As a preview to Sunrise In The Land Of Milk And Honey (due May 5 on 429 Records), Cracker has posted a video for album track “Yalla Yalla” on YouTube. The video cobbles together clips of American fighting men and women stationed in Iraq, rocking out in and around tanks, aircraft carriers and barracks.
“‘Yalla’ is a common Arabic expression, loosely meaning ‘hurry up’ and often used by American soldiers,” writes Cracker frontman David Lowery. “Like every war, Iraq War soldiers have developed their own unique slang based on their experiences. Oftentimes these slang words creep into our nation’s vocabulary many years after the original conflict. ‘Yalla Yalla’ may not become as common as RADAR, AWOL or SNAFU but it will certainly be used by soldiers for many years to come. This song takes no position on the war in Iraq. It is a exploration and a celebration of a certain kind of bravado and swagger one finds in the speech of soldiers. I find it nicely matches the kind of swagger often exhibited by rock, blues and hip hop singers. I suppose that is why it was so much fun (and relatively easy) to take this arcane slang and acronyms and build a song out of it.”
There’s lots more to say about Sunrise In The Land Of Milk And Honey, but we’ll be brief for now: Guest performers and co-songwriters include Susanna Hoffs, Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous, John Doe and Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood. The song titled “Hey Bret (You Know What Time It Is)” is not directed toward Flight Of The Conchords‘ Bret (who knows it’s business time), but is rather an in-joke between Lowery and Built To Spill/Caustic Resin dude Brett Netson.