seventh song

Not sure what I'm doing this month. The songs are so......well, whatever.

re-sung this one 5 times and it still has problems. 

Yes, we're all our own worst critics !

I think I have ten songs almost ready, but not sure what I'm trying to convey.

There seems to be no central theme.

Just trying to stay true to myself and  let what comes come.

This one is kind of depressing HA !


Progress, Interrupted

Damn, I've slipped a bit after taking the weekend off (more or less), and today I've arrived at Panic Station without my bags.

Will all the cool things in my head make it to the final mixing stage in two weeks? Probably not. Will all the songs resemble *songs* in two weeks? Sure. Maybe? Maybe no--OH QUIT IT BRAIN.

It'll get there. I believe in magic!



My Challenge record is going to be a collection of ambient lap steel pieces.  I have about 6 pieces so far and will be going for 8-10 longish tracks as final.

Don't have title yet, maybe Forest for Trees or Left of Center or we'll see...


Avoiding 'Naff'

Hi there,

I've just uploaded song number 4 - wow this is really taking it out of me! I'm the world's slowest songwriter and part of the reason for that is I'm endlessly judging everything I write. This challenge doesn't give me time to do that, which is why I wanted to do it. But it scares me - I spend a lot of my time trying not to be naff when I'm songwriting. Naff just comes so naturally to me :)! It follows me around especially when I'm trying to be cool! But we all know 'cool' is about not trying right!? How would I know!

I don't know if it's because I was brought up on music on Top 40 radio or because my day job is singing in cover bands, but I just seem to head towards the cheese. Ah well, maybe I should just accept it and enjoy it, after all cheese is delicious!



The Missed Connections / new tune

I miss Amelia—she was so good!

I uploaded a demo for a pretty ambitious tune, "Crumbling." Have not edited the e-drums at all, so if you want to hear me fucking up a bunch before I clean it up and make it the most amazing thing you've ever heard, well—now's your chance. 

envelope of blue
goodbye to all friends
down the firehouse pole
envelope number 2
looks different
crossing out the whole page
when i speak your name
the heavens pour
sweet is the water
There are more lyrics but I haven't recorded them yet. Also, no bass on this yet.


She Walks (track three)

A little echo effect and some simple strumming.  Come on by for a listen!





She walks on the leaves without making a sound

She walks like she can’t hear the dragons all around

She walks and the sun stays a pace or two behind

She walks with your secrets in the back of her mind


You’ll know her when you see her

Not sure you’ll want to meet her


She walks on the water any time she likes

She walks in the shadow and stays bathed in light

She walks up the mountain and stands in the sky

She walks into the open knowing she was meant to fly


You’ll know her when you see her

Are you ready to meet her?

One demo in the player

Well I'm moving slow but I managed to get a demo in the player. Still needs to replace the electronic drum set with real ones but the idea is there. Now I just have to do it 9 more times. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH

Oh yeah, Radio Show and Song 8

When I'm not recording writing and recording music, I host a free form radio show on an internet radio site once a week, usually on Friday nights. Normally my show plays all genres, signed and unsigned bands... 

At the end of the Challenge I'd love to throw an RPM themed show together and air some tunes from the challenge and have some discussion...even if its an hour or so. 


I may formally request songs that I hear in the player, to include. 



an update on my own work, I've got 8 songs to tape now. All instrumental still, but lyric ideas exist for a few. Over the weekend I wrote and recorded a driving "metal/hard rock" song, a "Pop Punk" song and a "Disco/Funk/Modest Mouse" song... I'm in the process of buying a new car now which is going to cut into my after work time this week....I'm stoked at how ts coming though.. when the melodies get stuck in your head.... all night... thats a good sign. 


Yet to start!

For various reasons, none of which are worth going into, I've yet to write a single piece. 

Was thinking to skip this year, but I might try and salvage something.

Will fire up the DAW in the morning, and see what's up.

6 down 4 to go

6 songs mapped out now, some nearer completion than others.  I've got quite a bit of recording to do but I can get parts done in the evenings which is quick compared to writing and arranging.  I know what they are, style wise, now I just need to write them!

day 12.. I don't know how many songs I have..

I got on a rol and kept on pumping out instrumentals last week, and I have no idea how many songs I have off hand.

I tracked vocals for about five songs today, one of which being a 9 minute gothic ballad about my hard on for lydia from beetlejuice I've had since 1988.

Tracked vox for four other tubes about subjects ranging from general weirdness to some ambiguous political commentary that despite it's obscure word play, I'm sure someone will get offended. Hopefully I can offend people on both the left and the right.

Eventually, I ran out of lyrics, which means I'm gonna have to spend a few hours on the toilet writing more shitty poetry.

New tunes definitely getting posted this week.






Day 12: On and on I go...

I've got the principle recording done on six songs now. Hopefully I'll have another one or two done today. That would leave me with two to go. Then on to the vocals. I'm not as far as I thought I'd be, but I think taking longer than my usual isn't really a bad thing. I'm having fun and that's mostly what matters in this project. 

So, we'll see what the day brings...


D12: Soon to quit writing more songs

Wasted two days on a weekend trip. Wrote some lyrics on the bus though.

This morning while outside running errands I came up with again more lyrics and started to record a brand new song right away when I came home. Now I have 8 tracks somewhat recorded. Only two more needed, and then I can focus on getting all of these finished - without the pressure of starting any new ones anymore. I have pile of lyrics from which to choose the last additions, and I already have a couple of good candidates which I'd like to have on the album. But you never know. It is possible that again tomorrow I come up with some entirely new lyric and record that. That's how RPM songs happen to me; there may exist a lot of good plans but then some unexpected idea just comes and bypasses everything else.

I'm trying to push the two more tracks in next two days. Then I'd have one week for additional recording, and one week for mixing. Front cover artwork is basically ready but I'm going to do some extra stuff too to get the physical cd look nice. Will start doing that stuff when the tracklisting is ready and fixed.


Four Tracks And Endless Listening

I finished four tracks this weekend. Work remaining on all of them includes...

  • Adjusting mixing
  • Possible re-records for a few vocal and guitar sections
  • Any other add-ons that time allows (late, late in the month)

To figure out those last bits of polishing, I've been listening to the tracks again and again and again, and just handed them off to a co-worker to get his take. 

Now the songs are stuck in my head, something that made it hard to fall asleep last night! Is that a good thing? 

Anyway, getting closer... 

I found having a rough reference track that I recorded earlier in the month to be a huge help. I was able to block out the songs and then just play, following along with what I had recorded parts of (and then looped) earlier. 

02.12.2018; Another

While collecting sounds, listening to the sounds and editing the current "song", 45+ minutes long, another "song" came about.  Not sure how long this one will be, whether it will be a continuation of the first piece, or a totally new piece but it has the same sort of feel as the first one.

I don't know why when I compose music it always turns out to be 30+ minute pieces.  I think I am the only person that has the patience to listen to these tracks... 

Three works in progress up

No where near done yet, still mixing, EQing and other various tasks to do. But I put up three tracks that have a little bit of compression going and some reverb that I also need to fix. 

16d 16h etc etc Gumbo's news

Funny how a little comment can shift the goal posts. Keith said something along the lines of 'I'd like to hear anything you've got' yesterday and out came two lyrics with chords and stuff and i have two sketches of songs. Finally! Thank you Keith! With a bit of luck some kind of logjam has burst and we can get this boat out on the river.

Still not happy with the sound, looking for ways of recording without traffic noise insinuating itself through the attic and chimney etc but it's coming together. On the downside i have an infestation of CABLES!

I'll post some audio soon I promise!

Mac McIntyre - lack of progress report

Struggling to motivate myself to do the guitar parts... I think i'm overwhelmed by the sheer monstrously bloated nature of my drum/bass/ambient back tracks.

Also still not recovered from the end of January flu/bug/virus... everything a frickin' energy sapping effort.

I think I'll go and find myself a dark, quiet corner to go feel sorry for myself.

...but I'm still in it.


afc update 2.12.18

sick as a dog, started tracking guitars today, with a hacking bloody cough and a head thats 2 sizes too small, 1/2 way through i realized i wasn't getting full volume out of one side of mixer, which freaked me out until i realized the fucking master fader was down and had run it up and down until it cleared out, no idea what that was about.  anyways, i think all the guitars are done, i'm perfectly happy with the clean sound on every song, and the drums and clear and dry and i'm perfectly happy with that as well.  i hate the damn bass tracks, so i restrung the fretless this evening and will retrack shortly.  Wilsun sent over some vox which though the takes are great, sound like he's singing in a tin car.  he tells me singing in his car will fix that.  i'd say i'm at least over 50 percent down with everything and 16 days left or something, with a three day weekend coming up and who knows how many sick days if this bullshit gets any worse.  love you.

Bring me more pots!

Tom Waits once said something to the effect that while writing, him and Kathleen would sometimes just be waiting on a single drop of inspiration, then they would have trouble finding enough pots and pans to catch all the ideas. I'm paraphrasing, obviously. Today was definitely a pots and pans kind of day!

Track 2 is in the bank, fully arranged. I've got solid ideas for guitar and bass parts, and I'm quite proud of the middle section. It's a bit different for me, and I like it.

Track 3 tomorrow. Still trying to find that great melody to anchor the whole thing down.