RPM Challenge 2011 kicks off today

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There is something special about a monthly challenge where the only goal is to get musicians to write and record new songs. Like National Novel Writing Month and Album Writing Month (which also happens to be in February), the goal of the RPM Challenge is to push musicians to get their songs to tape within 28 days. That's ten songs or 35 minutes of material. Can you do it?

Like any good challenge, this one comes with a set of rules. The most obvious being that all material needs to be previously unreleased and recorded during the month of February. It sounds like a hefty trial, save for the fact that the organizers are well aware of all the excuses musicians can come up with. No, you don't have to record your magnum opus; no, it doesn't need to sound like anything more than a demo; and, no, it doesn't need to be a "real" studio album. The challenge isn't about making the best music possible; it's just about making music.

Before you start complaining about your lack of recording equipment or time, note that signing up for the challenge will give you access to an array of information about DIY recording and access to the band-only discussion forums, so you can share ideas and get tips. There's also pressure to move outside your usual songwriting box -- record songs playing something other than your primary instrument, play outside your usual genre, write some instrumentals.

The challenge runs through the month, with the final recording due in New Hampshire by March 1. Your songs will be put in an online jukebox with the rest of the submissions, so you can share and listen to everyone else's contributions.

It doesn't matter how you do it or why, but if you're a Colorado musician looking for a challenge, this is it. There are already over 1,000 people signed up, including thirteen from Colorado. Be sure to let us know if you're going to take it on, and let us know the results.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.