February is Nigh

January 15, 2009 5:14 PM

RPM is back.

It's that time of year again...the long low cold months (at least up in this hemisphere). February is coming, and February is Record Production Month (RPM).

The RPM Challenge is about to start its fourth year. It's simple: During the month of February, participants write and record an album, aiming for 10 songs or 35 minutes of content. And you should do it! Do it because you can. Do it to prove you can. Do it because you suspect you can't. Do it because you haven't written music in a long time. Do it because you're on a roll. Do it because you'll learn from it. Do it because you'll surprise yourself. Do it for whatever reasons you want. The point is not to wait for inspiration to strike, but to pick up your instruments, your pen, your mouse and keyboard -whatever it may be - and produce audio that has never existed before.

There's been a strong MetaFilter showing for RPM during the past couple of years. Music has been bopping along so well I hope that happens again.

New this year are "regional hubs" - partner organizations that are working to coordinate RPM from outposts in Berkeley CA, led by the East Bay Express, and St. John's, Newfoundland, led by The Scope. They'll be working in concert with the originating RPM hub, Portsmouth NH's The Wire, to set up listening parties, inspire new people to get involved, and draw media attention to the fact that each year, thousands of people use RPM to make brand new music.

So....what's your project gonna be?
posted by Miko (37 comments total)

I wrote a crappy book for NanNoWriMo, I guess I can apply that kind of personal fortitude and translate it into music.

All I have is my Gameboy camera and a bass guitar, this should be interesting and unhearable at the same time.
posted by hellojed at 5:25 PM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think I just might have to.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:25 PM on January 15, 2009

Oh dear. I probably ought to, yeah.
posted by cortex at 6:13 PM on January 15, 2009

Oh, woah. New Hampshire is on the cutting edge.

I probably won't follow the rules, and instead start this month and finish by the end of february. So, take that RPM. Just another example of how cutting edge New Hampshire is.
posted by Corduroy at 6:15 PM on January 15, 2009

This is coinciding with my first effort to record a real album over many months, but it might actually be a good companion piece to try this as well.
posted by ORthey at 6:39 PM on January 15, 2009

I have the last two weeks of February off, so I've been seriously thinking about it. On the other hand, I signed up for NanoWriMo, and I never wrote a word. Not one single word. Still, it's been a while since I recorded anything, and maybe the vacation will be good for me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:06 PM on January 15, 2009

It's amazingly unlikely that I'll finish this, but I'll give it a go. I've just got a new accordion that could be of some use.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:09 PM on January 15, 2009

I've been thinking about it. I've got some equipment issues that may be resolved in time. I'll give it a solid maybe.
posted by nanojath at 7:23 PM on January 15, 2009

Er ... uh ...

Okay, I'll try it, this time around.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:48 PM on January 15, 2009

I should try this... -mental note-
posted by Zephyrial at 9:12 PM on January 15, 2009

I just wrote an album! A double album! How much music do you want from me? JESUS CHRIST.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:13 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm doing it. My album "Funpowder" will drop on February 28th.
posted by josher71 at 6:20 AM on January 16, 2009

I tried to do this the past two years. One year I almost finished it, and one I never moved beyond thinking about possibly doing something, maybe. Third times a charm, I hope. I feel good about it this year.
posted by thequietriot at 7:25 AM on January 16, 2009

I'm in.
posted by InfidelZombie at 10:25 AM on January 16, 2009

I think I'm in, too, though I always berate myself for doing it.

Here's the thing - I went for it the very first year, and I don't want to break the streak of 'participated every time'.

And yet, I was really unhappy with my output last year and the year before. Both years a got much too hung up on recording technology and songbuilding and I never did get that figured out to my satisfaction (I'm too broke). So I short-shrifted the writing and wrote shite.

This year, I may go back to what I did the first year - spend the whole month writing and then work with a friend to do my recording during the very last weekend of the month.

But what I might do is get in touch with him now and ask him if he wants to try a collaborative project - maybe pull together 3 or 4 of us, have each person write and bring 3 songs, and lay it all down, jam-demo-basement-tape style.

It's a thought. i just really want that complete t-shirt collection ;)
posted by Miko at 12:19 PM on January 16, 2009

Oh, fuck it. All right, I'm in. It's about time I did an entire album of songs for my puppet, Sailor Martin.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:22 PM on January 16, 2009

You crumbled! Crumbled like saltines over a bowl of Campbell's! bwahaha
posted by Miko at 3:13 PM on January 16, 2009

I'm weak. I know it. Weak like a little baby. A little baby who never exercises.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:49 PM on January 16, 2009

"Chowderfodder", your album will be called.
posted by cortex at 4:07 PM on January 16, 2009

Nah, I already suck without sucking at that too! BUT, good luck guys!
posted by snsranch at 6:01 PM on January 16, 2009

Maybe we should post our pages when we get signed up, so we can find other MeFites. Here's the one for my puppet, Sailor Martin.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:58 PM on January 17, 2009

I won't be able to submit one this time around. Did one in 2007, though, and it's a good way to kick yourself into action. Good luck to everyone participating!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:12 PM on January 17, 2009

Okay I'm in because my other forms of procrastination have been letting me down.
posted by pwally at 8:48 PM on January 18, 2009

argh, I tried to do an album one year but only managed about three 'pieces' - wouldnt' mind trying it again this year but if think i'm going ot be quite busy most weekends this Feb.
posted by mary8nne at 9:03 AM on January 19, 2009

Hello! I'm thinking about doing this again this year, and I'm also looking for someone else to do it with, if someone else is up for some shabby laptop-recorded Reason and guitars and such and possibly vocals if you like doing those or a garage rock with a single mic in a practice room etc etc.

I even made a doomed metatalk thread about it. The meta-site is a den of alleyways.

Have bandmix profiles and myspaces and such for those interested in working together, but don't want to cause self-link problems here.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 3:55 AM on January 23, 2009

Maybe we should start an RPM-specific "Collaborators available/needed" thread here for folks to talk that stuff out, actually.
posted by cortex at 7:04 AM on January 23, 2009

i'm going to do this for the 3rd time, under the name of vampire deer, as always
posted by pyramid termite at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2009

My past two years of participation have been really rewarding...I've made new friends, begun a collaboration with a very talented singer from Finland (you can hear our first effort on my profile page), and even managed to sell a handful of CDs from last year's project. So yeah, I'll be back, and I would definitely encourage anyone that's thinking about it to give it a shot!
posted by malocchio at 8:16 AM on January 23, 2009

It's fun to do once. I did it a few years ago.
Showed myself I could do it; come up with a bunch of stuff even when completely unmotivated. I liked about half of the songs I came up with, so that was a bonus.
Don't really have the desire to do it again.
posted by chococat at 8:25 AM on January 23, 2009

My buddy and I are attempting it again this year. Last year we didn't know each other and had very little playing time together. We have been playing diligently since then with our eye toward this challenge; but I have to go out of town for the last week so we'll see if we get it all done....
posted by Asbestos McPinto at 8:29 AM on January 23, 2009

Last year a friend and I got 1 and 5 halves songs in... This year we are going for the gold. Pure gold.

And actually after successfully recording a song with my brother who lives on the other side of the country over Christmas break, I'd be open to online collaboration. Send me guitar and drums I could send back bass lines.
posted by magikker at 1:57 PM on January 23, 2009

After much deliberation I've decided I'm in, and to make sure I actually do it this year I've told other people about it too.
posted by TwoWordReview at 8:49 PM on January 26, 2009

I chickened out the last time. I also stupidly thought I could do thing-a-day plus album-a-month, which I couldn't. Turns out I could barely even do thing-a-day. Anyhow, who cares? I'm doing RPM this time for real.
posted by O9scar at 9:16 PM on January 26, 2009

I may give it a go, though under a different nom de suck.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:54 PM on January 26, 2009

Committed. My newly updated Profile page.
posted by nanojath at 1:10 PM on January 31, 2009

I did it last year and got quite a bit out of it (not a good album put of it of course, but...).

But I think this year I'd be better served using the motivation I'd put to an RPM project towards finishing up EP Thing which has been stalled for a couple months as I piggle around with different ways of recording my voice.

But good luck to the people who have a go at it!
posted by sparkletone at 6:11 PM on January 31, 2009

I just posted an RPM song. I see that others have as well, but I think we should start using the same tags. Others have been using RPMchallenge, but I think we should add the year. I made mine RPMchallenge09. Any objections?
posted by Corduroy at 9:57 PM on February 6, 2009

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