Handsome Family Values: Prairie Dogs

handsomelogo120eFor the Handsome Family, upcoming album Honey Moon—a collection of love songs due April 14—is a startling left turn. The husband/wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks still deals in spectral bluegrass and noirish folk forms on its ninth album, but gone are the ghosts and murder ballads that had painted them into a gothic-Americana corner. (Trust us, the album is still plenty weird. Love is weird.) The Handsome Family is guest editing this week. Read our Q&A with Brett and Rennie about Honey Moon and a host of other topics.

prairiedog325Rennie Sparks: I’ve seen sparrows flying around inside Home Depot and a road runner sprint safely through traffic across Central Avenue, but my favorite animal to spot here in Albuquerque is the prairie dog. There’s a shopping center here that has a secret prairie dog town. I’ve spotted prairie dogs standing up on two legs to peek out from little holes dug in the grassy medians between the parking lots of Best Buy and Target. Scientists believe that prairie dogs actually have a fairly sophisticated language with actual words to describe different predators approaching from different directions. Once I managed to sneak between the parked cars and get close enough to hear them chirping happily to each other. Lovely.