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February Album Writing Month – Crescendo

Posted in A Day in the Life | 1 Comment »

[I read this email yesterday, and was so happy I thought I would cry. I am going to complete this songwriting challenge after all, dammit!]


Dear carlalynnehall,

A quick love letter from FAWM HQ:

* You can do it! Whether you have one song to write or thirteen, it’s been done before and you can make it happen again. And by golly, writings songs is fun!

* A title is all you need. Titles are all you need to post at FAWM.ORG for them to count officially. Lyrics and demos are always optional, and you can add them later. So focus on writing songs instead of polishing demos if you must. A lot of commenting happens in March and April.

* Midnight at the International Dateline. You can continue to post songs as long as it’s still February somewhere in the world. That means 7am March 1 in New York, 4am in Los Angeles, noon in London, etc.

And remember to donate to FAWM.ORG if you haven’t had the chance yet!

See you at the finish line,
Burr Settles
(Founding Fawmer)

UPDATE: I uploaded my 14 song titles by FAWM’s International Dateline Deadline:



February Album Writing Month

February Album Writing Month – Week 3

Posted in A Day in the Life, Future Legends | No Comments »


This Week’s Songwriting Challenge: Week 3: Neither Major nor Minor

Write a song this week using a musical scale that omits the third, or uses a third that is in between the major and minor notes. To composition newbies: this can be based on power chords, open tunings, use a “bent/crushed/blue third,” quartal harmony, or non-Western scales such as ragas, quarter-tone scales, etc.

Examples: “Taxman” by The Beatles, “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, “Soundtrack for Alien” by Jerry Goldsmith, “Petrushka” by Igor Stravinsky.

This week I have a co-writing date with Dave Jay Gerstein (writer of “Would You Be My Co-Dependent Valentine” and “My Pet Pickle”) so you know it’s gonna be fun, not to mention interesting!

February Album Writing Month
– Let’s go!

February Album Writing Month – Week 2

Posted in A Day in the Life | 1 Comment »


With three rehearsals and three gigs, last week was a helluva week! Now that things have calmed down a tiny bit, I’m getting back on track with February Album Writing Month aka FAWM!

Last night I attended Tom Paul’s Brooklyn Songwriter Circle, and while discussing FAWM with the gang, I realized that one of the goals of February Album Writing Month is to get us to be less precious with the songs that we write. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking that all of the 14 songs that we’re challenged to write have to be hits, or songs that will be performed. With that kind of pressure, no wonder it’s so hard to begin!

So I returned to the FAWM site, and checked out the songs that have already been uploaded by other FAWM participants. Mind you, some FAWM-ers have already made their 14 song goal, but I’m not concerned about that. Besides, I sang and performed my ass off last week, and I wouldn’t trade last week’s awesome opportunities in order to have written more songs. Anyway, after checking out the songs, I realized that they are not all masterpieces, and that’s okay. The point is to keep the channel open, and to create.

So I revisited the lyrics of the song I started at the beginning of the month, “Sunday Night Blues”, edited them, and uploaded them to my FAWM page. Now that I’ve broken the seal, I’m free to write more songs. And who knows? Perhaps I will have a masterpiece by the end of the month!

This Week’s Songwriting Challenge: Week 2: Inanimate Objects

Write a song from the perspective of an inanimate object. Lyricists: this could mean telling the story from the object’s point of view. Instrumentalists: this could mean using sounds, samples, or melodies that somehow reference the object.

Examples: “The Lighthouse” by Nickel Creek, “Small Blue Thing” by Suzanne Vega, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants.

It’s still not too late to get started. If you’re interested, visit February Album Writing Month

February Album Writing Month

Posted in A Day in the Life | No Comments »


It’s February 1st, and I’m starting this year’s February Album Writing Month! Participating in the challenge to “Write 14 Songs in 28 Days” was my original plan last year, but a breakup and subsequent move required my energy and attention. I’m happy to say that I’m feeling a lot freer this year, and I’m ready to dig in.

This Week’s Songwriting Challenge: Week 1: Jobs

Write a song about the work-a-day world. One idea: express your elation (or frustration) about your own job (or perhaps lack thereof?). Another idea: write an ode to your favorite occupation or person who holds that occupation, from barista to tech support.

Examples: “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton, “Take This Job And Shove It” by David Coe, “This Place Sucks” by The Descendents, “The Old Dope Peddler” by Tom Lehrer.

Who’s in with me??? Learn more and sign up at February Album Writing Month