By Paul on May 22nd, 2012 in Band Review
You are in a field. The lone tree on the horizon is leaning away from a gust of wind, as the tall grass dances hypnotically under the yellowing sky. You can feel your hair blowing to the side. In the next moment, you’re standing at the top of a tower overlooking the ocean, which you then realize is an unlit lighthouse. The wind is even stronger now, creating tall waves below you while a heavy rain is pelting the window. You could watch the droplets slide down the window the window all day, but you turn around only to find you are actually in a dimly lit living room, sitting on a sofa that wasn’t there before, and you don’t recall actually sitting down. You look back out the window through the now light rain, and watch as a mist drifts past a flickering street lamp.
By Paul on April 16th, 2012 in Advice, Songwriting
As an indie music blogger, I am sometimes contacted by a band directly rather than through a label. This is great. I love it when a band wants to give it the personal touch. The thing is, this will sometimes backfire. It’s not because of bad writing. If you’ve made an entire album of music with lyrics, you’re probably a good writer. No, your email backfires when you don’t talk about your music confidently, as one band failed to do recently. Here’s what went wrong.
By Paul on April 5th, 2012 in Free Music
A while ago I had this idea to hand out a list of songs on CD. I was all ready to go, but then did nothing with it. But we have reviewed every single one of these bands, and I still have the playlist ready to go, so let’s get some free music!
So here it is, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Yes, you’ve been waiting for it, stop second-guessing me! Anyway… You have your guitar, and I’m ready to share my strategies for learning the guitar in the most effective way possible. I’ve told you before what my lesson plan was, and then later revised it, but in the end let’s forget about all of that. Knowing what I know now, I wager that you can learn guitar effectively in only THREE lessons. Three. But these lessons are not for the guitarist who wants to play songs from their favorite band. We’ve already gone over that multiple times. You’re better than those guys. These lessons are for people who want to be real musicians; this is for those who want to be able to play without thinking, the way a black belt martial artist can fight without thinking.
Now that I have officially failed the RPM Challenge (with fantastic results), we can get back to where we left off in our very own L2P Challenge. When I first started the L2P Challenge, I mentioned that I already knew a thing or two about playing the guitar. Over the past few months, though, I’ve really learned a lot more than I ever have before. In fact, I know now that when I played in high school and college, I was doing it wrong. Here’s why.
By Paul on March 2nd, 2012 in Band Review
God I hope I’m spelling their band name right! Swedish band Korallreven (I just checked… yup, that’s how it’s spelled) is a band that could be best described as not quite lucid. That is, the music finds its way into your subconscious, and that’s where it stays. Gone are all the standard hooks and riffs you normally hear from other bands. Even the dreamiest, synthiest bands will often have a hook, but Korallreven manages to do something a little different.
By Paul on February 29th, 2012 in Album of the Month, Free Music
Yes, two albums! I won’t normally do this, but I’m trying to fit a number of posts into a short period of time and it made sense to do it this way. Although I had a bit of trouble deciding which album was good enough to be album of the Month for February, this is not why I’m picking two. No, the reason I’m picking two albums is because one of them is a completely free album that is only available for a limited time.
By Paul on February 22nd, 2012 in RPM Challenge
There are seven days left in the RPM Challenge. I have five mini songs and no full-length songs. As I have said in the first place, I would need an unrealistic amount of optimism to believe I could pull this off. So, at this point, I will not bother trying to make the deadline for my songs. I have officially failed the RPM Challenge. But here’s the thing: In failing, I have learned more and done more with songwriting in the past 21 days than I have ever done in literally years of trying.
By Paul on February 18th, 2012 in Song Review
Pearl and the Beard is apparently the band that keeps on giving. Their record label, Family Records, has approached me about reviewing a particular video of a particular song by a particular band. Let’s check out the song John Stuart Mill by I Low. But let’s do things a little differently. We’ll listen to it together first, and then afterwards we can talk about the song.
By Paul on February 9th, 2012 in RPM Challenge, Songwriting
First, let’s get one thing out of the way: Everybody’s different. There’s no “best way” to create music. That being said, some ways tend to be more effective than others and I don’t think there’s enough real information about songwriting. It’s tough trying to make songs through the trial-and-error process to find what works for you. For this reason, I’m offering my method as an option for you to try out while making your own music. With any luck, we can shave years off the learning curve.