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 Sgo - 4:20 download listen locally 2005-04-19 2005-04-20
2 Repsycho - 5:40 download listen locally 2005-04-22 2005-04-26
3 Loser Genes - 5:24 download listen locally 2005-05-02 2005-05-03
4 Weekday Wine - 4:43 download listen locally 2005-05-03 2005-05-04
5 Gut Filling - 3:29 download listen locally 2005-05-04 2005-05-05
6 Wining - 3:08 download listen locally 2005-05-05 2005-05-09
7 M Day - 3:19 download listen locally 2005-05-08 2005-05-09
8 Mad Robin - 4:31 download listen locally 2005-05-10 2005-05-11
9 New Lap - 2:52 download listen locally 2005-05-11 2005-05-12
10 What Comes - 6:06 download listen locally 2005-05-15 2005-05-17
11 Blue Leaf - 4:27 download listen locally 2005-05-23 2005-05-24
12 Instalap - 5:20 download listen locally 2005-05-24 2005-05-26
13 Meadowless - 4:48 download listen locally 2005-05-31 2005-06-02
14 Noooodle - 5:18 download listen locally 2005-06-03 2005-06-07
15 Mix Mix Mix lyrics 8:45 download listen locally 2005-06-07 2005-06-09
16 Pudding Draught lyrics 3:27 download listen locally 2005-06-13 2005-06-14
*17 Dim Returns lyrics 3:34 download listen locally - 2005-06-14
Total 79:11 play all locally album rating:

* hidden track

Notes

Lake Padden and Padden Creek are very close to me. They're big enough to harbor critters and for us to enjoy every once in a while, even though they're not exactly awe-inspiring. I don't regard them as destinations or goals in themselves; they're more like pleasant hors d'oerves.

Sometimes I feel "adrift" on them. Which one, though? Am I floating in lazy, comfortable circles on Lake Padden? Or rushing down Padden Creek towards the ocean? Can I move myself from the lake to the stream, or vice versa? Or am I trapped? By what?

Is this water metaphor clunky? Am I not trying hard enough to polish these liner notes? These albums? Any of my creations? Am I stuck at a personal "good enough" level, a local maximum?

Deep thoughts for such a shallow modest album! It's my first set of "completely new" songs since Back Up (2002). As usual, the main instrument is the Triton, accompanied by vocals on "Mix Mix Mix" and "Pudding Draught", and faint guitar on "M Day". And as usual, there's nothing epic here, just a collection of pleasant little moments.

Lake: 1, Creek: 0

Songs

Sgo

This song, whose title is short for "let's go", kicks off the album on an upbeat note. The familiar Tripecac formula is in effect (or "in da house"): a repetitive mix of funk, jazz, and reggae. It's peppy enough to sound like it could have fit on Coma Pill. I guess that's a good thing, because I like where Coma Pill was headed. Now I just need to slow down and actually start writing some songs!

It's interesting (to me) that I've been waiting almost three years to start working on new material, and here I am, building this song in exactly the same way I was working on the old songs! There's no "composition" phase; it's just me constructing patterns, dropping instruments in and out, and adding solos. Perhaps this first "all new" album will be a bridge between the groove/improv older material and actual written songs? Who knows?

For the record, I actually like this song, so I'm not "knocking" it. It's just not as radical a departure as I thought it would be. No revolution here! Just steady improvement, hopefully. I like the fact that I didn't obsess over it! I finished it in about 3 hours, over 2 days! :) I'm happy. Okay, on to the next new creation!

Repsycho

The song title is a pun on "recycle". The day I started it was recycling day. Also, the tune recycles itself (through lots of repetition), and even starts off sounding a lot like the preceding song ("Sgo").

The groove is a little bass-heavy for my tastes, but I like the first few seconds of the bluesy synth solo.

Loser Genes

Nature or nurture? Does it matter?

This song has the "genes" of a mindless dance song. I tried to jazz it up with loose solos, and intentionally "off" rhythms and conflicting bass lines. Whether it works or not is a testament to, ummm, nurture over nature? Huh? Well, blaa blaa blaa, says me. A glass of wine helped me finish this clunker.

Weekday Wine

This was an exercise in minimalism. I wanted only 2 instruments plus drums. I started recording the bass line before I knew what chord progression I'd play. It ended up being a semi-blues riff. I quickly added drums, and then an organ solo. The next day I cleaned up the organ solo and extended it a bit. I didn't add any more instruments or even a melody, just drums.

The title comes from the fuel for the song. Interesting how alcohol seemed to make me focus better. Maybe I should try it again some time. And again and again! :)

Gut Filling

I have a gut feeling that gut filling isn't a healthy habit. Somewhere I read about a study which found that half-starved mice live the longest. Perhaps a music "career" which is undernourished (in terms of education and audience) has similar longevity.

Okay, enough with the deep thoughts. The song tried to be light 80s post-punk. It ended up with cheesy jazz/elevator elements. Did I say cheesy? I meant "stinky". To try to add some life, I added cheesy, oops, I mean stinky, nature sound effects. Man, this description is chees stinky!

All right, I actually have something interesting to say about this song now... Today's 2005-05-05, or, for those of you who haven't learned the Y2K lesson, 05-05-05. And guess what; this is the fifth song on the album! Imagine that! Too bad I didn't make it 5 minutes and 5 seconds long. On second thought, it's a good thing I didn't make it that long, because the song is ssttiinnkkyy!!!

Wining

Somewhere between whining and winning is wining. Somewhere between pathetic and mediocre is this song. I intended it to be a sequel to "Dog Street Jam". It's slow, slow, slow; it's almost like a dirge. I sped it up on the last day, but even that didn't make it peppy enough to be interesting.

M Day

I started this on Mother's Day. M also stands for: moody, miserable, mean. I wasn't very happy when I started this. Fortunately, everything turned out okay.

On a brighter note, I used this song as an opportunity to break out the guitar again. It was in E, which is the easiest possible key for someone who hasn't touched a guitar in months. I also had zero ideas for melodies. As a result, this song is basically just a super-simple bass line, drums, and solos.

Also, the mix is a bit off; the melody instruments are too loud. Sigh.

Mad Robin

There was a robin repeatedly flying at the window the day I started this. He quixotically charged his own reflection for hours and hours. In the evening, we turns on the lights so that he wouldn't see himself anymore. The next morning he was gone.

The song is attractive in some parts, "slow" and scatter-brained in others. Every once in a while it charges into chaos... and then regains its footing.

New Lap

I started this song on the day that I ordered my new laptop. If it doesn't feel very inspired, that's probably because I was exhausted from all the research. When I finished it the next day, I still didn't have much energy.

It's sappy, very sappy. Like a weeping spruce. Or a weeping laptop battery.

What Comes

The title is a pun on "Whatcom". We took our first walk on the eastern side of Lake Whatcom the day I started this.

The intro is very loose, with no metronome. The rest of the song is in time, and attempts to build. I never managed to add much oomph, though. Perhaps the mix is the problem: the drums are too sparse, the bass is too loud, some instruments are too crisp, others are too muddy. Yuck! What comes is yuck!

Blue Leaf

This song retreads old, mellow, long jam grounds. I couldn't call it "New Leaf", so I called it "Blue Leaf" for its bluesy feel (at times). Well, it kinda turns a "new leaf" in the middle of the song, when it switches from minor to major.

All it is is an EP improv plus some quiet, repetitive bass and drums. Minimal effort, minimal results.

Instalap

I installed my first operating system (XP) on a laptop on the day I started this song. The title also refers to the maternal instinct of offering an "instant lap" to someone. Guys can't offer their laps. What can they offer? Their arms and legs, I guess. And brains. No offense, girls. Oh, I forgot: girls don't have brains, so they can't read! Ha ha silly me.

Anyway, lame faux-sexist jokes aside, let's talk about the music. The core tune is a long trancy piano improv, a bit dirge-like to start. I then added layers of improvised organ, strings, bass, and drums. There was no planning, practicing, or even looping (until the very end). Also, the mix is really muffled. Yeah, it's a lazy way to churn out songs, but I enjoy indulging myself in jamming every once in a while. Just like I enjoy indulging in lame jokes! Blaa, blaa, blaa... Zzzz...

Meadowless

I just got back from my second hiking trip to Mount Rainier. This time, there weren't any meadows. The company made up for it, though! :)

The music is repetitive but has a nice bounce. I was literally bouncing in my chair when I played the piano part.

Noooodle

This started off as simple piano noodling. I thought it was pretty cheesy. I was practicing with headphones, but didn't realize that the speakers were on too. When I discovered that my noodling had been heard by everyone in the apartment (and neighboring apartments), I decided to go ahead and finish it.

It's one of the rare recent songs that has a verse, chorus, and bridge. Or at least a chorus and a bridge. I really liked the melody, but hated the mix.

I still hate the mix. Honestly, I have no idea why the mix is so annoying. It sounded bad in headphones, and sounds just as bad on speakers, despite an hour or so of fiddling.

Well, if it's any consolation, the bridge is kinda lame. And so are the solos. And so is the intro. Hey, come to think of it, the mix is pretty darn awesome, compared to the rest of the song.

Ummmm, yeah, right.

Die, stupid mix, die!!!

Mix Mix Mix

The title implies dance music. The actual song is a ho-hum piano jam with a decent melody but not much originality. It repeats its simple idea a few times, and then devolves into pounding.

Perhaps the title is a plea to "mix it up a bit, Travis!" The instant I created this (right after finishing "Noooodle", which has similar chord progressions), I wished I had tried to push myself into more adventurous territory. But this plays it safe, and is pretty dull as a consequence. The most interesting bit is the trancy bass line at the end. I added vocals as an afterthought.

Musically, it revisits snapshots of Tripecac history. It starts off tentative and tuneful, like "Soft" (1991). Then I start reading stuff in the background like I did on the Where's My Muse (1997). Next it gets trancy and minimal, focused on the rhythm, like on In the Margins (2001). Finally, it devolves into a capella, like "Treadmill" (2004). That's where it originally ended.

I listened to it for a couple of days, and found it interesting (in bits), but not overall satisfying. Whenever I got to the end to it, I'd rewind it again so that I could hear the tuneful beginning. I then realized that when the song goes on CD, rewinding it won't be as easy, and that it'll probably leave the listeners hanging like it did for me.

So I decided to add a second ending to it. The simplest thing to do was repeat the chorus and bridge from the beginning. I faded out on the "self-mimicry" bit. It's not brilliant, but it at least gives the song some closure.

If the song represents Tripecac's musical evolution, does this mean I will eventually return to the simple tunefulness of my early songs? Or should the song be taken as a whole, meaning I'll continue to incorporate different eras' elements into my music? Will the elements be blended smoothly, or will they remain separate, causing me to create more medleys like this song?

Perhaps the next song will answer the question. Or the next.

Lyrics to "Mix Mix Mix":

INTRO
  you don't have to point out to me
  that this song starts off like
  just about every other tripecac song

  that would mean pointing out the obvious
  and of course the master of pointing out the obvious
  is obviously travis
  so let me do the pointing
  and you do the listening

  so zip it

CHORUS
  all i ever do is mix, mix, mix
  record, rewind, repair, replace
  recover and re-fix
  fix, oh yes, it's the same old fix

  it's the same old ideas
  and the same few gimmicks
  i'm forever reinventing
  the songs on "dad's picks"
  yes, the songs on "dad's picks"

BRIDGE
  oh, here's the bridge; it means variety
  or at least an opportunity
  to deviate from the creek of
  formulaic mediocrity

  do i dive in with alacrity
  or let it flow away from me?
  am i eternally ensnared in a
  swirling eddy of self-mimicry?

    self-mimicry, self-mimicry ...

SOLOS
  [read parts of the song description]

IMPROV:
  [repeat chorus and bridge]

  forever repeating the same old lyrics
  forever reinstalling xp and linux

    you're talking about operating systems again?

  sometimes i make myself laugh
  sometimes i make myself sick
  but i don't use my finger to make myself sick
  because that would mean I am bulemic

    oh god
    is that the best you can do?

  give me a mic and i'll...
    yes, what would you do with that mic?
  stroke that mic
  i'll stroke it like it's a...
    monkey
    you'll stroke it like it's a monkey
    a monkey
    i said monkey

  travis, i'm innocent
    monkey monkey monkey

  wow, i hear some delay
    i hear some bass too
  d-d-d-d-d, d-d-d-d-d...
    b-b-b-b-bass
    you hear the bass?
  pst-pst-pst-pst-pst...
    you hear the bass?
    you hear the bass?
    you hear the bass?
    the bass

    where did the bass go?
  where did everybody go?
    where did the bass go?
  tell me, where did everybody go?
    i don't care about everybody
    i care: where did the bass go?
    where did the bass go?
  i don't know
    i want that bass back here this instant
    or my name is not...
  okay okay
    ...um... something

  there's the bass
  you've got the bass back
  you've got...
    you know, i've ended albums on worse notes before
  yeah right
    have i not?
  okay, zip it, bye bye, travis, bye bye

  okay, well, here's this bassline
  and it doesn't sound the same as before
  i think that's... i think it's backwards
  oh my gosh, it's a backwards bassline

  let me be quiet for a while so that you can listen to it

  okay, that was a nice little while, wasn't it?
  well, see, i just don't know how listenable this bit will be
  am i supposed to talk?

  oh, what's that?
  there are some, some other sounds coming in here
  what is that stuff?
  oh my god that's weird
  yeahhh...
  um, this is almost kinda spooky
  uhh...
  i don't know what's going on anymore
  i don't know what's happening
  i don't know what's going on anymore
  i don't know what's happening
  ...

CHORUS:
  [same as before]

BRIDGE:
  [same as before]

ENDING:
  self-mimicry, self-mimicry ...
    i don't know what's going on anymore
    i don't know what's happening
  self-mimicry, self-mimicry ...
  

Pudding Draught

I needed a short song to finish the album, so quickly brainstormed this ditty. It started with the plucked strings; I added the other bits with too much thought. It was done very, very quickly.

The title is a pun on the album name ("Padden Drift"). I picked it very quickly. The whole song was quick. Bang, bang, you're done! I could easily have finished it in one day, but then it would have gone on Wonday, and I'd be no closer to finishing Padden Drift.

Anyway, is it catchy? I hope so! I like to end albums on a positive note! In this case, I literally did that; I threw in a bright C major chord at the end.

And then I deleted it. And add the vocals. Which kinda kill the song. Oh well, next album!

Lyrics to "Pudding Draught":

it's pretty clear
that this doesn't need any vocals
it's a simple song
that certainly stands on its own

so why am i here
destroying the song with my vocals?
and why oh why
didn't i write any of them down?

  (good job)
  

Dim Returns

This a capella improv continues the vocals that I threw onto the end of "Pudding Draught". The title is short for "Diminished Returns". It's a horrible way to end the album, really. For the CD I put 15 seconds of silence in front of it to make it a "hidden" track.

Lyrics to "Dim Returns":

because i'm dumb
  dumb
i'm stupid
  stupid
i'm travis
  travis

no, i'm smart
  smart
i'm creative
  creative
i'm emmitt
  emmitt

no, i'm lazy
  lazy?
frustrated
uninspired
  did you say lazy?

cool, i'm cool!
  i wouldn't call travis lazy

right?
  no, i don't think you're right

cool!
  no, you're not cool

cool!
  no, you're not
huh?
  no, you're not cool
  but you're not lazy either
  okay?

you don't agree?
  no, i don't agree
  i just don't

well shame on you
  no, no no no

because you're not doing anything
better, better
will you ever get better?
will you ever get better?
will i ever get better?
will i ever get better? ...

  shame on you
  because you're not doing anything
  better than the bum
  sitting under the bridge
  playing with his knife and stick
  making little stick figures
  to amuse himself
  because that's all he can do

  how many people are gonna witness
  those little whittlings that he does?

  how many people are going to witness
  these whittlings?

  i guess i'll drink my glass of wine
  and figure it out (burp)
  my draught of wine
  okay i'm padden myself on the back now
  ha ha
  eww!

that was an unpleasant noise
  that was horrible, gosh

the entire cd was an unpleasant noise
can you sing it with me everybody?
  huh?

travis, we've had enough
travis, shut up
travis, stop killing your songs

how come no one's singing along?
  to what?

how come no one's singing along?
i'll get you to sing along
1,2,3,4
travis, we've had enough
travis, please shut up
travis, you're killing your songs
travis, you're doing it wrong
travis, we've had enough
travis, you please shut up
travis...

how come you're not singing along?
  i was
everyone's supposed to be singing along to travis
  i was
come on
  but hey, okay, fine

1,2,3,4
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
  travis...

yeah, i gotta simplify
i gotta make it really simple for you guys
because you're stupid, okay?
    uh, what???
  no no, don't insult your audience, travis
    who you're calling stupid?

why not?  if i think they're stupid...
  you don't think they're stupid

    where's the fast forward button?

  you're just annoyed that they're not
  singing along with your stupid...
no, no, don't call me stupid
  no, you're just annoyed that they're not
  singing along with your a capella

    shhhh, click, next

you guys have one more chance to sing along
and it's gonna be a very simple lyric
it's gonna be "travis please shut up"
i'm gonna repeat it
1,2,3,4
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
travis, please shut up
travis...
  huh?

did you even tap your foot to that?
  yeah, i was tapping
no?
  yes, i was
  i was tapping
  and i was breathing and everything
all right, i get the hint, goodbye
  don't acuse me of not being a fan
  because i'm a fan, travis
  i am your fan
  you've got at least 1.0 fans
  for now at least
  

User Comments:

  1. "uhmmmm......." - Giovanna (2010-07-22)