Hiccup, the album from Cup, released on Aagoo Records, brought some tunes into the world that we enjoyed immensely. The songs that populated the collection beat with a proper, punk heart – but they were reflective as well as reactionary. It was also a really noisy bunch of art, which made other art at popbollocks headquarters vibrate from the walls. We took note. We already talked about this, remember?
Anyway, Cup, the brainchild of slouchy-but-active, super-smart Timothy Wojcik, are about to play a bunch of shows which you should get out and see. Since his tunes come from a place of reflection that also lifts sweat to the ceilings of small venues, we thought we’d send him a bunch of homework, and get some insight into his worldview – where the simplest gestures carry metaphysical truths, and where, ultimately, at the bottom of it all is love.
Let’s see what all the noise is about:
- pour yourself a glass of water
- please feel free to drink water throughout your fulfillment of these demands, hydration is important
- find something to write with, you’re going to need to do some writing
- sit and relax quietly for a minute or two. there is no rush
- reflect on the quiet, and the last time you really sat still
- Think of the last time you really thought ‘fuck it’.
- Without mentioning the specific cause, please write down one paragraph on how disappointment affects you –
Timothy Wojcik: You put your energy into something, and your excitement, and you allow yourself to set expectations that you know are unrealistic, and when things don’t pan out you inevitably shift into the abyss that’s always all around you, swirling, ready to embrace you. But then, somehow, inexplicably, you cycle through the same process over and over again, and you learn that even if you do enter that void, it’s not all that bad. What I’m saying, is you can get used to a thing and feel it less intensely the more times that thing happens.
- Think of the last time you thought ‘yes’.
- Without mentioning the specific cause, please write down one paragraph on how positivity affects you –
TW: I almost tremble, I literally vibrate, and I smile and laugh, and the room appears brighter, and I tell more jokes, and I laugh at others’ jokes a bit more, and I generally feel optimistic about whatever is to come, even death. I think ok, this is ok, and it will continue to be ok. My mind races: I write more, whether it’s with friends or songs or poems or whatever, I have more ideas of things to do, I make more plans. It allows me to be a good version of myself, and I generally enjoy being that version.
Think of the last time you wrote a song.
- Without mentioning the specific song, please write down one paragraph on the subject matter, and how you knew when the song was complete.
TW: I picked up my father’s acoustic guitar while visiting over Thanksgiving. I put a capo on the third fret, and started playing different combinations of chords. I found a combination of four chords that I liked, and thought ok, this is something that sounds good to me. I continued playing those four chords over and over, until I found a fifth chord that seemed to go nicely with the first four. I then started playing more combinations of chords until I found three more that fit nicely with that chord, the fifth. So I now had eight chords, and I structured them into a simple little song. I don’t have lyrics for it yet, but it feels like the best song, from my highly subjective POV, I’ve written melodically, and lyrics almost always take second chair when I’m writing. That’s how 90% of Cup songs come together: with me thinking ok, this is something that sounds good to me.
- Please, take a break of 1 minute and fifty-five seconds
- Relax –
- Please write one paragraph on the journey from your house to the store where you buy milk –
It depends: there are two fine milk options nearby. But both walks are short. I either turn left or right after leaving my apartment building. To the left: I then make a quick right, and walk three blocks to the little corner store where I’ve gotten a breakfast sandwich before. To the right: I walk to the end of the block, turn left, then walk two blocks to the big grocery store in my neighborhood. It’s where I buy most of the foods and beverages I consume on a day-to-day basis. The thing is, I don’t drink milk.
- Please write one paragraph on the walk from your sofa to your kitchen –
TW: It’s even shorter than the previous walks I described, not surprisingly. It is maybe ten to fifteen feet total. You rise from the couch and immediately face right, you take five steps then turn quickly to your left and take five more steps. You’re there. Here are the snacks you may have been wanting, the liquid you wanted to drink. You can have it here, or you can go back to the couch: you can eat anywhere in this apartment.
- Please write five words on being in love –
TW: It’s incomprehensible, also very nice.
HURRY – LISTEN – CUP
PHOTO COURTESY OF TIMOTHY WOJCIK