Channelling Hannibal

"I love it when a plan comes together!"

Things are coming together slowly here, I've 4 tracks which are more or less done now, and another two which just require mixing and some vocals (maybe, in all likelihood these are just going to be instrumental versions)

That just leaves guitar on two tracks, one of which will be more textural (and I still need to work out the structure of the track), the other... eh, there's a long section at the end with an 11/8 loop.

I've been working on slide guitar for a country-ish track today and I'm done - more tomorrow.


I ended up with 2 1/2 completely different styles. I'm not surprised.


Now that I'm looking at how they fit together I'm starting to think I'll have two "sides" to the record. Sort of like a split with myself. 

Because coherency is an afterthought, that's why.



Four mostly complete tracks

Two need vocals

And ten more need sorting through to see what makes the cut



Google Hang / Chat / Post-RPM

I'm feeling like there should be a post-RPM "lessons learned" / meltdown session. 

Just kidding --- kinda.

I am considering doing a live re-cap somewhere on the interwebs --- just wondering if anyone is interested in doing that as an RPM group.

the Death of Reason

I love to watch things burn in slow motion.

For weeks I had warned them of the approaching disaster.

Silent and without a thought they sat ignorant of the events as they unfolded.
They have failed me, and now they will blame me.
Ignored, and derided. I will sit now and savor the fruits
of the death of reason.

Nothing feels the same as the warm glow of the fire on my face

as I watch it all burn to the ground.



The Logjam is Starting to Break

Every year it's the same thing.  February 1st comes along and I start cranking out bass lines and guitar riffs and chord changes like they are going out of style.  I get my little power trio rhythm section recorded and then...

Everything grinds to a halt.  It's time to write melodies, it's time to write lyrics, it's time to sing.  

My melodies are all repetitive, but so is everything else I do so that's not the issue.  I seriously dislike the sound of my voice, but I can sing in tune and I can sing in harmony, and no one is going to listen to any of this shit anyway, so that's not the problem.  My lyrics are garbage.  There's no qualifier there, my lyrics are just garbage.  I've long ago come to terms with the fact that I am no Dylan or Lennon so that's not the problem either.

All of those things combined are the problem.  I just don't really feel good when I do any of that.  It's worse that I have this hang up where I can't sing my own stuff if anyone else is in the house.  It's an embarrassment thing that I just can't get past.  That means time is the fourth element to my annual logjam.  This year there has been significantly less time alone than ever before.  It's crazy.

Now that the deadline is looming I have to find a way to power through.  Yesterday and today I got up and ready for work early so that when my wife left for work I had a small window of time to sing.  I managed to finish vocal parts for four songs.  Four wins.  I booked a vacation day for tomorrow so hopefully I'll be able to finish enough to have a chance to complete the challenge.  I have 18 songs in progress in total.  I was kind of thinking of making this year's album a double.  Now I just want to get six more vocals done.  Then it's lead guitars and mixing and those are things that I actually enjoy so they will proceed quickly.  

The logjam is breaking.  The confidence level is rising.  Let's hope tomorrow is a good day.

AFC Update 2.21.18

I over think myself when I'm mixing, I really have bad ears, I just with I could write songs and record them and have someone else do all the rest.  I guess the point of RPM is to produce an album, ugh, I want to be adored.

falling down

sitting with your hand out, sitting on the street
sitting with your hand out, sitting on the street
sitting with your hand out, could it be that
you don’t know how millionaires are made

are you feeling something, are you sitting down
are you feeling something, are you sitting down
are you feeling something, are you sitting down
you’re down, are you sitting down

walking with your briefcase, walking with your bag
walking with your briefcase, walking with your bag
walking with your briefcase, could it be that
only you can be a millionaire

are you feeling something, are you falling down
are you feeling something, are you falling down
are you feeling something, are you falling down
you’re down, are you falling down

are you feeling something, are you falling down
are you feeling something, are you falling down
are you feeling something, are you falling down
you’re down, are you falling down

you’re down, you’re down, are you falling down
you’re down, you’re down, are you falling down
you’re down, you’re down, are you falling down
you’re down, you’re down, are you falling down

Demos Aplenty

Morning RPMers!

Last weekend was filled to the tip-top with bass recording, pedalboard dialing-in, and mixing minimalism, bringing forth several new demos and some revised former demos for your listening... enjoyment?  As always, I welcome and appreciate feedback.

"Those Unloved Ones"

"Belover Beware"

"Our Indomitable Taboo"



Thanks for listening!  I hope you all are having a fulfilling month.


you dream in colour

wobble to the music, stare at the guitar
do you want a rockstar, one at every bar
white noise in the speakers, whiskey on the shelf
if you need a good one, order one yourself

you dream in colour, i dream in sound
you’re on the ocean, i’m underground

dustballs on my futon, cobwebs on the door
subtle ambiguity, i’ve been here before
sunlight in the mirror, darkness on the shelf
if i need an answer, i’ll make one up myself

you dream in colour, i dream in sound
you’re on the ocean, i’m underground
you’re hard and solid, i’m soft and round
you dream in colour, i dream in sound

A moment to vent...

This is my eleventh RPM challenge. I first heard about it with only two weeks left. Back then I was a major novice with sub par equipment, but I managed to get the album complete.

It seems every year there is a new set of obstacles: injury, homeless, broken gear/instruments, blah blah blah.

And every year I say: This year will be better.

But it is just different.

This year has been a roller coaster. New job, new state, new house, newly intensified relationship, and some other personal issues- some of which are nobody's fault but my own, and I have to put on my big boy pants and deal.

I am mostly frustrated because we (my girlfriend and I are recording together) have very little time to actually record anything. I work ALL the time and when I get home I am grumpy and lack the motivation. And then I get more mad at myself because this should be fun and my escape, trapping myself in this vicious cycle of negative energies.

Yet, every year I somehow manage to rally and complete the challenge.

Why is this year different?

Because I simply can not get out of my own damn way.


There you have it.


Tick tock Levi. Get a-hold of yourself.


Life is Epic.

I must be one great songwriter

I have been focused on trying to write one "good" song before the month is over, in hopes that I can have one "good" song on the album.

In my attempts, I have come up with accidental covers of well-known songs by David Bowie, Bob Seger, Neil Young, James Taylor, Peter Gabriel, Gene Ween and even a nice variation on Oh! Susanna.

To imagine that any single person could come up with all these varied songs is amazing. Right? Right?

Headphone hazards

Most of us don't have unlimited uninterrupted me-time to do this, so there's a lot of closed listening involved. There are the usual hazards with headphones - ear fatigue, hearing things in a limited way, discomfort, not quite being able to reach your beer, etc. But I found a new one today.

I kept trying to redo a piano line on my keyboard and it kept sounding like an out-of-tune honky-tonk. I tried many different patches and they all sounded funky (not in a good way). And then for some reason, I removed one of the "cans" and it sounded okay.

Turns out my flu has turned into sinusitis and an ear infection. And I am literally hearing everything a quarter tone higher in my compromised right ear!! Has anyone ever experienced this before? 

So, if my hearing doesn't return to normal, I'll be running a marathon next February instead of doing RPM. More physical pain, but, way less mental anguish....

Those Bothersome Auditory Hallucinations

I went WAY down the rabbit hole.....and this is what happened. New track in player.



The Obligatory RPM song about RPM

I will admit, recording this tonight was the most fun I’ve had this month (so far, there’s still a week left).




Another year already come and gone,another one has passed, another winter’s finally here, now we maniacs are back. Another trip around the sun. Another f’n second month.  
So listen suckers, here I come upon another track. Normally I counter, balance out my lack of talent with a thousand gallons of a callus malice but this album sounds like falcon talons ground down to an ounce of talcum powder, ain’t got an ounce of power left to draw a breath. I’m f’n stressed think I better take a Valium. I feel depressed, I need to flex my verbal muscles, on every single song I want it to be my best, and I confess: I don’t remember this being so difficult; one minute I’m at my pinnacle, the next I’m feeling f’n pitiful, but maybe that’s just typical, maybe that’s just me being cynical. And maybe being cynical is cyclical. Maybe I’m too damn critical. I think I’m too damn critical. You’re too damn critical. Remember Bob Ross if you’re feeling inadequate: “there’s no mistakes in art, just Happy Accidents.” The only thing that matters in this world is that you’re passionate so let that passion be the catalyst and just to play devils advocate does it really even matter if you simply jibber jabber over sporadic sonic fragments like your raps on fade and jacket? Am I getting through to you, Matt? Huh? So here we are again, RPM, guys, grab guitars like handlebars cause we're coming in, me and Keith and Brent and Tim, Jimmy, Andy, Paul, Wilsun. Another February caught me unawares, it's scary. So now I'm rapping out this last Hail Mary. Bear with me cause results may vary. Cue the commentaries.
“Slim the bass line like the waist line of my man Drew Carrey.” Hey, man, time's my greatest adversary. I’m so Lost, boy, call me JM Barrie. And where the hell is Gary?
I can’t find my flow.
Need a brand new Flow.


I don't wanna !!!!

No more !! Goddammit... I'm cracking over here.... seven days left and only a few tunes left to mix, but Jesus creeping christ, can't I just leave it at 5 tracks and 29 minutes ? No! I must not relent, it's only sleep I'm losing, and who the hell needs that. I'm on track. It's on.

Another Taster

Hi everyone.

I am going to post another taster track that I have mostly finished. I hope you enjoy it. It has a rather hypnotic rhythm that sticks in your head.

I am still not done writing all the songs for my album, and only eight days left! I had better get back to work!


Eight days left and I'm uploading my first "finished" track. (Close enough for now at least.)


That puts me about 4 days ahead of any previous year! I haven't completed an RPM Challenge in a few years now, so I'm feeling pretty damn good about how it's looking.

This year will be different...

I told myself that this year, I would focus on simple drums/guitar/bass/vox songs. Song that I could just go out and play live.

My first song has 15 tracks and counting.

I'm not good at doing what I say...



i remember being in school
gym class not my place
teachers didn’t care too much
exercise was pain

at least the softball days were good
sunny blue and bright
they chose me last out of the crowd
but outfield life was nice

many years had come and gone
men instead of boys
i hadn’t tried to play in years
but now it was a joy

he had the skill to hit the ball
straight to center field
but i just caught it in my glove
best day of my life

Jack O Diamonds found!

Had a curious day on friday. Went to work too late to put the heaters on but some kind soul had put them on for me, BUT someone else had turned them off, BUT my client was late so the room warmed up, BUT they had forgotten so i would be late for my next client BUT that client came to me instead of me going there, so that all worked out, Although I was meant to meet a friend but they turned up as well and all arrangements worked out for the day with none of them being viable for more than 20 minutes!

While we dropped some things off at another house, out in the rain was a playing card face down on the gravel so i picked it up.

The Jack Of Diamonds. A hard card to find. Apparently!


So Sunday I got fixated on doing a version of said song only to find it's may not be public domain. I have new lyrics based on the old fiddle tune, but I'm not convinced it's usable. Darn it 24 hours of fun and games!

Since then I have a voice and guitar track: The Station, that hopefully will get expanded a little.


An almost string band with washboard: Could We Get Along


Mad thing with drums and 'verb: Hold Tight


A string band with crackling harmonies (my voice was on the edge of breakdown but I like the quality of it so ...):

Down In The Dark


Seven tracks in the player, many still demos, but shaping up, and I may survive to the weekend!