The RPM Challenge
RPM 2016 T-shirts are incoming! In honor of 2016 being the 11th annual RPM Challenge, we've commemorated that in this colorful, comfortable, collectible t-shirt!
We've already placed an order for a fixed number of shirts and we do not at this time know if we'll be getting more, so reserve yours now! We expect to have these in-hand the first week of February & to start shipping them out soon thereafter.
Shirts are $25, which includes shipping.
The image below is an approximation of the finished shirt.
That’s 10 songs or 35 minutes of original material recorded during the month of February. Go ahead… put it to tape.
It’s a little like National Novel Writing Month, (NaNoWriMo.org) where writers challenge each other to write 1,700 words a day for 30 days, or the great folks over at February Album Writing Month (fawm.org), who encourage artists to write 14 new songs in February. Maybe they don’t have “Grapes of Wrath” or “Abbey Road” at the end of the month, or maybe they do—but that’s not the point. The point is they get busy and stop waiting around for the muse to appear. Get the gears moving. Do something. You can’t write 1,700 words a day and not get better.
Don't wait for inspiration - taking action puts you in a position to get inspired. You'll stumble across ideas you would have never come up with otherwise, and maybe only because you were trying to meet a day’s quota of (song)writing. Show up and get something done, and invest in yourself and each other.
Anyone can come up with an excuse to say “no,” so don’t. Many of you are thinking “But, I can’t do that! I don’t have any songs/recording gear/money/blah blah blah...” But this doesn’t have to be the album, it’s just an album. Remember, this is an artistic exercise. Just do your best using what you have in order to get it done. If you have a four-track, become a four-track badass! A mini disc, a pro-tools rig, a Walkman, an 80’s tape recorder – use it. Do your best. Use the limitations of time and gear as an opportunity to explore things you might not try otherwise. If you can afford studio time in a “real” studio, fine, but let’s be completely free of any lingering idea that “good” records can only be made in a studio. If that were so, then all the old scratchy blues records or Alan Lomax field recordings that have changed our culture – the world’s culture – wouldn’t still resonate with us today as they do. Springsteen’s haunting classic “Nebraska” was a demo he did at home on a crappy machine. That album is fricking awesome. What label would put those recordings out now? (See: who cares) There are a million examples of this kind of stuff, but the fact will always be: Well written, honest music is compelling and undeniable no matter what it was recorded on. So put it to tape.
The real history of RPM is in the music: every song, every album, every band that ever recorded a track tells part of the story. More than 40,000 songs have been created as part of the RPM challenge during the first decade. Some participated once, and some have done it every year, like a glorious ritual of music. Every musician who has participated has a story as rich and surprising as their own lives.
But if you ever wondered how things look from behind the scenes, it’s something like this.
The RPM intergalactic infostorm can't be contained by any one dimension or media stream. As such, we transmit on multiple channels to reach the beings who live in the far corners of the social mediaverse.
Love us in Facebookistan
Soar with us in the thin atmosphere of Twitterria
Swim with us in the tropical Youtubarium
Transpose your matter matrix Instagrammatically
Sojourn with the trolls of Reddit
The RPM challenge is not a money making venture, for the artists or the organizers. For the first 10 years, the RPM Challenge was a project of The Wire, a weekly paper that absorbed whatever costs were necessary, with much-welcomed financial help from donators and occasional sponsors, not to mention the tireless efforts of the many, many volunteers who helped over the years.
The Wire has ceased publication, but with your support we're still delighted to carry RPM forward. Donations to help defray the costs of running--and growing--an annual global music challenge are more welcome than ever.
drums are mic'ed up and ready to go
by angie fights crime
Song 2 - Lost Melody
by A Lunatic's Daydream
The "oh" in demo
by Anno Ket
by Michael David
I accept your Challenge
by Slut Charmer
by Gerald Schoenherr
Premature Birthing (2/5)
by Rock Meets Fleetwood Man
by Robert Parker
by Kavin.s Acoustic Church
Day 4/5: Now We're Cookin (Kinda)
by Andy Samford
music theory has fallen out of my brain
by Aaron J. Grier
UP way too late... Got the first song in AMARDON
by James Michael Spires
Fourth acoustic guitar track
by Keith Landry
Day 4: I hate writing
by Synaptic Disturbance