RPM 2018: Day 19

9:27am. Ok. I was a little rough on myself yesterday. It’s clear by the last few songs that I’m attempting to weave some different styles together here, and I’m just at the beginning of this journey. I’m feeling the changes are a little rocky, but that’s to be expected of my first foray into this territory. I’m speaking mostly of song #4, The Remedy.

I’m trying to take some of the elements of dance music and work into them some interesting chord changes. There’s a bit of history to share here. When I did my first album (cassette) in 1989, there were three hard-rock instrumentals on side one. Side two had a New-Order-ish new wave song, a piano instrumental, and then a jazz number on which my friend Jim Berry played flügelhorn.

Over the next 10 years, all these disparate elements would come together more cohesively on my 2001 release, Roadstar. I’m telling this story to myself more than anyone. I need to be patient. I’m trying to do something fun that’s going to take time, trial, end error. And there’s no better milieu than the RPM Challenge to do this stuff.

There’s zero pressure to release any of this stuff (although I feel excited to spend time fixing each song until it’s cool enough to do so!). I should relax and enjoy the process.

To be honest, the careful reader may have sensed that I’ve been getting a little frustrated with my output (or lack thereof) over the past week or so. I almost gave up on the challenge citing the fact that “it’s not fun anymore”, or “it’s not bringing me joy”. Well, I have two things to say. It’s a challenge. Like a foot race. Of course it’s going to get a little harder as I go along, but the only way to lose is to totally give up and sit down on the curb. Which I will not do. I will try to loosen up a bit and try to actually have some fun with this.

As mentioned before, I’m going to shoot for 10 songs no matter how long it takes. I may not finish the 5k in 25 minutes, but I’m not going to stop until I cross the finish line.

It’s very unusual for me to share work in such a raw form (see: vocals on The Remedy from yesterday). But it’s all part of the process I’d like to show, and hopefully will be a rewarding one when some of these songs end up on my polished album this Spring.

Thanks for following along, and drop me a line in the comments if you’re so inclined.

2:31pm. Just played around a little bit with Garageband using my mini-keyboard. It’s just a sketch but I think I can go home and make it into something much cooler. The music is very simple, but it’s got a nice groove. I took a nap around noon and had a dream about an old guy who drives his car really fast. So I decided to write a song about him. It’s called “65 in a 30”.

Here’s what my little writing station at the coffeeshop looks like:

Garageband is great for idea keeping, and it wouldn’t be half bad for recording if the whole world wasn’t using exactly the same sound library. I think it would be fun to try and make an EP at some point using Garageband exclusively. I think my late friend Roger did this. I’m going to go home and chill a bit and then start to recreate this tune in my workstation at home.