Google “Sayde Price” to get the back-story.
I met Sayde after she was done doing that stuff. I was playing at Nobrow Coffee Werks right down from the street from my house, with the Block Swon String Group, and the owner and hero, Joe, stopped Sayde, who was walking through, and said that she should play in the group. I talked to her about it briefly and then the next time we played she showed up with her child-sized violin. Me, her, and my mother played Block Swon for years, with other people involved here and there- Josh, Jennelle, ron, others. Anyways, one day she told me about her past music career, and said she wanted me to record her new thing, and instead we became friends and she let me join the band. We played as a duo for a few years and we recorded this album. She later joined the group Red Bennies as the bassist.
As a concept album, I think her ideal was to have songs with a single part, accompanied by a single texture. That’s not how the album is, but we tried to get close to that. Also, there’s a lot of first takes and sonic imbalance thrown in the mix, and the personality of that and the tension of that was imagined to sit in a repetitive and textural context and…. blow your mind? Erase the guilt of her past music career? Make you start crying and walk around in the forest? Make you drive better? Who knows. See for yourself and worship Sayde like I do.
That’s us on the cover with our spirit animals shown. She made a few different covers for this album, all very similar, but one run had her looking normal and just me having that bat on my head. Do you think that’s wierd?
Here’s my thoughts on the tracks through the earbuds.
I’m just listing the track names here, no links. You’ll have to cross reference and download from the bandcamp.
RUBY- When I was in Block Swon with Sayde, I was trying to learn the cello. I thought that if I bought and practiced a theremin, it would help me with my free-style pitch-finding on the cello. So then I used the theremin a lot in this group, and this first song features it at the end. Can you handle the musical beep!? if not, then you’re not ready for the modern world. Eat it up! At shows, usually Sayde would sing and play the guitar, and I would play the theremin and drums, with the theremin on a loop pedal.
ICARUS- This song meant one thing to us: wonder about whether it was an audience torture at shows with it’s long length. But besides that, it features “marimba” from my keytar, a nice looped theremin chorus- and when we played live that chorus would come in as loud as possible and the room would just light on fire, it seemed to us. One thing the album features a lot is these heavy, close, and super compressed vocals, as if the balance of sound isn’t the main communicator, but rather, just the sequence of sentences and Sayde’s singing, and you don’t know when it’s going to stop, and you don’t know what she’s talking about, and you just have to deal with it.
ANENOMES- This is the first one we recorded together. It was just a master of a track she already had, and I played the theremin over it. What a beautiful song. There is some compression artifacts and some digital breakup on the loud notes and some distortion from the pseudostereo plugin, and that’s very intentional. I’m into this idea: “utilize the medium”, and if you’re going to record something on a computer, you should make it sound like a computer. I mean, we were right there, sitting in the room with my computer. Sayde has a friend who’s name I forgot, who recorded a single take vocals and guitar as demos for this album, and a lot of these tracks are just builds on top of those. Basically any one with the cheezy reverb on the vocals. This is one. They were great takes though. And she sent these demos to her record company and they sent it back with the quote, “There’s nothing there”. There’s an old Dr. Seuss audio book or record, that has some mice singing, and the theremin at the end reminds me of that.
MY STAR- This album has so many examples of fundamental beauty, one being the glorification of an electronic beep as a piece of music, one being Sayde’s close and unforgiving vocals, one being the computer breakup on every loud note, and one being the theremin part in the background of this song, which is a sound called the “Cool Down”. This sound also ends the Red Bennies album “Announcing”. And a “power on” sound begins the Red Bennies album “Glass Hands”. Anyways, such over-endulgence in the “cool down” always blew mine and Sayde’s minds. This song featured my electronic tabla drum machine in the background.
MEAN SIDE- This song features cellos straight-up playing scales in the background, to subtly blow up in an explosion of scales as they’re joined by the flute. More “fundamental beauty”. Accompanying Sayde’s delicate treatment of the wiggled notes on the couple of notes she’s playing. She would always forget how to play her guitar parts because she’d tune it all weird and then basically put her hand on in some kind of tiger claw, so I guess her fingers would forget.
CECILY- Whoah, this one’s intense in the stereo! It’s double basses being plucked with the treble all the way up, over an iPhone beat. I think the regular plucks and firm meter of the song is reminiscent of some of the stuff she did in her past career (I’ve only heard a little). And I just zone out on this song, since there’s just happens to be a few words in the song that I try and black out, but I love the concept (and execution) of the caveman rhythm. And I love the song.
CLEA- This one is supposed to have “waves crashing on the rocks” drums. This one’s drum and guitar duet with a multilayer theremin blowup. When we were recording it, we got violently grossed out as we realized it’s similarities to that one Pixies song. I think the vocal sound is great on this one.
I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW- This is one of my favorites. I realized that I could play harmonics on the bowed saw, and it comes in at the end in what sounds, to me, exactly like a haunted iron graveyard gate swinging wide, with all it’s might, in a desperate attempt to join in on this beautiful song. If that won’t tear you up, I don’t know what will.
BlUE PULSE- This is the last one we recorded, and the only one on the acoustic guitar. The accompaniment is a plucked cello. The last songs Sayde wrote for Bip Bip Bip were the most sonicaly heartbreaking, and some of them were written right after we wrapped up the album. Then we broke up. So they’re lost to time unless we get back together, or unless I post the live recordings of them that I have. I plan on posting live versions of these songs. The live versions of all these songs are a little more descriptive of what our routine was. And they’re gorgeous.