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
  • Title: Mix 1 (sy55)
  • Artist: Tripecac
  • Timespan: 1990-1999
  • Theme: trav's favorite SY55 songs
  • Length: 79:55
  • Tracks: 19
  • Lyrics: 18
  • MP3s: 19 play all locally
  • Rating: (none) rate this album

Track List

# title lyrics time download listen started recorded rating
1 All My Love lyrics 4:11 download listen locally - 1991-0?-?? (none)
2 Fireflyz - 3:14 download listen locally - 1992-05-06 (none)
3 Drizzle lyrics 6:25 download listen locally - 1992-12-01 (none)
4 Christmas in Cancun 2 lyrics 3:50 download listen locally - 1992-12-25 (none)
5 Painted Friend lyrics 4:42 download listen locally - 1993-01-01
6 I Don't Wanna lyrics 2:08 download listen locally - 1993-02-21 (none)
7 The Battle lyrics 1:41 download listen locally - 1993-0?-?? (none)
8 Going Home lyrics 4:25 download listen locally - 1993-04-25 (none)
9 Millions of Monkeys lyrics 3:21 download listen locally - 1993-05-14
10 The American Son lyrics 3:45 download listen locally - 1993-07-01
11 New Moon lyrics 4:44 download listen locally - 1993-07-23 (none)
12 The Hermit lyrics 5:37 download listen locally - 1993-07-29
13 Introvert lyrics 4:58 download listen locally - 1993-10-20 (none)
14 Down lyrics 6:08 download listen locally - 1993-12-14 (none)
15 Where's My Muse? lyrics 4:33 download listen locally - 1994-06-14
16 I Don't Do Hills lyrics 3:54 download listen locally - 1996-05-12
17 Artificial Life lyrics 4:35 download listen locally - 1997-04-19 (none)
18 CopyRite lyrics 3:53 download listen locally - 1997-10-11
19 South or Southeast lyrics 3:51 download listen locally - 1997-10-19
Total 79:55 play all locally album rating: (none)

Notes

These are my top picks from 1990 to 1999, when my main tool was the Yamaha SY55 keyboard workstation.

I've ordered the songs chronologically, and limited them to a single CD. This could easily have been a 2 CD set, since there are many other songs which I like at least as much as these, but for now I think this is a pretty solid sampler of that time period.

Songs

All My Love

This is my favorite song on the Archives album. It's very bouncy and sassy (if you listen to the lyrics).

The words came straight from a break-up letter. I thought it'd be funny to put these super-negative words to bright, poppy music, so I did.

Was I right about the dark/light juxtaposition being "funny"? I don't know. It's certainly a theme that stuck with me. I'd take a really dark topic, and make fun of it by adding peppy music. Many of the songs on The Hermit and Aminals are like that. This song was my first "success" with the formula. It encouraged me to keep doing it.

I censored the really bad parts, even though I didn't write them. I'm trying to keep this site [relatively] free of profanity. Enjoy the tune!

Lyrics to "All My Love":

VERSE:
  this is the last letter you will ever get from me so enjoy
  you have become some person that i don't know
  someone that i don't want to know
  look at your last note to be and consider

  you're an [censored], plain and simple
  i feel bad for you; you're a self-centered [censored]
  i never want to see or hear from you again
  that [censored] makes me sick

CHORUS:
  all my love and all that i have given
  all my love and all that i have given

VERSE:
  after i talked to you last night
  i scrubbed my body like it had radiation
  i felt like i had been raped
  and in a way i had been

  you've taken all my love and trashed it, baby, trashed it
  you've taken all my love and trashed it, trashed it

CHORUS:
  all my love and all that i have given
  all my love and all that i have given

VERSE:
  i hope you have better luck
  with your girlfriends over there
  because you'll never have me again
  as a friend or anything else
  signed [censored]

  i could have signed it "love ya" but i don't mean it
  i could have signed it "love ya" but i don't mean it
  i'm in love with someone here so don't worry about me
  i could have signed it "love ya" but i don't mean it

CHORUS:
  all my love and all that i have given
  all my love and all that i have given
  

Fireflyz

This was my most serious attempt at writing a standard jazz song. I think I was trying to entice Jon Friesen (who went to the same college) to rejoin me in music making. My plan didn't work, but I like the song.

Drizzle

I wrote this for the Dead Anchovies, who recorded several versions of it. The lyrics are about Jon, who had left the Master Anchovies in 1990. The "aren't you sorry" bits are a reference to a different Dead Anchovies song: "Aren't You Sorry".

I really like this solo version. It's tight and peppy amd funny (though a little mean). There are some musical (and spoken) references to IPECAC that no one gets except me (and Jon if he ever listens to this).

Lyrics to "Drizzle":

INTRO:
  aren't you sorry that you left, jon, left, jon?
  aren't you sorry that you left all this?
  the Anchovies are not dead yet, dead yet...

CHORUS:
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatcha gonna do?
  gotta tell me jon, tell me jon:  are ya feelin' blue?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        you gonna cry too?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatsa matter you?

  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatcha gonna do?
  gotta tell me jon, tell me jon:  are ya feelin' blue?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        you gonna cry too?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatsa matter you?

VERSE:
  it was a cold night in december
  with a shiver, a tear, and a saxophone he hurried through the rain
  down the steps, to the door, wondering if his friends were inside there

  he knocked [knock knock] and he waited but nobody came
  he could see them through the window so he knocked again [knock]
  with tears in his eyes he listened to them laugh and jeer
  they pointed and stared, and finally luke said,
    "hey everybody, look who's here!"

CHORUS:
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatcha gonna do?
  gotta tell me jon, tell me jon:  are ya feelin' blue?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        you gonna cry too?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatsa matter you?

  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatcha gonna do?
  gotta tell me jon, tell me jon:  are ya feelin' blue?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        you gonna cry too?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatsa matter you?

VERSE:
  and on that cold night in december
  while the rain turned to sleet and then to snow
  the metal pads on the saxophone began to freeze (no pun intended)

  and the tears were running down his nose
  the tears were running freely now
  does that make you feel sad?
  well, he deserves no sympathy
  he's the one who left the band

CHORUS:
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatcha gonna do?
  gotta tell me jon, tell me jon:  are ya feelin' blue?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        you gonna cry too?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatsa matter you?

  i'm bored
  let's play some reggae!

BRIDGE:
  allen foster on the vibes

  and now you're feeling like a stupid idiot
  and now you're feeling a trifle left out
  you miss the fun times that we used to have
  and you miss the anchovies, and you miss the trav

  terry ashworth on the mellophone
  hey! that sounds like trek!
  all right everybody, give allen foster a hand
  nice vibe work

  now you're feeling like a stupid idiot, jon
  and now you're feeling a trifle left out
  you miss the fun times that we used to have
  and you miss the anchovies, and you miss the trav

  should we let jon in?
  no! keep playing!

CHORUS:
  oh tell me jon, tell me jon:     whatcha gonna do?
  gotta tell me jon, tell me jon:  are ya feelin' blue?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        you gonna cry too?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatsa matter you?

  tell me jon, tell me jon:        whatcha gonna do?
  gotta tell me jon, tell me jon:  are ya feelin' blue?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        you gonna cry too?
  tell me jon, tell me jon:        how ya is'n, jon?

VERSE:
  and if i ever, if i ever catch you
  outside and in the freezing rain
  staring in at my friends and me as we play

  well, i will go up to you to tell you
  it was your fault, jon
  you left us, now you have to suffer
  and that's all there is to it

  aren't you sorry that you left, jon
  left all this?
  

Christmas in Cancun 2

This is musically unrelated to "Christmas in Cancun", which I wrote for the Master Anchovies. The only thing they have in common is that I wrote them right before (or after) trips to Cancun.

I had emailed the Dead Anchovies that I was going to write a second song about Cancun. These lyrics are directed at them (Allen, Anand, and Luke). I was just basically bragging about going to Cancun while they stayed home. Pretty simple[minded] stuff.

People liked it. A lot. This was my first "hit" song (among my friends). I got tons of positive feedback for it and many people actually requested copies of it. It was a nice dose of encourage, a good way to end the year.

Lyrics to "Christmas in Cancun 2":

VERSE:
  have a merry christmas, y'all
  with plenty of good cheer
  and lots of toys to sing about
  to celebrate this year

  have a happy new year too
  don't forget your resolutions
  help out a little bit with cleaning up
  all the wrappings and ribbons

CHORUS:
  well, i'm gonna fly across the sea
  to mexico with my family
  where the air is warm
  and the palm trees sway
  and the sun is always shining

  i'm gonna fly across the sea
  to blue cancun with my family
  and never see a snowflake
  or a christmas tree worth buying

BRIDGE:
  i'm spend christmas in cancun
  i'm not gonna see you
  i'll be basking in the sun
  and vegitating all day too

  i'll be having christmas in cancun
  and i don't want to be you
  freezing off your butt
  and being bored out of your shoes

  watching the clock, too
  al, anand, and luke
  waiting for the school year to begin
  yippee

  christmas in cancun
  christmas in cancun

CHORUS:
  i'm gonna fly across the sea
  to mexico with my family
  where the air is warm
  and the palm trees sway
  and the sun is always shining

  i'm gonna fly across the sea
  to blue cancun with my family
  and never see a snowflake
  or a christmas tree worth buying

  oh no
  i'm feeling sick
  oh no
  i think i'm gonna puke

VERSE:
  oh have a merry christmas, y'all
  with plenty of good beer
  and lots of girls to brag about
  and rudolph the reindeer

  have a happy new year too
  don't forget to get wasted
  party 'til you cannot breath anymore
  and then you will be dead

CHORUS:
  i'm gonna fly across the sea
  to mexico with my family
  where the air is warm
  and the palm trees sway
  and the sun is always shining

  i'm gonna fly across the sea
  to blue cancun with my family
  and never see a snowflake
  or a christmas tree worth buying
  

Painted Friend

The intro states that the song is about Jon, but it's actually not. It's a fictional story about posessiveness.

Not many people said they liked this song when I first recorded it. Perhaps it sounded too much like a "conventional" pop-song. I always liked it, though; it's probably my favorite song on the album.

The date is approximate. I know it preceded "Numb (live)", which was recorded on 1993-01-03, and I'm pretty sure I wrote it in 1993.

Lyrics to "Painted Friend":

INTRO:
  from the depths of the ocean came the nerd
  flying his ego like a tethered bird
  a falconer with guano stains
  and fish guts where his heart should be
  tactless, foolish sophomore
  filthy head, drowned in dreams

  this is a song about our friend jon
  a covetous geek who fell in love
  but eventually became enamoured
  with his own artisty
  all else perished

VERSE:
  i want your eyes forever
  and i want your hair for keeps
  i'm gonna make you stare at me
  i'm gonna make you live with me

CHORUS:
  i want to nail you to the wall
  and put you in a frame
  and keep you in my room
  you're my little painted friend

VERSE:
  i want your lips forever (forever)
  and i want your beautiful cheeks
  i'm gonna make you mine, all mine (all mine)
  the painting never sleeps

CHORUS:
  i want to nail you to the wall
  and put you in a frame
  and keep you in my room
  you're my little painted friend

  hit it trav
  [EP solo]

BRIDGE:
  mine, all mine
  gotta make ya, gotta make ya
  you're mine, all mine
  gotta get ya, gotta get ya
  mine, all mine
  gotta get ya, gotta get ya
  you're mine, all mine

VERSE: [EP solo]

VERSE:
  my life is but a canvas
  my brain is but a bowl (but a bowl)
  you're the beautifullest painting (beautiful)
  that ever caressed my soul

CHORUS:
  i want to nail you to the wall
  and put you in a frame
  and keep you in my room
  you're my little painted friend

BRIDGE:
  mine, all mine
  mine, all mine
  gotta make ya, gotta make ya, gotta make ya
  mine, all mine
  mine, all mine
  

I Don't Wanna

I initially wrote this for Anand, who told me he was getting tired of being a student. For a while it became a "theme song" for me, at least in my own head, especially whenever I wasn't feeling enthusiastic about going to work or classes or anything "un-fun". It's not about depression; it's about loving entertainment and not wanting to leave it.

The intro is actually the ending from the previous song ("IPECAC is Dead").

There are actually some more lyrics which never made it into the song. They explain the context a little better:

AT START:
  "tell me about it."
  "tell you about what?"
  "well, how's school goin'?"
  "pretty awful, to tell the truth."

AT END:
  well you say that every morning
  when you're head's still thick and sleepy
  and you'd rather just keep on snoring
  well, what if you kept on sleeping?

Lyrics to "I Don't Wanna":

INTRO:
  don't mourn for me
  ipec- (sigh)
  song for anand
  hit it

VERSE:
  oh, I don't wanna go to school today
  i just wanna stay home and bum
  i don't wanna pull out all my books today
  i just wanna relax and have fun

CHORUS:
  yee-hoo!!!

VERSE:
  oh, i don't wanna go to class today
  i just wanna stay in bed and read
  i don't wanna do any work today
  my books and my music - that's all I really need

CHORUS:
  come on, baby!
  

The Battle

This was my first attempt to actually sing like a "normal" person. The music was funky enough for me to not feel self-conscious while I was recording the vocals. Upon listening to it later, however, I think I felt like I'd been pretentious.

Strange bit of trivia: I received an email in late 2004 from a guy who saw the lyrics to "The Battle" on the internet. He wanted to hear the song. I uploaded the mp3. He thanked me and said "the song was good". So far, that's my only piece of anonymous fan mail.

Lyrics to "The Battle":

VERSE:
  it's a party (party party party)
  streaking right through the air
  we got cosmic confetti and roman candles
  an occasional cake thrown by one of the magicians

  it's a ruckus (ruckus ruckus ruckus)
  and i think i am going deaf
  with missiles exploding and thunder roaring
  we better get out of here before we catch our death!

VERSE:
  jon, luke and anand (anand anand anand)
  why don't stay right over there
  allen and i are gonna try get a parlay
  we're gonna need their help if we're gonna get back home

VERSE: [scat]
  

Going Home

This is my favorite BITLOTA song. The refrain at the end got stuck in my head for days (make that years). To this day I can still distinctly remember the evening after I finished recording the song (and album) and was jogging to Beth's dorm in a triumphant mood. At the time, I felt it was my best song yet.

Lyrics to "Going Home":

VERSE:
  we trod up the hill
  the world had stopped - it just stood still
  birds in the air, frozen in place
  the only movement was our laboured pace

  kelpor agreed to take us home
  the other magician we left alone
  they had called a truce just a while ago
  so here we were in a world of stone

CHORUS:
  (of stone of stone of stone...)

VERSE:
  finally kelpor called a halt
  the moon was bright and around us we saw
  the raft, the tree, the switch, the rock:
  this was where we came in - we all started to talk at once

CHORUS:
  (at once at once at once...)

BRIDGE:
  and kelpor said...

  shut up!
  if you wanna go home, shut your mouth
  shut up
  it's important that you do this or you'll never see your home again so
  shut up
  i'm not gonna tell you again
  now, shut up
  i've got to concentrate!

VERSE:
  poof! he vanished in a cloud of smoke
  and left us poor boys on our own
  we could only guess where he'd gone off to
  then suddenly he reappeared

  "i've found the way out, so hurry it up!"
  he motioned to a gaping hole
  we staggered back from the awful stench
  of excrement - "we gotta jump through that?"

CHORUS:
  (through that through that...)
  "yes, now do it!"

VERSE:
  one by one we summoned the nerve
  and jumped into the stinking pit
  and through the tunnel we tumbled and fell
  and then we emerged, from under a tail

BRIDGE:
  oh it was mimi and now, we're in her litter box
  and, uh, i think she's hungry

  hey look, there's mimi and now,  we're in her litter box
  and, uh, i think she's hungry

  oh it was mimi and now, we're in her litter box
  and, uh, i think she's hungry
  i said i think she's hungry again

  hey look, there's mimi and now,  we're in her litter box
  and, uh, i think she's hungry
  i think, i think she's hungry again
  

Millions of Monkeys

This was my first "punk" song. I think it was a mother's day present. I love it, but not many other people seem to "get it". I wonder if it's the music that puts them off, or the apparently violent lyrics.

I don't remember what initially inspired the lyrics. I think I was just trying to come up with something that sounded violent ("punk") but was actually silly. I was probably listening to old IPECAC tapes at the time, and stumbled across the improvised monkey attack in "My Familiar" (from 1988's Catharsis), part of which I used as the intro to this song.

In any case, "Millions of Monkeys" is about a guy who has become frustrated by his relationship with a girl. He's sick of the mind games and insecurity and just wants to relieve the stress. He does this by "sending in the monkeys", which has dual interpretations:

The dark (punk facade) interpretation is that the hero resorts to violence and/or rape, with the monkeys symbolizing vandals or sperm. In the light (Travis-humor) version, the monkeys are clowns or jokes that win the girl through their childlike exuberance and humor.

In either interpretation, the song is about "being yourself": drop the acting, drop the mind-games, and just be simple and primal, and if the girl likes you, then great! :)

The recording starts with the noisy, muffled sample from "My Familiar". Right off the bat, you'll realize that the sound quality on this album isn't going to be stellar. This (hopefully) deflates your expectations, and gets you focusing on the actual tunes rather than the production.

The music itself was an attempt to sound as "punk" as possible on my keyboard. The drums were easy enough to program (on my drum machine), but I couldn't find a good punk guitar sound. At the time, I was really into Julian Cope's "Out of My Mind of Dope and Speed", which has a really driving, punk-like piano sound, so I decided to take a similar approach in this song. I also threw in some distorted baritone sax... Does it actually sound punk? I really don't know!

The bottom line is that I really liked "Millions of Monkeys", but none of my friends or family seemed to appreciate it. They told me it was too noisy and atonal, non-melodic, and that the lyrics were "too violent". I don't think they ever "saw" the second, lighter interpretation of the lyrics and only perceived the violent one... or maybe they disliked the music because they weren't into punk.

In either case, I was really bummed that no one seemed to like "Millions of Monkeys". I loved the energy and spontaneous feel and really wanted to make more "punk" songs, but the unenthusiastic response got me thinking that maybe my keyboard just wasn't suited for playing punk.

Lyrics to "Millions of Monkeys":

INTRO: [spoken ending of "my familiar"]
  and suddenly
  millions of monkeys
  swarmed the house
  broke and busted in every window
  and strangled the poor

  it was a gruesome sight
  but a sight worthy to be seen
  by the naked eye
  stripped of its...
  god this is dumb!!!
  1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4!

VERSE 1:
  i don't know what to do
  oh, i don't know what to do
  my head is split in two
  all because of you

  'cause i don't know what to do
  i really wish i knew
  if you and me were through
  you've got me so confuuuuused-ah

CHORUS:
  millions of monkeys!

VERSE 2:
  i don't know what to do
  i don't know what to say
  i don't know if i should go
  i don't know if i should stay

  i'm tired of bein' abused
  i'm tired of being used
  it's guesswork every day
  i've gotta get awayyyyyyyyyyy-uh

CHORUS:
  but wait...
  millions of monkeys!

BRIDGE:
  hoo-ah! hey! hoo-ah! hey!
  hoo-ah! hey! hoo-ah! hey! [repeat]
  hit it, minkey...

VERSE 3:
  millions of monkeys,
  screaming around (eek eek!)
  they're driving me crazy
  they make such awful sounds

  i'm locked outside of you, girl
  i can't break down your door
  so i'm sending in the monkeys
  i'm sending in the monkeys
  now, now, now, now!

CHORUS:
  eek eek eek!

BRIDGE II:
  hoo-ah! hey! hoo-ah! hey!
  hoo-ah! hey! hoo-ah! hey! [repeat]
  i'm sending in the monkeys
  i'm sending in the monkeys [repeat]
  millions of monkeys

VERSE 4:  [repeats]
  millions of monkeys,
  they're gonna break down your door
  you'll be begging me for mercy
  you'll be prostrate on the floor

  millions of monkeys,
  i'd like you to meet my friend
  she's been giving me quite a headache
  it's time the pain should end

  millions of monkeys,
  they're gonna break down your door
  you'll be begging me for mercy
  you'll be prostrate on the floor

  millions of monkeys,
  i'd like you to meet my friend
  she's been giving me quite a headache
  it's time the pain should end
  

User Comments:

  1. "It a post-punk head-banger, I like it!" - Giovanna (2011-09-06)

The American Son

This song is a musical and lyrical sell-out. It's an ultra-safe "lounge band" song with lyrics that unhumorously tackle what I considered to be "painfully-PC" at the time: social consciousness and capitalistic guilt.

In a sense, this is my "oh, screw it" song. I was tired of seeming (and being) rude and crude and came up with something that was listenable and likely to please my regular audience at the time, which was my parents.

The only "punk" elements in this song are the violent sound effects (machine-guns and explosions) and perhaps the snotty, "rebellious" devil's advocate voice of the Evil Republican.

The humor knob is set very low on this one. Yeah, deep down I was making fun of being PC, but my wise-cracks were more sneer than smile.

The "audience" (my parents) responded so-so to this song. I think they liked the music but weren't very interested in the lyrics.

Serves me right, for being pretentious.

The "fight fight fight" in the lyrics comes from a Cure song I liked at the time. I don't remember why I copied it for this song. I'm guessing it was intentional, but I'm not sure.

Lyrics to "The American Son":

INTRO

VERSE 1:
  come on, everybody let's dance
  let's lose ourselves in dreamy romance
  let's turn down the lights and try to forget
  that people are killing each other tonight

ORGAN CHORUS 1: [gun and bomb noises]

VERSE 2: [w/ sound effects]
  come on, everybody let's party
  let's clap our hands and toss up our money
  for punch and pretzels and a strobe light too
  while people out there don't have enough food

ORGAN CHORUS 2:
  it's all relative
  you say it's all relative
  you say it's all relative, but
  how can this be?
  how can you treat your relatives this way?

BRIDGE 1: [tribal screams, etc.]
  in five years

VERSE 3:
  they're gonna fight fight fight...
    while we dance away the night
  they're gonna fight fight fight...
    while we drink away the night
  we're gonna fight fight fight...
    while we laugh and sing all night
  they always fight fight fight...
    can't you feel this isn't right?

ORGAN CHORUS 3: [w/ war effects]
  it's all relative
  you say it's all relative
  you say it's all relative, but
  how can this be?
  how can you treat your relatives this way?

VERSE 4:
  the beggar grunted and held out his hand
  to the yuppie in the sports coat, a really fine man
  the yuppie just ignored him and he walked on by
  because beggars are losers - they deserve to die!

ORGAN CHORUS 4: [w/ war effects]
  i'm a republican, he thought to himself
  a social darwinist, he reasoned with himself
  and i'm an american, with a job and a house
  if anyone deserves this quarter,
  it's me, not that mouse!

BRIDGE 2 (LONG): [monkey noises]
  in five years,
    i hope this song is happier
  in five years,
    i hope the world smiles a little bit more
  in five years,
    i hope i won't have to sing about this
  in five years,
    i hope the story's changed

  yeah, right!
  

User Comments:

  1. "The melody is so catchy....love it!" - Giovanna (2011-09-06)

New Moon

I decided to stop forcing the songs to be something that I thought other people might like and instead focused on making music that I knew I would like. "New Moon" is a catchy blend of "I'm Too Sexy" and the theme from the Addams Family movie. Maybe I was trying to [subtly] imply that fantasy-related entertainment can be "sexy" (socially desirable).

The lyrics talk about Roguelike games, Hack in particular. One of Hack's many "easter eggs" is that it calculates the current phase of the moon from your computer's clock. If you start a game when there's a full moon, more monsters will be generated than normal (which makes the game harder but can also give you more rewards). Similarly, if there's a new moon, fewer monsters are generated (and/or your luck is higher than normal) and the game is less difficult.

So, in one sense, this song is about taking the easy route. For me, this meant staying in Dillard Dorm a second year, abandoning my physics major in favor of computer science, and maintaining my hobbies rather than "forcing" myself to go out and socialize.

It's also about trying to forget other people's opinions about your interests and habits (however "geeky" they may be) and instead just focusing on the actual fun. (In other words, "Hey, come on guys, lighten up"...)

My friends liked this song. Most recognized the Addams Family influence, and although the song was about geeky stuff, at least it there wasn't any death in it. (Well, except for "hack and slay").

Lyrics to "New Moon":

INTRO
VERSE SANS LYRICS
CHORUS SANS LYRICS
SAX SOLO
CHORUS SANS LYRICS, WITH STRINGS

VERSE 1:
  i like singing about my games
  like planning my next plays
  like wasting the days away

  in front of my computer screen
  though sometimes it seems to me
  that people just don't agree with me

  they think hack
  is the ultimate waste of time
  it atrophies your mind
  and the screen destroys your eyes

  take dad
  he thinks all my time spent is bad
  he says my addiction is sad
  he'd rather me be like brad
  (who went to harvard)

CHORUS 1:
  oh the new moon shines
  hear that?  the new moon shines
  it glides across the sky
  tonight my luck runs high

  the new moon's out today
  and i'm about to play
  i'm gonna hack and slay
  nothing can stand in my way

VERSE 2:
  you may think that i am a nut
  and you think that i'm in a rut
  that i am dependent

  upon fantasy,
  the insurance of the weak
  the citadel of the meek
  and you think it's there that i sleep

CHORUS 2:
  well, the new moon shines
  hear that?  the new moon shines
  it glides across my sky
  tonight my luck runs high

  i know you probably don't care
  'bout how my hero should fare
  tonight when he climbs down the stairs
  into the dark dungeon air

  i know you probably don't care
  i know you probably don't care

BRIDGE:
  this is the bridge; what do you think?
  it took me two minutes to write and record it
  this is the bridge; what do you think?
  it took me two minutes to write and record it

VERSE 3:
  i also like riding my bike
  and writing new songs that i like
  take this one for example

  so i have a life outside of my computer
  though sometimes i'd rather play nethack or dune
  than sit on the couch and curl up with a book
  or eat chips and watch tv till 2

CHORUS 3:
  oh the new moon shines
  hear that?  the new moon shines
  it glides across the sky
  tonight my luck runs high

  the new moon's out today
  and i'm about to play
  i'm gonna hack and slay
  nothing can stand in my way [repeats]
  

The Hermit

Here we go!!! This is where everything "clicked" into place. It was my dad's birthday, and I think I recorded this very quickly as a last-minute gift for him.

Musically, I turned to simple, catchy piano-based pop which I probably wrote in half and hour on my parents' upright piano before scurrying off to my room to finish the song. The lyrics are simple and straightforward. There's no symbolism, no pretentiousness, no real effort... It all flowed very naturally.

Everyone liked this song, including me. My parents enjoyed the music but thought the lyrics were "sad".

By this time I think I started realizing that my parents just didn't "get" the point of many of my songs, which is that:

  1. I enjoy being a hermit.
  2. I like to talk (and sing) about myself.
  3. I like to be funny when I write.
  4. So, I often make fun of myself when I sing.

There is no "depression" in my life. There's no real tension, and rarely is there any stress. My life is fun and easy, and I like it! However, when it comes time to sing, I feel like I need something dramatic, some sort of conflict.

It's like making faces in a mirror (or on a video). I don't want to make pretty faces; I want to make ugly faces, the more grotesque and disturbing the better! That's one of the "fun" things about self-reflection.

It's the same way with lyrics. When I'm writing a song (about my favorite subject: me), I'm "looking" at myself and instead of posing "properly" or "handsomely" I prefer to look like the Biggest Dork Ever.

Right now, I'm in my room writing this, getting a total kick out of listening to my music and writing about myself and looking forward to a nice long jog or bike ride this afternoon... I love the control that solitude gives me over my activities. I am having a blast doing these things by myself, and I've always been like that for as long as I can remember.

Of course, every once in a while it's fun to actually talk to another human being. :) There's something inside me, either an instinct or something I was taught at an early age, that tells me to "socialize every once in a while". My guess is that this drive is natural (hardware), that most animals have a primal urge to seek companionship...

Regardless of its origin, for me, the drive to seek human companionship is usually nowhere near as compelling as the drive to accomplish things. For me, creativity, organization, learning, and exploration are the Big Satisfiers, both exciting and pride-instilling, and along with them comes (either naturally or through experiential associations) a desire for "daytime" independence from The Pack.

Of course, if The Pack actually shared 90% of my interests, then maybe I wouldn't "have" to be a hermit in order to pursue the Big Satisfiers. Maybe someday I will find a Travis-compatible Pack, but right now the easiest, most reliable way to have a Good Day is to plan to do things by myself.

If you don't believe me, listen to the music rather than the words. The music is un-selfconscious and FUN, just like my days in my room... It's joyfully indulgent! :)

Lyrics to "The Hermit":

VERSE 1:
  another day of sitting at home
  reading a book and staying close to the phone
  just in case somebody happens to call
  and when they do i hop in my car

  drive to the city, taking care not to wreck
  it's been 17 days since i've been out of my shack
  i've subsisted on pop tarts and cracker jacks
  my mother'd kill me if she knew 'bout that

CHORUS 1:
  oh i'm a hermit yes i know
  but i don't dress like a hobo
  i don't wear rags with holes in fact i...
  i look pretty normal

VERSE 2:
  i was pushing 20 livin' in a dorm
  my hallmates often came and knocked on my door
  they said "hey travis, wanna go out with us?"
  and i said "nah, i'm busy downloading from a bbs"

  pretty soon people stopped dropping by
  i guess i said "no" too many times
  a couple nights i tried to call them up
  but they were busy -
  so after that i pretty much kept to myself

CHORUS 2:
  oh i'm a hermit yes i know
  but i don't put on a show
  i don't beg like a bum in fact i...
  i act pretty normal

  oh i'm a hermit yes i know
  i know my life seems slow
  i don't have anywhere to go
  so i guess i'll stay at home sweet home

  stay at home, baby

VERSE 3:
  so here i am - driving to town
    (for games)
  got my seatbelt on and a worried frown
    (what if they're out of stock?)
  i feel like such a loser - look at me now
    (i used to have friends on the mud)
    (but it closed down)

CHORUS 3:
  oh i'm a hermit yes i know
  but i don't dress like a hobo
  i don't wear shoes full of holes in fact i...
  i look pretty normal

  oh i'm a hermit, yes i know
  i think real fast but i move too slow
  i had my youth and my looks but i threw it all away
  i can't think of anything else to say

CHORUS: [a capella]
  oh i'm a hermit, yes i know
  i know my life seems slow
  i don't have anywhere to go
  so i guess i'll stay at home sweet home

REGGAE:
  [humming]

  i've got my computer
  and i've got my radio
  and i've got my books to read
  and i've got my piano let's go!

  hit it trav!

  i've gotta get out on my own,
  i've just gotta get out on my own
  i've gotta get out on my own,
  i've just gotta get out on my own

  i've just gotta get out, gotta get out,
  gotta get out on my own
  i've just gotta get out, gotta get out,
  gotta get out on my own

  tomorrow.  tomorrow...

  [repeat]
  

Introvert

My girlfriend at the time (Beth) asked me to write a gentle song, so I wrote this. Like "The Hermit", it was constructed around a simple piano-based melody. The mix emphasizes the vocals which is a good thing because these are some of my favorite lyrics (and the music's a bit distorted).

The lyrics are very autobiographical, poking fun at my introversion (the tendency to fixate on my own interests even when other people are right there trying to interact with me).

By the end of the song, however, I was fixating on my girlfriend. Sometimes the bubble of introversion extends to include other people, and when that happens, the Hermit is doubly happy! :)

Although this song is not "punk" or even "manly", I liked it enough to play it on the radio (I was an occasional DJ). When I broadcasted it, it didn't matter to me that no one was listening except my girlfriend (who recorded my shows); by playing "Introvert" on the air I was saying, "look, here's something I like, and if it happens to be girl-pop, then so be it!" Maybe that "ah, just go for it" attitude is punk?

Anyway, this was another well-liked song. Most of my audience by this time was girls. :)

Lyrics to "Introvert":

VERSE 1:
  hello little girl
  do you know my name?
  have you seen me before?
  do you like my shoes?

  well, my name's travis
  and this is my computer
  i collect lots of tapes
  i write my own songs too

CHORUS 1:
  i - n - t - r - o - v - e - r - t is me
  i - n - t - r - o - v - e - r - t is me

VERSE 2:
  see here are my tapes
  do you like my room?
  should i die my hair blonde
  what's your name, by the way?

  you call yourself beth?
  that's a pretty name
  let's get out my photo album
  and look at some pictures of me

CHORUS:
  i - n - t - r - o - v - e - r - t is me
  i - n - t - r - o - v - e - r - t is me

BRIDGE 1:
  i say seven "i's" for every "you"
  well, what else is an introverted guy to do?
  i'm not like you.

CHORUS:
  you can listen to me play
  my keyboard all day
  you can listen to me play

VERSE 3:
  hey beth i think you're kinda cute
  and you seem to be real nice
  can i see you tomorrow?
  i can show you my games

  or maybe we can bike
  over to jamestown
  and sit on a quilt
  and cuddle up all day

CHORUS:
  i - n - t - r - o - v - e - r - t is me
  i'm not worried because what else can i be?

BRIDGE 2:
  i say seven "i's" for every "you"
  but for some reason
  you felt that i'd be right for you
  what a lucky guy i am
  what a lucky guy i am
  what a lucky guy i am

CHORUS:
  i'm singing,
  i - n - t - r - o - v - e - r - t is me
  i never had someone take an interest in me
  i - n - t - r - o - v - e - r - t are we
  my baby's got my number now i am happy

  i - n - t - r - o - v - e - r - t is me
  i never had somebody take an interest in me
  i - n - t - r - o - v - e - r - t are we
  

Down

"Down" was the last song on the album (I later added the "Amateur Night EP" to the tape).

For "Down", I paid lots of attention to the production, much like I did in the closer for my last album ("Going Home"). I wanted to push myself technologically and end with a strong, "rock" song.

Musically, "Down" tries to answer the question I first asked in "Millions of Monkeys", which is: can I make punk music on my keyboard? The song starts with a synthy riff (acknowledging my reliance upon my keyboard), and then has a dense bass/tom/drum thrash which crescendos into the main punk-synth groove. The marriage of that energetic, relentless punk/rock groove to the synthy sounds is hopefully good enough to encourage me (and other "bedroom musicians") to continue to explore the harder, more "raw" side of rock music using nothing but keyboards.

Production-wise, this song is a distorted mess except for the reggae-like bridge, where my little reverb box actually put a really cool spin on the vocals.

Lyrically, "Down" is about acrophobia and, on a deeper level, about maintaining optimism in the struggle against the pressures to conform, conform, conform... It's about looking on the bright side of your current situation and not obsessing over (hopefully temporary) declines in money, grades, fitness, or other non-entertaining things. The message is the same as always: Don't let the bad things dominate your life, focus on the good things.

Was I talking to myself? Was I telling myself to cheer up, to lighten up, to not obsess over boring stuff? Well, maybe a little bit... I certainly wasn't depressed, but I was at times frustrated by other people's gloomy perceptions of life. I was tired of people trying to get me to "grow up", to take things more seriously, to join the Herd, even though the Herd didn't seem nearly as happy as I was.

I perceived most Other People as being insincere, incurious, uncreative, and boring, boring, boring... and those "miserable drones" kept wanting me to be more like THEM. No Way!!!

So, was I depressed? Heck no! Frustrated? Heck yes!

Through my music, I was trying to get other people to stop trying to "spoil" my fun, to get them to realize that I'm here having fun and to either join me in having fun or leave me alone!

Lyrics to "Down":

INTRO:
  down

VERSE 1:
  oh, i'm standing at the top of a pyramid
  looking out over the trees
  and i'm fretting about the climb back down
  i'm feeling shaky in my knees

CHORUS 1:
  oh it's only down
  it's only a direction
  if you stand on your hands
  you'll see it's nothing to be afraid of

  it's only down down
  it's only a direction
  if you stand on your hands
  you'll see it's only negative z

VERSE 2:
  clinging to the top of a ladder
  shaking in the highest branches of a tree
  blame the wind and the way it gusts and sways you
  at the top of the statue of liberty

CHORUS 2:
  oh it's only down
  only down down
  it's only down
  down down down listen to me!

  it's only down
  only down down
  only down
  down down down it's coming for me!

VERSE 3:
  standing on top of the eiffel tower
  looking out over sweet paris
  see the ants on the ground
  start spinning around
  feel the vertigo sweep over me

CHORUS 3:
  oh it's only down
  it's only a direction
  if you stand on your hands
  you'll see it's nothing to be afraid of
    (nothing at all)

  it's only down down
  it's only a direction
  if you stand on your hands
  you'll see it's only negative z
    (negative z)

  there's only down
  only down down
  it's only down
  down down down listen to me!

  there's only down
  only down down
  only down
  down down down down it's coming for me!

  coming for me

BRIDGE:
  at the top of the slide
  on the top of the mountain
  at the top of the ski-slope
  at the top of the stairs

  at the top of the beam
  on the roof of my house
  on the top of the wall
  i'm trapped up there

  tightrope (tightrope)
  cessna    (cessna)
  high dive (high dive)
  waterfall (waterfall)

  top bunk      (top bunk)
  scuba diving  (scuba diving)
  ski lift      (ski lift)
  bury them all (bury them all)

  bury them all (bury them all) in a great big pit!
  be careful not to fall in it
  i feel dizzy and whoops i slipped!
  and i'm falling down down down into my pit!

  (ahhh.......)

  i know some day i'm gonna die
  alas for me, i cannot fly
  up to heaven when it's my time
  i'll plummet down, down, down, down
  to the bowels of the earth

  (ahhh....)

VERSE 4:
  i know i've got a fear of heights
  but what what what can i do about it?

  i know i've got a fear of heights
  but what what what can i do about it?

CHORUS 4:
  oh it's only down
  it's only a direction
  if you stand on your hands
  you'll see it's nothing to be afraid of

  it's only down down
  it's only a direction
  if you stand on your hands
  you'll see it's only negative z

VERSE 5:
  i know i've got a fear of heights
  but what what what can i do about it?

  i know i've got a fear of heights
  but what what what can i do about it?

CHORUS 5:
  oh, i'm falling down
  down down down
  falling down
  down down down help me please!

  oh i'm falling down
  down down down
  down down down
  down down down it's scaring me!
  

Where's My Muse?

By the time I recorded this, my audience had dwindled to my family and girlfriend. Feedback from them was lukewarm. I felt like the new album wasn't living up to its predecessor, The Hermit. "SPCA" was trivial, "Solid Blue" was sappy, "The Trap" was mean, and "Another Anchovies Practice" was an aimless mess.

So I decided to write a song about my musical decline.

The lyrics express my frustration. They're introverted again, like on the The Hermit. The music is peppy, and my vocal energy was high (though a little juvenile). I actually liked it a lot, enough to name the album after it.

Soon after I finished it, however, I moved off campus and got a TV. My musical productivity plummeted even further.

Lyrics to "Where's My Muse?":

VERSE:
  no fire, uninspired
  i can't write a poem to save my life
  head achin', so frustrating
  my paper's naked, blank just like my mind
  i'm staring bored at the board,
  trying to absorb a brainstorm

  zap, crack, splat, snap, crackle, and pop
  will this writer's block ever stop?
  will my songs ever reach the top?
  will even this one be a flop?

CHORUS:
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?

VERSE:
  hot tang, bubble gum gang
  a dozen cliches from the bad old days
  when neon ruled, high school was cool,
  velcro was in, and jordon was slammin'

  oh, sure,
  i could spit out a dozen empty phrases
  or analyze my life's many phases
  or i could describe a million familiar places
  or even preach harmony between the races

  whatever

CHORUS:
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?

VERSE:
  no more from the brainstorm
  i wish i could visit the idea store
  maybe there i'd find my muse
  maybe there i'd find my muse
  maybe there i'd find my muse

CHORUS:
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?
  where's my muse, y'all? where's my muse?

  [repeats under next lyrics:]

  where's my muse, y'all?
  did she slip out the back door?
  or did she die of starvation?
  while i was paying attention to that?

  where's my muse, y'all?
  did she slip out the back door?
  did she die of starvation?
  did i use her up?
  did i wear her out?
  did i work her to death?

  gotta get out of my stuffy room
  get out of my stuffy life
  gotta take a walk outside
  and leave the computer behind

  gotta get out of my stuffy room
  get out of my stuffy life
  gotta take a walk outside
  and leave the computer behind

  oh, where's my, where's my, where's my,
  where's my muse?
  where's my, where's my, where's my,
  where's my muse?
  where's my, where's my, where's my,
  where's my muse?
  where where where where...

  oh what a ho...
  where's my muse?
  

I Don't Do Hills

I recorded this simple and gentle jazz/rock ditty for my mom on Mother's Day 1996. It's about her reluctance to bike up big hills. She actually used to say, "I don't do hills". The lyrics are repetitive (cyclical - get it?).

The bicycle noises are my spinning a bike tire and pedals. The wind noises are completely fake!

Lyrics to "I Don't Do Hills":

VERSE:
  i don't do hills
  i don't do hills
  i don't do hills
  i don't do hills

  come on mom

CHORUS:
  you can, you can
  you can make it if you try, you try
  pedal, push, or ask dad for help
  once you're at the top
  you'll fly, you'll fly,
  you'll fly and sigh and smile

VERSE:
  i don't do hills
  i don't do hills
  i don't do hills
  i don't do hills

  come on mom

CHORUS:
  you can, you can
  you can make it if you try, you try
  pedal, push, or ask dad for help
  once you're at the top
  you'll fly, you'll fly,
  you'll fly and sigh and smile

BRIDGE:

CHORUS:
  you can, you can
  you can make it if you try, you try
  pedal, push, or ask dad for help
  once you're at the top
  you'll fly, you'll fly,
  you'll fly and sigh and smile

VERSE:
  i don't do hills
  i don't do hills
  i don't do hills
  i don't do hills

  come on mom

CHORUS:
  you can, you can
  you can make it if you try, you try
  pedal, push, or ask dad for help
  once you're at the top
  you'll fly, you'll fly,
  you'll fly and sigh and smile

  you'll fly and sigh and smile

BRIDGE:
  people flying by
  roads flying by
  people flying by
  roads flying by
  

Artificial Life

This is driving and insightful. It's the last big song on the album, and exudes both humor and power. I love the lyrics!

Lyrics to "Artificial Life":

CHORUS 1:
  see what you think about artifical life
  say what you think about artifical life

VERSE 1:
  comfy in my cubby hole
  nine at work and six at home
  two on the bus, i'm driving, zooming
  always thinking, working, moving

  clickety clack my fingers go
  day after day, row after row
  sun like a rocket through the sky
  one less day until i die

CHORUS 2:
  who needs friends when i've got my art?
  i write and play all the parts
  see what you think about artifical life

  who needs love when you've got a brain?
  if you go to bed happy, it's all the same
  say what you think about artifical life

  hit it, trav

CHORUS 3:
  see what you think about artifical life
  say what you think about artifical life

BRIDGE VERSE 4:
  and then i open my eyes
  and see the world 'round me
  and i smell the fresh air
  i feel the sun on my skin

  so i take out my bike
  and i go for a ride
  and i smell the fresh air
  and i see the world 'round me

  and that first day is great
  'cause i feel so alive
  i think i'm starting to like
  being outside

  and the second day's better
  'cause i know where to go
  i head straight for the park
  and i sit and i watch... life flow

BRIDGE CHORUS:
  i could get used to it
  i could get used to it
  being outside

  i could get used to it
  i could get used to it
  being outside

BRIDGE VERSE 5:
  but it seems kind of quiet
  and my fingers are restless
  so the third day i bring
  a magazine

  but that's not enough
  so on the fourth day i bring
  a book and my camera
  and on the fifth i bring my laptop

BRIDGE CHORUS:
  i could get used to it
  i could get used to it
  being outside

  i could get used to it
  i could get used to it
  being outside

BRIDGE VERSE 6:
  the sixth day it rains
  and i have to stay home
  so i call up some friends
  i don't want to be alone

  but nobody's there
  and it's still raining outside
  so i turn on the tv
  but i quickly get bored

  so i turn on my computer
  pull out my book and my tapes
  and i try to document
  the last five days

  but my mind starts to wander
  and i remember my games
  so i immerse myself
  for another hundred days!

BRIDGE CHORUS:
  i couldn't get used to it
  i couldn't get used to it
  being outside

  i couldn't get used to it
  i couldn't get used to it
  being outside

  i couldn't get used to it
  could not get used to it
  being outside

  could not get used to it
  could not get used to it
  being outside

  could not get used to it

VERSE:
  let's do it!

CHORUS:
  see what you think about artifical life
  say what you think about artifical life

  see what you think about artifical life
  say what you think about artifical life
  

CopyRite

During graduate school I got heavily into krautrock and other repetitive jam-based music. This song is named after Julian Cope's Rite album.

I liked the groove, but my keyboard's sequencer didn't have enough memory for me to extend this song into a "full-fledged" jam. Frustrated, I recorded it to four-track in this somewhat unfinished state and adlibbed the annoyed, disillusioned vocals.

Lyrics to "CopyRite":

INTRO:
  get me a paper bag
  and then a pencil and some paper
  and i'll make you a nice mask

TALK: [hard to hear - these are a guess]

  there's some fun
  but it, it sits there mostly

  i try to vacuum over there
  once in a while

  i wish i could get my own place
  ??? clean saliva

  people come over there

  i just think i can
  but i've rhythm deep down
  oh i can't say i do

  get away!

  spit it out
  i spit it out

  then again, i don't
  because i don't have anything else
  ??? i don't care
  ??? i'll always ??? there
  ???

  that's enough
  i think i've told you too much
  i think it's way too much

LEFT:
  all right, here, give me the remote

RIGHT:
  that's it
  that's all you're getting
  nothing more than that
  that's the end of the song
  there isn't anything more
  it just, it just stops, like that
  kind of like my dreams
  

South or Southeast

This is the only "complete" song I wrote in grad school (with pre-written lyrics and a conventional song structure). I like the music, but the lyrics are cringe-inducing.

I met a girl on vacation in Alaska, and liked her a lot. While we were travelling together, I yearned for a future with her. Unfortunately, my vacation had to end so that I could go to graduate school back in Virginia. The last couple weeks of the trip, I treated her very distantly and even rudely. We parted ways sadly, with no promises and (for me) no hopes.

A couple months later, when I was in Virginia, she offered to visit me. I was excited at first, but then asked her to wait. I was worried that if she visited, we (or just I) would be tempted to stay together. My plan for the next couple years was to focus on grad school so I could get good grades, finish early, and then move to the Pacific Northwest. I didn't want to get heartbroken if she left, but I also didn't want to be "tied down" in Virginia if she ended up liking it there. To me, it seemed like the safest thing was to wait until I was almost done with school.

However, she didn't seem to understand (or agree with) my plan. She kept calling me, asking when she could visit. This caused me a lot of pressure and guilt. Eventually I started "hiding" from her by screening my phone calls. I think at that point she started calling my parents' house. I became polarized, trying to convince myself (and my friends) that I didn't want anything to do with her. It was easier (and "cooler") to think of her as the aggressor (the obsessed ex-girlfriend), rather than a victim of my self-centered agenda.

I wrote this song to remind myself of how poorly I treated her. I tried to make it "light and funny", as I had done with break-up letters in the past, but failed, because I was too full of negativity, not towards her but towards myself. Although I know I was scolding myself, when I listen to this song today, it just sounds like I'm making fun of her. Oh well.

Lyrics to "South or Southeast":

VERSE:
  ring ring!
  hello, this is evelyn
  i met your son on vacation
  i think there's
  something wrong with his telephone
  'cause i tried calling again and again

TRANSITION:
  but he won't answer me
  travis won't answer me

VERSE:
  hey trav, today
    yeah
  we got a call from your friend evelyn
    ewww
  she says she's been
  invited on a trip to south america
    good for her
  she wants to know
  if you'll ask her down to visit you
    ha ha yeah right
  she wants to know
  if she needs to come to virginia
    oh, please hide me

CHORUS:
  south or southeast
  shall i go south or southeast?

TRANSITION:
  travis won't talk to me
  travis won't talk to me
  why won't he talk to me?
    'cause i don't like you
  why won't he talk to me?
    ring ring!

VERSE:
  hello,
    don't pick up the phone
  this is evelyn
    it might be evelyn
  i've been calling and calling
    she's been calling and calling
  and calling again and again
    and calling again and again
  please tell travis
  that i really need an answer
    two letters
  does he want to come and visit him?
    please don't make me see her again!

CHORUS:
  south or southeast
    the fact is i don't like her
  shall i go south or southeast?
    and i really can't stand her
  south or southeast
    i wish she'd go away for ever
  shall i go south or southeast?
    [???]

END:
  ring! ring! ring! ring! ring! ring!
  [inaudible]