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Guest DJ Ty Segall

"[Alice Cooper] trying to be as safe and commercial as possible [because] that record is still a record for the freaks," Ty Segall says of Love It to Death. i i

"[Alice Cooper] trying to be as safe and commercial as possible [because] that record is still a record for the freaks," Ty Segall says of Love It to Death. Denee Petracek/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Denee Petracek/Courtesy of the artist
"[Alice Cooper] trying to be as safe and commercial as possible [because] that record is still a record for the freaks," Ty Segall says of Love It to Death.

"[Alice Cooper] trying to be as safe and commercial as possible [because] that record is still a record for the freaks," Ty Segall says of Love It to Death.

Denee Petracek/Courtesy of the artist

On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, prolific fuzz-rock mastermind Ty Segall joins host Robin Hilton to share some of the music that shaped his new album Manipulator and a behind-the-scenes look into his recording process.

One mark of Ty Segall's short career has been his constant stream of releases. Because he records under his own name and with bands, it's hard to count, but since 2008 he's put out at least 18 albums. But he slowed way down to record Manipulator — nearly a full year has passed since he's put out an album.

"I've done a lot of other records that have been like, 'No plan. Just show up and do it,'" Segall says. The plan this time around: "I'm going to write songs for a year, and I'm not going to release them. And then I'm going to record them."

To put Manipulator to tape, he hunkered down at The Dock Studio in Sacramento with engineer Chris Woodhouse, who imposed strict perfectionist rules. "It was weird for me," Segall says. "I get impatient and I want to move on to the next project or something. It was kind of a test for me to focus," he says.

Alongside tracks from Manipulator, Ty plays Cream's "White Room" and Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen," which both helped him form his musical taste when he was young, and David Bowie's "She Shook Me Cold," a newfound favorite.

For a limited time, you can listen to the full Manipulator album through NPR Music's First Listen series.

Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for Wheels of Fire

Cream

  • Album: Wheels of Fire
  • Song: White Room

Ty Segall recalls discovering classic rock on the radio when he was a kid. " 'White Room' comes on and I was like, 'This is so cool,' " he says. "I realized that there was a whole other world out there that I had no idea existed, and that's all I wanted to do."

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Song
White Room
Album
Wheels of Fire
Artist
Cream
Label
Polydor
Released
1968

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YouTube
Cover for Love It to Death

Alice Cooper

  • Album: Love It to Death
  • Song: I'm Eighteen

Segall first heard Alice Cooper's Love It to Death when a childhood neighbor gave him a whole stack of LPs when she moved away. "It's crazy to think Love It to Death, with "I'm Eighteen" and "Still Got a Long Way to Go," was [Alice Cooper] trying to be as safe and commercial as possible [because] that record is still a record for the freaks," he says.

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Song
I'm Eighteen
Album
Love It to Death
Artist
Alice Cooper
Label
Warner Bros.
Released
1971

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YouTube
Cover for Manipulator

Ty Segall

  • Album: Manipulator
  • Song: Feel

"Feel" embodies Manipulator's urgency and focus. Segall plays the pummeling percussion solo on this track. Engineer Chris Woodhouse handles the cowbell.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Feel
Album
Manipulator
Artist
Ty Segall
Label
Drag City
Released
2014

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Cover for Man Who Sold the World

David Bowie

  • Album: Man Who Sold the World
  • Song: She Shook Me Cold

Even though he considers himself a huge David Bowie fan, Ty Segall says he had never heard The Man Who Sold the World until engineer Chris Woodhouse introduced him to it via this song. "It doesn't even sound like Bowie," Segall says. "[It] sounds like Black Sabbath or something, sounds like heavy proto-metal. ... [It] definitely informed what we were doing in the studio."

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Song
She Shook Me Cold
Album
Man Who Sold the World
Artist
David Bowie
Label
Virgin
Released
1970

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YouTube
Cover for Manipulator

Ty Segall

  • Album: Manipulator
  • Song: Don't You Want To Know? (Sue)

Ty explains that the character Susie Thumb, who appears in Manipulator, was a huge fan of another character, a rock star named Crawler. "The idea for me was that Susie saw the Crawler on TV and decided to move to try to follow the Crawler, to be like a groupie." He adds, "This song is from the perspective of her parents."

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Don't You Want To Know? (Sue)
Album
Manipulator
Artist
Ty Segall
Label
Drag City
Released
2014

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Cover for Manipulator

Ty Segall

  • Album: Manipulator
  • Song: The Crawler

To create the epic guitar distortion on "The Crawler," Ty says, engineer Chris Woodhouse "plugged in the wrong compressor for the guitar mic and it was just the nastiest thing he'd ever heard. Now it's his secret trick."

Purchase Featured Music

Song
The Crawler
Album
Manipulator
Artist
Ty Segall
Label
Drag City
Released
2014

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Cover for Hardcore Devo, Vol. 1: 74-77

Devo

  • Album: Hardcore Devo, Vol. 1: 74-77
  • Song: I'm a Potato

Segall calls Devo "the perfect art-rock band."

Purchase Featured Music

Song
I'm a Potato
Album
Hardcore Devo, Vol. 1: 74-77
Artist
Devo
Label
Rykodisc
Released
1990

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YouTube
Cover for Manipulator

Ty Segall

  • Album: Manipulator
  • Song: Mister Main

Segall sums up his affection for Manipulator cut "Mister Main" — a blend of falsetto coos and Malkmus-style guitars — in the simplest of terms. "[It's] pretty bizarre and that's why I like it."

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Mister Main
Album
Manipulator
Artist
Ty Segall
Label
Drag City
Released
2014

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