Um, Oh Yeah

Say Hi is growing up, branching out

  • Mar. 23, 2011 6:00 p.m.
Um, Oh Yeah

Say Hi is growing up, branching out

Eric Elbogen always seems to be ahead of the curve. For example, the sole member of Seattle-via-Brooklyn band Say Hi was writing songs about vampires way before True Blood and Twilight exploded onto the pop-culture scene.

“People won’t get their timelines straight and they’ll talk to me like I’m just jumping on the bandwagon because everybody else is making art about vampires, but I like to think that I started it all,” Elbogen says of Impeccable Blahs, a 2006 album released under the Say Hi To Your Mom moniker (the band name was shortened to Say Hi in 2008).

Arguably, Elbogen has also been on the cutting edge of synth-pop music. Since 2002’s Discosadness, he’s been crafting tunes full of nerdy references and catchy synth lines. But in an age where it seems every band is armed with a keyboard player, Elbogen has turned away from the synthesizer on his new album, Um, Uh Oh, in favour of a more rock and blues-based sound.

“That was a conscious decision. Not so much a ‘I don’t want to make another synthesizer record’ as much as the music that I’m listening to right now isn’t synthesizer-based,” he says, citing classic rockers like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen as artists he’s been jamming on these days.

While Say Hi’s music has often had a bit of an emo tinge to it, Um, Uh Oh is a decidedly more dark — and adult — record than Elbogen’s other six albums; instead of lamenting about having to break up with girls because they beat his video-game high scores, he’s singing about reassuring his partner about the future. Elbogen chalks it all up to getting older.

“One tends to do a lot of soul searching and reflecting on the fact that youth has either started to slip away or has completely slipped away,” he says. “That can be a dark time. So I think that sort of thing made it onto the record.”

Given that a Say Hi recording is a one-man show — Elbogen says it took him eight months to write, record, produce and arrange the album on his own — taking the material on tour can be tough.

“I/we are consistently trying to figure out ways to reproduce the songs on the record as a three piece or a four piece, which can be challenging sometimes because there aren’t enough limbs and/or vocal chords to make that happen,” he says.  “In the case of this tour, there are three of us and two of us are doing stuff with our feet as well as our hands to compensate.”

Hands and feet? Elbogen elaborates. “I’m playing drum kit for most of the set, but then there are five songs during the set where I am playing guitar [with my hands] and drums with my feet,” he says. “Then Luke, the keyboard player/guitar player, is playing tambourine with his feet on some songs.”

Sounds like a live Say Hi show is an interesting endeavour. “Interesting is an appropriate word, yes,” says Elbogen. M

Say Hi(with Blair and Yellow Ostrich)9pm Tuesday, March 29Lucky Bar, 517 YatesTickets $14atomiqueproductions.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
Vancouver Island children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

This image released by SYFY shows Meredith Garretson, left, and Alan Tudyk in the new series "Resident Alien." (James Dittinger/SYFY via AP)
B.C.-shot ‘Resident Alien’ invader gets lift-off with viewers

New Syfy series catching on, proving TV doesn’t have to come from premium cable

West Coast-themed metal art by Nanaimo artists Hayley Willoughby (pictured), her father Jack and partner Blair LeFebvre is on display in the window of Lululemon at Woodgrove Centre from now until March 13 as part of the store’s monthly local artist program. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Metal artists present cross-generational show at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Work by Hayley Willoughby, her partner and father on display in Lululemon window

Vancouver Island Symphony principal violinist and concertmaster Calvin Dyck is among the musicians performing in the upcoming Salmon and Trout concert. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Vancouver Island Symphony will make a splash with fish-themed quintets concert

Performance was to take place in November but was rescheduled due to COVID-19

Nico Rhodes, Lucas Smart, James McRae and Kosma Busheikin (from left) recorded their set for the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival’s online video series at the Harbour City Theatre in December. (Photo courtesy François Savard)
Music starts next week at online Nanaimo International Jazz Festival

Ten free, virtual performances to occur over three weeks in March

The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
 The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
Victoria calls for artists to fill Commercial Alley gallery

Competition open to artists in the Capital Regional District

Cowichan Valley author Teresa Schapansky’s books for young readers have become a phenomenon on Amazon. (Submitted)
Cowichan author tops Amazon charts

Award-winning author Teresa Schapansky learned of a need for low-level readers in the classroom

Nadia Rieger restocks some of the art supplies at the Crows Nest Artist Collective. Their move to stocking more art supplies over the course of the pandemic was a response to increased demand, which she thinks shows people have been turning to creating art to cope with mental health struggles due to lockdowns and restrictions on other activities. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Vancouver Islanders using art to conquer COVID blues

It seems people have been turning to their creative sides to stay mentally and emotionally healthy

Chris Bullock, Parksville artist, stands next to his ‘Mermother’ series, on display at the McMillan Arts Centre until Feb. 29. Bullock himself will be at the MAC from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. every Saturday until the end of the month. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville artist Chris Bullock’s unique illustrations on display

‘I’m heavily influenced by old comic book styles from the 1950s’

VIU music instructors Hans Verhoeven, Ben Henriques and Ken Lister (from left) are presenting a weekly jazz performance series with pianist James Darling (not pictured). (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
VIU music instructors presenting online jazz concert series

Musicians getting ‘back in shape’ performing American Songbook standards

Most Read