This is my first track of 50/90 2011. My first track last year was an acoustic track, written quickly with the thought that, if I don’t start now, I never will. Well, same thought here. Honestly, I was just finishing up my EP, and I thought I was completely tapped out. Then the first line of these lyrics popped into my head. I had to sit down and just see them through. Not the most amazing lyrics ever, but enough to get me motivated to finish the thought. I adlibbed the bridge vocals, though, so I’m not sure what’s going on there.
The music is rough, entirely acoustic. Written in about 30 minutes, recording in just over that. It’s a scratch recording. I could see this being a ‘band’ song eventually, but right now, it’s all acoustic, with some scratched in parts. It’s straight out pop-punk, basic chord structure and a driving pace to it.
While Mark and I consider this a part of our 50/90 productivity for this year, the song actually pre-dates it by little bit. The song started as another one of our musical experiments. I programmed some basic drums (just to keep time), wrote a melody and recorded it using my MIDI keyboard, then set it to be an acoustic bass sound. Then I sent it to Mark and told him to really explore the MIDI functions in our recording software to make this song something different. By the time the file made it back to me, Mark had transformed the melody from that acoustic bass sound into an entire horn section.
I really like Mark’s lyrics here because they capture our brand of humor quite well. I think his line, “I’ll travel back in time and get your mom to abstain / and the best part of you will just go down the drain.” is one of his best to date.
I wrote these lyrics this past week at the library. I showed them to Mark and he immediately had an idea for the music. The rest is all FourLoko and goofing around. It’s the sweetest love song from the nerd you know and love. Hope you all enjoy.
This song has some of my favorite lyrics by Rob. Really funny, and such a fun narrative. Seeing the words on the page was a little difficult to think about how to put music together under it, and how to sing it, but once I had a guitar in my hand, it all fell together. This turned out to be one of my favorite demos we’ve done in while.
It took Guns ‘N’ Roses 14 years to release an album. The album had 14 songs.
Between July 4th and October 1st, Rob and I are going to try to write 50 songs.
That’s 50 songs in 90 days. Or about 100 between the two of us.
We’ve signed up for a song writing challenge and community called, aptly, Fifty-Ninety. (http://fiftyninety.fawmers.org/) This is our second year doing it. And no, last year, we did not write 50 songs last year. Combined, I think we hit about 30-40 songs. Honestly, not all were keepers, but a couple tunes we collaborated on during the challenge last year made it to our album Serious as a Heart Attack, and a couple made it to my new EP, Rolodex.
So why would we do this to ourselves? Because it’s an awesome experience. It’s a great chance to give yourself a simple goal: write music, and if possible, record it. Fifty songs is the target, but the true goal is to write anything. Sure, some people banged out 50 songs before I wrote the bridge of my first track. But that’s not what’s important. If you write one song, you’ve succeeded.
The community at 50/90 is fantastic, sharing constructive criticism, production tips, plugins, songwriting ideas, even collaborations. The aim here is to foster creativity and writing, not focus on crafting finely tuned and polished recordings. It’s about the writing, not production. Some people have home studios that rival anything you can book; other people record one take acoustic tracks using the built-in mic on their computer and Windows Recorder. And some people focus on lyrics only. It’s really the full gamut, with people making of this experience what they choose. It’s just so wonderful to share music with hundreds, thousands of musicians from all across the world.
In the coming weeks, Rob and I will be sharing a few of our 50/90 produced tunes here on the blog. If you’re a musician, though… come join us.
Today is a day in which I respond with a higher number when prompted for my age. My birthday, and all that. Being adjacent to a national holiday, it tends to be a low-key affair.
A couple years ago, I hit 30. I got a haircut near the big day, and when it was all said and done, there was more gray hair than I remembered. Not just an errant hair or two. Small rogue factions waging guerrilla warfare against the sovereign state of my head. So I came home and wrote this goofy little song, recorded as one-take and done. I’ve played it on my birthday since.