The RPM Challenge: Day One

Skipping over the happy new year malarkey and going straight into February 1st, we're making our new album. The twist is, we have to get it done by February 28th. That is, totally done. All part of the RPM Challenge. So far, I've had the day off work and made a start on five tunes. I'm keeping a blog on the RPM site, but I'll reprint it here, since it's more likely to be read. Here we go...:

I had the day off work today, so I got a chance to fiddle about with some ideas that had been fermenting for a while. After doing all the mundane chores (taking out the recycling, etc - I can't concentrate if there's things like that to do), I settled down for pretty much the whole day and managed to make a start on six songs. I played the bits to John & Sharon, and agreed they had potential, and we'd take them to practice tomorrow to work on with the full band. The working titles are mostly after the bands they sound like:

Song #1) Rule One. A quick punky number. Since it's so simple, this is pretty much complete; the actual chords (rather than the notes) could be improved by the band's guitar players though, so I'll leave it to them.

Song # 2) The Hold Steady one. Got the verse and chorus chords written, though it'll probably need more. John's comment was "The Gresham Flyers go back to rock!" I wrote this on my new bass,after having Stay Positive by The Hold Steady on heavy rotation. Made a start on the lyrics, as I'd love John to sing in the style of Criag Finn.

Song # 3) The Tindersticks one. Very maudlin, of course. Just got the verse for this, but it's got lyrics as well; a spoken word narration that I'm hoping I can do, which I don't normally do lead vocals. I had the new Tindersticks album on while I wrote the words, but also has echoes of I Know It's Over by The Smiths.

Song # 4) The Kraftwerk one. A first, as I wrote this on the MicroKorg, using the sequencers. Again, moody and atmospheric. Got a verse and chorus, but it might need a bit more. Arrangement-wise, it won't need too many guitars, but we can layer it with synths. Built for Sharon to sing.

Song # 5) The acoustic one. Started off a bit rigid, but I changed the rhythm to give it a country-ish swing, but it's still quite minor key. I'd call it The Decemberists one, but Sharon will kill me.

Song # 6) Motorsnake #2. Just the lyric here. We have a song we've done live for about three years but never recorded called Motorsnake, which is a spoken word thing. We were supposed to make a few other parts of it, but we've not got round to it. Instead, I wrote a short story as a sort of sequel, and someone else can write the music for it.

So, John's bringing the four-track to rehearsal tomorrow, I'm writing out the bits of songs I have so far, and rehearsal starts at 6pm. I've got to go and replace my bass beforehand (the tuning peg broke off this evening; I'm gutted), but once that's done, we'll be raring to go!

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