I just signed up for the 2012 RPM Challenge knowing that my PC has crapped out and I'm not likely to get a new set up in time for February. Therefore, I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact I will recording my 2012 RPM album using my iPhone. Not sure how that's going to turn out yet but I plan to try and keep it simple.
Anyway, just getting the excuses in early.
So I've been putting off changing strings on my old beater acoustic. I call it a beater not because I have nicer one I take good care of. No, it's just a beater. The top is cracked, the frets have ruts, the bridge is splitting along the peg holes and the strap peg wont stay in. Oh and the saddle tips over at about a 40 degree angle toward the neck. Soooo, I gotta put something in that will hold a strap. I'm thinking eye bolt. I have all the strings off but I can barely reach all the way to the side through the sound hole. Not sure how to prop up the saddle. Can't do anything about the ruts or cracks. Hope it makes it through Feb.
Since my last RPM effort, I've been floundering in a miasma of musical directionlessness (wow! ...is that a real word).
I've got the music software, instruments and assorted hardware all ready for Februarys blowout and my daughter even bought me a shiny new Roland midi controller keyboard.( my Edirol controller finally went to gear heaven a few weeks ago) and my wife bought me some strings for the strats. :)
However, I am less prepared for any act of creativity than I have been in the last three RPM's I've done.
Will I attempt a classic three piece rock ensemble - one guitar, one bass and drums/percussion.
Perhaps I'll go for the same loose format that I've used in my other RPM projects i.e anything that happens!
Whatever happens, I actually am looking forward to it again, despite my waffling!
over the course of the next week or 2 i will now fill it with kitchen stuff and re-record the guitars on the floor of the kitchen. vox also sung from inside the fridge. love love love.
A great yearly tradition! Also a maddening and frustrating excercise.
Throwing in a twist this time. I acquired a drum kit a few weeks ago. Hope to learn enough to lay down some tracks on drums. It will impact the drum tracks that I do with MIDI too. I already have a better sense of what makes up a drum part. As always time will be limited. But thats the beauty of RPM.
Showed up on my doorstep early this morning. He apologized profusely, if I got him right, I was still a bit bleary eared from just getting out of bed, and handed me a 50 pound parcel, nicely wrapped up in brown cardboard-looking paper. I guess the string fell off somewhere en route. He then, somewhat surprisingly, asked me to sign for it. I gather they've modernized the operations up at the northpole Santa HQ, catering for gift tracking, electronic signatures and speedy deliveries. Well I guess in my case there must have been some mixup or something, as I saw from my receipt (there's another novelty!) that it'd been to someone named Thomann in Germany who kindly sent it on, all in the spirit of Christmas I guess. Go Rudolph, I exclaimed, as Santa went on his business, waving goodbye from his sled outside on the street. Funny thing, he looked an awful lot like my mailman. And wasn't he in grey, not the customary suit? Well, I guess I wasn't quite awake. But the present is there, proof that it happened! 50 pounds of hardware goodies to play with, all through February!
I'm in again for the fifth time in a row. This year I'm going to try and be as relaxed as possible in that I'll hopefully have all the songs written in advance (due to work commitments, holidays and other things going on in February, it's the only way I'll have a hope of completing).
So far got 8 songs written acoustically, some of which we've already played out at a couple of open mic nights with good feedback so that's encouraging.
Beginning to get that itchy feeling about actually getting going. Got loads of ideas for the full band sound of these songs and it's been hard to resist trying them out...
Last year, I did a very concise album - exactly ten tracks.
I think this time around, I might try and write one 35 minute track. (It may turn out to be a trainwreck, but I want it to be a musically-interesting wreck, at least.)
(I also bought a flute - I can't figure out how the hell this thing works, though. You're supposed to blow into one of those holes, right?)
I got tons of new equipment, tons of inspirado, and tons of time. As of now some of my plans include a regular solo album of my normal melodic psychedelic guitar rock, a spacerock/krautrock freakout album, an album recorded in a couple of days in a hotel room on my little portable multitracker, an acoustic album, a metal/prog-metal album, an album of re-recordings of some of my old material that's never been really properly recorded, an album of collaborations and who knows what else. Shit that's 7 albums right there... averaging 4 days per album.... yeah, I might be able to pull that off....we'll see....I have ambitious plans, but what else is new. Who knows how much I'll get done, or how many plans will change... we'll take it day by day, moment by moment, and things will take shape as they happen... I don't know what any of these albums will be called... we'll get around to that when the time comes.... I have a handful of songs stashed away, and plan to do a ton of writing in January. I'll also be writing new songs during the recording process, as I always do. Also during January I also need to finish the work on turning my walk in closet into a vocal booth. Cause I need a vocal booth way more than I need a closet, fo sho.
Anyhow, can't wait until February 1st, I am psyched, and I'm just gonna go super crazy up in here, ya hear?
So...yeah.... collaborations... would love to work with some female vocalists... also totally willing and able to offer my services for any lead guitar work anybody might want me for... just lemme know....
Yup, I'm now officially in!
This year's album looks to be a return to my songwriting roots... It'll probably sound a lot more like my first RPM effort, "Keeping Constant Motion" with most of the lyrics being inspired by those around me and what goes on inside my head (yes, that does mean a probable return to the rambling stream-of-consciousness style that I've been criticized for in the past, but I am what I am after all).
After recording "Late December" for last years' RPM and "Burning Wood" this summer and fall as efforts to make big production albums (at least by my standards), this year will probably be much more sparse on the arranging end and more focused on what is being said...
So far, it looks like I'll be properly recording a pro-union/protest song, a look in at a mother dealing with an autistic son, my deep hatred of the New York Yankees, a question of "Where was I?" when things were happening in Portsmouth in the 90's, the pain of a necessary betrayal, today's lack of real communication in the so-called communication age, and who knows what else that'll pop into my head between now and February.
Really looking forward to freedom from trying to produce a concept album for the first time since "KCM."