albums
Underway
2006 Wonday
Compilations
1993 Songs to Sleep By
1997 Songs to Sleep By 2
2002 Sunday Sampler
2002 Dad's Picks
1999 Mix 1 (sy55)
2010 Mix 2 (triton vocal)
2010 Mix 3 (triton instr.)
SY55
1991 Archives
1992 College Collection
1993 College Collage
1994 The Hermit
1997 Where's My Muse
1999 South or Southeast
Triton
2001 In the Margins
2002 Renewal
2002 Re-treat
2002 Convenience
2002 Back Up
2003 So So
2003 So On
2003 So Long
2003 Baby Steps
2003 Baby Talk
2004 Schmocial
2004 Brroom
2004 Chuckadee
2004 Disco Hike
2004 Extra Extra
2005 Coma Pill
2005 Ourboretum
2005 Jaminy
2005 Padden Drift
2005 Gorilla Love
2005 Aminals
2005 Vegibles
2006 Fruitine
2006 Dignored
2006 Miner
2006 Mouseculine
2006 Yata
2007 Zipit
2007 Sixawon
2007 Halfdosin
2007 Whatcom Home
2008 What Roses
2008 Pho Kit
2008 Composed Pile
2009 Decomposed Pie
2009 Swaddlicious
2010 Lost Train
Soft Synths
2011 Out the Margins
2011 Redebut
2011 Reprogression
2012 Working Progress
2013 Tripico
2014 Aerosol Concrete
2015 Reduced to Clear
2016 Motions
2017 The Walking Dad

Track List

# title lyrics time download listen started recorded rating
1 Bella Cutie lyrics 7:54 download listen locally 2008-10-06 2008-10-15
2 Mellow Cootie lyrics 9:08 download listen locally 2008-10-16 2008-10-22
3 Fellow Computie lyrics 10:45 download listen locally 2008-10-23 2008-10-30
4 Feisty Koala lyrics 10:02 download listen locally 2008-11-04 2008-11-11
5 Fela Bleck lyrics 8:29 download listen locally 2008-11-12 2008-11-20
6 The Great One lyrics 12:23 download listen locally 2008-12-02 2008-12-30
7 Irony Deficiency - 10:28 download listen locally 2009-01-05 2009-01-09
8 Gold Drop - 6:08 download listen locally 2009-01-16 2009-01-23
9 Baby Dew Reprise lyrics 1:35 download listen locally 2008-05-15 2009-01-25
Total 76:52 play all locally album rating:

Notes

The previous album (Composed Pile) had the rule that I needed to compose each song before starting to record it. I liked the end result, but was disappointed that the album took so long to complete (4 months).

Since I wanted to finish the next album by the end of the year (2008), I decided I would purposefully not compose any of its songs beforehand. The only other "rule" I made for myself was that I had to vary the effects template for each song.

Right around the time I started this album, I was getting into Fela Kuti and afrobeat. I was fascinated by Fela's extremely long, jazzy jams over funky, repetitive, percussion-centric grooves, with vocals not entering until the second half of the song. For me, it was love at first listen. I wanted to see if I could incorporate afrobeat ideas in my own music.

The first 5 songs are my afrobeat experiment, which you can probably guess by the song titles. I don't know if I'd call them "successful", since none of them really sounds like Fela Kuti. However, there are some cool groovy moments at times that might not have appeared if I hadn't been trying to emulate Fela.

The last 4 songs are baby-centric. The vocals are scarce and hushed, and the music retreats from afrobeat back into my usual blend of krautrock and jazz. Back to the womb, I guess.

Where Tripecac goes next I have no idea. Lots of changes ahead. Lots of diaper changes. Ha ha!

Sorry, my sense of humor is sleep-deprived...

Songs

Bella Cutie

Recently I'd gotten heavily into Fela Kuti. The title is a pun on his name. The music tries to resemble his type of music (Afrobeat), but doesn't even come close.

The lyrics are nonsense. I just wanted to chant something catchy. "Pidgin" is a pun on Pidgin English (used by Fela in his songs) and the IM client Pidgin, which I had just setup on my laptop. That's the only clever part in the whole song! The rest is pretty dumb.

Oh well, at least this leaves lots of room for improvement.

I've said that before, haven't it?

Lyrics to "Bella Cutie":

down down down it's the energy drop
frown frown frown my way down from the top
down down down it's the energy pop
and it's a stop

down down down it's our energy drop
frown frown frown our way down from the top
down down down it's our energy pop
we need to stop

bella bella cutie cutie
bella bella cutie cutie
bella bella cutie cutie
bella bella cutie cutie

bella bella cutie
bella bella cu
bella bella cutie
      bella cutie cu

bella bella cutie
cutie cutie cu

  [scat]

now it's time for lecture
now it's time for words
now we're using pidgin
now we're pecking like birds

  [repeat]

  birds birds birds birds

i've got to sing an important message for you
here i put my important ideas to stew

now that i've got you dancing
now that i've got you dancing
now that i've got you dancing
it's time to lecture you

lecture lecture lecture lecture

  [repeat bits of the above]
  

Mellow Cootie

This is my second attempt at creating Afrobeat.

This time around, I listened carefully to some Fela CDs, and came up with several rules which the first song didn't follow:

  1. The key has to be minor (not major).
  2. The song has to be modal; the key cannot change.
  3. It needs to swing.
  4. It needs a spacious bassline, like in dub and reggae.

Hopefully those rules will help give it a more "Fela" feel. If they don't, then I will just have to try, try again!

Again, the title is a play on "Fela Kuti"; I felt like this song was too mellow, too close to easy listening.

Lyrics to "Mellow Cootie":

yes, it sounds a little bit better
i guess, it sounds a little more real  	
  
ok, it's not afro-beat
it's more like elevator bop
  
   [repeat bits of the above]
  

Fellow Computie

This is the third, thought not necessarily charmed, attempt at afrobeat. I listened to an afrobeat compilation the day I started it and realized that other musicians haven't been able to sound like Fela Kuti either, even the cover bands. So I decided to just try to create something that sounds catchy, and vaguely African. The result sounds more to my ears like Can, but it's at least somewhat groovy, though it gets tiring after a while.

The title is yet another a play on "Fela Kuti", and refers to a guy working as a computer programmer. The actual lyrics are about one of G's former bosses, whom at first everyone thought was a suave, a natural leader, and then later turned out to be confused and/or corrupt.

If you merge the two concepts, you can pretend this song is about a computer programmer who goes corrupt. Or maybe a computer that gets corrupted. But really it's just about making noise.

Lyrics to "Fellow Computie":

big boss, big boss, big boss, big boss

big boss gonna lead the way
big boss gonna save the day
big boss gonna earn his pay
big boss gotta have his say

  [scat]

big boss gonna delegate
big boss gonna procrastinate
big boss gonna fabricate
big boss gonna hibernate

big boss gonna gamble away
big boss gonna spend all our pay
big boss gonna waste every day
big boss gonna run away

  [repeat bits of the above]
  

Feisty Koala

Yet another Fela Kuti attempt. This time I focused on getting the repetitive guitar sound first. Drums came later.

It has a similar relentless feel to some of Kuti's stuff, but lacks funk. And it feels a little empty. And repetitive. And dumb. Oh well. Gotta keep trying!

Lyrically, this is a very oblique reference to the fact that my parents were vacationing "down under" (in New Zealand). Do they have koalas in New Zealand? I don't know! Maybe the hobbits hunted them to extinction?

Lyrics to "Feisty Koala":

1 2 3 4
  	
feisty koala in the tree
feisty koala don't bite me
feisty koala in the tree
feisty koala don't bite me

don't bite me
or i'll bite you back
don't bite me
or i'll make you a snack

  no no no no no
  na na na na na
  no no no no no
  na na na na na

  [repeat bits of the above]

feisty koala in the tree
why are you looking at me
with those big brown eyes
that make me want to hug you

feisty koala in the tree
feisty koala don't kiss me
feisty koala in the tree
get away from me you furry beast 

feisty koala in the tree
feisty koala get your lips away from me
feisty koala in the tree
you're cute but you just gotta let me be
  	
yeah

  [repeat bits of the above]

4 3 2 1  	
  

Fela Bleck

For some reason I was thinking about Fela Kuti and Bela Fleck at the same time, and the title came to me. This of course meant that I had to use a prominent banjo part, which I did, at least at the beginning. I quickly lost enthusiasm for it (and for the song in general).

The end result sounds much more country or polka than Afrobeat, but I kinda like the energy in parts.

The lyrics have no connection to the title; how could they? They're actually about having to walk home in the changing weather.

Lyrics to "Fela Bleck":

  [scat]

i'm in the cold
on a moonlit road
my feet are soaked
but i'm walking home

hey, yeah, come on, go

  [repeat bits of above]
  

The Great One

This is named after Denali, which means "The Great One". I initially planned to finish it on her birthday, but then I realized that once I went to the hospital, it would be at least a day before I could come back home. So I decide to simple have its length equal her birthday (2008-12-23).

The song itself is kinda lame. It feels empty in the beginning, and tired. However, towards the end it settles into a please rhythm. Maybe this will represent Denali's sleep patterns? I certainly hope so!

Lyrics to "The Great One":

here comes the great one
here comes the great one, the great one

  [repeat]

[scat]

i come from over my hill
i ran for plenty a mile
she come from over her hill
she walked for quite a while

  [repeat]

i come from over my hill
after i ran for plenty a mile
she come from over her hill
after she walked for quite a while

we met at the top of the hill
and i gave her a smile
i still remember the thrill
when she returned my smile

and then what happened?
and then what happened?

hanky panky

da da denali
da da da great one
da da denali
da da da great one

da da da da da, yeah
da da da da da, yeah

  [repeat]

  

Irony Deficiency

As most of you non-geeks and many of you lucky geeks know, tending a newborn is lots of work. Not only for us geeks, but for the geekettes who have to boobie feed every hour or so. Make that two hours. No, make that ten minutes. And then three hours. And then half a minute. In the middle of the night. Waah!!! Waaaah!!! Wet diaper! Waaaah!!! Waaahhh!! Poopie diaper! Waaaah!!! Waaaahhhh!!! Waaaaaaaahhhh!

Lame jokes aside, I find myself too tired to generate non-lame jokes. I'm very literal minded now. My sense of irony is gone. Do you understand the song title now? Not very subtle, eh? Well, I told you my humor was drained! Or did I? I forget! Oh yeah, another thing, the memory goes all jumbly too.

So anyway, here's a song with no real prospect of being great, seeing that it's coming from my diaper-sogged brain. Maybe once we all get on the same sleep cycle my usual torrent of awesome, awesome ideas will, like, erupt into something non-poop-related. Yeah. Whatever. I'm tired. Good night.

p.s. This ended up more Krautrocky than Fela Kutiy. Is "Kutiy" a word? I don't know! Too tired to look it up, too tired to care. I guess I'll have to make words up until my brain's repaired.

Gold Drop

You've gotta drop the gold or you'll sink to the bottom.

If you want, you can interpret that to mean that I've got to let go of any ambition to end the album on a bang and instead just finish it quickly so that I can get the rest of the songs backed up and safe. In otherwords, sacrifice the potential gold for the actual copper. Hmm. Yeah.

Anyway, this "short" song is a last stab at getting something percussive and groovy to wind up the album. It doesn't bother trying to sound like afrobeat, which requires too much deliberation for my sleep-deprived mind. Instead, it just tries to be funky and kinda catchy, in a repetitive sort of way. I don't know if it works.

Baby Dew Reprise

This was the original, slower version of "Baby Dew". I didn't want to throw it away, and thought it'd be easier to use it as a reprise rather than try to somehow fit it with the rest of the song.

Lyrics to "Baby Dew Reprise":

ah this is awful

[scat]

i've noticed something and maybe you've too
everybody's joining the baby do
family and friends and celebrities too
they all want a part in the baby do

[repeat]