Your music plans for 2010?

January 5, 2010 1:29 AM

I don't necessarily want to say "resolutions," but what do want to accomplish, musically, this year?

I want to finish recording some more new songs. A dozen would be nice, but I've tried and failed at that the last two years; maybe eight is do-able...?

I also want to collect some of the best songs and do some sort of album. Maybe it's passé, but it still feels like having a thing is important.

It will also give me something to sell at live shows, which is my third goal: start playing live again. I've never done solo shows, so this is a little daunting.

Finally: Comment more on MeFiMu. It seems to me that commenting has really died down here lately, and I'd like it not to.

How about you?
posted by Karlos the Jackal (54 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Make a record with Mike Watt and Nels Cline. That's the loose plan, anyway.

Make a record with my new roots/Americana trio. All traditional stuff, reinterpreted. Delta blues from folks like Tommy Johnson and Ishmon Bracey, old hymns, ballads, etc. We don't have a name yet, but we've done one gig, and it was a gas. Members are: me (on vocal and a sort of "fife and drum-style" percussion kit I assembled), Tomo on acoustic guitar (he has a great feel for pre-war blues and folk styles) and Junzo on harmonica (ditto the great feel). Any suggestions for a group name would be most welcome.

Make another solo record of songs, to follow up last year's Roomful of Ghosts.

Post more performance video clips to YouTube and Vimeo.

Do more gigs.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:17 AM on January 5, 2010


I am working on a genetic algorithm project which I will use to program my Yamaha FS1r. Eventually, I would like to expand this so that any machine that can accept a Sysex dump could be supported with a little work.
posted by mkb at 6:52 AM on January 5, 2010


Work on my blues chops.

Put together some new songs for my band.

Maybe submit an entry for a MeFiMu challenge.
posted by jpdoane at 7:24 AM on January 5, 2010


More output. I love music, I love making music, I love having made music. Why don't I make more music? That's the biggie.

Work on my drumming. Try and actually break from my normal "take it slow and haphazard" approach to instrument skill development and actually work on it. Make a rough schedule. Follow in part some kind of lesson plan or exercise collection. React to "this is hard" with "let's do it again" instead of the usual "let's do something else".

I've been going over all my old recordings, both my solo stuff and demos and rehearsals and live shows from the bands I've been in, and I miss playing in a band. I haven't figured out yet whether I miss it enough to justify the various stresses and logistical difficulties and miscellaneous bullshit that comes with being in a band, though, so I think my intent isn't so much "start a band" as it is "figure out if I should start a band".

The idea of breaking completely with the folks I've played with before and starting something new from scratch is both compelling and terrifying. I know people, good, talented people who I like socially and musically, but if they're people I've tried being in a band with and it didn't work out, it seems like a special sort of madness to let my thinking about starting something up begin with talking to them.
posted by cortex at 7:57 AM on January 5, 2010


  • Recapture a sense of focus with regards to my banjo playing. I took up clawhammer banjo almost 8 years ago, but have gotten distracted by other instruments over the years, and since the weekly session I frequented shut down 3 years ago I've been coasting. I want to refocus on both technique and style, so I no longer feel obliged to include apologetic notes along with tracks I might post to places like this.
  • Work on singing (and singing while playing) - my self-consciousness about singing seems to have started dissolving on its own over the last year or so, but I have a long way to go.
  • Start learning old-time fiddle - while this is somewhat at odds with goal #1, it's something I've been wanting to do for several years, and I now have a friend willing to show me the ropes if I can get a playable fiddle outfit together.
  • I was about to add 'Complete the RPM Challenge' to my list, but the swell of anxiety I feel at the thought of trying to pull that off next month tells me maybe I should just let it go this year. (Rather than stress out for the first half of February, give up, and feel lame for the second half, which is what I've done the last two years.) It's probably a lot more fun with collaborators.

posted by usonian at 8:42 AM on January 5, 2010


Complete my all vocal covers of two more songs, possibly three if I do the requested Talking Heads track. The other two are seekrit.
posted by waraw at 9:24 AM on January 5, 2010


Get a good recording of my band. Haven't done that for a while, and we have a lot of good new material I'd like to get down.

Make more of an effort to promote the band and get better gigs, instead of letting show offers come to us.

Record more solo material, including the RPM Challenge this February.

Work on my guitar and vocal skills.
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:41 AM on January 5, 2010


Get. Paying. Gigs.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 10:04 AM on January 5, 2010


I love that flapjax can say 'make a record with Mike Watt' and not tack on "...in my mind" afterwards.
posted by umbĂș at 11:23 AM on January 5, 2010


Actually finish the collaboration with Major Dundee that we emailed about a while back.

Get better at mixing and mastering.

Make enough money from music to justify a new computer and Pro Tools HD system (yeah, that one's not going to happen).
posted by The World Famous at 11:26 AM on January 5, 2010


Oh, and learn to play Ukelele proficiently in the next 2 weeks so that I can teach my son to play on the Uke he got for Xmas.
posted by The World Famous at 11:29 AM on January 5, 2010


I am going to just flat out play more, and I am going to finish the album I've been working on for the past two years.

Playing out is something I really need to be a lot less lazy about, too.
posted by Pecinpah at 4:44 PM on January 5, 2010


Good luck to all of you and your endeavors! This should be a great year. There is a slight chance that I may play a couple of shows this year, but I'm really looking forward to doing some busking. That's something I've been putting off even longer than playing with bands.

(Not musical, but I've been doing a lot of work in photography and sculpture...I hope to have a few things suitable to post on projects.)
posted by snsranch at 7:10 PM on January 5, 2010


Cool, sns... you don't have a flickr page for your photography?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:34 PM on January 5, 2010


Finish this EP thing and send it to friends.

Literally learn how to play and make music with others and how to record with others. Also, learn about some new ways to record.

Participate more on Metafilter Music, of course.
posted by Corduroy at 7:41 PM on January 5, 2010


for Phantom West:
- Finish Vaporware (how's that for an oxymoron?) and release it. This one should be good for general (alt/rock) public consumption.
- Finish the next (untitled as of yet) album after that -- it's a pretty abstract and arty "concept" album which I'm keeping a tight lid on, but the couple people I've mentioned it to are excited to hear the result

for MA46:
- Finish and release the debut full-length album
posted by chimaera at 9:12 PM on January 5, 2010


I'm kind of tired of music-making at the moment - seems a bit pointless somehow. But I've had this kind of inertia/block before and it'll pass eventually.

Main thing I really need this year is to connect with other musicians - desperately need to spark off other people and get that creative excitement back. "Sometimes you can't make it on your own".....

Other than that, and in no particular order:

- No more covers - apart from one more Bowie one that I'm pissing about with in a desultory way
- Refocus on my guitar playing - it's what I do best and I've neglected it for too long
- Sell some of the guitars I don't use so I can buy a Mesa Lonestar and an AKG C414
- Try and get someone else to sing - I don't enjoy it, will never have confidence in it, and am happier in the background
- Stop writing/recording as a kind of Pavlovian after-work habit - wait for the muse to visit and if she'd doesn't show up well.....nothing doing;
- Get back in a band and play live again - I'd love to get into an old-fashioned blues-rock outfit (Robin Trower, Bad Co, Free, Nazareth etc) and just do a few local pubs for the joy of it (and some free beer, obviously)
posted by MajorDundee at 2:01 AM on January 6, 2010


Dundee writes: "seems a bit pointless somehow"

but contradicts himself with this:

"free beer".

Come on, Major, there's the point!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:05 AM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Should have added, intriguingly I hope, that the Bowie thing I'm messing with isn't strictly a cover. I have the multi-track for one of his songs...............so it'll be his vocals but most everything else will be me. Very, very strange indeed to hear his isolated vocals with all the asides, fooling around, clicks, pops and other stuff still there that were dropped out in the final mix.

I'm a mass of contradictions Flapjax and make no claims to consistency - sounds suspiciously like a musician to me.......!
posted by MajorDundee at 2:34 AM on January 6, 2010


his isolated vocals

Want. To. Hear.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:06 AM on January 6, 2010


You'll just have to wait........heh, heh, heh (fades into heavy reverb). If you're all very good boys and girls and eat your greens I will share the secret with everyone once I've uploaded it - in about a week or so's time I reckon. I suspect it will be a runner for a future challenge......
posted by MajorDundee at 3:38 AM on January 6, 2010


- RPM Challenge in February. (try and get 10 done this year)

- Start a Band.

- Play Acoustic Guitar for at least 30 mins a day. at least 5 times a week.

- Ideally get an album released on a 'proper' label. you know with Distro and some even minor promotion budget.

- play live gigs.

- re-jig the studio into a better working method.
posted by mary8nne at 4:40 AM on January 6, 2010


Just yesterday I built a mixing desk with some wood that's been sitting in the basement for two years. It's by far the most ambitious thing I've every "built" (you can see a tiny pic in my profile). I spent half the day just designing the thing, and worked into the evening, on my unheated back porch, with a hand saw and some warped drill bits. I got wood glue in my hair, I tore my pants from bending over so much, and more than once I tried to make a hole with the drill in reverse. But it was one of the most creatively fulfilling projects I've completed in a while.

I'd like to bring that energy and creative spirit to music in 2010. The mixing desk is the perfect excuse to set up the monitors I bought last year and haven't even turned on yet! I now have a space dedicated to the careful listening of music, and I hope that inspires me to record and mix more music than I did last year, if for no other reason than to be able to contribute to this wonderful site.

Other random (but no less noble!) goals include regular singing with a group of people, learning to play Soukous guitar, and collaborating with others on MeFi Music.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 8:37 AM on January 6, 2010


Just yesterday I built a mixing desk with some wood that's been sitting in the basement for two years

This is a really funny comment when you consider that in England, particularly, a "mixing desk" is what Americans call a "mixing board". That is, the thing with all the faders and channels and knobs and such. And you've made one out of old wood! That's gotta sound great!

Soukous guitar? Yeah!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:54 AM on January 6, 2010


Ok......(a) what the bejayzus is a "Soukous guitar"? and (b) English mixing desks are, of course, far superior to the rather vulgar mixing boards. In England we do things with so much more style don't you think? Hand-carved inlaid oak with gilded ferules, gargoyles (or is that the engineers?) and beautifully turned ebony knobs, polished daily by obsequious flunkies. Often the desks are accompanied by a suite of matching seasoned, patinaed leather furniture positively reeking of years of the backsides of musicians - the English, of course, eschewing the colonial obsession with daily showers and basic dental hygene ensuring that this is a particularly rich experience. Indeed, one of the first mixing desks designed by Thomas Chippendale in the 18th century is on display at the Ye Olde Musik Recordings Scriptorium And Pie Shoppe in Denmark Street, London. As a boy I was often taken there by my aunt Emilia and persuaded to stroke it until eventually.... (cont. p.97)
posted by MajorDundee at 9:40 AM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's gotta sound great!

I've got knots for pots and grain on the gain!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 9:42 AM on January 6, 2010


Hey flapjax, I do now. (linky)
posted by snsranch at 3:45 PM on January 6, 2010


MajorDundee, Soukous is a style of African pop music.

snsranch & flapjax, you've inspired me to get a Flickr account as well. Here's a picture of my new wooden mixing desk because I know you're all dying to see it...
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 4:43 PM on January 6, 2010


abc124xyzinfinity...that looks great and man, I wish I had such an organized work space. Hafta put that on my to-do list.
posted by snsranch at 5:05 PM on January 6, 2010


hey abc124xyzinfinity: One of your monitors is upside down. you might want to orient them the same way personally.

looks good.
but I was expecting something to hold, you know, a 'Mixer'. which is what i've been wanting to build lately. this is more of a table that you keyboard fits under.

I bought this Soundtracs Topaz 24:8:2 Mixer last year which is currently just on top of a cheap IKEA table. but I'd like to build something more sofisticated that I can mount some MultiFX Racks of outboard right next to. and put the mixer on more of an angle. But really not sure how I should do it.
posted by mary8nne at 3:04 AM on January 7, 2010


I'm shooting for three things this year:
  1. Write songs. Coherent songs that go together. Maybe an album.
  2. Gig (this goes along with #1).
  3. Get paid for something: scoring, mixing, writing. (At the very least so I can take a tax break on the new computer I'm likely to buy.)
I'll be lucky to manage one of those.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:45 AM on January 7, 2010


hey abc124xyzinfinity: One of your monitors is upside down. you might want to orient them the same way personally.

Yes, thank you, I realized that after the fact, but I can probably just photoshop it upright in post-production, don't you think? Actually, I was in a hurry to throw some weight on the structure so the glue would dry with the proper tension on the frame, so nothing is actually set-up yet.

You can't see the mixer because it's *in* the computer... meaning I'll be using software. I'd love a big board and cables galore, but my interface is only four channels in, two channels out, so I've got to do everything in the computer for now. But I really would rather have some physical knobs to twist and such. I call it a mixing desk because I'll be sitting at it while I mix, naturally. But "table that my keyboard fits under" does have a nice ring to it.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 9:45 AM on January 7, 2010


I'm going to (a) buy myself a desktop computer, most likely an iMac, and (b) finally get real about (1) recording and (2) playing with other musicians. I am considering getting Logic, and if anyone has any advice or opinions on it I'd love to hear them, as well as a cheap-ish interface or mixer to use with it. My little Tascam/Garageband setup is not working for me that well anymore and I seriously need an upgrade.

Oh, and maybe get back into that album I started. Sigh.
posted by ORthey at 8:29 PM on January 10, 2010


ORthey, I've been using Logic for years and heartily recommend it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:41 PM on January 10, 2010


I'm also a Logic fan, software-wise at least.

Last year I set myself to upload a lot of songs (the curious can find them here - scroll down, as the quality petered out a bit as I reached the bottom of the barrel), and obviously this entailed a lot of staying in. This year my aim is to go out and perform a lot more.

Also I want to write happier songs - I compiled my favourite tracks from the upload frenzy into a CD, and though I do like them, there is a tendency towards glumness.

So banish glumness in 2010.
posted by Grangousier at 5:56 AM on January 11, 2010


Logic is a great program in many ways. But you should look into whether it will be compatible for collaboration with people who you are likely to work with. I use Pro Tools not because it's a lot better than Logic (though I think it is better in many ways), but because it is compatible with the much more advanced systems that my collaborators use. A good friend and collaborator of mine used Logic for years, and he was not able to work on a lot of great stuff with others because of it. He's on Pro Tools as of a couple of months ago, and his stuff not only is easier to work on with him, but it also sounds a million times better.
posted by The World Famous at 10:22 AM on January 11, 2010


but it also sounds a million times better.

Hmm... really? I have to wonder... sure it's not cause the guy also picked up some better mics or outboard gear or something? Well, maybe it's that the array of sound processing plug ins (EQ, comp, limiting, whatever) that comes with ProTools is just a hella lot better than the competition, resulting in better sound. But, a million times better? Damn!

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that (unless I'm mistaken) ProTools is audio only. That is, no midi recording. Now, folks may scoff at midi, and say who the hell needs it, but it can be damn handy for a lot of different reasons. Your recording of a midi performance can, of course, get plugged into all sorts of sounds (samples, synths) which can be really handy if you want to go in and change a sound. That killer organ part, once you've gotten a lot of other instruments into your mix, might not be as killer as you thought, so, presto, let's go with a B3 instead of that Farfisa! There are a lot of parameters that you can mess with in a midi performance, as opposed to an audio recording, which you're pretty much married to (to one extent or another) once it's recorded. There's a certain flexibility, then, that midi can have, and which is really desirable in certain applications.

But, maybe Pro Tools does midi now? I'm way out of the recent (or even not-so-recent) loop as concerns recording technology.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:45 PM on January 11, 2010


A million. Literally. I counted and everything.

He didn't get any better mics or outboard gear.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that (unless I'm mistaken) ProTools is audio only. That is, no midi recording.

Unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean by this, you are mistaken. I record midi all the time on my Pro Tools system. What you're describing regarding recording a virtual instrument and then changing it up (plug-ins, synths, samples, etc.) is pretty basic and standard Pro Tools stuff, including automation of midi, virtual instruments, plug-ins, and audio tracks. In short, Pro Tools can totally do that, easily.

I've been using Pro Tools for years, and I don't remember a time when it didn't do midi.
posted by The World Famous at 6:50 PM on January 11, 2010


Also, as I read my previous comment, I think it may be coming across as a bit fighty, which I didn't intend. My initial comment was intended as jokey.

Anyway, Logic is a great program, and I think it's pretty user-friendly and sounds very good. But Pro Tools, as far as I can tell, does everything that Logic can and more, and has more widespread compatibility with what industry-types use. There are some annoying things about Pro Tools sometimes, and I'm not saying it's an obvious choice for everyone. Logic may be a better choice for Karlos.
posted by The World Famous at 6:53 PM on January 11, 2010


Ah, po-tay-tos, po-tah-tos, whatever ORthey gets into, it will be better than a "cracked" mid '90s cakewalk demo. (Which, BTW, wasn't bad at all.)
posted by snsranch at 7:57 PM on January 11, 2010


Oh no, I really didn't read your comment as fighty, just, well, I wondered how much better audio tracks could actually sound in ProTools, that's all.

And, hey, there you go, I didn't know WTF I was talking about in regard to ProTools and midi. Why did I think that ProTools was audio only? Bizarre...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:13 PM on January 11, 2010


Oh, I see now. You mean the "counted and everything" bit. Well, yeah, that did sound kinda fighty. But, hey, text is a bitch. I'm sure your tone of voice wasn't as overly drenched in somewhat mean spirited sarcasm as it might come off in print.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:16 PM on January 11, 2010


Yeah, I'm not sure exactly why my buddy's Pro Tools stuff sounds so much better than his Logic stuff from literally a few days earlier. It may be that the synth plug-ins that he's using with it are better, or that the built-in preamps for instruments and mics in the MBox 2 are better than whatever interface he was using with Logic.
posted by The World Famous at 8:18 PM on January 11, 2010


Yeah, maybe the mic pres are really great on the MBox.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:07 PM on January 11, 2010


The free version of Pro Tools was audio-only.
posted by mkb at 3:48 AM on January 12, 2010


Ah, there you go, thanks mkb. At least there's some rationale for thinking what I was thinking.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:51 AM on January 12, 2010


Finish: 1) the rag I have bouncing around in my head 2) the Bach banjo arrangement I've been thinking about for the last year.

Record: 1) another Valentine's Day Sampler, 2) A couple youtube videos.

Learn: 1) To play the Hammond I acquired two months ago. 2) Clawhammer/frailing banjo.

Play: 1) At least one honest-to-goodness, hour-long set live show, and 2) at least two smaller gigs.
posted by The White Hat at 9:32 PM on January 12, 2010


well, ok - release new album that i've been working on - i've started doing that tonight and will be continuing for the next few days until it's all up

i'm not sure yet if i want to do the rpm challenge this year - but i do plan on doing at least two more albums
posted by pyramid termite at 9:46 PM on January 12, 2010


It's nice to see a lot of gigging aspirations here. The world needs more musicians!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 10:28 PM on January 12, 2010


What we need is a MeFiMusic meetup gig or 10.
posted by The World Famous at 10:22 AM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


My singer will be visiting from Finland in March; I'm hoping to record enough vocals that we can finally complete our first album. We would love to play some gigs, but getting an artist visa for her is proving too difficult this time around. My real goal is to start putting obtaining the credentials that can make a tour possible within the next year or two.

And hopefully my dark ambient side project will play some live shows. Yeah, I've got that gig bug as well.
posted by malocchio at 12:11 PM on January 14, 2010


A MeMu meetup or another large-scale collaboration sounds like a smashing idea to me. (A bunch of MeFi musicians got together & swapped files for something pretty folk-oriented in the past, right? Might be interesting to do something in a more noisy/electronic/remix style.

2010: I want to get my band's next record done & out (and convince myself that pressing vinyl again is a good idea) by the second quarter. I'd also love to do another NaSoAlMo (or maybe an RPM challenge as I always seem to be miserable in November)...and hit up as many of the MeMu challenges as possible.

And make a record with Mike Watt and Nels Cline.
sigh.
posted by mintcake! at 12:03 AM on January 15, 2010


Finish my Outlaw country EP, play @ SXSW, Expand my musical contacts, find a metalcore band to play with in Austin, TX

Play more shows, oh wait, that's the goal every year :)
posted by Slash_fan at 3:12 PM on January 16, 2010


Cut a record with my band, start doing a lot more shows and get a drummer that fits us right. Learn to play keyboards. Improve on guitar as much as I did last year.

Write 10 solid songs.

Finish my Outlaw country EP and do an album with Nels Cline and Mike Watt.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:44 PM on January 23, 2010


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