Friday, November 30, 2007

National Solo Album Month: The Get-Arounds

For those of you who may not have known (or read the updates), I decided to participate in National Solo Album Month 2007; the goal of which is to create a full length solo album in a month. The only rules are that the album must be at least 29:09 minutes long, can only contain 1 cover and has been written/recorded and performed by the solo artist.

I had already been writing songs as part of my song of the week exercise, but a 30 minute album in a month meant that I'd have to triple my current rate. What slows me down the most when I record is trying to figure out what to write songs about and my compulsive overdubbing tendencies (an old theory is that if you mask a crappy song with enough instruments it becomes good). To counter this I decided to pretend to be an oldies band with 4 members -- 2 guitarists, a bassist and a drummer. All four members could sing. This stopped too many overdubs (though I did add tambourine to almost every song and claps to a few). Also, being an oldies band meant that I could write every song about a girl.

All in all, I had a pretty good time doing this. I'm pretty happy with how the songs came out. I have to admit that in the 3rd week I got pretty sick of the routine of recording. For the most part it would take me between 30-75 minutes to write the song. Usually in the same night I'd try to record acoustic guitar and all the vocals. The next night I'd record guitar(s), bass and drums. It was pretty much always a 2-day process. This required me to come home from work, eat, record, watch a tv show, record some more, play mario galaxy and go to bed.

So anyway, without farther ado here is The Get-Arounds album: Get Around!

Get Around!

01. I can't be your friend

02. You make me feel alright

03. It's sunny again
I like 1/2 speed drums in the guitar solo on this song.

04. You know what I know
I think this may be one of my favorite songs I've ever recorded.

05. Whenever you're around
This is my least favorite on the album. If I had more time I would have replaced this one. The lyrics seemed clever before I went to bed, but seemed kind of dumb the next morning.

06. Set ourselves free
This song is (sort of) about George Michael and Maeby from Arrested Development.

07. Put your little hand in mine
Probably my second favorite on the album.

08. She doesn't see me

09. Since I met you
I actually cheated on this one. There are 5 vocal parts in the chorus. This is the only song I cheated on. Also, I did the "Get Around" part in this before deciding on a band name. The name was suggested by Curt who had not heard this song.

10. Looking out my window
This one is a little strange, but I feel like it really has an oldies sound to it.

11. What means everything
This one was inspired by black Friday....

Bonus Tracks
As I said, I got pretty sick of doing this at one point. When I got up to 10 songs, I recorded a cover just so I knew that even if I didn't try anymore I would be done. Eventually I recorded 2 mores songs which replaced the cover and the second song I wrote:
I've gotta know now
I wrote this one while I was raking leaves. This was when I expected to be a 60's garage band, not a 60's pop band. I realized my voice didn't work and was happy to keep this off the album.

Purple Toupee -- by They Might be Giants
I have no idea why I choose to cover this song. It didn't turn out very well.

So that's it. I'd be very interested to hear any comments you have on this. Which songs you like, which ones you don't. Does it sound anything like a 60's band? How are the mixes (I can't decided if the vocals are too loud/quiet)?

Thanks for listening...


Monday, November 19, 2007

solo album update #2

i got three more songs done last week, and i've just got drums/guitar left to put on a fourth. that takes the total up to 9. it looks like i'll hit the 30 minute mark with 11 songs. most of them are clocking in at closer to 3 minutes than 2.

the plan is to record through the weekend and then spend next week re-recording parts that i don't like and mixing.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

solo album update

this week i recorded 3 songs for the solo album. i haven't completely abandoned the 60's band idea, but the band is now less like the troggs and more like...i don't know...herman's hermits? the turtles? more pop less rock.

i also decided the band does not have a keyboardist.

i'm now up to 5 songs and right at 13 minutes. so it looks like 11-12 songs should do it. i've decided not to post any more until i'm done. then i'll post everything, including any songs that don't make the cut (if such songs exist).

Sunday, November 04, 2007

november is national solo album month

not only is november national novel writing month is it also national solo album month. i thought i'd give it a try. the only rule is that the album must be at least 29:09 minutes long and contain only 1 cover.

since almost nothing i write is over 2:30 minutes long, my cd will need around 14 tracks. so 3 a week for 4 weeks -- tripling my current pace.

the only way i saw this happening was if i took out all of the overdubs i do and somehow simplified the process of trying to figure out what to write a song about.

my solution was pretend to be a 60s band with 4 (possibly 5) members -- 2 guitarists, a bassist and a drummer (and maybe a keyboardist). all can sing (but they all sound the same).

this also simplifies what to write songs about, as every song will obviously be about a girl.

originally i thought that i wouldn't post any until i was done. but, after recording and re-recording parts i want input. i wrote these 2 songs (neither of which are that great), but i am really not very happy with the sound. they don't sound 60s to me...and i don't know why. i've tried to reverb out most everything...but i listen to these and then i listen to the troggs and the recordings don't sound anything like each other...the troggs sound cool and mine sound stupid...

so, please, leave feedback and give me any suggestions you have. (suggestions for songs would also be appreciated).

she doesn't see me
i gotta know now