albums
Underway
2017 The Walking Dad
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
  • Title: Disco Hike
  • Artist: Tripecac
  • Timespan: 2002-2004
  • Theme: taking risks with a safety net
  • Length: 75:52
  • Tracks: 11
  • Lyrics: 3
  • MP3s: 11 play all locally
  • Rating: rate this album

Track List

# title lyrics time download listen started recorded rating
1 Woodied - 7:34 download listen locally 2002-06-01 2004-09-09
2 Tipsy - 5:37 download listen locally 2002-06-07 2004-09-15
3 Silverfish - 9:58 download listen locally 2002-06-17 2004-10-05
4 Rotund lyrics 4:38 download listen locally 2002-06-25 2004-10-11
5 Ordered lyrics 5:18 download listen locally 2002-07-09 2004-10-13
6 Chastised - 6:36 download listen locally 2002-07-12 2004-10-19
7 Apt - 5:58 download listen locally 2002-08-03 2004-10-21
8 Logical - 3:29 download listen locally 2002-08-03 2004-10-27
9 Wah Loop - 10:53 download listen locally 2002-08-03 2004-11-03
10 Throb - 6:36 download listen locally 2002-08-29 2004-11-09
11 Cheating lyrics 9:15 download listen locally 2002-11-30 2004-11-17
Total 75:52 play all locally album rating:

Notes

Denali National Park offers ranger-lead "discovery hikes" ("disco hikes" for short). Some of these outings are short, leisurely strolls near the park entrance where the ranger chats about local plants and critters. Others are strenuous day hikes deep within the park, treking the trailless backcountry.

If it were anywhere other than Alaska, I wouldn't even consider hiking with large groups of strangers. However, up there in AK I feel uneasy about tromping through the tundra with all those bears, moose, and pikas around. A backcountry disco hike seems like a great way to see new terrain without getting eaten, trampled, or nibbled to death.

For Tripecac, the "dangerous terrain" is the guitar. I'm technically horrible at it. I've never taken lessons, practiced, or learned more than a couple chords. Any time I put guitar on an album, I'm taking a big risk. I love to play it, though...

The Key of G (2002) was my most "dangerous" album, a reckless sprint through the backcountry. On the day I recorded it, I just happened to be very focused and very lucky, and somehow the album ended up okay (to my ears). If it had been a complete disaster, I doubt I'd have used guitar on subsequent albums, including this one.

Disco Hike's songs were my last batch of tests before that mad dash through the wilderness. They began as a warmup to it, but when finished two years later, were a reaction to it. I kept the wild guitar improvs mostly untouched, but surrounded them with the seasoned safety of the current Tripecac formula: Triton-based improvs edited into listenable, rhythmic grooves.

The vocals act as a guide, starting off scripted, meandering into gabby improvisation, and then periodically converging into a narrative chorus, giving the songs and album a sense of casual direction. Meanwhile, the Triton's familiar voices represent the comforting ambience of a nearby group of hikers. The "dangerous" guitar is still there, but it doesn't seem as threatening, so you can relax and enjoy the view!

Gear:

These songs were started in 2002 using either Cool Edit, Sonar, Logic, or the Triton's sequencer. They were finished in the autumn of 2004 using Sonar 3 and Sonar 4. There's guitar on "Silverfish", "Rotund", "Apt", "Wah Loop", and "Throb", and vocals on "Ordered", "Rotund", and "Cheating". The rest of the noises come from the Triton.

Songs

Woodied

The original title for this song was "Autotest". I think I was testing the Triton sequencer's ability to capture automatically triggered combi rhythms. The drums are presets, which you can probably tell from their canned, slow-rock feel. They don't sound bad; they just don't sound like Tripecac. Other parts might be presets as well; those choppy EP chords sound suspicious. I think the fake static is part of the presets, too.

I renamed the song "Woodied" on the day I found out that our dog Woodie had died. This was right before my Alaska trip. I worked on it sadly for a couple hours that day, and then finished the song after I got back. The music feels quiet and "nostalgic" too, at least to me.

Tipsy

I was striving to make a jam that sounded like a band with synths performing live. As a result, the mix is muffled, but some of the solos have great energy. I like the chirpy motif from the "cat" synth (the same one I used on "Trail Running"). The toms are cool too. Too bad about the mix, and the fact that the end collapses into self-conscious noodling. Given the title, I was probably into my second or third drink when I started it.

Silverfish

Of all the songs in line to be completed, this was my favorite. I'd been looking forward to finishing it for over two years. It's a long, trancy jazz/rock jam, with three screeching guitar parts. The mix is a little bass-heavy and muddy, and the funky reggae ending is a dead end, but overall I'm happy with how this song turned out!

I named it after the bugs that I kept seeing in my apartment (in 2002). Silverfish aren't as nasty as roaches, but they're still pretty startling and annoying. Fortunately, my new apartment seems to be silverfish-free (knock on wood... but not too loudly or else the silverfish will hear me and investigate).

Rotund

This starts as dark, sloppy, guitartsyfartsy trance/rock. My aim was to have it sound like a real (bad) band, warts and all. My favorite part of this song is the funky bridge, which I added in 2004. The title, lyrics, and music seem to be in different worlds.

Lyrics to "Rotund":

i laugh, i laugh, i laugh, i laugh

i laugh, i laugh, i laugh, i laugh

i laugh, i laugh, i laugh, i laugh
  

Ordered

Musically, this was a parody on loop-oriented music, which is what most people seem to be making on PCs these days. I started it in Logic, which feels more mechanical and electronic than Sonar (to me). The lyrics are improvised, except for the choruses; they poke fun at my obsession over organizing my creations.

Lyrics to "Ordered":

VERSE:
  so i looked into my hard drive
  and i wasn't really happy
  because there were files all over the place
  and it was just unorganized

  so guess what i did
  i spent the entire weekend
  organizing my computer, my computer

    (i guess, i guess i did)
    (i guess i filled it up)

  so guess what happened
  i found out that i need more disk space
  i have an intrinsic need for more disk space
  it's part of me
  that's when i decided
  so i, i got online
  and i ordered some hard disks
  i went from 40 mb to 60 mb
  and then a year later i went to about a gb
  which to me was amazing
  and then, you know
  and then of course i went up to like 17 gb
  and then 60 gb and then i went up to 200 gb
  yeah yeah yeah

    (i guess, i guess i did)
    (i guess i filled it up)

CHORUS:
  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up
  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up

  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up
  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up

    (i guess, i guess i did)
    (i guess i filled it up)

    (and i filled its drive up)

VERSE:
  so i'm filling up my pc
  with really bad songs like this one

  each second that i sit here
  singing a bad vocal
  it just eats up time
  it eats up
  it eats up everything
  it's like a black hole

    (and i filled its drive up)

  it doesn't matter how organized i am
  the idea is i have to throw things away
  i have to throw this vocal away
  if you hear this vocal
  if you ever hear this vocal
  that means i'm a packrat

[chorus enters now]

  either that or i come up with something witty
  but i'm not feeling very witty right now
  i'm feeling kinda tired
  that's 'cause i worked late
  that's right, i'm rainman
  not quite, not quite

CHORUS: [overlaps the previous verse]
  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up
  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up

  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up
  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up

    (i guess, i guess i did)
    (i guess i filled it up)
    (i guess, i guess i did)
    (i guess i filled it up)

  something positive

BRIDGE:
  so can i justify the use of this disk space?
  can i justify the consumption
  of this computer's drive capacity?

  this is travis the nerd
  drive capacity
  hard drive capacity
  dah-dee-dah-dee-dah-dee-dah-dee...

  the truth is it's just a tool
  the truth is i'm just a fool
  the truth is this song is drool
  ha ha ha
    (i guess, i guess i did)
    (i guess i filled it up)

  oh well
  ok, so this is the last time
  that i intend to say this word:
  schtinkle-schtinkle
  thank you

VERSE:
  what a way to consume the megabytes, trav
  what a way to spend your time tonight

  i'm proud of you
  and you're organized
  yes, you are very organized
  you organized your -
  can i say crap?
  can i say crap?
  am i gonna offend anybody if i say crap?
  travis, you organize your crap very well
  very meticulously
  you have a well organized pile of crap
  called tripecac

  well, not all tripecac is crap
  but stuff like this, this is crap
  and i'm sure you're gonna organize it perfectly
  it's gonna have its own folder
  its own xml file
  which of course is very organized
  because you're gonna have all this metadata
  and you're gonna upload it
  and it's gonna look very organized
  very orderd pile of crap
  this song is an ordered pile of crap

  do i sound too harsh?
  well, harsh is another song
  and if i could have a hyperlink
  inside this vocal i would
  because that's organized, yeah

  organized, yeah
  gotta be organized, yeah
  gotta be organized, yeah
  we gotta be organized, yeah
  we gotta be organized, yeah

    (i guess, i guess i did)
    (i guess i filled it up)

CHORUS:
  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up
  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up

  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up
  i've got an ordered pc
  and i filled its drive up

    (i guess, i guess i did)
    (i guess i filled it up)

      (we gotta be organized, yeah)

END:
  all right, there goes my voice
  end of song
  now
  

Chastised

I started this mellow EP and horn jam on the Triton. I think the title came from a bad day at work (back in 2002). When I finishe the song in 2004, I was listening to a lot of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. As an experiment, I tried to make this song "swing" more. The drums seem to be most affected, but they don't sound very jazzy.

Apt

This started as a guitar loop on my Pod Pro. I originally called it "Another Pod Test", but later shortenedd the title to the initials. The loop begins softly and builds as I added more and more parts. I think I used my "fake" wah pedal too (see "Config Sissy"). I recorded the output from the Pod Pro directly to a wave file, and then added the other instruments in 2004. The MIDI instruments aren't in tune with the guitar, but I actually kind of like it that way; it sounds edgy.

Logical

This might have been the last song I started with Logic. It's gentle, super-repetitive electronic groove with flute, EP and organ solos. It's got some cheesy chord changes, and repeats the melody too much, but at least it's short.

Wah Loop

This long, bass-heavy groove started as a guitar loop on my Pod Pro. I added the other instruments in 2004, including lots of EP and piano solos. The original name was almost as long-winded as the music: "Pod Strider Mono Wah Loop Test". I think this is the song that Giovanna really likes; she says it sounds Asian (at least in the beginning). I like the way it builds from a simple loop into a pounding dance jam.

Throb

Here's another song that started as a guitar loop on my Pod Pro. For some reason, I recorded it to mp3 rather than a .wav file, but I can't tell from listening to it (thanks to my relatively lo-fi mixes). I added the other instruments in 2004. It ended up sounding really "powerful". For some reason, it reminded me of standing on the top of Cathedral Mountain, which is where Giovanna and I went for our disco hike!

Cheating

I started this song the day I met Giovanna, my greatest discovery. The lyrics, which were mostly improvised, tell the story. The title has several meanings:

1) It was the first song I started after having decided to finish all my incomplete songs before starting new ones. However, I felt compelled to record that day, so I ended up breaking my rule.

2) My friends were encouraging me to be more social, to "go out more". For about three days during Thanksgiving week, I made an effort to get out of my apartment and talk to people. However, the night before I met Giovanna, I was hungover and tired of being around people. The next morning, I decided to take a break from people and go back to hermiting. So, I was "cheating" by refusing to follow my plan of making daily efforts at being social.

3) When it was time to finish the song, I wanted to make it nice for Giovanna. I didn't want to make it romantic and sappy, but wanted it to mean something. I felt like I should compose some lyrics, but I didn't have much time, since we had to leave for a vacation in less than a week and I wanted to finish the album before we left. So, I ended up improvising the vocals, which was the "cheap" way out. I certainly don't regret it; I think they're funny and more consistent with my personality than anything "deep" or "heart-felt". At the time I recorded them, though, it felt like cheating.

I'm glad I ended the album on an upbeat note.

Lyrics to "Cheating":

VERSE:
  i was j-j-jogging up the hill
  reading my book; i'd had my fill
  of socializing the past few days
  i was tired of faking a friendly face

CHORUS:
  i was cheating
  i was cheating
  i was cheating
  i was cheating

VERSE:
  i passed a woman and her little kid
  i didn't say hi 'cause i never did
  i was into my book and i hated to talk
  to people that stare at me as they walk

CHORUS:
  i was cheating (b.a.d.)
  i was cheating (b.a.d.)
  i was cheating (b.a.d.)
  i was cheating (b.a.d.)

VERSE:
  to people who think it's so darn clever
  to say those words that i hear forever
  now come along kids, say them with me
  "that's what i call multitasking"

BRIDGE:
  ha ha ha, aren't we witty?
  that is what i call multitasking

  that is what i call multitasking
    (okay)
  hey sir
    (yes?)
  that is what i call multitasking
    (okay, fine, i've had enough of this)

  hey, you with the book!
    (no no no)
  look at me! read my lips!
    (no no no, i won't look at you)
  that is what i call multitasking
    (no, just go away)
  hey you, over there,
    (beat it!)
  i have something to say to you
    (no! get away! get away!)
  it is very clever
    (scram!)
  you will be amazed at my wit
    (i am trying to read)
  just as much as I am amazed at your feat
    (i am...)
  get it?  your feet!
    (i am trying to read)
  that...
    (i am trying to read)
  yes, the first word is "that"
  guess the second word.
  i'll give you three guesses
  it starts with an "i" and ends with an "s"
  your first guess is...
  "idiots!"
  no, it's not "idiots"
  your second guess is...
  "hmm... i need to think a bit...
  how about ignoramuses?"
  no, that's not it
  third guess for the second word..
  what is your..
  "oh! is! is!"
  you've got it!
  that *is*...
  that is what i call multitasking!
    (hooray for me)
  my word of the week
    (my word of the month)
  my computer guy taught me that word
  it means doing two things at once
  yeah! i'm so smart!
  i'm a genius!
  listen to my wit!
  hey, turn off the music
  and listen to my wit
  i've got something to say
  everybody listen to me
  okay, here i go!
  that is what i call multitasking!

  yay for me!
  hooray for me!
  and my stellar vocabulary

  i think i've made my point
  why i don't talk to people i meet
  i think i've made my point
  why i just keep to myself on the street
  i think i've made my point
  why i prefer to read my book
  i think i've made my point
  why i didn't give her a friendly look

  okay, well that's part 1 of the story

  i passed her by
  but then i caught a sight of her
  in the corner of my eye

  i thought to myself
  "hey she's not that bad"
    (not that bad)
  she looks pretty smart,
  and that's a fine looking lad
    (intelligent)

  well, i don't really rhyme
  when i talk to myself
  or i think to myself
  or i do anything by myself

  when i'm by myself, it's mostly prose
  when i'm by myself, i pick my nose
  surprise!  surprised that i would admit it?

  when i'm by myself, i think i my thoughts
    (so we took a walk...)
  when i'm by myself, i wear holy socks
    (so we took a walk...)
  "holy socks, batman"

  and we walked and talked
  and we walked and talked
  and we walked and talked

  we had a nice chat
  as we walked and talked
  and we walked and talked

  i said my name is travis
  my name is sir travis
  she said her name starts with g
  i can call her G if i want to

  she had a thick thick accent
  i could barely understand her
  maybe that's a bit of exaggeration
  'cause she wasn't that bad

  i could understand her a little bit
  i could understand her a lot
  oh that's really stupid, travis
  that is stupid, hit delete

  gotta hit delete
  gotta hit delete
  gotta hit delete

  forgot to hit delete
  forgot to hit delete
  forgot to hit delete

  i gotta hit delete
  gotta hit delete
  gotta hit delete

  forgot to hit delete
  this is cheating!
  this is cheating!

  if i make the words up as I go along
  and do not write them down
  then that's cheating; it's cheating
  it's no good for the listener
  it is cheating, it's cheating
  it's no good for me either
  it iss cheating, it's cheating

    (it's cheating, it's cheating)
    (it's cheap and it's cheating)

  so i broke my plan, i broke my rule
  i talked to her like a stuttering fool

    (it's cheap, song is cheating)
    (it's cheap and it's cheating)

  i acted a dork, i acted a dork
  she said i was okay; good sport

    (it's cheap, it is cheating)
    (song is cheap, it is cheating)

  here i am, improvising
  here i am, knowing she'll hear these words

    (song is cheap, it is cheating)
    (song is cheap and it is cheating)

  here i am, ever thoughtful
  here i am, ever vocal

    (happy she'd spend her time on a little goofy nerd)

  here i am, improvising
  here i am, always smiling

    (it was natural, it was natural)

  here i am, ever thankful
  here i am, glad i met her

  here i am, feeling great
  here i'm glad, i'm glad, i'm glad i met her

    (it was cheating, it's cheating)
    (it was cheap, it's cheating)

  here i am, feeling thankful
  here i am, glad i met her on the hill

    (on the hill, on the hill)
    (it was cheap, it's cheating)

  here i am, glad i said
  hi to her that day

    (it was cheating, it was cheating)
    (it was cheating, it was cheating)

  here i am, looking out
  here i am, smiling and proud

    (it was cheating, it was cheating)
    (it was cheating, it was cheating)

CHORUS:
  i was cheating
  i was cheating
  i was cheating (b.a.d.)
  i was cheating (b.a.d.)

  i was cheating (b.a.d.)
  i was cheating (b.a.d.)
  i was cheating
  i was cheating

  and i won
  hooray!!!