RPM Challenge Global Listening Day

Today is a big day for RPM Challenge participants.  Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s community radio station, WSCA, 106.1 FM has declared today as the RPM Global Listening Day.  They are going to play one song from each of the 500 or so albums submitted this year.  They are literally playing music from all across the planet.  You can listen to their audio stream at this link right here.

Check it out.  There will be some great music, some not so great music, some music that lives somewhere in between, but all of it was made by people who felt the need to put the rest of the world on hold for a few weeks and let their own creativity shine for a while.  I applaud everyone who finished, and everyone who gave it a shot but didn’t finish, and everyone who thought about starting but never did (because next year they will own this thing).

Everyone, that is, except me.  My project was crap this year.  If you listen to the stream and you hear this song… then you know it’s me.

No “Now What” This Year

Every year when March comes around and RPM ends I feel compelled to ask myself (publicly, via blog), “now what?”

Not this year.

Musically speaking, of course. This year I am not really in that space. Maybe having to rush the RPM Challenge process at the end has taken the air out of my sails. I don’t know. I have started messing with one new song idea this month. The idea is to write a song that the band can play, but every time I do that it falls apart and none of the guys show a lot of interest.

It doesn’t matter.

As of tonight the RPM process is officially complete. I uploaded my project to the RPM website’s jukebox, and I also uploaded it to bandcamp.com.


Posting to bandcamp is always the last thing I do. It marks February as officially over.

Musically speaking, of course.

Finished with 90 Minutes to Spare — #RPM2017

My 2017 RPM Challenge album is finished and submitted. Done, done, and done.

I mixed nine songs tonight and they all sound like cow dung, which is to be expected. Of the 14 songs completed (yeah, I won FAWM too) I dropped two. One was kind of annoying (and I think I forgot to include the lead guitar in the mix… oh well). The other wasn’t a bad song, it just sounded kinda blah and crummy. I could probably do it again and pull it off, but for now it gets the axe.

All in all it’s not a good album, even by RPM’s reduced standards. It’s kinda crappy. I don’t care. I finished on time for the sixth year in a row, once again staving off failure.

Now it’s bed time. G’night, everyone!

#RPM2017 Day 28/28 — PANIC

This morning, I posted the following on my blog over at the RPM Challenge website:

Let’s take stock of the situation…

14 songs.

All of the tracking is done as of about 8:30 last night. I cranked out seven songs worth of lead guitars at a frenzied pace that pretty much guarantees I played the same solo on every song. Who cares, it’s done.

Five songs are mixed. Poorly. I want to have a mix of every song so that I can have my RPM album and a decent recording for fawm.org for anything that gets cut. Unfortunately I don’t think there will be time to listen back to everything and actually edit the sequence. I know one song is probably going to get dropped from the album, but will I decide to drop others? I should, but I don’t know if I will. The running order is probably going to be the order I finish the mixes. Just like the old days.

I get out of work at 5:30 tonight, if I am lucky. My commute home is a little more than an hour. I will end up having from about 7:00pm to midnight to finish mixing between five and nine songs.

I’ll probably work right up until midnight and then check myself off as done at the last possible minute. After that, just make sure I get a decent burial and all will be well.

Thanks, RPM folks!

Five Down, Nine to Go #RPM2017

I finished the tracking tonight with a marathon lead guitar recording session. Now I have one day to mix everything that is still unmixed. That’s a grand total of nine songs, after I managed to mix two tonight.

This one might be my favorite of the bunch this year, although I literally fell asleep while mixing it (long, long day) so who knows if it sounds okay.

RPM Challenge Day 5/28 — #RPM2017

Where did I leave off? I don’t remember.

Here’s the status… Seven riffs or groups of riffs still in the idea stage. One of them has the rhythm guitars already recorded. It will take some big time copy and paste to bring it into a song, but it’s a start. One more song sketched out and ready to record rhythm guitars. Two more have guitars already and are ready for vocals.

So effectively, three and a half songs that are more than just ideas.

The really cool thing is that the amp I bought last week has a line out that includes a digital speaker simulation. That means you can use the tube amp, bypass the speaker, and record without annoying the hell out of the family on a Sunday afternoon. Much to my surprise, it actually sounds good! I never thought I’d live to see an amp with a line out that actually still sounds like the amp. I am pleased.

RPM Challenge Day 3/28 — #RPM2017

Last night I put together a file on my iPad that has three eight bar phrases. That’s it. Not really a song form yet, but a start.

Today I did something totally different, for me at least. I bought a new amp and as I was putting it through it’s paces I had the iOS Music Memos app open. I put down four little licks or phrases. Most are sort of similar, but they all count as the start of an RPM song idea. There was also that video that I posted earlier today. That has another riff that seems useable.

That’s eight ideas so far. Only two are ready to start actually recording, and some of the music memos might be combined together into one song, but who cares. The ball is rolling. The ideas are coming. The game is on, brothers and sisters!