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The Naysayer Bio
Anna Padgett and Cynthia Nelson moved back to New York in spring of 1998; Cynthia from Louisville, Anna from Los Angeles. Cynthia had been down there continuing her prolific life as musician and poet, working on the band Retsin, and writing the poems that would become the book The Kentucky Rules. Anna had been out there doing various things. One thing she did was make up a couple of small songs on her 8-year-old brother's small guitar, which she'd taken with permission from her native Houston.
One day that spring Cynthia said to Anna, "Let's play some music. You can play the guitar and sing, and I'll play drums. Neither of us knows how. It'll be fun." Anna was embarrassed, being a novice to Cynthia's seasoned, but they got margaritas to go and played and it was fun. They played some of Anna's songs, some Syd Barrett, some Dolly Parton. Then, strangely, the fact of playing caused many more songs to start coming out of Anna. She and Cynthia played them all, and to each Cynthia added more and more beautiful and inspired elements, not only on drums, on which she was becoming pretty formidable, but also on melodica, harmonica, recorder, guitar, and hand claps. Cynthia also came up with some striking vocal harmonies for several songs. Anna's guitar playing stayed simple but grew prettier and more interesting and her unique and intense lyrics got more that way. After a few months, Cynthia said, "Let's play a show." Anna said, "No way in hell." This went on for some time.
In March of 1999 Anna finally said "ok" to a show. It wasn't a
disaster. The Naysayer's weird songs of spanking stores, goats, and woe even caused some to dance. May of 1999 saw Anna and Cynthia working on their first recording. This was also when the king-size generosity of some sweet Louisvillians came into play for The Naysayer. For it was Tara Jane O'Neil, along with Antietam's Tara Key and Tim Harris, who engineered the project, lending technical wherewithal as well as ideas & spirit & support in the recording of 11 songs.
March 2000 was The Naysayer's first tour. This two-week tour featured many different types of times, including some very festive ones, such as the Louisville show where the drums fell apart repeatedly during songs and people were very, very nice. In Chicago Cynthia & Anna met with Patrick of Carrot Top Records. Patrick said, "Let's make a record." The Naysayer said, "ok."
So upon returning from tour they did that, recording again with the "Tea at Three" geniuses. There were too many songs to choose from, so they just didn't choose, recording 18 in total. Instrumentation became slightly more involved, with Tara Jane adding not only bass but also some sparkly guitar parts. Tara Key went crazy on several guitars to great effect on one song, and friend Ida Pearle played beautiful violin on two. After recording came the part when Anna & Cynthia spent a long time deciding what songs to cut and how to order what they kept of the 1999 & 2000 recordings. At last, on about the millionth day, at about a million o'clock, 17 songs were chosen & ordered & Anna said, "I don't think there's any other way to do it." The lovely French Nicolas mastered it, and the inimitable Jeff made beautiful art for it. Deathwhisker was done.
Cynthia's Disc and bookography:
Heroines LP Silver Girl Records 1996
For the New Crop CD Heartcore Records 2000
Salt Lick EP - Simple Machines 1995
Egg Fusion LP - Simple Machines 1996
Ida Retsin Family -Muss My Hair Records 1998
Sweet Luck of Amaryllis-Carrot Top Records 1998
Cabin In The Woods- Carrot Top Tecords 2001
Raven Days - Soft Skull Press 1994
Not Sisters - Soft Skull Press 1996
The Kentucky Rules - Soft Skull Press 1998
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