Without Your Love I'd Be Nowhere At All: Best of the Solo archives 1988-2004
Philip B. Price of Winterpills digs deep into his past to unearth this sprawling collection of mostly unreleased alt-rock/pop/folk/pre-emo gems. A double CD of 39 songs handpicked from the 12 solo albums. Includes essays, photos, ephemera. Liner notes included in download as pdf.
1. Who Don't Care (1988) 2. 50% (1988) 3. Stephen's House 4. Modern Man 5. Violin Of Me (1988) 6. Run Downhill (1989) 7. Sliver Of Gold (1989) 8. I Don't Know (1989) 9. E (1990) 10. America (1990) 11. Suicide (1990) 12. A Tall Man (1990) 13. Paul (1990) 14. The Edge Of The Table (1990) 15. I'm Not Finished Yet (1991) 16. Velveteen (1991) 17. No Footprints In Heaven (1991) 18. Bergen St. Totally (1992) 19. Tell Mr. Goldstein, It Isn't Enough (1992) 20. Float (1993) 21. Big Farewell Song (1993) 22. Roped (1993) 23. Avoid You (1994) 24. Borrow (1994) 25. Let Her Drive (1999) 26. The Incredible Dissolving House Of Love (1999) 27. The Right Thing (1999) 28. I Believe You (2002) 29. Cold Nickels (2002) 30. Waiting For Summer (2002) 31. See (2002) 32. Heart (2003) 33. Man Down (2003) 34. Criminal (2003) 35. Come Through This (2004) 36. Aspartame (2004 37. Wild Birds (2004) 38. This Twlight World, This Ghost World (2004) 39. Get Drunk and Love Me (2004)
Previously unreleased. Written and recorded right on the cusp of Winterpills getting together. Arguably a ‘lost’ Winterpills album, vibe-wise, without the band itself. Drawn from the same well of the last two. Northampton, MA.
“The songAspartame shows him at the height of his lyric writing power, self consciously following all the rules, gracefully and limpidly singing an inscrutable poem that lends itself to a number of ways of meaning, but takes them all along, doesn’t resolve to one. Price uses the same light touch with which he made graphite drawings that looked like silverpoint, with impossibly graceful contours that were so conveying that ‘description’ was left in the dust. Aspartame has the synthetic strings of music like The Eurythmics, the feel of the machine that allows us to coolly bracket the tender emotion that pulsates with vulnerability – like a metallic exposed nerve, glinting when the light catches.” - Paul Baumann
Released December 1, 2004
1. Things I Know Are Yours 2. Come Through This 3. Aspartame 4. Summit House 5. Atone 6. This Twilight World, This Ghost World 7. Wild Birds 8. Anatomy of a Lie 9. All I’d Really Be Doing 10. Get Drunk and Love Me
Philip: "13 Songs and Honey were made in one big rush of writing and recording during this 2 year period. In my mind they aren’t really separated from each other; more like a 2 chapter novella.
"Much like 13 Songs, this was another unfinished-sounding album to me. Not as rushed as '13', but i was eager to follow up on what I thought were the weaknesses of '13' that this one was almost as hurried. More ambitious and cohesive, but still frustrated me.
"Like I did with '13', I've added real instruments where there were previously shitty synth basses and inferior drum samples, etc. Remixed on much better gear. Arrangement ideas fleshed out that were just hinted at before. This to my ear is the real version of the album."
“Everything’s all right. But it’s not – there is the slide guitar, and its melted yearning, not quite as slow and extended as in George Harrison’s hands, but calling on some similar hormones – and then the mood shifts quickly for the chorus, the pivotal phrase being ‘I’ll get home ok’, which is reassuring, and does so much communicative work – before swinging the mood into ‘I feel like a criminal’ which the song casts out with frenetic, condemned energy.” - Paul Baumann
Released November 1, 2003
1. Love Always 2. Criminal 3. Heart 4. You Don’t Live Long Enough 5. You’re Dead Now 6. Invisible Baby 7. Man Down 8. Helping Me Fall 9. They Talk To Me 10. Portrait 11. Broken People 12. In Another Room
Philip: "A real line had been crossed by the time this album was made. The Maggies split. My father died. Long-term relationship ended. Custodies regained. Atmospheres strafed by meteors. Towers collapsed. The tall ships began turning back from the new world." Easthampton, MA.
Notes: "Waiting For Summer" was written/recorded when all these songs were, but unfinished and left off the original CD. The song "A Tall Man", which is from the 1990 album, True Moisture, was added instead. That song is now back on True Moisture where it belongs.
Philip says: "This whole album was originally released in a somewhat unfinished, rushed state - after The Maggies split, I was so eager to get something out that I pulled this collection together and pressed it up. I was also headed out on tour with John Wesley Harding and needed something to represent what I was doing. I've never liked how unfinished the original version of this album sounded. So, now, I have gone ahead and finished it. Mostly that means instruments were added, and bass parts that were originally cheap keyboard bass were replaced with real bass guitar parts, etc. And it was properly mixed on much better gear. Other changes too.
"To me, now, it's sounds as it should have at the time. Purists can keep both versions of the album and argue about it forever. To me, this is the real version of the album."
“The song Cold Nickels carries a quality of despair, like the poem where Yeats says a man must chose: perfection of his art, or of his life. Many of these songs are gathered around seeing, photographing, and the desire to be witnessed, to be held, known – and the experience of being left unknown. Here ‘I’m not blind, not tonight’ draws us into a particular moment and the contingency of what’s being said, like a mood that settles into a kind of rigor mortis of mood. It has its hardness, a hardness within the poem the song is, and the poem the song contains (the lyrics). The green eyes become in a sense, beautiful, and open – we see into them. I get a particular image that relates to emeralds, gemstones, with the fracture of gems, the light gets in and does things, but the eyes are blind.They don’t seem to see anything, and it’s in their blindness that the song takes place.”
released December 1, 2002
1. I Believe You 2. Found Weekend 3. Please Don’t Change 4. Sort Of True 5. Polynesian Dream 6. Cold Nickels 7. Waiting For Summer 8. Taking The Wheel 9. Impossible 10. See 11. Another Right Time 12. On And On 13. To A Friend
The five-year gap between Harpies and Duct-Tape Tight marks a fertile period in the life of The Maggies, but many songs did not make the cut, or were tried and rejected, or simply were never recorded. This album is a collection of the best of those. Keene, NH - Northampton, MA.
“This one has the atmosphere of a carnival, we are on a date, there is a crush involved, and cotton candy and sweat have made our hands sticky – there are many colored lights bleeding into the air around, including harsh white ones, the ground is earth, softer than pavement, and the kaliope’s percussive, jangly songs are in here somewhere, dissolved into the rest.” - Paul Baumann
released December 1, 1999
Remixed by Philip, in 2016-2017 at the Boomerang Ranch, Hadley, MA. Mastered by Dan Richardson.
"Blue Angel" features Chris Collingwood (acoustic guitar), Henning Ohlenbusch (bass), Brian Marchese (drums).
1. It’ll End In Tears 2. The Right Thing 3. Cryptic Valentine 4. I Rush To The Ending 5. The Incredible Dissolving House Of Love 6. Let Her Drive 7. Unclaimed Love 8. Dead Jones 9. Kiddie Pool 10. Blue Angel 11. Cootie Box 12. I Never Cleaned Up
Philip writes: "By now, The Maggies were a going concern. This was the last full solo album before I began writing almost exclusively for the band; (some of the songs were used by the band on the Dance For Daddy EP). I had sold my trusty Telecaster (long regretted) and bought a Dan Electro Silvertone (long ago sold)." Keene, NH.
“Spare, pared down, naked, shining with pathos. We can speak about the guitar playing here as a form of crying. Crying, in the form of wind, in the form of vines, emergences and reachings, fallings, and reachings downward, outward, around themselves. A curious, supple, outwardly sent, blind tongue of air, that slashes, and divides, and comes back together, and finds the shapes of what its not – the way we come around things that aren’t us, the way our senses are like things sent out to find, and come around, and embrace, and recoil from.” - Paul Baumann
1. Heart Egg 2. Dandelion 3. Borrow 4. Anyhow 5. Savor 6. Avoid You 7. Head Reels 8. Hey 9. Let It Stare 10. Two Hours Ago 11. Bloom Off
Philip writes: "Inspired by Neil Young's Rust Never Sleeps, I conceived of one side rock, the other side acoustic. I strayed from this concept." Recorded in Keene, NH.
released September 1, 1993
1. Laughing Stock 2. Beautiful Joe 3. Weatherland 4. Sure 5. Q 6. Float 7. Nightmare I Luv 8. Move Over 9. Big Farewell Song 10. Could 11. Blow 12. Only Drunk 13. Solid Yellow Zero 14. Thank God 15. Roped 16. Fake Haiku
Both this and Tender Skelter were recorded at a housesitting situation in rural Gilsum, NH. "Fail My Test", "Vaster Than Charlotte" and "Girl In Landscape" are co-writes with Jonathan Lethem.
On the song BERGEN ST. TOTALLY: “An older song, written almost a decade before this recording, when I lived one block over from Bergen St. on Dean St. in Brooklyn, in a freezing, half-renovated industrial space with a mattress on the floor and a view of the BAM clock out a cracked window. Three floors down, sculptor Louise Bourgeois stored her work; we occasionally shared an elevator ride. My heart was broken and I was ready to hitchhike in any downpour. P.S. That building is now buried under the Barclay Center.”
released July 1, 1992
1. Show Tell 2. Fail My Test 3. No Footprints In Heaven 4. Evidence 5. Leave It Out 6. Vaster Than Charlotte 7. The Acid Level 8. Mr Goldstein, It Isn’t Enough 9. Girl In Landscape 10. Bergen St. Totally 11. War Is Shame
Philip writes: "Around this time I reconnected with my college friend and fellow Frank Baker student Smoki Thoreau (nee Claudia Friedlander), and I began my lifelong exploration of the male/female vocal dynamic. Which was a great discovery to me with my particular Irish tenor, usually stuck in one emotive gear. Smoki sings on several songs here; also contributes bass clarinet and recorder. Features a co-write with Jonathan Lethem, I’m Not Finished Yet (which later became the title of a Lethem novel).
released June 1, 1991
1. Misinterpreted 2. The Giant Who Fell Down 3. I’m Not Finished Yet 4. Mucho Cash 5. Velveteen 6. Off My Mind 7. Fall Down Brave Power 8. A Way-Out Time 9. Load It Up 10. Tender Skelter 11. Romance 12. Lapsing
Philip writes: "This album was made back-to-back with E. I was getting to be a better engineer. I was living in a small apartment in Keene, NH with my daughters, working a day job as a reporter for the local newspaper, going to planning board meetings and writing weather copy."
“The Edge Of The Table: He wrote this song at the time one or both of his daughters were of the age to be having literal edge of the table experiences. There is something irrepressible about the happiness that goes with parenthood, in the initial discovery of it, after the first birth, when your whole way of being yourself is ruptured, and a whole self- awareness wakes that you wouldn’t otherwise experience, the father-self, and this song opens windows into that.”
released December 1, 1990
1. Heartwarming Liar 2. Burned Patience 3. Paul 4. Hard Decisions 5. A Tall Man 6. This Spot 7. Love Will Tear Us Apart 8. Voices 9. The Smell Of Your Car 10. Black Postcard 11. The Edge of the Table
In the dream, the staticky, dimly- lit god called E rules the crumbling city. Roving bands of leathered-up Greek statues on motorcycles kept the peace, planned revolts, played Robin Hood. This album came out of that dream like a clubber stumbling out of a nightclub at sunrise, makeup all smeared. Keene, NH.
“In the song America, there is a way a note breaks loose from the grid, and once it has broken loose, runs nimbly up and down a handful of pitches in double time, leaving out and returning – a simple way to get breath a rupture, and a place to enter into, a particularity that delights us, and that adds up to a trope of escape – Price suggests in many places pop music as escape – and within that, further escape.”
“In the sing Suicide, the basic unit of this song is the dance-step, guitar melody, three notes, stepping down from note to note. It has to do with where you position that within the scale, its particular quality. For me its green – somewhere between celadon green, copper rust, and a slightly bluer green of mineralized water of the Rocky River, where it runs through my Aunt Nancy’s farm in Bone Cave, Tennessee. Its like a cool, fresh, moving volume. Its as simple as simple gets, but no one else would ever find the place for it that you found, or get it moving the way you have it moving, and the way you added the piano part is really helping this bluegreen hue move. Its like a little cascade of white water, these piano inflections. The dance, why does it take me alone into the woods?” - Paul Baumann
released June 1, 1990
1. E 2. America 3. Hell 4. Suicide 5. Lie 6. And Then..? 7. Hate / Children
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.
"Bambi Manor itself was an old resort hotel, clearly visible from Rt. 87 in upstate New York. That summer of 1989, it burned to the ground"
The technology is deployed very differently in places from the Beatles, where the analog nature of every timbre and texture is unmistakable, whereas Price gets a more contemporary sense of anxiety by using drum machines, and electronic effects, and harsher voicings, sometimes a drama in the singing that pushes toward hysteria, presenting as an alter ego of sorts, the restless mind running amok, fleeing – or maybe overwhelmed by sheer riches of material.” - Paul Baumann
Album recorded in Woodstock, NY.
released December 1, 1989
1. Tana 2. Divide Yourself In Two 3. Feel Better 4. Pieces 5. Go Back and Tell 6. Asking To Fall 7. Walk Backwards 8. Sliver Of Gold 9. I Don’t Know 10. Summer’s Gone 11. Such A Number I Can’t Divide 12. Life Is A Drag 13. Run Downhill 14. Stringlessness
Price: “This was the first time I’d tried to make a cohesive standalone sequence of songs, mainly using demos that were discarded by Memorial Garage and some other detritus. I did not mass duplicate it; there exists only a single tape of the final product, albeit complete with art and minimal liner notes. A good chunk of the songs were more sweetly melodic or pure pop than Memorial Garage was into. The title was a reference to the antidepressants I was scared of taking. Woodstock, NY; Oakland, CA.”
“Listening to the jerky beat of Violin of Me, I get an image of a man with long cat’s legs, stepping off a surface that gives shocks, the knees jerking up away from that, feet landing back on the same surface to jerk up again – the angles of the knees opening and closing in spasm.” - Paul Baumann
released January 1, 1988
1. Who Don’t Care 2. 50% 3. Stephen’s House 4. Modern Man 5. Bambi Manor 6. Never Frown 7. Violin Of Me 8. The Color 9. Line 10. Home Of Jane 11. Holy Sh*t 12. Grow Up Time