February 20, 2011

Self-Fulfilling Muphry's Law

I saved a screenshot of this well-placed typo on a resource list from a vendor I frequently use. I have no idea if it's intentional or not(e).

February 10, 2011

RPM Challenge 2011 - Day 10

Got a migraine at work so I left early. Escaped in sleep for 4 hours on the couch, then wrote a song. I'm not feeling like I'm making enough progress this year. I want to throw up--literally, figuratively, and musically.

February 6, 2011

RPM Challenge 2011 - Day 6

Well I've seem to have fallen back on my old habit of just coming up with a lot of riffs that sort of fit together, then starting a new song and completely forgetting how the last one went. Fortunately, I am video recording everything new I come up with AND writing down the tablature (the failure of which was big mistake last year).

I have been slowly adding lyrics to the themes I had started, but the music portion is sort of taking off on its own. I don't want to be inefficient, so I hope they meet somewhere down the road but at the same time I don't want to force fit them. The final progress report for the weekend is not going to look very good. I slept A LOT and worked on music A LITTLE. This is what I've unofficially recorded (titles are just what I saved them as):

"Another Knight Rider Storms the Bus/Bites the Dust" - fairly complete musically, 4 minutes
"Gipsysong" - this one's got the golden riff, and part to follow it, but not much else. it's in 3/4
"Jesusliz" - two big parts so far to this one, and lyrics to the chorus. this will probably morph into that "Man in the Moon" song, which will then morph into "Fireman in the Moon."
"Let's Not Go Bowling" - Frankensteined the music to this one together in Wavepad. i'm still moving things around structurally, but I think I have enough parts for it. i'm not 100% it will actually become "let's not go bowling."
"Riffff66666" - another two-parter Jesus Lizard ripoff.
"Summertimes" - just two parts and a few words. i don't there will be much more than that, but I still need to find something to sing for the chorus
"Survivor of the Tiger" - musically, I've got two parts written with a weak transition between them. I have lyrics to the chorus, but haven't translated it to the guitar yet. i wrote a lot of silly words, but they may be a little too silly.
"wwwwww" - Just a couple of dissonant chords I was strumming late Friday night, but didn't write down how to play them, and the camera is at a bad angle for seeing my fingers.

That's about it so far. I feel like I'm behind, but I'm probably about where I was last year. RoBeastress is out town this week, so I should be able to record a track or two without anyone seeing my tantrums. It looks like I didn't even start recording until the 20th day last year. How the hell did I finish in just 8 days?

February 5, 2011

RPM Challenge 2011 - Day 5ish

Stayed in but still managed to drink too much last night. I came up with just one riff despite staying up until 5am. It's golden though. This is not it:

That I woke up and made happen after listening to Nirvana/Dave Grohl's "Marigold" a bunch of times. Obviously the words aren't there yet, considering there's only three lines I've come up with so far. I'm falling back on my old ways of writing the cart before the horse again, while my awesome lyrical concepts still sitting in an unopened Word document. Oh well. Whatever gets me to the end.

In other news, why the hell can't YouTube synchronize my fucking audio and video anymore? They play perfectly on my computer, then I upload and whoops, youtube crapped its pants. I would really like to solve that mystery, or better yet, eat some corn bread right now, but I need to write a thousand more songs instead.

February 3, 2011

RPM Challenge 2011 - Day 3

I came home and unsheathed the guitar for the first time in a few months since I bought a bunch of Ozzy Osbourne mp3s and drunkenly jammed along. I picked up the Yamaha and immediately locked on to a weird chord that I really dug (chorderator.com says it might be called a D#maj7no5/D), then ran for a recording device. I grabbed my new work laptop, which is equipped with a webcam, but couldn't figure out how to work the damn thing.

Fortunately, the RoBeastress came home at that moment and put a stop to my struggle by locating the software online. I banged out the song for a while and I'm pretty happy with all the parts I've come up with. It's still a little sloppy, but I'm extremely happy that I'm still able to come up with shit in a hurry. I know I said I wouldn't be putting up any Tubes this year, but I'm a liar all around. No lyrics or ideas for this one, but I've temporarily entitled it "Another Knight Rider Storms the Bus" due to the fact that the basslines to the Knight Rider Theme Song and "Another One Rides the Bus" fit in the chorus.

If this isn't synched up at all, blame YouTube. It was fine when I uploaded it.

February 2, 2011

RPM Challenge 2011 - Day 2

I wanted nothing more than to stay home today and write songs, but the Snow Day I was dreaming of ended up being a 2-Hour Delay instead. Here I am again reporting on the day without having even looked at my guitar. There is a plus side to my delayed instrumentation though--I've overcompensated by thinking about song concepts and lyrics. I've come up with 10 really strong song ideas that I plan to pursue. I've officially titled 9 of them (meaning I started a Word Document with their name in ALL CAPS), and I've got a pretty decent jump on lyrics for 4.

This pretty much turns my 2010 technique upside down, since all the songs were fully written and recorded with no consideration for lyrics or melody. This time, the words and moods are going to dictate the songs which is not something I've really ever done. I've got my fingers crossed that it will serve me well, but to be honest, going outside your comfort zone is the true spirit of this challenge, so I welcome the experiment.

I just also really quickly wanted to say that I'm extremely happy that several friends have taken up the challenge this year too. I'm already looking forward to our March victory party/decompression. Ok, enough babbling, here are the titles so far for the still untitled 2011 album:

  • This is the Start
  • Bazooka Joan
  • Let's Not Go Bowling
  • C.O.M.E. (Center Of Modern Excellence)
  • Any Prize, Any Size
  • Stereopoly
  • Anthony! Anthoni! AnthonĂ©!
  • Planet Carol Anne 2: The Other Side
  • Survivor of the Tiger
  • Moon Man in the Moon

The last one I'm a little iffy on. I found out that there's a band in the area called Moon Men on the Moon, Man which is sort of close. (Yes, if you're wondering, I look up every idea I ever have to see if someone else had it first). I'm not ready to share any of the themes or lyrics just yet. I may not at all until they're completely finished. No offense. And whatever you do, don't try to give me any ideas! Because I'm a jerk! Face!

Ice Window 2

I'm the lucky one who gets to also clear off the company van so today I was able to experience Ice Window 2: The Revenge. The quality blows, I know. I only had my camera phone on me, which I didn't have set to the best resolution.

Ice Window

There was a giant puddle to the right of my car, so I was hoping to clean off the window the lazy man's way. No dice though. I rolled it down and the ice stayed perfectly intact. There was a delivery guy unloading his truck in front of me and he freaked out--not because Ice Window was awesome, but because he was worried it was going to fall into my car. I quickly took the picture, then put the window back up. That's what Mr. COOL ICE would do.

February 1, 2011

RPM Challenge 2011 - Day 1

Somehow, it's February already. That means it's time again for the RPM Challenge--to write and record 10 songs or 35 minutes of material by the end of the month. Most of February 2010 was a fog, but I emerged victorious in my first attempt at completing the challenge.

This year, having just started a new job which is sucking away most of my free time and energy, I've decided to scale back my production a bit. I will skip playing a full drum kit, and probably just do some simple kitchen percussion (I'm looking at you, popcorn tin). I may forgo bass entirely. Also on the outs will most likely be vlogging my process as I go. I'm sure I'll still record what I'm doing on video, but it will just be so I remember what my hands are doing on the guitar. It's quicker just to type my progress anyway.

Or lack thereof. Today, I woke up with a solid concept for one short song, wrote down some random lyrics in my notebook, and hummed some melodies/riffs for another song into my portable recorder. I thought I had a cool original concept for that tune, but apparently "Bazooka Joan" is already an obscure DC comic book character from 1984. Maybe I'll still use it anyway. I'm at least planning to attempt writing lyrics along the way this time as opposed to writing, singing, and recording them all for the first time in the last 48 hours of the project. Sure, that was the most intensely creative experience I've ever had, but why put that kind of pressure myself? 28 days is plenty of time, right?

Yes, but just barely. Tomorrow I need to at least unzip my guitar from its case and start playing something or I'll start to fall behind. For now, I sleep.