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Opening Band

by buttercup

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“Opening Band” is a thought experiment in song form. It asks: what is it like to be an opening band tasked with warming up a very large, very impatient crowd for a famous band? People often want to know if this song is a real story? Of course it is. The fact is that these adversarial shows—though soul-killing in the moment—draw a band closer together. They make bands better. And later, in the forgiving glow of memory, become precious moments.

Buttercup singer Erik Sanden says “Buttercup has had its share of beat-downs, but even when a gig was a train-wreck, we always felt the joy of being able to go down together, singing in unison like the band on the Titanic.”

Guitarist Joe Reyes adds: “Oh, and once a heckler threw a live goldfish in a plastic bag of water at me. Luckily, we haven’t been heckled in a long, long time--but I suppose it built character.”

“Opening Band” features a minimalist production: just acoustic guitar, electric bass and voice. This sparseness enhances the song’s vulnerability. It evokes the bravery of bands like the Violent Femmes or solo artists likeElliott Smith, that enter the arena with so very little to hide behind.


are we
are we ready now?
the curtains pull
onto big band’s fans

the crowd stares
at your second song
fidgeting, they got the cell phones on
is it over yet?
gotta get through this
gotta get through this somehow

nothing nada
can save you from yourself
give us something not nada
no roses to rain down

it’s a train wreck
when you come unglued
mother’s here
and her friends are, too
so you crawl into a dark recess
behind your eyeballs
at the back of your skull
but you can’t hide so you peek back out
as you emerge
oh oh oh
we all converge free

nothing nada
can save you from yourself
gimme something not nada
kisses and roses rain down
demo record
an etching half-rubbed out
rhythm tempo
fight fight yer way out

oh oh oh


released April 21, 2023
lyrics and music e sanden arrangement buttercup
produced and engineered by danny reisch
photo by devin de leon

buttercup is: erik sanden, joe reyes, and odie.


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burnished super melodists from Texas

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