This blog is devoted to the band The Really Good Pot Roast.
Machine - The Really Good Pot Roast
I’ve had the chorus and general chord progression for this song kicking around my head a little while now. FAWM seemed like a good motivator for us to finish writing and draft a demo together. I scratched out rough demo, passed it to Rob, and he brought it home.
I wanted this to be a simple, energetic, 3 chord rocker. Something loud and fun. I’m a fan of ow this came together. The lyrics are lighter than a lot of our other music and that’s always a victory for us. A bit of a nod to Jonathan Coulton in terms of content, as it’s a love song by a robot. Click here for the song page and lyrics.
There’s clean up work to be done, but this is a good draft for FAWM. We’re starting to scratch out the track list for our next album, and this is a candidate.
As always, we hope you enjoy. And if you like writing or performing music, there’s still time left to join us for FAWM!
Mark Dabney - The Coffee Song (NSFW)
I’ve been on the road a lot recently. One day this past week had me completely exhausted, both physically and mentally. I had 2 cups of coffee before I could shower. Another before I left my hotel, then a few Starbucks trips throughout the day.
I wrote the lyrics for this on the back of the receipt for my 3rd Starbucks of the day. When my meetings were done, I framed out the chords using ‘ChordPro’ on my android tablet, then recorded some vocal melody ideas.
I recorded this version this morning using some of the ChordPro materials from my tablet, and a fuller arrangement.
NSFW because I curse in the song. A lot. Because coffee is fucking awesome.
Come join us for February Album Writing Month.
In the way that time does, a year has passed, and we’re here in February. And with it, the month brings FAWM, the February Album Writing Month challenge. 28 days, 14 songs.
Last year, Rob and I both wrote music during FAWM and ‘won’ the challenge. My music resulted in my album 'NEW THING'. Rob’s resulted in ‘Now That You’re Here’. Both albums are available for any price (even free).
This year, we’re involved again, but probably not in the same extent. We’ll be posting some of our new material here in the coming weeks. Our big focus right now is cleaning up existing material for our new album later this year. But we can’t help writing.
If you’re a songwriter and want to challenge yourself, come join us. FAWM is a great, positive atmosphere for songwriters looking for a challenge, an outlet, a forum, trading ideas, collaboration, and constructive criticism.
See you there!
The Really Good Pot Roast - Spice Up Your Life (Spice Girls Cover)
A couple of months ago, Rob posted a one-off cover I did of Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time”. After that, we tried to think about some interesting songs to cover, ones that we’d like to learn and interpret, and be able to possibly play live. Then Rob picked this song.
I really liked Rob’s acoustic take on this track. His vocals sold me on it. The hardest part of this track was the fact that it’s only 2 chords. Fm and C. Over and over and over again. When you have a whole electronic pop dance music backing to it, you don’t care. But strip it down to a couple acoustic guitars, and it creates some headaches. We played with a bit of structure and style, and added in some hand percussion.
I’m pleased where this wound up. We hope you enjoy it.
Got any suggestions for us to cover? Drop us an ask!
Until The Cops Come (For You) - The Really Good Pot Roast
This track started as a progression I wrote a while ago on an acoustic guitar while watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on Food Network. I thought it sounded too similar to The Doors song “5 To 1” to really do anything with, but I sent it over to Mark to see if he could take it in a direction that made it less Doors-like. I think he really did a great job with it. He reworked the progression slightly and re-recorded the guitars with some nice distortion to completely transform the sound. To me though, the star of this track are Mark’s vocals. Some of the strongest vocal work he’s ever done.
I was a big fan of the original music Rob sent over, and I really wanted to work with the music. But as is my M.O., it took me just south of forever to turn something around. I couldn’t figure out the approach I wanted for lyrics. Then one day something just worked for me. Pretty stream of consciousness writing.
While half of the band was off nerding it up with nerds in the nerdy West Coast (I’M SO JEALOUS!!!1!1!!ELEVEN!!!), the band has still been moving forward with new music!
First, 50/90. Yes, Rob and I are shambling forward on this lunatic’s march toward 50 songs. We’d both promised ourselves that we’d keep it to a dull roar this year and not aim for 50 songs. Rob ‘won’ last year with 51 tracks. I was within shouting distance at 42. This year, we figured we’d focus on staying sane, finishing Rob’s Solo CD, and the upcoming RGPR album. Yadda yadda yadda… we have 10 songs between us already (one of which was my twee / pop / ukulele track ‘Here and Now' we posted here last week). You'll see some of those posted in the coming days / weeks.
Secondly, Rob’s solo disc. Seriously, be jealous of me, because I can listen to most of this now, and you can’t. We’re in the final weeks of mixing, and it’s coming along really well. I think there are about 3 or 4 more tracks to mix, then we work on sequencing. We’ll be posting some tracks here soon, so look out, peeps.
Finally, We’re still aiming to have a new album together by the holidays this year. We’ve planned a session in August to write new tracks and mix old ones. And drink. Maybe some yelling. Then drinks. Be on the look out for some liquid encouragement songs, and possibly a 50/90 Podcast recorded live while drinking. What could possibly go wrong?
Don’t answer that.
Here and Now - Mark
While some people we know are enjoying ComiCon, we’re still working on new music. The Fifty-Ninety Songwriting Challenge is underway, and Rob and I are headlong into writing. We’ll both be posting new music here on the blog (as well as tracks from Rob’s upcoming solo CD!) throughout the summer.
This song is called ‘Here and Now’. I reblogged a post earlier from Kahiwa (a fellow 50/90 and FAWM musician) about this track, but thought I’d post the song itself to the blog. The song is a ukulele driven twee/pop song. It’s a rough demo, because you don’t have time for polished products in 50/90.
Click here to read more of my liner notes, or to just check out 50/90 in general.
Be on the look out for more new music from RGPR this summer!
Mark Dabney - Designed Mistake (Track from NEW THING)
Designed Mistake was the first solo song I wrote this past FAWM, and it’s the reason I put this album together. Looking at a month of songwriting in the days before FAWM started, I wasn’t sure how I’d approach it, what style, what sound, what direction I wanted to go. Then February 1st, I wrote this.
Rob and I have had discussions about what tracks to post here as previews for the album. We originally crossed this one off the list because an early version had been posted here before. But this song solidified the direction I wanted to go for an album. It’s direction and sound is why NEW THING is happening.
I hope you enjoy it.
New Thing, coming May 15th
Debs and Errol are a duo of FAWM veterans that have joined forces to create charming, geeky music. Their first album, the aptly titled ‘Songs in the Key of Geek' is out now on iTunes, Amazon, and a whole ‘whack’ of other stores. Nerdcore, Geek Rock, Pop Humor, Comedy… not sure what to call this genre. But the music really fun, well produced, and rife with great pop- and geek-culture lyrics.
I downloaded their album about a week ago, and I’m a big fan of it. I could go on about their great vocal interplay, solid arrangements, and the bevy of guest musicians, but here’s what you need to know:
They have songs about:
And possibly my favorite song on the album, they have a song whose lyrics are actually a walkthrough for the text-based game Zork. It’s freaking brilliant.
While we’ve been hawking our own wares for a while (*cough New Thing cough cough*), we wanted to share the Debs and Errol awesome with you all.
Check them out!
This was the penultimate song I wrote during FAWM this year. Completely different from the electronica fiasco that was the rest of my output, this song is a mellow acoustic track. I threw my acoustic guitar into an odd tuning (C-G-C-G-B-E, if you’re keeping score at home), then built this chord progression around it.
It’s kind of a sad one, but it’s a song I really enjoyed playing and writing.
Speaking of writing, the Tumblorchestra still has some vacancies…
Rob and I are in the same place, at the same time.
Our wives are out getting pampered and otherwise enjoying themselves without our senseless blathering about music. So Rob and I are doing the only logical thing.
A new Failing Live session.
We’ve got 90 minutes.
We are go.
Rob and I spent the month of February rocking FAWM and writing music. In 29 days, we collaborated on 6 songs together. I wrote/recorded another 9 songs besides that. Rob did 8 more on his own. I’ve become so acclimated to writing music almost every day, it felt odd to sit at home yesterday and today, trying to not write.
There was pacing involved. I resisted turning on my music computer all day. I wound up sitting in the basement, playing some of the songs I wrote to myself, singing to the walls while my wife was at the gym. I started playing the mandolin my neighbor lent me, and found myself writing a new song to learn basic chords.
I put it down.
I feel like I should be relaxing, resting, but I have this ingrained sense of panic that I’m forgetting to do something. Or like I have a deadline and I’m procrastinating. Like I still have more songs to write before FAWM is over.
February is over. It’s SMarch.
And still, I’m sitting here with a guitar in my lap, and my FAWM music open in my DAW. Maybe I’ll just mix it a little. Just a little. Just a little before bed. It’ll help me sleep. I need to anyway, if I’m going to release some of these songs as an EP. Right?