will creep across your face as you fossilize
Unless you shed your skin and metamorphisize… you’ll never realize

These are crazy times, if you don’t lock yourself inside
You gotta open up your mind, we’re gonna ride this tide
Don’t go so fast past your prime, you gotta take it all in stride
You gotta shift your paradigm if you gon’ ride this tide

One day a change will show up huffin’ and a puffin’ at your door
It’s gonna bust right in and knock you flat on the floor
Unless you give into the wind and let it take you where it will
You gon’ get stranded in your head, alone with cynicism still

You gotta find a filter that will suit your taste
So you can still find beauty when the past goes to waste
Revolution’s never pretty, even when you win
Somebody’s gotta do the dishes after every party ends

In a few orbits more, we’ll find the world has changed,
obsolescence shaking up the minds we carefully arranged
So try to hold on tight to what means most to you
But if it fades away, don’t let it kill you too, just start anew, ‘cos

These are crazy times, if you don’t lock yourself inside
You gotta open up your mind, we’re gonna ride this tide
Don’t go so fast past your prime, you gotta take it all in stride
You gotta shift your paradigm if you gon’ ride this tide
Track Name: Old Friend
| F Am | E G | F E | Am G | F G | E Am | F A | G G*/C** || //INTRO*/VERSE**
| C || //BRIDGE1
| C | Em | C7 | F Fm || x4 //CHORUS
| G || x2 //BRIDGE2

You've been gone a while now, but I'm
Still finding thoughts held in your clutch
I try remembering our pasts the best I can, but oh
My memory's got midas touch

If we hadn't met, what would I have become?
I wonder to myself each night
I'd try to spin that story time and time again, but
I know I'll never get it right

Old friend
Seems gravity would see us part
So long
What will I be what with you gone?
I know
You've left your shadow on this soul
Old friend
Our stories blur as time rolls on

When we speak, our memories will overtake us
They're all we know, and so it goes
but through that mix of joy and pain that we've experienced
I pray the joy is all that shows

The day will come when one of us will disappear
That simple thought fills me with dread
If you go before, I'll lock your memory up safely, so
you'll live inside me till' I'm dead
Track Name: Zeroes & Ones
| Am | Am C | Am | Am E || x2 //INTRO/INTERLUDE
| Am | C | Dm | E || //BRIDGE

There’s been a rumbling in my mind
between the thoughts I think but can't categorize, so
I search for borders I can't find
between what's right and wrong, what's dead and what's ali-ive

I find this world is ill-defined
Reality ain’t binary outside our minds
For sure, there’s knowledge to divine
but damn it’s hard to find the patterns in the si-igns, well

We're in a world of blurry lines,
zeroes and ones ain't gonna show you where the truth lies

You really think you know what’s best?
Don’t even know yourself, your dissonance kept so repressed
You wanna call your values true,
but they’re subjective as the meanings of deez words to you

Uncertainty isn’t a sin
truth ain't yr adversary in a game you wi-in
Your mind will do the best it can
to paint reality and all its sleight of hand, oh well

We're in a world with many sides
Zeroes and ones ain't gonna show you where the truth hides
Track Name: TMI
| Fm | C | Fm | Fm || x2 //INTRO/INTERLUDE
| Fm C | Fm | Fm | C | Fm C | Fm | Fm C | Fm || x2 //VERSE
| C | Fm || x3, | Fm Bbm | C || //CHORUS
| Fm Bbm | C || //OUTRO

These symbols dancing round my head grow tired
While anxious thoughts speed up the beat
A voice inside screams "there's such little time"
My mind keeps pacing as I rest my weary feet

Marauding thoughts keep rising from my depths
Got no more will with which to fight
My mind's been colonized by glowing screens
I let those colonists wash my worries from sight

I’m too desensitized to give a damn today, let
Useless information wash my pain away, my
Consciousness is growing dimmer everyday
Reality's too much to handle anyway

Attention span--where are have you gone, old friend?
I need you to realize my soul
Those doctors put me on some dull-blade drugs, and now
I need amphetamines to feel I'm whole

Responsibility, you dreadful thing
You stir my catatonic state
Subconscious voodoo's got a hold on me, granting
my with'rin' soul more time to hibernate


Know who I am, now I don’t no more,
I never really did x2
Track Name: Oh Charlatan Me
| G Em | C Cm || x2 //INTRO/INTERLUDE
|D || x2 //BRIDGE
|G | D | Em | C || x2 //CHORUS

(music and lyrics by Walter Mitty and his Makeshift Orchestra)
( )

Now I’m noticeably dumber than I was one year ago
and I would like to think it’s a better thing,
but I’d tell myself almost anything these days
It’s a little complicated—letting people down is a full time business
My shallow commitments surrounding me,
I snapped my cellphone to escape
Now somewhere in this town
there’s a lynch mob for me

Oh, charlatan me, I can’t control all these feelings (x2)
It’s getting hard to stand up straight

Now there’s strangers in the kitchen,
I’m dodging people like they’re bullets,
‘cos we’re not talking, we’re just practicing our smalltalk
And I’ve heard tips about saving face,
I gotta keep y’all thinking that I’m loving this place
I don’t mean to be crude, but
I can’t talk to you without a cigarette in my hand
as a crutch to hold me up
it’s my shield from all you

Oh, charlatan me, I can’t control all these feelings (x2)
Oh, charlatan me, you must be down all because of me
Track Name: The Magpie & The Maremma
|D | D+ | G | Gm | D | A | D || #INTRO/VERSE (repeated form)

In the last stretch of our epilogue
When humankind was nearly gone
A dying man embraced his dog
Said “good luck, pal” and he passed on

For days the dog stayed by his side
His soul echoed through the canine’s mind
A magpie flew by as she cried;
drawn by the dead man's dog tag shine

The bird perched on a nearby bough

Sang to the dog “come, dry your eyes

Life on earth will ebb and flow

This planet blinks while his kind dies”

The dog said, “You don’t understand

The consciousness that they possessed
Such beauty sprung forth from their hands;
their eyes could see the world undressed"

The bird said “be that as it may

Their minds fell by their violent sway

Every dog will have its day,

yet life will always find a way”

They heard a sound come from nearby,
and recognized a baby's cry
They rushed to the scene, found two infants alive
Grasped tight by their parents who hadn't survived

The dog said "Bird, do as you will
but I have faith humans, still
Like birds evolved from dinosaurs
His kind will change if they're restored"

The magpie gave a moment's thought,
then flew away, left dog distressed
But before the dog could second guess
The bird returned to build a nest
Track Name: Apophenia
| G | A7♭5 || x4 //INTRO
| G | A7♭5 || x4; | D7 | — | //PART 1
| G | A7♭5 || //PART 2 (repeated form)

And all the parts that make you up one day will change or fade away
Giving you something new to work towards, some new game to play;
A task to focus all your thoughts on, a new interest to love
Another process to blocks thoughts of all you’re frightened of

So you tell stories to give meaning to something meaningless
You search for patterns to make rhythm from life’s randomness
Your guess as good as mine, there’s still a long, long way to go
Before that voice inside our heads belongs to someone that we know

And when we die our minds will wind down, the screen will fade to black
The audience applauds and slowly shuffles out the back
And all the memories that make us up will slowly decompose
This strange reality recedes and your time draws to a close

We’ll never die; these parts that make us up are made to recombine
When given time, and one-day part of me might meet you down the line

(We’ll recombine, these parts that make us up are made to never die
Well down the line, one day some part of me might meet you, given time)

((Well down the line, these parts that make us up will some day recombine
We’ll never die, we’re made so part of me might meet you given time))

(((We’re made to die, one day these parts might meet up, never given time
Well down the line, some made up part of me will some day recombine)))

We’ll never die, these parts that make us up are made to recombine
When given time, and one-day part of me will meet you down the line