Yow, that's 36 songs. That means I only have 14 left, same as a fawm. When I did my first fawm earlier this year, 14 seemed like an awful lot. Now... it still seems like a lot. But I've written more than that so, onward and upward I guess. Here's a recap on how this has gone so far.
Started strong, 6 songs in five days. I had just finished "Devil in the White City" and I was reading "A People's History of the Vampire Uprising". Neither book was very good, but they spurred creativity (like "Tallyho"). I noticed a political aspect ("Appropriate Response" and "Unwieldy Mess") to the songs that isn't usual for me.
Went to New Hampshire for a long week, that was rough. I had a lot of trouble finding space (mental and physical) to think about songs. Fell a bit behind and tried fulfilling challenges ("Just this guy" and "Rocking Chair", neither of which were great successes). Four songs in ten days, if my vacation had been much longer I might have given up on finishing the challenge.
Getting home, got back to my space, got back to electric. Reading "The Dark Forest", which was interesting but very dismal. I found I was mostly writing protest songs. On the one hand, "Leader Word Thingies", "Meaningful Communication" and "Do You Need an Invitation?" are all pretty good. On the other, the preoccupation with the stupidity of our national dialogue is getting old fast. I decided to stop reading the news as part of my mental preparation before writing songs, particularly after a couple of fairly ugly offerings from the lowest confluence of the book and the news cycle.
I decided that I needed to cheer up, so I read "Trustee from the Tool Room", which is utterly delightful, and tried to steer toward more upbeat tunes (including the first blithe super-modulator I've written in a while). This was good, with "How to Begin" kicking off a set of songs that were fairly strong and noticeably free of existential despair.
I read Stephen King's "The Stand" at around the same time as FAWMstock, which ended up working pretty well. King is remarkable for his relentless craftsmanship and while "The Stand" didn't give me much in terms of emotional inspiration, it's a pretty strong technical motivator. At the same time I was meeting some great folks and joining in some skirmishes. I followed "The Stand" up with du Maurier's "Rebecca" which had plenty of emotional fodder to work with.
At that point, the bottom fell out of my attempts to stay away from social-political songwriting. Between the party conventions and Kenosha, it felt disingenuous to write about anything else. I had to write a few just to let out the frustration, then I took a week off to get my head together.
Home stretch now, like the marathon at the end of an iron man. This should be no sweat
|1||Devil in the white city||8||2 months 2 weeks|
|2||The Appropriate Response||
||8||2 months 2 weeks|
|3||Double Helping||3||2 months 2 weeks|
|4||Tallyho||5||2 months 1 week|
|5||Home||4||2 months 1 week|
|6||Unwieldy Mess||6||2 months 1 week|
|7||The Easy Part||4||2 months 1 week|
|8||Just this Guy You Know||3||2 months 1 week|
|9||The Rocker||4||2 months 3 days|
|10||In The Morning||2||2 months 2 days|
|11||A Brief History of my Interactions with Women of...||3||2 months 2 days|
|12||Do You Need An Invitation?||
||6||2 months 1 day|
|13||Off Kilter||3||2 months 19 hours|
|14||Leader Word Thingies||5||1 month 3 weeks|
|15||Goddess to No One||lowhum||3||1 month 3 weeks|
|16||(Show me your) Epistemology||6||1 month 3 weeks|
|17||Meaningful Communication||8||1 month 3 weeks|
|18||Known Unknowns||3||1 month 2 weeks|
|19||Counselor||2||1 month 2 weeks|
|20||How to Begin||
||2||1 month 2 weeks|
|21||Hope||2||1 month 1 week|
|22||Response to an Invitation||2||1 month 1 week|
|23||Going to Town||2||1 month 1 week|
|24||Narcissism for Beginners||11||1 month 1 week|
|25||Legion||3||1 month 1 week|
|26||Harold Lauder||4||1 month 4 days|
|27||Thirty Thousand Feet||4||1 month 3 days|
|28||Not My Problem||11||1 month 3 days|
|29||Loose Change||2||3 weeks 6 days|
|30||Fifty Miles of Seawalls||AndyGetch||2||3 weeks 5 days|
|31||Imposter Syndrome||11||3 weeks 5 days|
|32||On its Face||4||3 weeks 3 days|
|33||Take Me Down to Union||3||3 weeks 2 days|
|34||Something Missing||2||2 weeks 6 days|
|35||On the Porch, Heavily Armed||5||2 weeks 6 days|
|36||Societal Failure||3||2 weeks 5 days|
|37||What You Have to Say||2||2 weeks 3 days|
|38||Anybody Home?||3||6 days 22 hours|
|39||Back me up, Anders||4||6 days 18 hours|
|40||Fate Don't Mind||4||5 days 18 hours|
|41||Mind, Body, and Soul||2||3 days 19 hours|
|42||This is not going to work out||1||1 day 20 hours|
|43||Outward Bound||metalfoot||3||21 hours 5 min|