Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Spotlight - Say Hi

Eric Elbogen is back, giving us more of the sound that we've grown to love from his previous albums as Say Hi To Your Mom. This time around though he's pulled a reverse Prince move and has shortened his band's name to simply Say Hi. Same great sound, less filling name. His latest album is titled The Wished and the Glitch, and I was fortunate enough to be able to ask him some questions about the album in general as well as one of favorite tracks on the album, Magic Beans and Truth Machines.

By now, you should know the drill. Unoriginal questions in black are mine, entertaining responses in red are his. Here's the song to listen to while you read the story behind it:


What's the story behind the song?

This one actually ended up being one of my favorites from the record, but it was a very last minute addition to the batch of songs. It’s also a lot shorter than what I usually do. I’ve read some things about this song already that I find funny, like the fact that some folks think that “magic beans” are a drug reference. It’s actually quite simply a Jack and The Beanstalk reference. I guess that’s too innocent of an explanation. Anyway, here they’re intended as a metaphor for anything that gets you away from the dreariness of ordinary living, The fact that the love interest in the song tells the protagonist that these useless (to him) things will “work like a charm” is, in my opinion, pretty telling about what their relationship is like. Either she’s a liar or they expect different things from the beans.

Is there a specific girl that you had in mind when writing it?

Yes, most of the record is about one girl. Although, as is often the situation, various traits of many girls I’ve known creep in at certain times. In this case, for example, the girl offering the magic bean and the girl suggesting the truth serum may be based on two different girl.

Is it autobiographical?

Um, no, I guess. Not in the literal sense anyway.

Are you playing all the instruments on the track?

Yes, I played all the instruments on the whole record. My friend Nouela, who has done some touring with me sings some on this track. So does John Roderick from The Long Winters.

What came first: the lyrics or the instrumentation?

In stark contrast to the way I usually work, the lyrics actually came first on this one, but only because they were written as part of another song that I ended up scrapping. I did that a lot on this record. There are even a bunch of places where I recorded the vocals as part of one song, threw out everything but the vocal track and recorded a completely different song around the initial vocal track. It came up with some interesting results. In my opinion at least.

Here are some general questions about the album:

1.) So what's the full story behind the shortening the name? Too many "your mama" jokes?

No, I got sued. (not really)

2.) How, if at all, did moving to Seattle affect the creation of this album?

Well, I think the move itself sparked some creativity, but that would have happened regardless of where I moved. I guess if I had decided to move to Arizona, the first track would have ended up being called “Southwestern Girls,” instead of “Northwestern Girls.”

3.) On your MySpace page you claim to sound like "the moment just before orgasm." We'd like to thing that as a constantly evolving musical genius your music will change and progress. Keeping that in mind, with your next album are you hoping to sound like the orgasm itself or the moment after orgasm?

No. I hear what you’re saying, but the moment before is the most interesting. During and after is just the beginning of the next quest to reach the moment before, all over again, and the most boring part of the quest at that. There are still plenty of ways to describe this that I haven’t yet explored. When I’ve exhausted all those ways, I’ll retire and go work at Circuit City.


The album is officially out February 5th, but you can get it now from the group's website.

Say Hi - Northwestern Girls : The Wishes And The Glitch

Say Hi - Magic Beans And Truth Machines : The Wishes And The Glitch

Visit his website and become his friend on MySpace.


Say Hi To Your Mom - They Write Books About This Sort of Thing
: Discosadness

Say Hi To Your Mom - Pop Music Of The Future : Numbers & Mumbles

Say Hi To Your Mom - Yeah, I'm Love With An Android
: Ferocious Mopes

Say Hi To Your Mom - Blah Blah Blah : Impeccable Blahs

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