Mr. Price writes: "A burst of melodic anxiety recorded during the break-up of a marriage and the break-up of my first band (Memorial Garage), this collection of 4-track recorded songs became a template for how the next few years would unfold for me creatively: work fast and loose, first takes are best, smash as many instruments onto a track as you can, lo-fi is the real-fi, who cares if the drum machine sounds ridiculous. i think it’s a pretty beautiful mess. it still hurts to listen to. its the first real howl of the loss of innocence. It was self-actualized on cassettes with hand-made & xeroxed inner sleeves.”
Released December 10, 1989
Tender Skelter (1991)
Recorded in 1991 in Gilsum, NH.
Tidbits: I am joined here by Smoki Thoreau (Claudia Friedlander) on vocals and clarinet for a bunch of these songs. Also, Track 3 was a co-write with Jonathan Lethem.
A song cycle mostly conceived in a dream about a Greek statue that rides around a mythical decaying city on a motorcycle, while a dictatorial being known simply as E hovers menacingly in the sky. The narrative is barely suggested, but it's behind it.
Fun fact: track 6 is a Miracle Legion song I heard on a friends mix tape around 1990 and I immediately went home and recorded this cover, not even knowing who the band was, really. Years later, the songs author, Mark Mulcahy, became a friend and Winterpills recorded the exact same song, this time as a full band, for the compilation "Ciao My Shining Star".
released October 10, 1990
Recorded at home in Woodstock, NY, fall 1988, on a Tascam PortaOne, with a borrowed Linn drum machine.
released November 12, 1988
Winterpills Live at Harry's (October 4, 2003)
A room mic recording (by Dan Richardson) of the very first Winterpills live performance on October 4, 2003, at Harry's (previously the Swing Cat, later The Elevens, then the One Bar, now closed) in Northampton, MA. The band at this point consisted only of Philip, Dennis and Dave; Flora did not join until March of the next year. No bass player, either, but that was the norm until 2006.
The band at this point barely knows how to play the songs, is pretty much winging it, and much of the material is drawn from Philip's two solo albums, with the notable exception of the songs Cranky, Letter To A Friend In Jail and A Folded Cloth. All the amateurish moments and mistakes (and there are many) have been left in because time has graced them with a bit of charm (hopefully).
This captures the band at the moment when Philip's solo shows began morphing into something completely different, and also before the band had fully jelled. Dennis tackles much of the harmony work that Flora later takes on as well as his electric guitar parts.
read my extensive interview with the great men here