Can You Write And Record An Album In 29 Days?

Jan 31st, 2008 // 17 Comments

By the time Feb. 1 rolls around, my New Year’s resolutions are out the window, and I’m back to my slothful, probably unhealthy ways (In all fairness, who decided to schedule the prime time for self-improvement around the time of the year when all I want to do is sleep, watch TV, and fortify myself with butternut squash ravoli?) For those of you who are suffering from the same problem, but want to turn over some sort of goddamned new leaf in 2008, a few folks have come up with a challenge for February: Writing and recording an album’s worth of material–10 songs or 35 minutes! no CD-era bloat here!–over its 29 days.

The rules:

• Recording can only be done in the month of February – no prerecorded songs.

• All material must be previously unreleased, and we encourage you to write the material during February too.

• Participating bands get their own page on the site, which you can blog to as much as you want. You also get access to the band-only discussion board, where you can swap ideas, resources, etc., and the ability to e-mail and private message with the other participants.

• All the completed albums may be put up in the jukebox on the website, if you so choose, so people can check it out; conversely, if you’d rather not share your work with the public, then no one needs to hear it but us.

My favorite thing about all this is that you have to snail mail or hand deliver the fruits of your labor. What, a special MySpace page isn’t enough proof? And if you screw up and forget to record because you’re too busy eating bon bons and anticipating the Grammys, there’s always NaSoAlMo in November.

RPM Challenge [Official site]


  1. Dickdogfood

    Wasn’t this called “band-in-a-bublle” the last time it happened?

  2. Ned Raggett

    Band in a Michael Buble?

  3. SuperUnison

    I’m doing this. I doubt it will be great, but it will probably be better than when I did 13 songs in 3 weeks back in 2004 or the time I did 5 songs in a day this past November.

  4. okiedoke

    Calling Mr. Adams …

  5. Janelleyo

    Man, I come to write “what, no bubble?” and realize my joke has been spoiled. Ah well, at least I know the album was written in still probably 29 days, its just which days they were vague about.

  6. dog door

    shit, I did this LAST month.

  7. sparkletone

    I’m this close to signing but, I think I’ll skip this year. I’ve done stuff like this before and it’s always a good time, and at the end even if I made something crappy, there’s usually a couple ideas worth cherry picking and carrying on with.

    At the moment though I’ve got too much else going on. I don’t want to put aside the music I’m already working on, and don’t have time to do both, I don’t think.

    Unless, um. I did 35 minutes of shitty minimal techno or something.

    Maybe I should do that.

  8. Lucas Jensen

    @dog door: Yeah, no shit. Blak Thor has done 25 songs in 8 7-hour days of recording. If you can’t do this then you aren’t trying.

  9. K-milo

    You can do almost 4 reggaeton albums in that amount of time…

  10. dog door

    @Lucas Jensen: Right. When I get home from work every day I have approx eight hours before I have to go to bed. What am I going to do, watch Seinfeld reruns, or turn on the 4 track and improv?

  11. noamjamski

    My friends are I are doing this, but for ourselves. Seems like a fun motivation, like the kids in American Pie spotting each other. We brought it down to an EP though.

    It gives me the proper vehicle to debut “Jesus Wept,” my collection of love ballads for voice and string quartet.

  12. janine

    I’ve signed up. I’m a terrible songwriter with a 4-track, but I’m pretty sure I can do 35 minutes. Besides, it’s leap year.

  13. noamjamski

    @janine: When you say 4-track you totally mean a cassette 4-track, don’t you?

    Holy shit, you should snail mail them a TAPE with DOLBY NOISE REDUCTION at the end of the month. That would surely throw them off.

  14. Josh Mock

    I did this last year. The results were (mostly) crappy, but it was a nice way to get rid of those nagging “I should try writing music” or “I need to record those songs in my head” thoughts. If nothing else, it helped me get over the learning curve so if I ever decided to record again, it wouldn’t be as difficult to figure out what I’m doing.

  15. janine

    @noamjamski: Heck yes I mean cassette. I don’t cotton much to your new-fangled contraptions.

  16. gorillavsmarykate

    looks like I picked a bad month to stop sniffing glue.

  17. sparkletone

    Fuck it. I’m in.

    DFNSTRTR toss you out window.

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