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 Filler Up - 4:55 download listen locally 2007-11-12 2007-11-14
2 Organagain lyrics 5:20 download listen locally 2007-11-15 2007-11-27
3 Red Rumor lyrics 13:31 download listen locally 2007-11-28 2007-12-04
4 Longarhythm lyrics 10:56 download listen locally 2007-12-05 2007-12-10
5 Dark Frost - 6:28 download listen locally 2007-12-12 2007-12-18
6 Zara - 7:17 download listen locally 2007-12-19 2007-12-21
7 Standa - 5:34 download listen locally 2007-12-26 2007-12-28
8 Januwindy lyrics 6:13 download listen locally 2008-01-03 2008-01-08
9 Unspired lyrics 7:33 download listen locally 2008-01-09 2008-01-15
10 Doubtrock - 7:56 download listen locally 2008-01-16 2008-01-21
11 No Roses - 2:09 download listen locally 2008-01-22 2008-01-24
Total 77:52 play all locally album rating:

Notes

Dad: "Make sure you take the time to smell the roses."

Trav: "What Roses?"

The idea behind this album was to slow down. Indulge in the details. Stop blitzing through songs like a super-efficient robot. Take time to permeate the music with an organic "scent". And so on.

My big rule for the album was that I had to take at least 3 days to finish a song, instead of the usual 2. Each song also had its own rule, forcing me to experiment with different performance or engineering techniques.

Did slowing down help the music? I don't think so. Of course, I never like music I've just finished. Maybe in a couple of years I'll favor these tunes over their contemporaries. But I kinda doubt it.

Anyway, on to the next album. No time to waste!!!

Songs

Filler Up

Meaning 1: This song represents the start of a journey. We're ready to go, and just need to fill the tank with gas.

Meaning 2: I wanted to start this album with some instrumental "filler" in order to take pressure off the songwriting. At the same time, I wanted to "up" the level of detail (and perhaps energy) relative to the last few albums.

Meaning 3: This song is very up-tempo, with lots of fast percussion. I was also experimenting with different types of drum fills.

Meaning 4: I need to fill this album with songs quickly if I'm going to finish it by the end of the year. For that, I think I'm needing some really long songs. Too bad this isn't one.

Sorry about the bass; it's incredibly boomy! Wayyyyy too overpowering.

Organagain

Yep, I'm playing organ again. Ha ha ha. Actually, this song does have lots of organ parts.

I'm also trying to make the music more "organic". For example, this time I wanted the arrangement to meander, to explore different ideas without necessarily returning to previous themes. I also wanted to try fiddling with some of the Triton's expressive controls, which is something I don't do very often.

The mood is kinda quiet. However, G wanted something dancy so I added a solid beat. It ended up sounding like a weird (and mostly boring) mix of new age and trance.

Wow, that bass is loud! Where's the treble???

Lyrics to "Organagain":

go smoothly
go smoothly
go smoothly
get more organic

  [repeat]
  

Red Rumor

When I first picked the title, I had recently re-watched The Shining; hence the "redrum" reference. Meanwhile, in the news, the "Foxy Knoxy" drama was developing. For the first time in years, I started reading the news every day to see the latest developments. "Red rumor" refers to people being drawn to macabre news stories.

G didn't think the last song was dancy enough, so I made this one really dancy! Or at least I tried. It's really repetitive, though. Oh well. Oh well. Oh well.

This time, for a "new" element, I added samples from a 1983 recording ("Live Wire") in which I made up silly news stories. All people and places are complete gibberish, so don't take any of it seriously.

Lyrics to "Red Rumor":

there's a red rumor goin' down, goin' down, goin' down
red rumor goin' down, goin' down
there's a red rumor goin' down, goin' down, goin' down
red rumor goin' down, goin' down
yeah

  bomb kills 17 and hurts 188
  the bomb blew up and blasted them up into smithereens

there's a red rumor goin' down, goin' down, goin' down
red rumor goin' down, goin' down

  smithereens

there's a red rumor goin' down, goin' down, goin' down
red rumor goin' down, goin' down

  and the weather today is 26 degrees fahrenheit

yeah

  just then tarzan saved the day
  just then tarzan saved the day
  just then tarzan saved the day
  and george wallace got shishkebabbed
  the weather forecast for tomorrow is high in the 150s
  president reag an used pronouns he, she, it, and they
  and was murdered last night by george wallace
  wallace was kidnapped and put on a stake
  some people complained there's no a-1 on the steak
  steak shishkebab
  tarzan saved the day
  steak shishkebab smithereens
  ok ok ok ok [scat]
  george wallace goes cuckoo because of his brother's snorts
  mary kane who loves president reagan is now pregnant
  rett batt, who was a very famous newpaperman,
  got a c1030 and shot president carter in the rear end
  in the rear end
  in the rear end
  cassette recorder c103 is sold for only 2 dollars a pack
  in a pack there are only 2 screws and some ingredients of flour
  a famous newspaperman in southern texas
  got murdered last night by president ford
  there are only 2 screws
  there are only 2 screws
  there are only 2 screws and some ingredients of flour
  this guy had a 4-way power rifle and shot maine in the noggin
  in the noggin
  in the rear end
  only 2 screws in the noggin
  in the rear end
  he died 3 hours later at home
  he died 3 hours later at home
  george f kennedy, one of the youngest presidents of the united states,
  was shot by george ulwin
  minh sih had both his knee caps blown off by president ford
  people made fun of ford; they called him a car
  so ford ran over them
  ford ran over them
  climbing trees is no fun claimed senator maximnia from russian embassy
  russian president pale rufy was murdered last night but he survived
  the king of japan says potato skins cause rabies
  and ticks out of the potato skins come and eat your heart out
  ticks out of the potato skins come and eat your heart out
  ticks out of the potato skins come and eat your heart out
  ticks out of the potato skins cause rabies
  snook snorks make good fun
  good fun
  [yelling]

there's a red rumor goin' 'round, goin' 'round, goin' 'round
red rumor goin' 'round, goin' 'round
there's a red rumor goin' 'round, goin' 'round, goin' 'round
red rumor goin' 'round, goin' 'round
yeah

  ok ok ok ok [scat]
  [yelling]

there's a red rumor goin' 'round, goin' 'round, goin' 'round
red rumor goin' 'round, goin' 'round
there's a red rumor goin' 'round, goin' 'round, goin' 'round
red rumor goin' 'round, goin' 'round
yeah

there's a red rumor goin' down, goin' down, goin' down
red rumor goin' down, goin' down
there's a red rumor goin' down, goin' down, goin' down
red rumor goin' down, goin' down
yeah

  bomb kills 17 and hurts 188
  just then tarzan saved the day
  just then tarzan saved the day
  just then tarzan saved the day
  and george wallace got shishkebabed
  shishkebabed
  steak shishkebab smithereens

there's a red rumor goin' down, goin' down, goin' down
red rumor goin' down, goin' down
there's a red rumor goin' down, goin' down, goin' down
red rumor goin' down, goin' down

  [repeat]

  steak shishkebab smithereens
  

Longarhythm

Now it's time for a drastic change of pace. I wanted to make a song that's really long and rhythmic. The title is also a pun on "logarithm".

The challenge was coming up with a groove that made you want to hear more, despite the song's length. It needed to be non-fatiguing, the opposite of "busy", so I made it very slow, sparse, and melodic.

The theme of sparseness was reinforced by a documentary about Stanley Kubrick. I also added faint martial drumming and humming, which kinda references a Ken Burns documentary about World War 2. The hints of Asian "spices" were inspired by some recent cooking experiments.

For something new, I recorded some acoustic percussion at the end. It's a little shaker that someone gave me up in the Canadian Rockies back in 2001. I think this is the first time I've used live percussion since South or Southeast (1999).

Lyrics to "Longarhythm":

longarhythm, gonna teach you longarhythm
longarhythm, gonna teach you longarhythm
longarhythm, gonna get   you longarhythm
longarhythm, gonna sing  you longarhythm

it's time to hum a tune
it's time to hum a tune
but don't fill up the room

i'm gonna hum a tune
i'm gonna hum a tune
but i won't fill up the room

[humming]

  oh god
  everybody now

[repeat bits of the above]
  

Dark Frost

Now that it's [almost] winter, the mornings have been dark when G goes to work. On top of that, her car is usually coated infrost. Her quick fix is to pour hot water on the windows and mirrors. This is a lot faster and easier than scraping, and so far has worked very well.

I wanted the song to sound dark and cold. The "timpani" in the beginning sound a bit like bells.

I made a rule for myself: the bass cannot play on beat 1. This represents the cyclical delay of having to defrost the car every morning before driving. The rule holds steady until the very end, which has the bass on beat 1. You can pretend that this symbolizes the end of the frosty season, and the beginning of spring.

Zara

The title is short for Zarafa, which is a brand of South African wine that we recently discovered. We liked it so much that we decided to be more adventurous in our wine purchases, trying a different brand each week.

The rule was to try something new for each track. As far as I know, I've never used any of these instruments before.

The end result? Uhh... Well, there's a reason I don't use these sounds!

Standa

Standing up is supposed to help singers inject feeling and energy into their performance. I decided to give it a shot to see if it had an effect on my playing.

So, the rule for this song was that I had to stand up the whole time. Yep. I couldn't sit down while working on the song.

This turned out to be a very painful rule, one which I don't intend to repeat. Every day I worked on it, I ended up with an incredibly sore back. Ouch!

The resulting music is energetic, but somewhat shallow. I recording and edited everything very quickly (due to the painful crouching). I'm not sure if I like the end result.

Januwindy

Around here, it gets very windy in January, which is when I started this. Happy New Year, by the way. The title and some of the lyrics are also a reference to the Trex album Januweary.

I secretly borrowed G's brand new violin for this. I wanted to see how it sounded with a reverb effect applied to it. This was the first time I recorded myself on violin, which I don't know how to play. I mixed it so low that you can barely hear it. You're welcome.

My favorite part is the chanting near the end, which is kinda catchy. The rest of the song is so-so. I tried to make it modal but didn't stick to a single mode consistently. Then I got bogged down in editing the violin, which was pretty hopeless. Oh well. At least we got the violin experiment over with! :)

Lyrics to "Januwindy":

it's windy in january
and the windows shake
and the rafters quake
and we huddle in a bundle of love

i'm weary of januwindy
and then the power cuts off
and the roof flies off
but we cuddle in a puddle of love

  [repeat]

[scat]

yeah
  

Unspired

I'd been listening to lots of krautrock and japrock. Julian Cope pointed out in his book Japrocksampler that a lot of those bands would repeat English words based on their sounds rather than meaning. I decided to give that a shot.

The song starts and ends with rhythmic chanting. The middle part has the usual Tripecac instrumentation and vibe, but I tried to keep things sparse and trancy. I don't know if it worked.

The title is a butchering of "uninspired". Most of the lyrics are simiarly chopped up almost to the point of being unrecognizable.

Lyrics to "Unspired":

boy chicka, boy chicka, baby baby baby...

i uninspired, i uninspired...

i so, i so, i so, i so, i so, i so, i...

i can't get no
i can't get it
i can't get no
no good

baby baby baby boy

  [repeat bits of the above]
  

Doubtrock

Okay, so that last song ("Unspired") wasn't nearly as krautrockish as I intended. Which makes me wonder: can I even do krautrock? Part of me doubts, and that's where you get the title for this song.

My goal was to make this as non-jazzy as possible. I wanted it choppy and slightly robotic. However, I didn't want a Kraftwerky feel; I wanted a more organic Can feel. So I added several guitar parts, some of them just percussive banging on strings.

So does this one feel more krautrockish than the last song? I don't know. It certainly feels less jazzy and more trancy. To my (tired) ears at least.

No Roses

The rule for this one is very simple: I can only use one instrument. So, I chose a [fake] acoustic guitar sound, and layered a few tracks together. I suppose a really talented guitarist could play this, but not me!

The song had to be short, since there was room for only about 3 more minutes on the CD.