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Tippy, Mr. Jackson, Cop Circles

  • Communication 2645 Milwaukee Street Madison, WI, 53704 United States (map)

Madison's Tippy celebrates the release of a new solo-electronic album. Info

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Madison musician Spencer Bible uses the name Tippy for what are actually two pretty distinct projects, one a four-piece rock band (as captured on a self-titled 2016 album) and the other a solo electronic outlet. What unites them is Bible's lyrical perspective, eternally playful and smart-assed but spiked with real moments of vulnerability and uncertainty. (Full disclosure: Bible and I sometimes work together on events in our roles at Communication.) He's reconfigured the solo version of Tippy since releasing 2016's Public Displays Of Affection, switching out fuzzy Casios and drum samples for a more sophisticated electronic setup and, at his best moments, more sophisticated songwriting and arrangements as well. He plays here to celebrate the resulting release, the seven-track To You At All.

On opener "Posicomp," Bible chops up samples from a motivational tape about time management, but uses that as a lead-in for reflection on the lonelier moments of the creative life, taking swipes at gentrification and the shortcomings of arts funding in Madison. A staple of solo-Tippy's hyped-up live sets, "Bob Barker," holds up in a more subdued version here, with Bible layering on cleanly defined synth hooks and bass lines, multi-tracking his own vocals, and using far more fleshed-out drum patterns than on Public Displays, particularly a hi-hat figure that helps to build up suspense in the song's pre-choruses. The song is indeed about the retired The Price Is Right host, but focuses more on the first time Bible got "iPhone fact-checked" and began to question the instant access to information that came along with it: "And I felt kind of angry that it was as simple as this / Yeah I was running my mouth, but I feel like it fucked up the free exchange of ideas." Tippy shares the bill here with two frequent collaborators, electro-R&B artist Mr. Jackson and lovably eccentric house producer Cop Circles. —Scott Gordon