In the summer of 2005 I worked as a wildlife tech in New Mexico. Between hard hours hunting plague and hantavirus in every prairie dog burrow, I spent half my time living near Albuquerque and the other half living in a motel called La Cueva in the Jemez Mountains. The rooms were sterile and the windowsills crowded with dead flies. I passed the time writing a song called Marie and reading Ravens in Winter by Bernd Heinrich. Ravens are highly intelligent scavengers, wary of everything that moves. It's an admirable way to live. Marie marked the beginning of this album. Aside from Mainline, written when I was 15 about the neighborhood in San Francisco where I've lived my whole life, the other songs were written at the end of 2005 and the start of 2006.