Sandy's Fourth Dementia
“They want to believe the Universe is an elegant universe—and it’s not so elegant. It’s a Rube Goldberg machine.” -Professor Leonard Susskind (bad boy of physics)
"I try to keep up with Physics, it helps me feel connected. I like the idea that scientists are looking for a unified theory of everything by probing both vast and tiny regions of space. Some theorists say that we won’t ever find universal oneness— the physics that describe heavenly bodies can’t be reconciled with those that describe the sub-atomic world. That makes sense to me. And yet I hope it isn’t true. My wish is that there is unity at the furthest boundaries of what we can see. That would make me feel what I want to feel about the Universe.
Looking back it was a crazy time. My old band the Botticellis broke up in the middle of making our second record. It was really hard on me. I grew up playing music with my best friends and when we fell out I was kind of lost. I got to know Kyle Field (Little Wings) because we both lived in the Outer Sunset and spent many afternoons lurking at Mollusk Surf shop. For a while it was this magic hub for wandering creative types who also happened to surf. I joined Little Wings and co-produced Black Grass (RAD, 2011) and toured up and down the West Coast in a pickup truck. There were only a few songs I could listen to at that time that made any sense to me. Mostly 80’s Dad-rock anthems like Toto’s “Africa”, and Kenny Loggins “Heart to Heart.” Kyle turned me on to Steely Dan’s Aja & I fell asleep most nights on tour to Chris Bell’s I Am the Cosmos. It seems like a weird mix but they were the only songs I could relate to besides the ones I was writing.
I started opening Little Wings shows as Sandy’s and got to experience the weirdness that is playing solo. Eventually Kyle and Brett (Simundson, guitarist for Little Wings) started backing me up and this new sound started happening. Since we never rehearsed and I was the only one who really knew the songs—there was a lot of winging it and I had to simplify the arrangements in the moment. I put my guitar in open tunings and played every song in the same key. It was really fun and totally new to me. I was used to making these intricate compositions with all these twists and turns and rehearsing it until we could replicate it live. The vibe in Little Wings was the opposite—flying by the seat of my pants. It helped me loosen up and have more fun.
Sandy’s played an art opening at Park Life in SF that featured Kyle’s work as well as new work from Thomas Campbell. Thomas liked our set and I sent him the stuff I had been working on for the last couple years. He was into it and offered to help me finish it and put it out. With the help of Jeremy Black (drummer) and Burton Li (guitarist) we finished the old stuff and mixed the new stuff and I’m really proud of how it came out. I’m lucky enough to have a solid band of talented folks backing me up these days and the sound has congealed in this new way that I love. But there’s something about Fourth Dementia—when it was just me and a changing cast of characters––that is unique and strange—each song is it’s own little microcosm. I don’t think I could ever make a record like it again.
I wrote six of the songs on the album with Blythe Foster (the Botticellis), and it also features the talents of Zack Ehrlich, (Sonny & the Sunsets, Vetiver, the Botticellis), Burton Li (Sandy’s, Citay, the Botticellis,), Ryan Browne (Sonny & the Sunsets, Tortured Genies,the Botticellis), Jeremy Black (Apollo Sunshine), and Nick Aives (Range of Light Wilderness), and Kacey Johansing (Yesway). It was recorded in bedrooms, garages and home-studios around San Francisco.
Musicians seem especially drawn to our shows. I imagine it’s because they hear the craft that goes into the songs— things that I wonder sometimes if anyone else can hear. I’d like to think there’s also a transcendent element beyond voice-leading, harmony, arrangement and production. I guess I hope people can also just cook dinner to it."
-Alexi Glickman (Sandy), April 8 2014
Fourth Dementia is out June 3rd, 2014 on Um Yeah Arts Collective.
2. Lonely Hunter
3. Yuba Diamond
4. Great Highway
5. Listen to My Shells
7. Slow Cone
8. Who Lives
9. The Prodigal
10. Lucy Lucia