Well, it’s almost February and I know what that means! It means hours of fun huddled over (most commonly) a guitar, a microphone, a Presonus USB Audiobox and my outdated laptop! Why? The annual www.RPMChallenge.com (check it out – free, original music!) I’ve done the challenge four times since discovering it: 2008, 2009, 2011 & 2014, recording under the band name ‘Alive Underground’. It gives me a lot of pleasure to be able to take those snippets of lyric that come to me out of nowhere while driving or running or otherwise ‘doing something else’, and be able to mash them into some sort of story/song, all the while wailing away on various instruments that I play with [note that I said “play with” rather than simply “play”…I do not profess to be a virtuoso of any description!]. The challenge acts as a sort of reminder to, once a year at least, take the jumble of thoughts and record them rough and dirty as they are, into a collection of ideas that is preserved for future consumption and use. These are all at best third or fourth takes, some even first takes, and so there are no indications of ‘over production’ but in my mind that’s part of their charm. It’s actually quite a thrill as the month gets underway to see (and hear) how all those unrelated ‘turns of phrase’ come together into a handful of songs and sounds…and by month’s end there’s an artistic creation that simply put, did not exist prior to February! I never know what I’m going to end up with so that keeps it exciting!
You can give a listen to my previous efforts at this link: http://aliveunderground.rpmchallenge.com/ and later in March, check out the(as yet untitled, unwritten & unrecorded) 2015 album! And as always feel free to leave comments, be they scathing critiques or words of encouragement (I take strength from both!).