Monday, 28 February 2011

Day 59: Kiefer Sutherland Can't Help Me Now!




Just a quick update.

24 hours left to go on FAWM
All 12 of my school kids songs finished and posted on the 2011 page.
I've finished 21 songs so far. Including a lofi song that I'm really happy with called "let's build An Airport" also on 2011 page.

My friend Adam Giles after spending most of Feb in his dungeon like basement has leapt over the FAWMish line (see what I did there?) in a single bound with a 14 track neo-classical instrumental concept album based on the Dr Faustus play

Update With 13 hours to go - I'm finished. Wrote guitar parts for my son's garageband loop frenzy (Mortal Engines), set a story about my daughter's sunday school to music (Eleven Sweets) and just had some kind of semi-improvised punk-fuelled freak out called Goodbye.


I'm done. 24 songs in all. In one month. I can't believe it. 

Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Friday, 25 February 2011

They're Black And They're Blue And They're Coming For You...




For my 17th FAWM song I had to unpack my B52s Frank Zappa vocal mojo. It's called Pandas From Outer Space. My 10 year pupils played all the guitar I sang on the bridge and typed a bassline.

Strange but true. The really high vocals have NO PITCH SHIFTING at all. It's the same 10 year old boy who is talking at the end.

Bet he can't do that in a few years time.

Download Pandas From Outer Space



Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Other free songs by Matt Blick



Atheists Don't Have No Songs


A funny and partially true tune from Steve Martin.



Kyle saw it first

And speaking of matters of faith, Nick Tozier just picked up on my blog post Ant Thology: Why I Love The Beatles Too Much To Worship Them

And speaking of humour - let Mark Altrogge teach you how to talk like a theologian

Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Day 55: We Have A Winner!




Yes - it's official.

I've won FAWM!!!

Not that I came first or anything. As far as I can tell I was the 111th person to cross the finish line and complete the 'write an album in February' challenge, by writing 14 song.

But I won. It says so on my FAWM page.

I'd like to thank my agent, my parents who always believed in me, my stylist....

No really I'd like to thank my very understanding wife for being a FAWM widow and still encouraging me to write some more of MY songs (by her reckoning I've only written 6 songs so far), Ali Smith for lending me the recording gear, and you dear reader for spurring me on with your comments and encouragements...

I'm way too tired to write much because I'm pooped and I'm still writing. I've posted 16 songs so far and I still have a few more pupil co-writes to finish up.

The song that pushed me over the edge (in the best sense) was a co-write with Alfalfa from Texas.

The song is called Victoria and you can download it here.

If Philip Glass had to write a 12 bar blues of spurned love for Jack The Ripper: The Opera - this would be it.

All the other pupil co-writes (8 and counting, including the infamous I broke my leg on a monkey and the terminally sweet I like to play the guitar) are on the 2011 download page.


Other free songs by Matt Blick

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Day 50: Here's The Reason My Mac Kept Crashing




Ladies and Gentlemen!
I'm very pleased to announce FAWM song no 10 - I Lost My Capo

It's a mash up sample fest made up largely of sounds generated by my children's toys, along with a sample of a birthday message from Nicholas Tozier, my daughter speaking german and a couple of garageband loops.

Hope you like it. It cost me blood, sweat and gigabytes

Download I Lost My Capo here

After 2 days at home mixing this I'm hoping to be back at Shabby Rd tomorrow writing a new song (maybe another collaboration) and cranking out some more kids songs.


Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Other free songs by Matt Blick


Friday, 18 February 2011

Day 49: That Man Is Me!




A man is jumping off a cliff
A man is jumping off a cliff
A man is jumping off a cliff
Jumping off a cliff, jumping off a cliff
Jumping off a cliff, jumping off a cliff yo!

Oh my gosh! I think it's Mr. Blick!


FAWM song 9. Day 18. So I'm back on track.

This is another collaboration with some of my 10 year old guitar pupils. They wrote a riff. I asked them what images their riff conjured up. The result was 0.52 seconds of mayhem called Cliff Jumper.

There were two people in the room whose name kind-of-rhymed with "off a cliff".
The other one didn't want to be immortalised in song. So the poor old guitar teacher ended up taking a dive!


Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Other free songs by Matt Blick



Thursday, 17 February 2011

Day 48: No One Wants To Sit In The Yoghurt Chair




Song 8 is up and it's another co-write with school kids. When you hear Do Not Sit In The Chair you may have more sympathy for music teachers!

Seriously these guys are a lot of fun if completely bonkers.

The song was inspired by the chair in the music room with the white stain, which they have christened The Yoghurt Chair.

No one wants to sit in the Yoghurt chair.

Would You?

read the lyrics
download the mp3

Here's a person sitting in a chair made of yoghurt. Kind of...



Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Day 47: You You You And Too Much Taylor




Time to be a real blogger and splurge my private life all over the internet.

Bought my daughter Groucho a guitar and a Taylor Swift ticket for her birthday. And a Taylor Swift blanket!!!!!!

(Man you know you are famous when you have your own blanket!)

Anyway I was so proud of her. She said to herself when unwrapping what was obviously a guitar, "please, don't let it be pink. Please don't let it be pink"

It wasn't.

She said later - "You don't really do pink guitars do you?"
I replied - "Pink instruments are like breasts. I quite like them but I wouldn't want to own any myself".

Moving on.

Song #7 is up. Called You You You it a soul jam love song for my wife (again?! - you wait 20 years for a song from your husband then get 2 in the same year...) It's on the NEW download page along with everything else. Let me know what you think....

I'm now a clear 2 days/1 song behind.

Gird up your loins young man!


Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Other free songs by Matt Blick


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Day 46: Constipation, Multi-tasking & Peer Pressure



So I'm officially behind schedule with FAWM. I'm not too worried as I have about 10 or 11 songs in various states of recording. Yep. I have so many I've lost count. I recorded about 10 co-writes with kids at school, and the little blighters just kept popping out more at every opportunity. Now all I have to do is turn the little fragments of white sugar and Ritalin inspired mental overspill into actual songs.

I also had another great idea.

Why not record a song with my own kids, composed entirely of sounds from their toys? Well, because you'll end up with so many tracks and edits the mac will crash repeatedly. That's why.



So now I have my 8 bit fidget house epic sitting on the hard drive alongside a great multitude of junior musical brain farts that no man can number. 

And I'm learning again that when I'm stuck in the editing/recording/mixing stage that I feel as far away from writing as it's possible to feel while still writing.

So I decided to work on a 'real' track called Plenty O' Room Upstairs which seems to be cut from the same musical cloth as If You're Here This Morning.

In other words I'm multi-tasking.

Last year a whole multitude of witness from Leo @ Zen Habits to Matt Perman and The Beatles convinced me that MULTI-TASKING IS BAD.

Even for women.

Help me...

Meanwhile, in other news, FAWMstar Steven Wesley Guiles has written a love song for his wife on Valentine's Day. He's done this every year since they've been together. This is his 16th song.

I've been in love with the same woman since I was 16 (if what emanates from my selfish and sin encrusted little stump of a heart can be called love). I'm now 42. I wrote my first song for her last month.

Oh the shame.

Imagine my surprise when stopping off at Shabby Road to pick up Groucho's birthday present (a Yamaha SCF08 acoustic guitar) I wrote song #7 and love song #2.

It's called You, You, You 

Thank you God. Thank You Christine. And thank you Steven.


Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Other free songs by Matt Blick


Sunday, 13 February 2011

Three Kinds Of Art


Writing music is funny. Sometimes it feels like you're plucking it out of the air like a magician. Sometimes you feel like you're trying to carve a gnarly old piece of wood into the likeness of your Aunty Pauline. And sometimes you feel like you're trying to paint the green power ranger on the wall of your child's bedroom with only a 3cm picture cut from the TV guide for reference. And the wrong shade of green paint.

I'm just saying.

Download all my 2011 songs for free!!! 

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Day 43: Writing With MY Kids



This FAWM challenge is hard work, so I thought it was about time I let my kids do some heavy lifting. Today was mostly about finding ever toy in the house that made a noise, hitting various things, flushing the toilet and trying not to drop the mic down it (don't worry Ali - we didn't!) and then chopping it all up to make a song.

And then feeling sad when the mac crashed - losing one hours worth of work.
Yes, the song is that awesome the mac lost it's mind. I know how it feels...

Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Other free songs by Matt Blick

We Will Not Reach The Lost If We Have Normal Hair


This made me laugh out loud several times - "You need to worship like Adam Clayton"

Thanks to Mark Graham - an awesome bass player who ALWAYS plays 8th notes while looking worshipful.



Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song - for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick


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Friday, 11 February 2011

What is FAWM?




If you're interested in finding out more about the FAWM challenge Chester County Press has an interview with veteran Fawmer Em McKeever.

According to FAWM’s website about 50 percent of participants finish the 14-song challenge. Most others finish seven to 10 songs over the month. The focus is on song writing, not recording, but demos of the song are encouraged to be posted for comments and feedback. A song can be pop music, instrumental, or “sound art.” FAWM recommends an average song length to be three minutes. Lyrics writers are welcome. Collaborations between Fawmers are encouraged.


Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Day 42: Writing With Kids



Started 2 more songs today with kids - one a parody of Whip My Hair, the other just plain totally mental.

Picked out my next song to work on.

Finished my first kid co-write I'm The Only One Who Knows The Lyrics

listen here MP3 - www.box.net/shared/7bbd7ghzjp

Tomorrow I hope to start work on a found sounds song with MY kids.


Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!


Thursday, 10 February 2011

Day 41: Song 4 (or is it 5?)




Been getting a really good reaction to yesterday's song New Mistakes on FAWM.
That was amazing! One of the best collabs I've seen!
GREAT GREAT job with the song! You actually MADE it into a SONG...as opposed to an instrumental. Man, you really did a good job shoehorning something into those parts. :)
Fantastic! "So Cupid drained the pool before/ You took a swan dive from the highest board?" MAGIC.
excellent song! I wish the vocals were a little bit louder in parts, just because they are so good. I love the way this song is constructed....unique, love the paranthetical comments and the guitar solo. The ending is perfect..really well done from start to finish - great collab!

Looks like it was worth the pain.

Finally recorded song 4 (which got put on the back burner for the collaboration) Wood & Stone. It's on the 2011 download page where it say (and I quote. Often) -
The contemporary western Church generally doesn't 'do' corporate contrition. But it should have place somewhere. This is a verse from Daniel set to possibly the most evil sounding chords in the galaxy. If Darth Vader was a Christian this would be his favourite worship song



In other news

 - been editing my first Kid's collaboration in every crack I could (lunch break, on the bus!). It may be song 6.
And I had a great birthday.
And my legs getting better (thanks for asking).
And I found a giant nut on the road.


Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song - for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Day 40: My First Co-Write!




Finally finished my 5th song of FAWM - New Mistakes, even though I haven't recorded song no 4 Wood & Stone.

If I can manage to do that tomorrow I'll still be 5 in 10 days and still on track.

So for the record I've written 5 songs this month and 8 so far this year - smashing last year's record. I've written more songs in the last 2 months than I did all last year. Wow. Thank You God!

If you'll permit me to go all Oscar ceremony for a moment, I couldn't do it without the support of my wife, and a place to write.

Anyway, enough yakking. Here's the song

New Mistakes (Steven Wesley Guiles/Matt Blick) mp3


Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!

Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song - for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick



Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Day 39: Hey Shorty! It's My Birthday




Was given a load of what I presume were birthday cards by a bunch of people I presume were my family at some ungodly hour in the morning. I didn't regain my eyesight till they'd all left.

Got up and went to work.

Wrote one more song with some pupils. Got off work early (due to an unexpected trip to Cadbury's World). Did some work at home on Steven's song (someone on FAWM has already beaten me to collaborating on this tune but I'm gonna finish my version anyway).

Don't have any earth shattering thoughts to share on my 42nd anniversary of arriving on this troubled ball of spit and sand, but you might like to read the advice I gave to my pupils on my 40th birthday.

Later on it's a Chinese Takeaway with the family when Chico gets back from football training, followed by presents and a night in.

You didn't get me anything????? Don't feel bad. It's still not too late to get me something from this virtual list. I'd LOVE any of the following.


1) Leave me a comment about some song you've downloaded and really like. Leave it here is just fine.
2) Recommend a song of mine you like to someone else. Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Stumblethingy or just good old fashioned email.
3) Follow my blog if you don't already. Or follow my Beatles blog if you don't already.
4) Download a song of mine you haven't downloaded.
5) Buy me the complete works of Shostakovitch (baby hummingbird-skin bound edition. Amazon $3500) Thanks Larry! (sorry folks, the rest of you will just have to settle for 1-4)


Related Posts: Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!
Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song - for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick



Monday, 7 February 2011

Day 38: The Well Dries Up (Or Does It)




TODAY

 - I started writing 8 different songs with pupils at a school. EIGHT. Early titles are "I broke my leg on a monkey", "Don't sit on the chair" and "Old man's facial hair". The deal was the kids had to bring something in, a riff, a chord pattern, a bunch of lyrics. So I may end up writing two albums in February. Oh Mercy!

THIS EVENING

I didn't record Wood & Stone. I put that on the back burner in order to write and record a vocal part for a collaboration with Steven Wesley Guiles and got NOWHERE.

Possible causes might be trying to be too clever, not able to write to a bare backing, lack of iron, low blood sugar, voodoo - who knows

I don't know if you can say you're feeling dry on your 9th song of the day, but that's what it feels like

Tomorrow is my birthday.

I'm still planning to fit some writing in somewhere. Maybe lunch, on the bus, in a parallel universe...


Download all my 2011 songs for free!!!

Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song - for free

Other free songs by Matt Blick

The Fanboy Files #1



Cos I'm too busy making music to listen to music (even, sadly, my own) during Feb - the only new music I'm listening to is being made by my fellow FAWMers.

Here's some people I'll be checking out further when this whole thing winds up. I'm going to recommend songs that you won't be able to get 'cos they've only just written them!

In fact they might even be writing them right now!!!! (But check out there old stuff now and remember you heard it here first).


Steven Wesley Guiles has a cool beard and a cooler guitar. I love his song I'm gonna love you anywayDownload this MP3 Directly - this link is fixed now.

Max Vanremmerden has a crazy album of 5 second songs out for free download

TV's Kyle's song Yellow Monster is an 8th (bit) wonder of the world. He Might Be A Giant too.

Nottingham muso Mountain Schmountain hasn't written any songs yet (the naughty boy) but has got a free Christmas EP available with an exquisite song called Paper Snowflakes on.

Lastly (for now) the mysterious lady know as Em Keev is blogging about her FAWM experience and writing songs on the Mountain Dulcimer.

Download my 2011 songs for free!!!



Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song - for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Day 37:Cuh-Ray-Zee


Things are getting magnadoodle sized odd.

I'm writing like cuh-ray-zee.

Good.

But it means things are going out of the window. Like having time to objectively look at the songs I'm writing and see if they're any good. I've had quite a few low moments in the last few days, even though I think I'm writing some good stuff, getting lots of downloads and positive comments and WRITING MORE SONGS (which was kind of the point).

So yesterday I finished TWO SONGS!!!!!

While You Sleep The World Still Turns Without You - a lullaby for adults (not that it's rude or anything) but just that John Piper said "God gave us sleep to remind us every night that we are not God" - I'm paraphrasing, help me out of you know the quote.

So download that - I guarantee that most of you will be weirded out and disappointed. Some will like it though.

And I also wrote I Got Lost a 2 string emo rock song. A very talented FAWMER Steven Wesley Guiles likened it to post Christian stuff like Pedro the Lion and David Bazan. I'm not post-Christian myself, but I am on a journey to be more emotionally honest in my songwriting so there you go.

I'm putting all FAWM songs on my new download page till I have time to do the coding on the regular one.

SO TODAY

after Church, where numerous people told me

They preferred my version of the notices
or
I've ruined the notices for them forever
or
They wish I would sing the notices
or
They like my song

...I was so discombobulated by everything I had to do that I took two hours to
type up old lyrics,
post on fawm,
update links,
move bits of paper from one folder to a completely different folder

and

write a checklist to help me move bits of paper into different folders more effectively in the future

THEN I...

was shocked and surprised upon going to Shabby Road for an hour that I wrote another song. It's a penitent worship song based on Dan 5:23 (I think) in 3/4 (I'm into 3/4 in a big way recently) in Em and using possibly the most evil sounding chord sequence in the universe Em - Cm.

I hope to record it tomorrow - it's called Wood & Stone.

Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song - for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick


Friday, 4 February 2011

Symbolic?


Photo: Andrew Bull


I think this photo, taken by a friend, kind of sums up my participation in FAWM

Related Posts: If You're Here This Morning (The Church Notice Song)

Other free songs by Matt Blick

Tom Waits' Entrance




My latest obsession (not counting the ongoing Beatles-induced madness) is gravel voiced junkyard dog/genius Tom Waits. Reading Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits I've been impressed by his continual desire to improve his craft, trying out his story songs at poetry workshops and attending songwriting workshops even when had a major label deal. But the following quote really leapt of the page -

I don't write year [all] round...for me, a lot of it's like going back to a place where you go a lot but the season changed and the vines grew over the entrance...and you get back there and you say, “Well I'm standing right where I was, how come I can't get back in?'”
Low Side of the Road p.307

I've experienced exactly the same thing, even after working faithfully on music every day I found that if you're not WRITING it doesn't matter how many hours you spend with a guitar in your hands you still be as rusty as if you'd been glued to the couch watching Family Guy.

That realisation is why I'm trying to write every day and why I've signed up for FAWM 2011.

PS one other reason I love Waits is his gift for a pithy quote. Check out Tozier's post Your hands are like dogs if you need proof.

Related Posts: New Song - Everything Is Broken
The Soundcheck Song - for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Day 34: Roundup




Surprised

Who'd have thought that a song that took just 24 hours to write would be one of my fastest downloaded? If You're Here This Morning may even hit 50 downloads before the end of the day, all off the back of a friend's facebook link.

BTW - I don't have any time to do all the virtual shmoozing I'd normally do, what with having to write another 13 songs an all. Help a guy out. If you like the song or any of the others post a link on FB or tweet it or something (there's buttons on my blog if you click through). Say something like "this song's so awesome I think it just fixed the ozone layer"

Dirty Stop In

I just couldn't face another jaunt to Shabby Road (did I mention my bad leg?), so I wrote at home. One great thing about having a writing place is that you can leave. Then you know you're done. Writing at home you keep putting it off and then when you start writing you keep picking away at it when you should have called it a day. Spent an hour more than I should writing a song called I Got Lost.


Get Back To Where You Once Belonged

Started said song at School. As I was back in the room I picked up a Tatra Classic (the same model as my first guitar) which seemed appropriate. It only had the A and D strings. In the spirit of FAWM's crazy challenges I decided to write a song using only those two strings. I have 2 verses, 2 pre choruses and a weak chorus.

Happy New Year

It's Chinese New Year. Why not celebrate it in the Traditional way by downloading Shang Ding Hong Song


Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song - for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick

The Notices Song "If You're Here This Morning"




Are you a fan of the notices (announcements) in your church? Every Church develops it's own catchphrases, buzz words & jargon and my Church is no different. So for my first FAWM song I gathered some of the Grace Church gems and fashioned them into a good old fashioned country-gospel-blues number.

And if you like it - please let the basket just pass you by...

Download the FREE If You're Here This Morning mp3
Download the FREE If You're Here This Morning CHORD sheet

If You're Here This Morning

If you're here this morning
Please let the basket just pass you by
If you're here this morning
Please let the basket just pass you by
It's just for the folks committed to
The work of the Church, so unless that's you
And you're here this morning
Please let the basket just pass you by.


If you're here this morning
And you don't have a Bible to hand
If you're here this morning
And you don't have a Bible to hand
Don't you worry, don't you fear
The words should appear on the screen right here
So if you're here this morning
Don’t cha worry where your Bible's at


Perhaps you're here this morning
And you're wondering who Jesus is
If you're here this morning
And you're wondering who Jesus is
If the road seems dark it will soon come clear
I got an invite to an Alpha Course for you right here
If you're here this morning
And you're wondering who Jesus is


Maybe you're here this morning
And you've been coming for a couple a weeks
If you just come Sunday morning
There's a limit to how involved you can be
So come along to one of our midweek groups
They meet all across the city so there's one near you
If you're here this morning
And you've been coming for a couple a weeks


If you're here this morning
And you'd like to find out some more
If you're here this morning
And you'd like to find out some more
Head on over to the information point
Or visit Grace Church Nottingham dot org
If you're here this morning
And you'd like to find out some more
I hope you got a welcome pack at the door
If you are here this mor - - - ning.

© 2011 Matt Blick (www.mattblick.com)

Related Posts: Mark Altrogge Announcement Ninja
Shang Ding Hong Song
The Soundcheck Song
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Day 33: Pain And Progress




Today I'm stuck on the horns of a dilemma between a rock and the lesser of two evils. Walking without crutches makes my leg hurt. (Duh). Walking with crutches makes my hands hurt and makes my fingers really stiff. It's hard to play guitar with stiff fingers.

All feel sorry for me.

Thanks. Now that's over with, today I was so focused on recording yesterday's song I forgot to do some writing!!!!!!

But I did do some writing anyway (AH THE POWER OF HABIT). I tweaked yesterday's song lyrics and added another key change, and I had an attempt at another song while I was in between lessons. It went nowhere.

Will yesterday's Herculean feat be a flash in the pan?
Will the Flash's feet be panned by Hercules?

Who cares? It's late I'm gibbering. Download the Shang Ding Hong Song
 - you'll thank me...


Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song - for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Day 32: FAWM Begins




Hot diggedy - it's awn!

Feeling somewhat shell shocked and brain fried by Shang Ding Hong Song and the dismal distruction of a childrens book that is Where The Wild Things Are (the movie) I hobbled wearily over to Shabby Road to go through my song starts.

I listed about 16 potentials and then wrote a WHOLE SONG!!! called If You're Here This Morning/The Notices Song.

I will record and post it tomorrow.

Praise God!



Related Posts: Shang Ding Hong Song
The Soundcheck Song - for free

Other free songs by Matt Blick

New Song Preview: Shang Ding Hong Song


So I finished Shang Ding Hong Song one hour before FAWM started. But I did finish it. That makes 3 songs in Jan, making it my most productive month.

I didn't have time to mix it, at least one track was muted by mistake. But it will have to do for now. Have a listen and leave me a comment

Shang Ding Hong Song mp3
Shang Ding Hong Lyrics pdf

To get things rolling -

My wife said she liked it but thought the knickers verse was a bit rude and she couldn't hear the vocals in the punk bit
My kids applauded when it was done and
My daughter Groucho said "mmm....I smell a Grammy"

Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song - for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick