Demo #5 -- but I'm still screwed

I was going to work on this song some more -- double the length, changed the counterpoints in the second half -- but since my software is pooched, I've posting what I've got so far as the roughest of demos.

I've put in four days now into trying to fix damn Windows 10, with still no results in sight, so consider this a fire sale.  Everything must go! 

Andy Samford - Looks Like It's Gonna Be One Of Those 3 Albums for RPM years

so, yeah, after a flurry of solo recording this morning after work, I pretty much have enough stuff for a 2nd solo album if I finish up vocals on a couple of outtakes..... so.... i'll probably do that. 

1st solo album done.....   thinking about calling this one "Supernatural Machine". 

SRF Project....  we've got 10 songs pretty far along and an 11th to record next Saturday as well as put the final sprinkles on everything.  so this one is definitely gonna get there. The album is called Temper Temper. The band name is still being debated with Space Radio Freak-Outs and Sonic Resin Farmer among the finalists. 

2nd solo album.... as mentioned above, i'm not far from having a 2nd solo album finished. It's the weirdo album. 

 

 

 

 

 

"Rough" versions

I just posted a few unfinished versions of songs, mostly so that I feel like I'm moving forward.

Also, it gives me a safety net -- in the event of apocalypse I will have at least 3 (unfinished) tracks out in the world.

Neck deep in halfway finished and almost done bits. Gonna be a big burst at the end as they all come together at the same time!

Reason Light RPM 2018

Wow, I realized that there's only 9 days to go and I didn't publish a single thing, shame on me.

Anyway, back in 2015 I participated in the challenge and I found it truly inspiring. However, college and exams didn't allow me to take part anymore until this year, that I had a gap this month and I had plenty of time to produce, write and record.

Thing is, I am now giving some sort of shape to my music project. I remember that 3 years ago this was something more electronic/ambient oriented and now is taking some post-rock-still-electronic vibe where I'm more confortable, let's see how things go.

So far I have this big song that I could (and will) divide into three to create some sort of trilogy (really interesting, gotta say) and some other ideas that are taking shape, slowly and steady.

If I don't finish the challenge on time I will still have enough material to craft my new record or something, really looking forward to seeing how things go.

9 years ago, 9 days to go

9 days to go, and all that remains are the post-it notes, notebooks, and backs of utility bills with lyrics scrawled all over them. Is procrastination a gift if one works best under pressure?

 

***

 

I've been participating in the RPM Challenge since 2009, shortly after my younger brother sent me an article explaining the project. He knew I'd needed motivation to create some sort of music again; my band had just returned home after nearly 9 years on the road and an ugly breakup with our record label. My mates and I went our separate ways, musically and geographically. They remained in NJ, I headed to Detroit.

 

I felt as though I had abjectly failed as an artist. I could never make my voice heard in a group that contained 4 other songwriters, and I became depressed. Eventually, I just went with the flow and through the motions. Play the show. Collect the cash. Shake some hands. Watch the scenery blur by in the overnight hours from the window of a Ford Econoline. 

 

I got to Detroit in September 2009 with a Honda Accord full of clothes, a computer, and a cracked Takamine acoustic guitar. I knew deep down that I needed to write the music that was simmering inside, so I got to work that February and wrote an album with what I had. Did it suck? Yes! Was I happy with it? Hell yes!

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that RPM has more or less inspired and forced me to learn my craft and get better every time. I haven't finished the albums for a majority of the years- either due to work crap, equipment failure, or an entire host of other self-created issues- but each one's been better than the last. 

 

So here I am, 9 years later with 9 days to go. Time to cram, time to shred my vocal chords, time to scream into the sonic void of my home studio.

 

The hardest part is getting started. I think I finally found what I was looking for; hope you all did too.

 

Peace.

-

I give unto you: Cock rock.

Just uploaded this into the player. Check it out if you're in the mood for something absolutely ridiculous and tasteless.

 

_Dead Hooker in the woods-

it was a quarter past midnight
in the woods by the shore
I drank a beer under moonlight
smoked a spliff and drank some more

Off in the distance something caught my eye
A dead girl laying face up in a ditch
I chugged my forty ouncer and inspected the bitch
I poked her with a stick

I found a dead hooker in the woods
I'm gonna get stoned and take her home
I ain't ever gonna be alone

Laid her down in the guest room
stitched her up and cleaned her real nice
did her hair up like Elvira
after checking it for lice

Propped her up at the table

Set for she and I

Some candlelight and red wine

A little smooth jazz... yeah, I knew she was mine

I don't think that the neighbors know about the dead girl living with me
I'm sure they'd be pretty fuckin' judgemental if they ever did see
the corpse bride shrine in my creepy basement dungeon
You know sometimes, the smell can be quite pungent.

Guitar Instrumental

This is my second RPM challenge. This time, I set out to do a guitar instrumental. Technically, I finished but I'll add more I'm sure. It was cool to be able to wake up and just start recording whatever popped in mind. As time went on, I found myself playing more precisely against my drum tracks and just getting crazy critical making sure to land notes on time. Although I'm primarily a Metal guitarist, I  added funk and country into the mix at times as well as some ballad types of things. I also keep remixing and re-uploading those mixes but we still have a few days so that's cool!

What kinds of things did you learn or explore during your recording process?

Doomed to repeat history?

I hope not. I felt this was the year, for sure. But, then again... I have said the same thing every single year.

Though, I still feel accomplished for having settled on a theme, and complete a track list of names for songs, because naming things is hard, I still am not close to getting songs complete.

I also forgot to mention, I did a free form session where I just played music along to a movie for over two hours. I came up with just over 30 song sketches. The challenge is now to extract the good things from these ideas and turn them into songs.

I think I just need to remind myself: for the purpose of the challenge, the songs do not have to be "radio ready." They just need to be complete.

9 more days to go.

Redundantly repeated reiteration

...over and over again...

The songs on this album are all different, but I am starting to realize that I've pretty much done them all before...

The Same Axe

I've been playing around for a good while with this tune, but it's gradually morphed. It started as a cover of an old rag tune but after singing it for years has a different melody, new lyrics and the bit I had kept - the tag line - has now gone to make it acceptable for inclusion here. What's similar is the form. It's a repeating circle of fifths progression. Banjo, telecaster and washboard.

 

Is it still the same axe?

 

Could We Get Along

 

Pajamas and central heating

I rolled out of bed late today (-27 C outside) and began a cavalcade of responsibility shirks: dishes - no, laundry - nah, teaching my friend's 8 year old piano - rescheduled, exercise - zip, putting real clothes on - over-rated.

But I put in a good 4 hours on RPM. Tried to understand compression settings. Removed the stupid gargled synth banjo from a song. Started re-recording a lot of sketchy lines. Man, you really hear it when you solo a track. 

And, in keeping with my C+ student approach to this...I'm uploading yet another 70% finished track. Because this may be as far as it gets...

 

My Particle Breakdown

Here's a case of setting the bar too high. The goal was to hit this level of production for all ten songs, but that came back to bite me in the ass. At any rate, I loaded up an instrumental version of "My Particle Breakdown," a song that's been kicking around in my head for a long while. It's a bit of cheat since I had the drums and bass line recorded before February began (commence to hurling rotten fruit).

This one draws a lot of influence from Brian Eno's work with both Talking Heads and David Bowie. The 'Low' album from Bowie, in particular, is one of my favorites (at least the non-instrumental half...which is a little ironic since I've only provided an instrumental version of my own song).

I programmed the A-List Drummer in Reason for drums, plus a couple of oddball "tinky tonk" loops. I play the heavily fuzzed out bass and a trio of guitar parts (semi-tight funk, clean dreamy, and the Fripp/Belew-esque lead) live. Even though I spent many a year playing pummeling rock music, I really dig mining for new synth sounds in the Reason program. I suppose there's more than a tip-of-the-hat to Gary Numan in the choruses.

Will I have the vocals recorded for this one before the ball drops on the 28th? Who can say.

Damn-bition

I think I bit off too much this time, got too fussy about things too early in the process. It's looking less likely I'll finish the project I thought I was making on day one.

I'll do a rough mix of what I can and upload, but sans lyrics and vocals. And probably sans other stuff, too. (On the upside, I now have the rest of the calendar year to build on what I started...)

I'm feeling like there's a musical hail-Mary pass in me though, and I hope it bypasses the producer's mind that has damned me to incompletion.

And I think I made two football metaphors just now, so times must be getting desperate.

tick tock

well hey

 

I'd thought that I'd have so much time this month to do this, and then these projects that I thought were done kept showing up - like the kids that just won't go to bed when you want to go out - 'I'm hungry' - shaddup kid

 

so here's hungry ghosts

 

for the record, and disclaimers notwithstanding, there are five more songs written, but I just haven't put them down yet. There's also another Amy Kenny song that right now sounds like sonic youth covering the cars. and another that I think will go prog. I doubt that I'll have the time to go full prog, which is where I thought this all might go at the beginning of the month

 

I'm currently listening to 'Panorama', by The Cars

 

I did another version of 'don't say anything'; it feels flat. the first one had a spirit but the drums and the overall mix bothered me.

 

I'm enjoying reading about other peoples trlals and tribs - its made mine feel more normal. Combat Inertia!! Forza!!

 

 

 

 

Dinner

I just realized my dinner consisted of bud light and bud light only ...Dilly dilly I suppose.

Battling with a Xenomorph

Today was somewhat frustrating... Started out pretty early in the morning, long before the sun came up... had a track I'd been working on here and there since the 3rd of the month that was plaguing me. Wasn't happy with some of the synths, wasn't happy with the percussion.. it needed more variance...

I changed out the percussion completely, added more changes to the melodies and bassline and added in more percussion parts... but then got to a point where I'd heard it so many times that I needed to walk away. Figured eating lunch and getting back to it would be the way to go...

Six hours later... my break was way longer than I anticipated, I listened to the track again - there were some levels that were too high on some instruments... adjusted that. Still not sure about the thing as a whole - but the end of the month is still 10 days away, here's today's 'most completed track I haven't yet uploaded to the player' - Xenomorph.

 

As always -- feedback, suggestions, criticisms, and recipes for brownies are always welcome.

Stealing Bryan Adams' chords

So, after listening to too much "Cuts Like a Knife," this little track had to happen.

 

ALL OF ME (up now in the player...  come on by for a listen!)

 

I always thought that only fools could fall for love at first sight

But when I caught you in the corner of my eye I knew they might've had it right

You wouldn't think a man like me would want to give it one more try

But something 'bout you's got a hold on me and I'm wondering why

 

I've seen your face before although I can't remember when

And I would launch a thousand ships just to see your face again

For the chance to be

Here with you running wild and free

I'd give you all of me

 

Your heart is made of gold and I can tell 'cuz mine's been covered in rust

I've been broken, gotten tired, gotten old - I never thought that I could trust

Maybe all these years of holding back has got me wanting to let go

And why it took so long to find you here is something I'd sure like to know

 

The music in your laughter, I don't want to fight

And I'd crash upon your shores to hear you singing in the night

For the chance to be

Here with you dancing by the sea

I'd give you all of me

 

Girl you amaze me and there's nothing I won't do

And you might think I'm crazy, but I've got some news for you

I think I'm crazy, too

 

So all I need to know is will you take me by the hand

And look me in the eye or leave me where I stand

For the chance to be

Running wild and free

Dancing by the sea

I'd give you all of me

OK I'm screwed.

Friday night my ancient music software (along with other, non-music programs) stopped working (THANKS A FRIGGING LOT WINDOWS 10), and I've just wasted 48 hours trying to fix the problem, and then to work around the problem, like installing the software on my wife's computer (THANKS A FRIGGING LOT, WINDOWS VISTA), but nothing is working.  Even if I found the solution right now, I've probably lost too much time and momentum to complete 10 songs this month.

(But hey, if I DO find a solution soon, I'll run my ass ragged trying to catch up!)

Although I can still probably do the Conference of Mayors project, as long as they'll accept a REALLY rough recording.  

 

I've Got Blisters On My Fingers

... to quote Ringo. Been playing guitar for pretty much 12 hours straight today with the hope of finishing the instrument tracking. I'm close, but not quite there yet.

This month has been insanely busy, sometimes I wish my social life was a little less social, though I did manage a solid weekend of recording.

Next week, I've got a gig on Tuesday and a colleague's leaving drinks on Thursday. I've loaded what I've got so far onto my MacBook and will be editing and comping on the way to and from work which should ease the burden.

Hopefully I'll finish the instruments tomorrow, then have Wednesday and Friday for vocals, which will leave me next weekend as well as Monday to Wednesday to finish editing and then mixing and mastering this thing.

It'll get done, just hope I can do justice to what I've got in my head in the remaining time available.

 

Profiles

Has anyone else had trouble accessing their account? I have been doing this since 2007 and never changed my account... but when I tried to sign on it didn't recognize my username, password, or email address! I went ahead and created this new account, but it is kinda odd, no?

 

Anyhow, these past few months have been fairly chaotic for me, but my girlfriend and I are tackling RPM once again... cheers!

 

Oh, and also, there used to be a box to check when you signed up for the challenge... did that go away?? I have no idea if I am "official"...