The Very Us Artists Announcements Blog

RPM ’09

This is a re-posting from our blog at The RPM Challenge (that yearly challenge to record a whole album in one month), diet announcing VUA’s plan for this year.  Click to read on:

Last year, the Very Us Artists cobbled together a mighty fine 16-track whopper of an album we like to call (because that’s its name) Roughly Produced Masterpieces.  It paid no mind to such feeble restrictions and overrated qualities such as consistency, genre, or rationale.

A host of RPM luminaries mingled with RPM newbies, churning out some terrifically rough spots, some glimmeringly smooth spots, some chillingly cool spots, and some singe-your-eyebrows-off hot spots.  It’s all over the map.  It was roughly produced, and it was a…masterpiece, for lack of a better word.  I’d also like to think the artwork was the embodiment of all the music it contained: roughly produced (in this case, fully hand-made) and quite the masterpiece.

Can you deny it?


For those who didn’t see and hear it, it’s in the 2008 Jukebox, of course.  But it’s also here, freely downloadable: Roughly Produced Masterpieces


This year, things will be quite different.  It’ll be a collaboration (rather than just a compilation) yet possibly requiring a bit less work on any contributor’s part.  But like everything we do, it’ll be an experiment, so who knows what will come of it.  This year, I’m putting out an open call for anyone to submit non-vocal music made during February ’09 of any style that I (John LaSala) will then personally turn into a song.  Send me your music (without vocals!), I will write lyrics and melodies, sing it, and weave all the songs together to make some kind of yet-to-be-specified concept album drawing inspiration mostly from the music that comes my way.  Each song on the VUA album will be a kind of collaboration between you and me. And if you want to also put the song on your own RPM album (or preferably some alternate mix of it), that’s just fine, too.


Here are just a few different scenarios where you might submit music for this collaboration:

  • You want to do something for RPM but don’t think you could pull of a whole album yourself:  So write and record just one piece of music which you could feasibly see becoming a song.
  • You’ve written some music for your RPM album that you think could or should be a song but have no idea what to write for lyrics or vocal melodies.  So send it to me.
  • You’ve written a song for your RPM album that you would be curious to hear turned into a different song.  So send me a mix of your music—with the vocals removed!
  • You’ve written (or would like to write) a piece of music that won’t fit on your RPM album.  So send it to me to turn into a song.


If you have a different scenario in mind, it will probably work, too.  Just let me know!


After I’ve turned your music into a song, here are a few options for what you can do with it, as far as RPM is concerned:

  • Also put it on your own album, just as it is, with me singing on it.  (Less preferred)
  • Put an alternate mix of the song on your RPM album. (You’d be free to mangle it to your heart’s content.)
  • Keep your original version of the music on your album, and I’ll put my version on the VUA album.
  • If you like the melodies I come up for the music but not the lyrics, feel free to write new words and sing it yourself on your own version of the song.
  • Do some kind of crazy remix of the final VUA version.


Again, if you have a different idea, it will probably be fine, too.


If you are interested, send me an e-mail telling me what you’ve got in mind.  (Don’t send any music yet!)  Since it will be important to get submissions sooner rather than later, it’ll be kind of a first-come-first-serve situation.  That is, depending on the number of responses, not every submission will necessarily work out for being turned into a VUA song.  So I guess we’ll just see how it goes!


So why would you want John LaSala singing with your music?  What kind of music would his voice be good (or particularly bad) for?  The next VUA blog post will give you an idea.

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