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: Songs to Sleep By
  • Artist: Tripecac
  • Timespan: 1988-1993
  • Theme: best of ipecac, anchovies, tripecac
  • Length: 91:28
  • Tracks: 35
  • Lyrics: 33
  • MP3s: 35 play all locally
  • Rating: (none) rate this album

Track List

# title lyrics time download listen started recorded rating
1 Trek (comments) [IPECAC] lyrics 1:26 download listen locally 1988-06-?? 1993-04-26 (none)
2 Better Drumsticks (comments) [IPECAC] lyrics 2:06 download listen locally 1988-06-?? 1993-04-26 (none)
3 Apostrophe Song (comments) [IPECAC] lyrics 1:36 download listen locally 1988-09-10 1993-04-26 (none)
4 Five Through Night (comments) [IPECAC] lyrics 1:21 download listen locally 1988-11-15 1993-04-26 (none)
5 Tunes from the Bottle (comments) [IPECAC] lyrics 2:10 download listen locally 1989-02-1? 1993-04-26 (none)
6 Downpour (comments) [IPECAC] lyrics 4:34 download listen locally 1990-01-?? 1993-04-26 (none)
7 Party Chatter Excerpt [Anchovies] lyrics 0:51 download listen locally 1989-12-21 1993-04-26 (none)
8 Anchovy Rock (sped up) [Anchovies] - 2:52 download listen locally 1989-12-21 1993-04-26 (none)
9 Fish Time (comments) [Anchovies] lyrics 3:27 download listen locally 1989-??-?? 1993-04-26 (none)
10 Christmas in Cancun (comments) [Anchovies] lyrics 3:42 download listen locally 1989-??-?? 1993-04-26 (none)
11 How Ya Is'n Intro [Anchovies] lyrics 0:59 download listen locally - 1993-04-26 (none)
12 How Ya Is'n (2) [Anchovies] lyrics 3:42 download listen locally - 1990-03-?? (none)
13 All My Love Intro (1993) lyrics 0:56 download listen locally - 1993-04-26 (none)
14 All My Love lyrics 4:11 download listen locally - 1991-0?-?? (none)
15 Dairy Poops Intro lyrics 0:32 download listen locally - 1993-04-26 (none)
16 The Dairy Poops lyrics 3:42 download listen locally - 1992-05-05 (none)
17 Painted Friend lyrics 4:42 download listen locally - 1993-01-01
18 IPECAC is Dead Intro lyrics 0:42 download listen locally - 1993-04-26 (none)
19 IPECAC is Dead lyrics 1:44 download listen locally - 1993-02-??
20 The Flop lyrics 4:45 download listen locally - 1993-02-12
21 BITLOTA Intro lyrics 0:09 download listen locally - 1993-04-26 (none)
22 Eaten by Mimi lyrics 5:07 download listen locally - 1993-0?-??
23 The LoveFish - 4:29 download listen locally - 1993-0?-??
24 Narration lyrics 0:35 download listen locally - 1993-0?-?? (none)
25 Anand's Journey lyrics 5:30 download listen locally - 1993-0?-?? (none)
26 Allen and Luke lyrics 4:52 download listen locally - 1993-0?-?? (none)
27 Travis and Jon lyrics 2:11 download listen locally - 1993-0?-?? (none)
28 Testing the Cup lyrics 2:44 download listen locally - 1993-0?-?? (none)
29 Almost There lyrics 3:03 download listen locally - 1993-0?-?? (none)
30 The Battle lyrics 1:41 download listen locally - 1993-0?-?? (none)
31 Gonna Die Today lyrics 1:46 download listen locally - 1993-0?-?? (none)
32 Going Home lyrics 4:25 download listen locally - 1993-04-25 (none)
33 Die Today Reprise lyrics 0:08 download listen locally - 1993-04-25 (none)
34 STSB1 Outro lyrics 0:58 download listen locally - 1993-04-26 (none)
35 Christmas in Cancun 2 lyrics 3:50 download listen locally - 1992-12-25 (none)
Total 91:28 play all locally album rating: (none)

Notes

This was my first "greatest hits" collection since Best Of IPECAC (1988) and Best Of IPECAC 2 (1989). This set includes songs from IPECAC, The Master Anchovies, and of course Tripecac (my solo stuff).

This tape also contained the entire Band in the Land of the Anchovies mini-album from College Collage (1993). I had completed BITLOTA right before I compiled Songs to Sleep By, and was very excited about those songs.

By the time I remade Songs to Sleep By in 1997, I had recorded two more tapes of songs, many of which I regarded as superior to anything on Band in the Land of the Anchovies; none of the BITLOTA songs made it onto the new version of Songs to Sleep By.

The sound quality is pretty lousy, since these are recordings of recordings. I sped up some of the Master Anchovies songs, perhaps to make us sound more professional!

It's funny how many of my commentaries start with the words "all right". Must've been my words of the day or something.

This is the original ASCII tape sleeve for the 1993 version of Songs to Sleep By:

+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                                                                    |
|       This was recorded with DOLBY NOISE REDUCTION set to ON.      |
|                                                                    |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                         "Songs to Sleep By"                        |
| A Brief Glimpse Into the World of Travis, IPECAC and the Anchovies |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                                                 Z    Z             |
|        Songs                              Z                        |
|                              . . . .  Z  .  .                      |
|            To            .          .  .     .                     |
|                        ._   ---      ..   . . .                    |
|               Sleep     .             .  .    .                    |
|                         .            .  .    .    _________________|
|                   By     .         .   .         |   __   | = - - -|
| . . . ..  . . .  ..   .    '. .  .    .     .    |  /  /  |  ----- |
|     .                              . .     .     | |    | | | o o ||
|    .                      .       ..             |  /__/  | |_ _ _||
|    .       .. . . . .  .       .  .      .       |________|________|
|    .    . .                  .   .  .  .               |           |
|.  . . ...  .  .  .  .  .  .                            |    c 1993 |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                           INTRODUCTION                             |
|    "In June, 1988 the group 'Apostrophe' was formed."  This was    |
| the genesis of Travis Emmitt's musical "career," if you'd call it  |
| that.  Truth is, though five years have passed since the fateful   | See Note 1
| formation of Apostrophe (later renamed IPECAC), Travis has yet     |
| to sell any albums, perform professionally, or even get a song     | See Note 2
| played on the radio.  So hesitate before you call it a "career,"   |
| but don't go so far as to think his songs aren't worth listening   |
| to just because they haven't gotten much publicity.                |
|    Now, sit back and relax to the songs you are about to hear.     |
| Don't relax too much or you'll fall asleep.  That wouldn't be too  |
| good the first time around - you'll never know what you've dived   |
| into.  Save the snoozing for a rainy night when you're sick of     |
| the whining strains of Enya and you want a real man's nap.         |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| PHASE I:  IPECAC 1988-90                                           |
|    IPECAC, originally known as Apostrophe, was a two-person        |
| rock/jazz/funk/rap/reggae band consisting of Travis Emmitt and Jon |
| Friesen.  Both musicians played a wide variety of instruments,     |
| but the "normal" configuration was Jon on the saxophone and Trav   |
| on keyboard, lyrics and mellophone.  IPECAC wrote and recorded a   |
| total of ten albums over a span of about eight months in late      |
| 1988 and early 1989.  Here is a handful of their better songs.     | See Note 3
|                                                                    |
|            "Trek" and "Better Drumsticks" from GOURMET             |
|               "Apostrophe Song" from BEST OF IPECAC                |
|         "Five Through Night" from LEAPING LEPER LIMOUSINE          |
|            "Tunes From the Bottle" from FAKE REVERB II             |
|               "Downpour" from LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL                |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| PHASE II:  Master Anchovies 1989                                   | See Note 4
|    IPECAC didn't last forever (thankfully, you might say).  But    |
| that did not mean they stopped playing together. Instead, Jon and  |
| Trav and a few friends started a new band, which they decided to   |
| call The Master Anchovies.  They still played originals, and even  |
| some IPECAC songs, but now found themselves with five musicians    |
| at their disposal rather than two; they had a drummer, two sax-    |
| players, two keyboardists and plenty of mikes.  So in a few short  |
| months the Master Anchovies had built themselves a five or six     |
| song repertoire which they occasinally performed for friends,      |
| family and even a couple parties.  Here are some examples:         |
|                                                                    |
|        "Anchovy Rock," "Fish Time," "Christmas In Cancun,"         |
|      and "How Ya Is'n?" from various live Anchovy Recordings       |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| PHASE III:  Travis 1990-1993                                       |
|    Eventually, Jon got tired of playing with the Master Anchovies. |
| He left them for a spot in a REAL band, which actually played gigs |
| at bars and weddings and theatrical productions.  The rest of      |
| the Anchovies were left hanging.  With their main sax player gone, |
| the band lost the will to continue.  A year later they headed off  |
| to college.  That heralded the end of the Master Anchovies.  But   | See Note 5
| Travis still had the urge to write songs, so he bought himself a   |
| keyboard-workstation and turned his creative juices loose.         |
|                                                                    |
|                  "All My Love" from 1990 ARCHIVES                  | See Note 6
|           "The Dairy Poops" from 1992 COLLEGE COLLECTION           |
|     "Painted Friend" and "The Flop" from 1993 COLLEGE COLLAGE      |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
|               THE BAND IN THE LAND OF THE ANCHOVIES                |
|    This is Travis Emmitt's newest creation.  Its ten songs are     |
| based on the screenplay The Band in the Land of the Anchovies,     |
| which was written by Travis in the summer of 1990 on a boring      | See Note 7
| vacation in Paris.                                                 |
|                                                                    |
|          "Eaten By Mimi," "LoveFish," "Anand's Journey,"           |
|       "Allen and Luke," "Travis and Jon," "Testing the Cup,"       |
|    "Almost There," "The Battle," "Gonna Die Today, "Goin' Home"    |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
|            All songs were written, performed, recorded,            |
|                mixed and mastered by Travis Emmitt,                |
|                   IPECAC or The Master Anchovies                   |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
      

Notes

  1. As of 2004, it's been 16 years since IPECAC started... Wow!
  2. During college I played a couple of my songs on the radio (ahhhh, the power of being a DJ...) and even sold a few copies of Songs to Sleep By to friends. However, since I've never supported myself off my music, I don't think I can regard myself as "professional"... Yet...
  3. The date range does not account for Live At Carnegie Hall, which was recorded in January 1990. This could either be because I forgot about Live at Carnegie Hall or because I regarded it as an EP rather than an album because it only had four songs. Nowadays, I regard Live at Carnegie as a mini-album, since the song are so long...
  4. Actually, I think The Master Anchovies recorded in January 1990 as well, but I'm not sure.
  5. During summers and winters home from college, I managed to cajole the Anchovies (minus Jon) into reunion practices. Never knowing which practice would be our last, I recorded everything we played, and the results are the Dead Anchovies Sessions, which comprise half of the entire Anchovies catalog. I included four Dead Anchovies songs on the 1997 version of Songs to Sleep By.
  6. The Archives album included songs from January 1991 as well.
  7. I don't know why I said the trip to Paris was "boring". That "vacation" turned out to be a very memorable summer, both for sightseeing and in terms of creative productivity. In addition to Band in the Land of the Anchovies I wrote three huge (100+ page) stories and the lyrics for a few songs.

Participants

Name Performed Wrote
Travis Emmitt keyboards, percussion, mellophone, Roland TR-505, vocals, comments all music and lyrics except where noted

Songs

Trek (comments) [IPECAC]

This was "Trek (2)" (from Gourmet) with my commentary over it. I was introducing the first Songs to Sleep By album.

Lyrics to "Trek (comments)":

[music starts]

COMMENTS:
  hello
  this is "songs to sleep by"
  i'm travis emmitt and i'll be narrating this album

  what we're listening to now is entitled "trek"
  and it was the very first ipecac song
  it was recorded in 1988
  and at the time i thought it was a masterpiece
  great stuff, huh?

  anyway, we're gonna move on
  and we're gonna to listen to a pretty groovy song
  entitled "better drumsticks"
  which i didn't actually write
  my friend jon wrote
  and, uh,
  it was one of the more upbeat songs on our first album by ipecac
  and the first album was entitled "gourmet"

  so here it is: "better drumsticks"
  

Better Drumsticks (comments) [IPECAC]

This was "Better Drumsticks" (from Gourmet) plus some comments at the end introducing the next song.

Lyrics to "Better Drumsticks (comments)":

VERSE 1:
  you want chivalry
  you lose women's rights
  you want faster days
  you get slower nights

  you want stonger arms
  you get longer fights
  you want more attention
  you get brighter lights

  you want smaller taxes
  we have larger debts
  you want fewer missiles
  they make stronger threats

  you want easy lives
  you'll have more regrets
  you want impossible dreams
  well, that's what you get

CHORUS:
  if you want a quick drug
  you'll get a life-long low
  if you want a quick drug
  you'll get a life-long low

  it's so true

  you want chivalry

[repeat bits of the above]

COMMENTS:
  all right
  here's another ipecac song entitled "the apostrophe song"
  which we recorded a couple months after "better drumsticks"
  

Apostrophe Song (comments) [IPECAC]

This was a shortened version of "Apostrophe Song (2)" (from Best of IPECAC) plus some comments at the very end.

Lyrics to "Apostrophe Song (comments)":

INTRO:
  in june 1988 the group Apostrophe was formed

VERSE:
  hear us ring, see us swing
  all of us dancing the bong-a-long
  hear us sing, see our zing
  'postrophe crushin' 'cause we be king

  hey don't ding the pots
  please don't dent the bowls
  try to spare the box
  look at the holes

CHORUS:
  'postrophe crushin' 'cause we be king
  'postrophe crushin' 'cause we can sing
  'postrophe crushin' 'cause we can rhyme
  'postrophe crushin' all of the time

VERSE:
  crushin' crushin' crushin' crushin'
  crushin' crushin' crushin' crushin'
  and bustin' bustin' bustin' bustin'
  bustin' bustin' etc.

  crushin' crushin' crushin' crushin'
  crushin' crushin' crushin' crushin'
  bustin' bustin' bustin' bustin'
  bustin' bustin' bustin' bustin'

COMMENTS:
  all right
  that was "apostrophe"
  

Five Through Night (comments) [IPECAC]

  • artist: IPECAC
  • started: 1988-11-15
  • recorded: 1993-04-26 (guess)
  • length: 1:21
  • Travis Emmitt - Casio CT-310 (drums), piano, comments | wrote: music
  • Jon Friesen - sax
  • rating: (none) rate this song
  • mp3: download listen locally

This was a short version of "Five Through Night" (from Leaping Leper Limousine) plus a lot of commentary.

Lyrics to "Five Through Night (comments)":

COMMENTS:
  eventually we got into the piano and sax sound,
  the more natural sounding combination

  here's a little song called "five through night"
  it was recorded in late '88

  during this time period we were more given into the instrumentals
    than the songs with lyrics
  that's probably because i can't sing
  neither can jon; he's always been microphone-shy
  except for his sax playing

  all right
  now you'll see the drastic improvement in our sound
  and here's something from 1989
  and it is called "tunes from the bottle"
  

Tunes from the Bottle (comments) [IPECAC]

  • artist: IPECAC
  • started: 1989-02-1?
  • recorded: 1993-04-26 (guess)
  • length: 2:10
  • Travis Emmitt - Casio HT-6000, mellophone, vocals, comments | wrote: music, lyrics
  • Jon Friesen - sax
  • Art Wheeler | wrote: music
  • rating: (none) rate this song
  • mp3: download listen locally

This was a slightly truncated version of "Tunes from the Bottle" (from Fake Reverb 2) plus some comments at the beginning and end.

Lyrics to "Tunes from the Bottle (comments)":

COMMENTS:
  well, maybe not that drastic

VERSE:
  i was walking home late one evening
  stumbled on a dead man lying in the gutter
  his face was gaunt; he had died of hunger
  stuck in his hand was an empty bottle

CHORUS:
  there was a man, a man and his bottle
  they shared their emptiness, shared their sorrows
  now I see that dead man's bottle
  songs of sorrow, tunes from the bottle

VERSE:
  it tells the story of a middle-class man who
  had potential but no ambition
  he quit his job and picked up gambling,
  found success in acquisition

CHORUS:
  there was a man, a man and his bottle
  they shared their secrets, shared their sorrows
  now I hold that dead man's bottle
  i hear songs or sorrow, the tunes from the bottle

VERSE:
  on New Year's Eve he got so wasted,
  bet all he owned on twenty-one
  would have been rich if his luck persisted
  but he pushed too far - the dealer won

VERSE:
  eventually, he turned to drinking
  drink to escape, Drink to forget
  the rest of his life he slept with his bottle
  he died in his sleep, choked with regret

CHORUS:
  there was a man, a man and his bottle
  they shared their dreams, shared their sorrows
  all he had was his empty bottle
  all I have is this empty bottle

COMMENT:
  all right
  you hear that horn?
  that's a mellophone
  that was my wind instrument that i used to play
  ok
  

Downpour (comments) [IPECAC]

This was a truncated version of "Downpour" (from Live at Carnegie Hall) plus some comments at the beginning and end.

Lyrics to "Downpour (comments)":

COMMENTS:
  now we're getting into later 1989
  on towards the end of the ipecac combination

  and we have a song entitled "downpour"
  off of their quote "live at carnegie hall" album
  all right, here we go, "downpour"
  i'm not gonna play the whole thing because it's like 6 minutes long
  6 minutes long
  uh, this is one of the last songs ever done by ipecac

ANNOUNCER:
  carnegie hall is proud to have: ipecac

COMMENTS:
  all right
  that was "downpour" by ipecac
  once of the very, very, very last songs they ever did

  um, what i'm gonna play next for you is the master anchovies
  and that's a band that jon and i left ipecac to form
  and we played, i think 2 gigs at a parties

  and i'll start off with one of the, uh,
  one of the songs at a party
  okay?

  this is the master anchovies
  and, uh, i forget the name of the song
  but we'll find out in a second once i begin to play it
  

Party Chatter Excerpt [Anchovies]

This is a sped-up excerpt from the opening "Chatter (1)" on The Party. There's no extra comments. It's here for ambience only.

Lyrics to "Party Chatter Excerpt":

LUKE:
  trav, are we gonna..

TRAV:
  ok, everybody

    [chatter]

TRAV:
  allen, you ready?
  listennn...

???:
  are we ready?

???:
  go
  

Anchovy Rock (sped up) [Anchovies]

  • artist: Anchovies
  • started: 1989-12-21
  • recorded: 1993-04-26 (guess)
  • length: 2:52
  • Anand or Allen - drums
  • Travis Emmitt - Yamaha PSS-470 | wrote: music
  • Jon Friesen - alto sax
  • Luke Marshall - Yamaha DX21
  • rating: (none) rate this song
  • mp3: download listen locally

This was a sped-up version of "Anchovy Rock (2)" (from The Party). There's no extra comments, but it's interesting to hear how the energy level is increased thanks to the sped-up effect.

Fish Time (comments) [Anchovies]

  • artist: Anchovies
  • started: 1989-??-??
  • recorded: 1993-04-26 (guess)
  • length: 3:27
  • Anand or Allen - drums
  • Travis Emmitt - Yamaha PSS-470, mellophone, clapping, comments | wrote: music
  • Jon Friesen - alto sax | wrote: music
  • Luke Marshall - Yamaha DX21
  • rating: (none) rate this song
  • mp3: download listen locally

This was a sped-up and shortened version of "Fish Time (2)" (from Master Practice 2) plus comments in the beginning, middle, and end.

Lyrics to "Fish Time (comments)":

COMMENTS:
  all right that was "anchovy rock",
  taken directly from one of our two parties
  our gigs that we actually played at

  the next song is called "fish time"
  it's another master anchovies tune
  and i hope you enjoy it

[music starts]

  um, as you can tell, we didn't have sound man
  we'd just start playing and hoping the mix works out
  sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't

[music ends]

  all right, that was "fish time"
  

Christmas in Cancun (comments) [Anchovies]

This was a sped-up, shortened version of "Christmas in Cancun (2)" (from Master Practice 2) plus some comments at the beginning.

Lyrics to "Christmas in Cancun (comments)":

COMMENTS:
  all right
  this is song entitled "christmas in cancun"
  um, it was the band's favorite song that we played
  and so i have to play it for you too

[music starts]
  all right, that was "christmas in cancun"
  

How Ya Is'n Intro [Anchovies]

More chatter, this time before the final Master Anchovies song on Songs to Sleep By. I decided not to record on top of any more songs because their sound quality was getting better. Lots of "uh"s. I was probably multi-tasking.

Lyrics to "How Ya Is'n Intro":

COMMENTS:
  ok
  well you can see how far we'd come
  since those early days with "trek" and "better drumsticks"

  anyways, um, the sound quality's gonna improve from here on out
  i'm gonna play the last anchovies song, entitled "how ya is'n"
  it's one of the very few anchovies songs where we actually have vocals
  um, and it's about, it's just a silly little rap

  anyway, um, ok, here we go
  i'm, i'm,
  from now on you're not gonna have the convenient little blend
  you know, one song blending into talking, blending into another
  because, uh, i can, i can
  i can afford to do that with the older stuff
  because the old stuff's sound quality was pretty rotten to begin with
  um, but as the sound quality increases
  uh, i hestitate to, uh, to, uh, to sacrifice it, uh,
  just for the sake of convenient little blends like that

  so i'm gonna be recording everything now directly
  so, uh, anyway, this is, this is "how ya is'n" and, uh, uh
  it's by the master anchovies
  i'll stop talking
  

How Ya Is'n (2) [Anchovies]

  • artist: Anchovies
  • recorded: 1990-03-??
  • length: 3:42
  • Anand or Allen - drums
  • Travis Emmitt - Yamaha PSS-470, vocals | wrote: music, lyrics
  • Jon Friesen - alto sax | wrote: lyrics
  • Luke Marshall - Yamaha DX21
  • rating: (none) rate this song
  • mp3: download listen locally

The chorus is more established compared to the one at The Party. For some reason Jon didn't sing his two little parts. The solos are nice, though.

My vocals are light, not too worn out. I extended "his" a long time but didn't shriek it. Not a bad way to end our first [recorded] practice of 1990.

Lyrics to "How Ya Is'n (2)":

INTRO:
  and it goes a little something like this
  hit it!

VERSE 1:
  cruisin' down the street i got to the place
  where the weirdos hang out and i got my mace ready
  for an incident 'cause you never know
  what a blind quadroplegic morphodite might show you

  i kept my distance from the darkest alley
  where the schitzofrentic ninjas were having a rally
  i heard a noise and i spun around
  but couldn't [see who] made that sound

CHORUS:
  hey jon
  hey jon, how ya is'n?

VERSE 2:
  suddenly i saw what i really had feared
  worse than kleptomaniacs, he really was weird
  behind him was a trail of arms and legs
  he stuck out his tongue to show his underarms

  he said "you got a nice tan but i got a nice blue
  that's right, i'm a leper, you can be a leper too"
  i said, "god you're slimy" and walked my own way
  the guy was gross enough to finish my day

CHORUS:
  i said:
  hey jon, how ya is'n?
  hey jon, how ya is'n?

VERSE 3:
  i kept on walking to find my friend jon
  the leper had disappeared; i hoped he was gone
  i went to jon's place and he was waiting for me
  i was glad to be there, with a capital "e"

  i said, "hey jon, what's shaking?"
    [silence from Jon]
  i said "girlies!"
    [silence from Jon]

SOLOS

CHORUS:
  i said:
  hey jon, how ya is'n?
  hey jon, how ya is'n?

VERSE 4:
  i saw an ant by the side of the road
  beside him was a rabbit and a big fat toad
  i asked him to my house and see if he did
  he came instead with some friends of his
  

All My Love Intro (1993)

This separated the Anchovies songs from the Tripecac songs on Songs to Sleep By. It also served as an introduction for "All My Love" (from Archives).

Lyrics to "All My Love Intro (1993)":

COMMENT:
  all righty
  that's the end of the anchovies for now

  ok, after the anchovies split, because of jon
  as i explain in the little,
  the little thing that goes with this, the little cover
  um, after the anchovies split i kind of took to myself
  and i made some songs using my keyboard

  i've got lots of equipment now
  man, i started with a little, junky little casio keyboard
  that had preset rhythms and stuff
  that's what you hear in the ipecac, you know, the little fake rhythms

  and then i bought my friend anand's keyboard for $50
  and it was okay
  that's what we played in the anchovies

  then it was time for me to get a new keyboard
  so i bought my $1600 workstation which i have now
  and you'll be able to tell the difference in sound quality
  in this next song, which is entitled "all my love"
  this comes from 1990
  and it's me by myself
  ok?
  bye
  

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
  

Dairy Poops Intro

This was a quick intro to "The Dairy Poops" (from College Collection).

Lyrics to "Dairy Poops Intro":

COMMENT:
  all righty
  that was "all my love" from 1990
  all right, um
  after that i continued writing on through 1993, which is now

  so i'm gonna play a bunch of songs in a row for you
  the first one is called "the dairy poops"
  then we'll have "my painted friend" and "the flop", time permitting
  i can always put stuff on the second side

  all right, so here we go, um
  there's not much explanation now
  'cause this is all kind of recent, relatively recent, 1992-1993
  so enjoy the music
  

The Dairy Poops

I wrote this for my then-girlfriend Beth, who was lactose intolerant. The voice in the beginning is from the end of the Voice Mail that she left me. The music is catchy and the lyrics are funny, if a little gross.

Lyrics to "The Dairy Poops":

INTRO: [beth]
  so call me, call me, call me, call me
  call me, call me, call me, call me, call me!

VERSE:
  oh plain vanilla,
  strawberry, chocolate
  what is your flavor?
  do you have a favorite?

  or is ice cream too rich?
  you want yoghurt instead?
  allergic to lactose?
  or is it all in your head?

  rocky road,
  egg nog and milk shake
  keep you running to the bathroom
  make you stay awake

  are you terrified of milk
  of cheeses and cream?
  allergic to lactose?
  or is it all a dream?

CHORUS:
  you've got the poops
  the dairy poops
  you've got the poops
  the dairy poops
  you've got the poops
  the dairy poops
  you've got the poops
  the dairy poops

VERSE:
  you're allergic to milk,
  but you're still sexy anyway
  i'd pick you over cheese eaters
  on any and every day

  you've got dairy ease
  to keep you safe and satisfied
  and here's a box of depends
  in case emergencies arise

  so don't be ashamed
  you've got your bowels safe and sound
  but don't forget your pills
  if you want me around

  now smile my friend
  wipe the shame from your eyes
  i'll still hang around you
  after i milk this song dry
  no pun intented

CHORUS:
  now smile and say the poops
  now say the poops
  poops!
  you've got the poops, you've got the poops
  poops!
  now smile and say the, say the poops
  poops! poops! poops! poops!
  for life

VERSE:
  oh plain vanilla,
  strawberry, chocolate
  what is your flavor?
  do you have a favorite?

  or is ice cream too rich?
  you want yoghurt instead?
  allergic to lactose?
  or is it all in your head?

  rocky road,
  egg nog and milk shake
  keep you running to the bathroom
  make you stay awake

  are you terrified of milk
  of cheeses and cream?
  allergic to lactose?
  or is it all a dream?

CHORUS:
  you've got the poops
  you've got the poops, you've got the poops
  you've got the poops
  now smile and say the poops
  no pun intended
  now smile and say the poops
  you've got the poops, you've got the poops
  you've got the poops, you've got the poops
  you've got the poops, you've got the poops
  etc.
  

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
  

IPECAC is Dead Intro

I couldn't fit "The Flop" on the first side of Songs to Sleep By, so I picked a very short song: "IPECAC is Dead". I introduced it here. For some reason I didn't include it on the track listing for the tape.

Lyrics to "IPECAC is Dead Intro":

COMMENT:
  all right
  that was "my painted friend"

  all right
  it doesn't look like i have enough room to put "the flop" on this side
  but i'll put another short-short-short song entitled "ipecac is dead"
  it's not on the cover
  this is a bonus bcause we ran out of time

  um
  now i'm gonna tell you a little bit about what's on the other songs
  on the other side i'm gonna have something called
  "the band in the land of the anchovies"
  now it's based after a play that i wrote in 1990
  and all the songs, err, they call up the - follow the story line

  so i won't do any talking on the other side
  it'll just be "the flop"
  and then it'll be "band in the land of the anchovies"

  and i hope you enjoy it
  and until then, this is travis
  bye
  

IPECAC is Dead

This little ditty is a belated funeral dirge for IPECAC, which had disbanded in 1990. I think my hope was to finally "put the lid on IPECAC's coffin" so that I wouldn't write any more songs about Jon or my old music. That's ironic, because the number of songs about Jon (and the rest of the Master Anchovies) dramatically increased over the next couple of years.

The shaker was one of the few pieces of acoustic percussion in Tripecac. I don't remember what I used for it.

Lyrics to "IPECAC is Dead":

VERSE:
  ipecac is dead, my friend
  never gonna sing about lepers again
  never gonna bang on pots and pans
  it's all a part of the past

  ipecac is gone and so is jon
  i'm never gonna hear his saxophone
  wailing and purring its pretty swan-song
  i knew we could never last

CHORUS:
  ipecac, how sweet a syrum we were
  ipecac, how smooth a groove we could conjure
  ipecac, hovering on the edge of celebrity
  ipecac is dead, my friend
  just like the master anchovies

VERSE:
  ipecac backwards is "cacepi"
  sounds a bit like cacaphony
  never mind the euphony
  it never was really there

  ipecac was quite a combination
  jon on the sax, the pianos, and drums
  trav on keyboards and mellophone
  what an awesome sounding pair

CHORUS:
  ipecac, how sweet a syrum we were
  ipecac, how smooth a groove we could conjure
  ipecac, hovering on the edge of celebrity
  ipecac is dead, my friends
  but don't mourn for me
  

The Flop

This is about behaving crude and immature as a way of getting attention without seeming pretentious, although one could argue that a 20-year-old acting like a 10-year old is pretentious. This "regressive behavior" had been a habit of mine for a long time and was, I felt, just as immature as the fashion-babies in "Funny Head".

Some of the lyrics are pretty disgusting if you pay attention, but their juvenility is part of the story.

Lyrics to "The Flop":

VERSE 1:
  i'm introducing the flop, formally called the dead anchovy flop
  where you flop on one side, wriggle a bit and then stop

  well, another name for this song is the dead anchovy ditty
  it's cute, it's fast, it's fun and all...
  and it's a sure way of winning your pity.

CHORUS:
  i'm doin' the flop (flop!)
  the dead anchovy flop
  oh, we're doin' the flop
  the dead anchovy flop

VERSE 2:
  when you're brave enough to manage to make a fool out of yourself
  but you're not man enough to face the consequences
  and all you wanna do is curl into a little fetus-ball
  and hide away inside her womb and numb your senses

  as a last resort you make a few retorts
  and then retreat into your mother's warm defenses
  and you think you're safe, that you've escaped disgrace
  but instead you flow out with her menses

CHORUS:
  you're doin' the flop
    (that's so gross!)
  the dead anchovy flop
    (jeesh, i'm floppy now...  gnawt)
  oh we're doin' the flop
    (gnawt is right; travis, you're sick)
  the dead anchovy flop
    (let's play some solos to shut trav up)
  make like a dead fish

SOLOS:
  go trav
  go trav
  go trav, go travis...
  1, 2... 1, 2, 3, 4...

CHORUS:
  i'm doin' the flop
    "okay trav - you gonna cooperate now?"
  the dead anchovy flop
    "you guys don't like me anymore."
  oh i'm doin' the flop
    "well, try to be a little cleaner, trav"
  the dead anchovy flop
    "nobody likes me, everybody hates me..."

VERSE 3:
  well okay, fine.  i think i understand.
  i've gotta start acting like a full grown man
  no i don't wanna do it!  i don't wanna grow up!
  cause i'm a toys r us kid!  and i'm gonna jump!

CHORUS:
  i'm gonna jump!
  i'm really gonna jump.
  i'm gonna hurl myself right over this balcony
  i'm really gonna do it - i'm really gonna jump!
  make like a dead fish

BRIDGE:
  ahhhhh!!!!!!!!

  well, i'm dead.         (that's nice)
  are you happy?
  feelin' guilty...  yet?
  see my broken neck?     (so?)

  i'm floppy!             (who cares?)
  like a dead, dead fish  (go away)
  have i got your pity?   (no!)
  have i got my wish?

  oh it's all a game
  for your sympathy                  (fine)
  and all i really want you to do is (what?)
  pay attention to me                (no!)

  now i'll come out and say it:   (you're a geek!)
  i admit that i'm uncool         (d**n right)
  i hate myself for being a wimp  (go away!)
  so you can pity me even more!   (you suck!)

CHORUS:
  i did the flop
  the dead anchovy flop   (you're just amazing)
  i did the flop
  the dead anchovy flop

VERSE 4: [spoken:]
  all solos were recorded first-take.
    (this was recorded february 12th 1993)
  i've got my roland drum machine, my yamaha keyboard
    (it was recorded in my room in williamsburg virginia)
  my reverb box, my four track...
    (in my dorm room, just me, no on else, solo...)
  sheesh.  i'm so sick of this song.
    (me too!)

CHORUS:
  we all did the flop
    (all right)
  the dead anchovy flop
    (all right, that's cool)
  yeah we all did the flop
    (all right, uh-huh)
  the dead anchovy flop
    (uh-huh, sing it again, trav)

  this song is a flop
    (i agree with you, i agree with you)
  a really bad flop
    (big one too)
  this song is a flop
    (you got that right)
  so it's gotta stop
  

BITLOTA Intro

This was a super-quick intro to the Band in the Land of the Anchovies (BITLOTA) songs on College Collage. These songs ate up most of the second half of Songs to Sleep By.

Lyrics to "BITLOTA Intro":

COMMENT:
  all right
  that was a flop
  and now the moment you've been waiting for:
  "the band in the land of the anchovies"

  talk to you in about 40 minutes
  

Eaten by Mimi

This kicks off the The Band in the Land of the Anchovies (BITLOTA) mini-album, which includes the rest of the songs on this CD.

In this song, our band (the Master Anchovies) orders pizza. Somehow we get eaten by Anand's cat (Mimi). We wake up in a strange land...

Lyrics to "Eaten by Mimi":

VERSE 1:
  hello, this is travis and i've a story to tell
  it's about five buddies whom we know pretty well
  they belong to a band, the master anchovies
  and they're practicing real hard for next week's party

CHORUS:
  they're playing, they're playing real cool
  and they're sounding, they're sounding
  they're sounding, they're sounding so cool

VERSE 2:
  they start getting hungry so they decide to take a break
  they head over to the kitchen and they find they're too late
  it's empty, and what can they do?  what can they do?
  it's empty, bereft of food.  jon says:

CHORUS:
  "please, please, please, let's order a pizza
  please, please, please, let's order a pizza
  pepperoni and mushrooms on our pizza
  green peppers and meatballs and extra cheese-ah"
  how 'bout some anchovies?

VERSE 3:
  thirty minutes later the pizza comes and they dig in
  five starving puppies stuffing their faces, cramming it in
  and now, suddenly there's a knock on the door
  and now, suddenly there's a [knock! knock! knock! knock!]

CHORUS:
  who, who, who is it?  who's at the door?
  who, who, who is it?  who's at the door?
  nando walked real slowly, across the floor
  he put his hand on the knob and then he opened the door

BRIDGE:
  ahhhh!  it's huge!

  she was fat; she was grey
  she was gross; she had fleas
  she was mimi; she was hungry
  and her favorite food was anchovies!

  chomp!  chomp!  chomp!
  chomp!  chomp!  chomp!

  she devoured anand in just one bite
  trav, luke, jon and allen cowered in fright
  they stood transfixed while they should have fled
  but they couldn't move, so mimi gobbled them up instead!

  chomp!  chomp!  chomp!  down the hatch!
  chomp!  chomp!  chomp!  down the hatch!
  down the hack
  woah!
  hit it!

VERSE 4:
  it was dark in mimi's stomach, and unseasonably warm
  anand picked himself up from the muck on the floor
  "oh god, this is messy, oh this is messy..."
  "i know," sighed travis.  "well, where are we now?"

CHORUS:
  "i, i, i, i think we're in mimi"
  "i, i, i, i think we're in her tummy"
  "well," allen asked.  "well, what do we do now?"
  "wait a sec!" luke cried.  "i got my pocket trout!"

BRIDGE 2:  [narration]
  what a sight
  sheer beauty (beautiful)
  an entire landscape
  with lakes, trees, hills
  it was an entire world
  inside of mimi

ENDING:
  we're the band in the land of the anchovies
  we're the band in the land of the anchovies
  we're the band in the land of the anchovies
  we're the band in the land of the anchovies
  etc...
  

The LoveFish

This is an instrumental "panorama". It tries to establish a "deep", mysterious mood, which clashes with the rest of the BITLOTA songs, since the story and music are so silly and hyper.

The ambient noises are Beth and I rustling papers and talking quietly in the background. It may have been intentional, but I probably just accidentally left a microphone on during recording.

Narration

This is just my reading of part of the story. It's on here for anyone who's actually interested in the plot. Hello? Hello???

Lyrics to "Narration":

they decided to split up
jon took one path and trav took the other
luke and allen hopped into the raft
on the side of the lake and paddled away

anand headed up the hill
to find if he could see anything from up there
he was walking along and then bam!
he ran staight into a tree branch
dazed, he stumbled around and then wham!
knocked his head on another branch

his last thought as he fell into unconsciousness
was that the tree was picking on him!
along with the vision of the tree
was a horrible old face which he tried to flee
and that is where we begin
  

Anand's Journey

This is probably the most "complex" song I have written, in terms of time signature, instrumentation, and lyrics.

There's some bad distortion on this recording, which turned me off to the song as a whole. In 2002 I found an earlier, less distorted version ("Anand's Journey (original)"), which is now included as a bonus track.

Anyway, the distortion on this particular recording really annoyed me. I also wasn't happy with the "flow" of the music; it seemed awkward. As as result, I think I developed an aversion to "intentional complexity", not just in music but in all forms of creativivity and behavior in general.

Lyrics to "Anand's Journey":

VERSE:
  anand leapt over the waves of doubt that surrounded him
  and hopped onto the donkey of reason that confounded him
  he tried to hold onto the logical reins
  but the superego saddle was just too much for one day
  but the superego

VERSE W/ MELODY:
  he hit the beach like a slab of ambergris
  collapsing and pleading with himself to endure this
  his despair it increased as the smouldering sun
  beat down upon him, frying his brain like bacon
  beat down upon him, frying his brain like bacon

CHORUS:
  oh anand, anand anand
    whatcha gonna do?  wish i knew
  anand, anand anand
    where ya gonna go?  who do you know?

VERSE:
  anand woke with a start from his terrible dream
  he shivered and gasped a great sigh of relief
  he was lying on the hill where he had hit his head
  on a low-slung branch - his friends had left him for dead
  on a low-slung branch - his friends had left him for dead

VERSE W/ MELODY:
  with tears in his eyes and blood in his hair
  he stumbled up the mountain in search of a trail
  his head begain aching and he felt all alone
  he wondered where his friends had run off to
  oh he wondered what his friends had encountered

CHORUS:
  oh anand, anand anand
    whatcha gonna do?  wish i knew
  anand, anand anand
    where ya gonna go?  you're all alone
  anand, anand anand
    don't be blue - they'll come back for you
  anand, anand anand
    you're the hero - so on with the show!

BRIDGE: [instrumental]

VERSE:
  he tromped up the slope to the tree-covered summit
  he tried to hum a tune so his spirits wouldn't plummet
  from the top of the mount he could see fifteen miles
  across the valley he saw a castle's spires
  he decided to head for the castle

VERSE W/ MELODY:
  four hours later he climbed the last knoll
  the fortress stood above him, a hundred feet tall
  he threw a rock at the gate and a guard shouted "halt!"
  they saw he was alone so they opened the door
  they escorted him into the castle

CHORUS:
  oh anand, anand anand
    you feel like a yankee in king arthur's court
  anand, anand anand
    is this a dream or have you gone nuts?
  anand, anand anand
    where are your friends?  are they captives too?
  anand, anand anand
    what's gonna happen, happen to you?
    what's gonna happen to you?
  

Allen and Luke

This returns to the "safe and easy" pop-reggae-funk formula in which I feel most comfortable. It was a reaction against the clunky complexity of "Anand's Journey".

Lyrics to "Allen and Luke":

INTRO:
  are you ready?           (are you ready?)
  to get busy?             (get busy?)
  are you ready?           (are you ready?)
  to go down...            (down down down)
     to the land...        (land land land)
        of the anchovies?  (woooh!)

CHORUS:
  allen and luke in a raft
  allen and luke in a raft
  allen and luke in a raft
  allen and luke in a raft

VERSE:
  i'll tell you my story, i'll tell you my story,
    hey hey
  i'm a little bit worried, a little bit worried
    uh-uh
  i'll tell you my story, i'll tell you my story,
    here we go

  we were walking through the forest,
    carefully watching our step
  when we found a raft and paddles by the side of the lake
  i said, "lukey, let's try it out,
    come mek we see where the lake goes" - "ha, ha!"
  jon laughed at me and told me i was crazy

  but we got inside the boat and started to paddle away
    "swish, swish!"
  and soon we got all the way out to the center of the lake
  well, luke's a tiny bit nervous -
    he's doesn't like the water  "oh, no!"
  and all of sudden, the raft it starts to shudder

CHORUS:
  allen and luke in a raft
  allen and luke in a raft
  allen and luke in a raft
  allen and luke in a raft

VERSE:
  "yah hoo"  "sha-sha"  humming, etc...

  well, we trembled and we shaken as the water gets wilder
  and the sky begins to darken and there's lighting and thunder
  we look along the banks to mek we find some shelter
  and we find a spot that's likely, and we paddle real hard

  when we're almost to the bank luke suddenly yells out "stop!"
  i look up from the raft and stare into face of a monster
  well, we try to turn around but instead we're swept closer
  and arms reach out to grab us and make us their prisoner

CHORUS:
  allen and luke get captured
  allen and luke get captured
  allen and luke get captured
  what's gonna happen to them?

  allen and luke get captured
  allen and luke get captured
  allen and luke get captured
  what's gonna happen to them?

BRIDGE:
  allen and luke got dragged
  from their boat to the shore
  down a path to a door
  inside were many more

  the monsters they tried to chat
  and smiled a lot.  luke and allen sat
  on chairs made of animal skins
  they were puzzled by the monster's grins

BRIDGE-CHORUS:
  they're friendly
  they're really friendly
  they seem so friendly
  you'd never know

  that they're gonna cook you
  they're gonna eat you
  they're gonna chop you up bit by bit
  and never let you go

META-BRIDGE:
  we gotta escape, we gotta, we gotta
  we gotta escape, we gotta, we gotta...

  hey big and ugly - look over there!
  quick, luke!  jump out the door!

CHORUS:
  allen and luke are running
  allen and luke are running
  allen and luke are running
  for their lives

VERSE:
  let's pick up the story, let's pick up the story,
    hey, hey
  so on with the story, so on with the story...
    ah-hah
  let's pick up the story, let's pick up the story,
    that's right

  we kept on running and we kept on running
  with the monsters on our heels - they were closely trailing
  over the hills, and through the forest, streams and valleys
  until we came to a great big field

  the monsters were catching up, they were almost upon us
  when we spied in the distance a couple of buildings
  and our feet they surged ahead with new found energy
  because outside the building we saw some people,
    people, people, people

CHORUS:
  allen and luke reach safety  "yee haw!"
  allen and luke reach safety
  allen and luke reach safety
  at last

  allen and luke reach safety
  allen and luke reach safety
  allen and luke reach safety
  at "testing the cup"
  

Travis and Jon

This touches base with easy-listening jazz, which is my other "safe and easy" genre. It's a gentle and pretty little tune. However, like "The LoveFish", it seems out of sync with the rest of the BITLOTA songs.

Lyrics to "Travis and Jon":

meanwhile, on a path many miles away
under a gorgeous blue sky
untouched by clouds, unblemished, perfect
travis and jon walked along
admiring the beauty of this strange world

they had time to think
and reflect upon the days of old
and now, they plodded on
until they came to a stream
that tumbled down into the lake below
jon looked out over the water far below
and thought he could make out
the image of a small raft
trav sighed peacefully
ahh....

"what could be better than this?" trav asked

"this is indeed wonderful," replied jon
"i wonder how the others are doing
are they faring as well?
are they basking in the beauty of this otherworld?"

trav and jon walked along
  

Testing the Cup

This returns to the story of about Allen and Luke, which gave me an excuse to write another pop-reggae-funk song (since it was their "theme").

The lyrics describe the silliest scene in the play, in which jock strap testers hurl themselves against a brick wall as a means of testing their protective equipment.

Lyrics to "Testing the Cup":

INTRO:
  now we return to the story of allen and luke!
  "huh!"

CHORUS:
  "woah-oh"
  "woah-oh"...

VERSE:
  testin' the cup, i say testin' the cup
  there's a table here full of all kinds of jock straps
  i know something and something's up
  we're gonna get asked to test the cup!

  i don't wanna test the cup! please don't make me test the cup!
  "now just hold still and will you please shut up!
  i'm not gonna hurt you - just strap on the jock!
  is it fastened on tight?  now we test the cup!"

CHORUS:
  oh, uh-oh...
  now we test the cup...

VERSE:
  he said, "there's the wall - you need to run toward it
  and thrust your body against the bricks
  then we'll check the cup for dents and cracks
  if the cup busts, well, that's the breaks! ha ha ha ha,"

  he laughed and slapped me
  on the back. "just test the cup!"
  "okay," i sighed.  "now on your marks...
  get set, and go!"  and i took off

MINI-BRIDGE:
  "run, luke, run!"
  run, run, run, run, run, etc..
  "ow!!!!!!"

CHORUS:
  [crack]   oooo-oh...  [groan]

VERSE:
  [high voice] "ow!" i cried, "i think i smashed my nuts"
  allen looked at me with a worried face
  his turn was next and he was nervous
  he didn't want to run - that was obvious

  the man said, "never mind the wall - there are more ways than that!"
  from behind the table he grabbed a baseball bat!
  i said, "you must be crazy - you're some kind of nut!"
  and i kicked him in the balls and we took off

CHORUS:
  woah...
  chased by crazy people...
  

Almost There

This is told from the perspective of Luke, who is Australian. Hopefully this explains my lame fake accent. In the story, we're approaching a climactic confrontation. Not that anyone cares.

Lyrics to "Almost There":

VERSE:
  well, we followed the trail into the night
  it was getting pretty dark; we wish we had a flashlight
  then we heard something crawling off to the right
  it jumped out of the bushes! we trembled in fright

CHORUS:
  is our time up?
  are we doomed to die?
  in this strange world,
  under an alien sky?

  werrrwwwwwerrrwwwerrrww...

VERSE:
  we hurried along... trying to escape
  when we heard a voice behind us, saying "hey, guys, wait up!"
  it was anand!  and he was dressed in a cape
  i said, "you spooked us!  i was about to cry rape!"

CHORUS:
  well, i'm glad to see you
  i glad you're okay
  i wonder how trav and jon
  are doing today

VERSE:
  anand told us about the castle, about his dream and his fall
  he said he was lucky and escaped through a hole in the wall
  of the castle, because they wouldn't let him leave
  they thought he was a spy and they were going to cleave

CHORUS:
  his head off
  they were setting up the guillotine
  so he took off in the middle of the night
  he wanted to get home all right

VERSE:
  the three of us strode on through the darkening world
  'til we came to a boulder glowing white like a pearl
  i said, "maybe we should stop here, and get some rest"
  and at that precise moment an arrow hit me in the chest

CHORUS:
  oh god, i'm gonna die!
  i cried to myself
  but i felt no pain
  and then i began to laugh
  ha ha ha ha

VERSE:
  the arrow was an illusion, cast by a white-robed magician
  he was waving for our attention, dodging bolts of lightning
  he was battling a shadow, a spector eminating evil
  two more shapes emerged from the wood as we silently hurried

CHORUS:
  it was travis and jon!
  at last they'd come to join us
  the battle raged on and on
  on and on before us
  

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]
  

Gonna Die Today

This is similar in spirit to "IPECAC is Dead". It's like a goofy smile, intending to dispel any airs of pretentiousness.

Lyrics to "Gonna Die Today":

VERSE:
  by now, jon's pretty nervous
  he begins to sweat, and finally he says:

CHORUS:
  oh, oh, oh we're gonna die today
  and i don't want this to happen!
  oh, oh, oh i'm gonna die today
  i just wanna go home

VERSE:
  luke looks over at jon as if he were crazy
  he says:

CHORUS:
  so, so what - we're gonna die today
  you don't see me sweatin'
  so, so what - we're gonna die today
  i don't really care

VERSE:
  anand also tries to join the conversation and he goes:

CHORUS:
  hey, you guys, we're gonna die today
  is this the end of the story?
  are we really gonna die today?
  must we call it quits?

VERSE:
  allen, just returning from the parlay with trav and
  overhearing the gist of his friends' conversation, pipes in:

CHORUS:
  come on guys we're gonna die today
  we might as well stick together
  'cause if we happen to die today
  you're the last friends i'll ever see

VERSE:
  trav shakes his head in wonder at his friends' stupidity
  he says:

CHORUS:
  no one's gonna die today
  now get your butts off the ground
  the magicians agreed to let their battle wait
  they're gonna help us get back home
  so shut up!
  

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
  

Die Today Reprise

I wanted to end the album on a silly note, so I recycled a bit from "Gonna Die Today". I think this was the first time I ever used a "reprise" to finish an album.

Lyrics to "Die Today Reprise":

'cause if we happen to die today
you're the last friends i'll ever see
  

STSB1 Outro

These comments ended the 1993 version of Songs to Sleep By, except for the final song ("Christmas in Cancun 2"), which was a bonus track.

Lyrics to "STSB1 Outro":

COMMENT:
  all right
  well, that sums it up
  that's the "band in the land of the anchovies"
  it's about 35-50 minutes long, probably about 36-37 minutes long

  and um i hope you enjoy the tape
  i can only wish that you enjoy the first side
  as much as you enjoy the second side
  not
  but anyway
  so, um, at least one side is worth listening to more than once

  but anyway, it's called "songs to sleep by"
  because you just put it on and listen to my narrative go on and on and on

  it's kind of rough in the beginning 'cause ipecac was kind of dissonant
  but uh, anyway, that's about it
  i don't know what to put on the rest of this side
  i can chat forever but that's kind of professional

  so i guess i'll put some music on it
  and i guess i'll just pick a song
  and if it runs out, it runs out
  okay?
  bye
  

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