The best music you’ve ever heard (by someone you actually know)

So this is where I briefly indulge in a little bit of shameless self-promotion.  As some of you (likely a very few) may know, February is the month during which The Wire (an indie newspaper based out of Portsmouth, NH) hosts the RPM Challenge.  The challenge is essentially this: you record and produce an album’s-worth (at least 10 songs and/or 35 minutes) of original music in the 28 days of February.  It’s not a contest and there are no “winners” or “prizes” (hence the use of the word “challenge” as opposed to, say, “contest”), and there is no enforcement on the time period outside of the Honor System, for the type of people – myself included – that still practice such things.  Nonetheless, the Challenge has built up quite a following since it’s inception in 2006, with just under 2000 bands/artists taking part this year alone.  That’s a lot of music, all independently produced.  The bigwigs at Warner Music Group are probably all grinding their teeth and pulling out their hair right about now, and rightly so!  Your Evil Empire cannot last forever….

As you may have inferred by now (and for those of you who know me and were wondering exactly what rock I’ve been hiding under for the last month or so), I participated in the Challenge this year, which happens to be my second year in a row doing so.  For those of you actually interested in such things (all five of you), you can hear both albums on my official RPM Jukebox page.  I recommend listening with a good pair of earmuff-style headphones (or an actual component stereo hi-fi system, if people other than me still have such things) for best sound reproduction and that “Pink Floyd-esque” experience – though I don’t claim my music is nearly as good or complex as Pink Floyd’s (blasphemy!).  Further, for those of you that are true connoisseurs (read “crazy enough to pay money for such a thing”), you can purchase this year’s album (and preview the amazing album artwork done by my lovely fiancée) here.  Now, before you get all uppity because I’ve seemingly just threatened your wallet with castration, consider these few points:  First off, it’s only $4, which is about what you spend on your quad grande lowfat caramel white mocha every morning – in other words, not that much, and a hell of a lot less calories.  Secondly, at five songs for $4, it’s cheaper than iTunes’ standard 99¢ per song, and you get an actual CD with jewel case and artwork, not just some crappy .m4a’s that are a real bitch to convert into non-proprietary format if you actually want to put them on your (non-Apple) digital media player.  Thirdly, I’ve got a wedding to finance this summer and I really need the cash, so have a heart already!  You wouldn’t stand between a man and true love, would you?  Would you?!

That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.

Now before this post devolves into complete and utter narcissism (too late, you say?), I’d like to take a minute and refer you guys to some other amazing music by someone you may actually know: namely, my brother Adam.  He’s the one that got me started on the whole RPM Challenge in the first place, having taken part in it every year since it’s been in existence.  He was actually going to the UNH in Durham, NH (just a hop, skip, and jump away from Portsmouth) when the Challenge got started, which means he knew about it before it was cool; I think that makes him like a Second Level Obscure Music Demigod or something to you hipsters.  Of course, I’m being facetious here; labeling and ranking things by their level of obscurity in pop culture is so un-hipsterlike…  Yeah.  Anyway, despite the fact that he’s my younger brother, and therefore inherently inferior to me in every way, his music totally blows me away.  You can find his more acoustically-minded music through his acoustichewy project, while his more electric/experimental stuff can be found via his on-again, off-again band, The Fringe.  Both projects are completely amazing and well worth the listen.

Also, if you’re feeling adventurous, I definitely recommend searching the jukebox archives.  There is TONS of music in there for just about every taste.  You’re bound to find something you enjoy.

So I guess that’s all I’ve got.  If you are totally awesome and have great taste in music, you’ll check it out.  If you’re complete losers and Philistines, you won’t and I’ll cry myself to sleep every night for a month like a true Tortured Artist.  Either way, it should be entertaining, yeah?

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