Rhett Miller and Mystie. Photo by Billie Jo Sheehan.
Unfortunately the first 3 days for the RPM Challenge were not successful for me. Try as I may, I just could not come up with an idea. I tried listening to new songs. I tried listening to my favorite songs. I tried counting sheep…wait. No. Anyway, the point is, nothing seemed to be sticking. I got some lyric ideas, but nothing that excited me.
Being fairly new in the singer-songwriter game, my process tends to be lengthy. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure any of my songs are really finished, since I am constantly learning something new, going back and making changes. I wanted to at least attempt to write new songs rather than elaborating on the “old” ones to make the challenge more…well, challenging. After I signed up for the challenge, I had a similar feeling of writers-block that I had back in July. I did not climb out of that black hole until October, but since I have less than one month, the shortest month, a three-month recovery will not work. Luckily, after writing and hating and writing more and hating that too, I wrote part of a chorus, I liked.
Of course it would render as I was leaving the day job. As I walked to Alphabet City from Midtown to help the Antagonists set up the art show and sell merchandise as per my usual Thursday night, I typed my idea into my trusty iPhone. However, after I set up Antago-merch and settled in, I was appalled to discover, not one word was saved. I begrudgingly, typed the chorus again, adding a first line I worked out on walk there. I stopped to chat with the regulars, and when I opened the file, it was empty…again. Ok, iPhone, this means war!
I took the rest of the night off to drink wine and be merry with my friends and the artists, but I had thought of some potential words and phrases and other specifics that were luckily still glued in my head when I arrived, a little worse for wear, at work today. When I had a few minutes free, I jot down my ideas. The rest of the lyrics came fairly naturally.
I will not have the time to formulate the music tonight since I will be drooling over my imaginary boyfriend, Rhett Miller, as the real Rhett (who is neither my boyfriend nor imaginary) takes the stage at City Winery tonight. In all seriousness, I am hoping some of that talent and charisma will rub off on me. I’ll be sitting near the front, just in case.