by Ian Cooke

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02:12 video


Ian Cooke: voice, cello, keyboards
Sean Merrell: drums, percussion
Ian O'Dougherty: guitar
Whit Sibley: bass

Produced and recorded by Ian O'Dougherty.
Engineered, recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Chris Fogal in Denver, CO.
Mastered by David Glasser at Airshow in Boulder, CO.
5.1 surround mix and DVD authoring by Neil Wilkes in London, UK.



released September 11, 2015



all rights reserved


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Ian Cooke Denver, Colorado

“Cooke, his cello and his looping effects pedal are now fixtures — icons, even — in Denver’s thriving independent music community. And after years of climbing the ranks, playing clubs, galleries, living rooms and museums, the singer-songwriter- cellist-pianist was voted the top musician in the ninth annual Denver Post Underground Music Poll.” - Ric Baca, Denver Post ... more

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Track Name: Stegosaurus
Across the world the birds arrive to settle.
The late Jurassic conjured me and put me on the slate
to graze and fade and remain within it.

The savannas of ferns that will turn to Colorado,
where I'll one day be named official fossil of the state,
with plates over my spine, doubled and staggered,
making the strangest of all constellations.

Behold the thagomizers at the end of my tail! Quadruple spikes float high behind.
But that's not all we are: a pebble, and a star, and a soul combined.

When predators appear at any hour,
protection of this kind is necessary to survive.
We teach our offspring to pivot and swivel their bodies
to swing what they've got in a fight.

Most of my days are devoid of complication.
The lifestyle of a herbivore is basic bad or good.
Eat, sleep, and defend; self-preservation is the priority.
Travel together.

And don't forget to keep the population up.
Reproduction is a must for dinokind.
But that's not all we are: a pebble, and a star, and a soul combined.
Track Name: Diplodocus
Ventral double rail: chevron bone array.
Run along coachwhip tail: caudal vertebrae.

It's a long path of migration; not an easy walk; keep the herd sound.
Countless paces in formation. Must sustain ourselves to the nesting ground.

Light-weight cervical chain: 15 hollow bones.
Spiny keratin mane: row of dorsal cones.

Stop and eat what leaves we can get to; tons are needed for every belly daily, so
down the roughage now; any kind will do; any leaf that grows green in paleo.

Peg tooth: branch stripping pith. Swallow fibers whole.
Follow with gastroliths. Breaking them down is the goal.

Watering hole! Oh my, what a sight for these weary eyes! But don't let your guard down, for we're not the only animals who enjoy and require routine hydration; Carnivores like Allosaurus get thirsty too.

Upon attack, whip a warning crack: supersonic stun.
If that fails, give him a smack. Strike that son of a gun.
Track Name: Microraptor
When you're small, you learn it all in the trees,
hiding from things who see you as something to eat.

Dawn of Cretaceous took a strange step on the path of evolution.
I've been given four fine-feathered wings - one on each limb - to be a tiny gliding thief.

But on the ground, I can't get around very well
with the wings on my legs; they make things pretty tough.

Safe in a tree, they'll never get us - not here - not in a million.
Not by the midnight rainbow diamond of my tail or the setting sun!

Future days will fossilize my feathers and their pigment cells of iridescent black.

Sources escape into the atmosphere; they lead to a better sight.
Lead to a life above the ones that hunt us, out of the clutches and bite.

Maybe I can catch myself an insect or a fish today. With luck, I'll get a bird.
Wouldn't mind a mammal for the death-defying dives I take but lizards are preferred.
Climbing high and gliding are my methods of surviving in the forests of Liaoning.
People will sing stories of our lives found in remains we leave behind.
Track Name: Polycotylus
From the sea to the east of Laramidia, within a mother lived another Polycotylus.
“I never left the comfort of the womb. Together, we expired and found a tomb to rest in. Earth pressed in.

On a walk, in Kansas rock, my mother was discovered and exhumed.
The plaster cast and earth were then removed. The day I was uncovered, it was proved:
we of Plesiosauria were viviparous.

Living young, given lungs, much like whales. Born from water, we moved to the land, then flippers grew from legs we used to have. The sea is where we came from and we learned that life was better there, so we returned.”
Track Name: Parasaurolophus
Parasaurolophus, dominus sonitus!

Crest for a tone, made when it’s blown like a trombone, loudest that’s known.
Heard far and wide, made to provide power, to guide, warn, and deride.

Parasaurolophus, dominus sonitus!

Bellowing skill of this duckbill goes from tranquil to shrill, changing at will.
This hadrosaur's blast, when it was cast, was unsurpassed, cut across vast space.
Track Name: Quetzalcoatlus
Though my long beak is fairly thin and toothless,
slow my technique is finding food. I'm ruthless.
I am a Quetzalcoatlus. I know my name is odd -
strange as the shape of a nautilus. It came from a Mesoamerican feathered serpent god.

Oh, I was made for soaring. It was made for me, so what's to stop the roaring need to frequently go closer to the bright ball blazing overhead? Can't resist the flight call. Desire must be fed in the plains I live on, deep within the heart of Texas, which will not be named 'til long after I take my last breath, 'til long after I die, 65 million years by.
Not too long before the Wright Brothers fly.
Not until then will anything of my jumbo size do so.

Grand ahzdarchid, wild blue yonder king!
You're the largest airborne living thing.
Fast twitch fiber: muscles made like springs.
Like a tiger outfitted with wings.
Track Name: Tyrannosaurus
Once a mighty ruler, you are the darling of carnivores forevermore.
Roaring of the drover fills every heart and head of the herd with rampant fear.
Known to bring bone-busting bite to an attack - one fumble, then it's over.
When your blood runs cold, you know that danger's near.
Can't escape what ails me: parasites in my skull and arthritis in my spine.
Born to be lord of the dirt I hunt and breed on 'til my body fails me,
I call the entire dominion mine.

There's an infection in my ankle and I know my days are numbered
'cause the pain increases every time I step on the left.
The inflammation of the bones inside my foot is getting gnarly.
I'm a highly active creature, not to mention my heft.
It never sleeps; it never goes away.

It's fairly obvious my stature has its benefits
but wearing out my bones from all the weight I carry is part of the deal.
There's an ancestral form of trichomonas gallinae within me;
they will colonize and take you down in spite of your zeal.
They never sleep; they never go away.

Alive, I was a tyrant, but after the catastrophe I rested doggo.
Now that I'm long-shuffled off the mortal coil,
My skeleton stands dominant in Chicago.
I am a monument and living was worth the toil!

Once a mighty ruler, you are the darling of carnivores forevermore.
Track Name: Epilogue
Mesozoic life was the most impressive work that evolution ever did.
All the animals, so well adapted to everything they were amid.
and now their dawn and dusk has come and gone for us
to carry on expending their remains.

That era ended when from space descended in a catastrophic asteroid.
Big as a mountain so life took a poundin'. Most of it was instantly destroyed,
but a few lucky mammals made it through, past the scramble and evolved into a lot of things, like you and me.

People will sing stories of our lives.. It’s pretty obvious my stature has its benefits. It’s a long migration. Dominus sonitus. I am a quetzalcoatlus. Born from water, we moved to the land. Found in remains we leave behind. That’s not all we are. A pebble, and a star, and a soul.