So, to update you all on the FAWM and RPM Challenges I have been working on this month:

  1. On Friday and yesterday I stayed home and either finished my lyrics, or ran some marathon vocal sessions.  Yesterday alone, I did almost 7 straight hours of singing, with some 5 minute to 10 minute breaks in between. Through quite a few takes and punch-ins (I would rather do takes than punch-ins, actually) was able to get 8 songs down, although by song #7, my voice was getting pretty thrashed. As, by song 7, I was running out of time anyway, I started limiting myself to one take and some phrase repeats.  At least to minimize the pitchiness of that one take.
  2. At this point, I have completed and recorded enough material to complete my RPM Challenge.  I would have liked to have recorded three more songs and have recorded proof of doing BOTH the RPM and the FAWM challenges this month on one CD, but that would mean more days off and not getting the CD out until this weekend.    I will certainly finish writing and recording for the FAWM challenge this month, but the three songs I have left to do won’t be on the RPM challenge CD.
  3. I am giving my ears a couple of days off before I start the comping and the mixing.  I am still pinching myself over how good the songs already sound coming out of Band In A Box.  In every single way, gifting myself with a BIAB update and upgrade from simple to MegaPak has turned out to be great investment.
  4. Once again, due to aspects of my life getting in the way, a lot of my work on the challenges had to be held of until what appeared to be the last minute.  I had not planned for this, and I will need to organize myself better next year, as well as put up some boundaries.  Of course, I say that every year.  Every year, I tended to take a week or so off anyway to work on this thing. This year, I only took a  couple of days.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.
  5. Again, about Band In A Box:  This year’s challenge ended strictly being composed via this software.  Thanks to the upgrade, it was all about being able to pick a style and write a song around it.  As I wanted to explore things that I don’t normally do, I ended up writing and recording 5 country tracks, 4 blues songs, 1 bluegrass song, and 1 reggae song.   The songs essentially wrote themselves, although I am a concerned that they might be either:
    1. TOO generic-sounding, in that, as I don’t listen to a lot of country music anyway, I may have inadvertently duplicated something that was on someone’s album 20 years ago, or something.
    2. Might not completely fit their respective genres, in that, especially in the terms of lyrics, the subject matter might seem to veer toward singer/songwriter than, say, a traditional country song.  No matter.  This is just an exercise anyway.
    3. At least two of the songs have similar chords structures, which means that I may be trying to write too many songs too quickly.  Grrr….
  6. As promised, I have created a separate soundcloud account for this year’s songs:  As you can see, right now, there is nothing on there.  This is an old moniker actually, one that I USED to use to upload things to that I could disavow at a later time, hee hee!  I have not uploaded anything, anywhere as Shaky Tee and the Lo-Hi Fivin’ Orchestra in 15 years.  I am still a little annoyed at Soundcloud for not allowing me to use the full name of the ‘band’ and forcing me to abbreviate it.  I am sure I can find a workaround.
  7. At this point, if I can get myself to focus enough, I think can finish comping my vocal tracks and mixing the songs by Thursday, throw them into Landr for a quick mastering job Thursday night, send out the RPM Challenge CD on Friday, and complete my last three songs for the FAWM Challenge over the weekend.  For the first time since I decided to do TWO challenges in February instead of one, I am actually overflowing in musical beds, and the lyrics and melody were initially a struggle to write, although, I was able to get into enough of a zone last Friday, and over the weekend, to finish most of them.
  8. Once again, for inspiration, the internet was my friend. 🙂  Especially for the blues tracks.  Seriously, you cannot make some of this shit up, anymore.
  9. I have purposefully limited my contact with various forums, as I get too distracted from my projects, as it is.  Once I am done, I am off to view, listen and review other people’s work.  I am hoping whatever feedback I provide will be helpful.

So that is this year’s listicle on my progress.  I will hopefully start posting the resulting songs Thursday night or Friday morning.  Stay tuned!