40 in 40 by steelopus

Dec 11

40 in 40: What It Was

I guess I should provide a little explanation about this project that I undertook.

I had absolutely nothing planned for any of this. I just happened to be up late on the night of Ash Wednesday 2011 and found myself in a bit of a somber mood, so I plugged in and recorded a song. People seemed to enjoy it so I decided to make it a thing: I would give up “not recording a song every day” for Lent.

To be honest, I kind of made up the rules as I went along. As I progressed I found that more than anything else it grew into an exercise for me to become more familiar and comfortable with my voice - discovering what works and what doesn’t, etc. I’ve never been a very confident singer and I don’t think 40 covers significantly changed that, but I challeneged myself to try it and find out.

After the first week I had established the following set of rules:

  1. Record 40 cover songs in 40 days.
  2. Only one song from any band.
  3. Songs from solo albums are OK (e.g., I can do a Rivers Cuomo song and a Weezer song, or a David Bazan song and a Pedro The Lion song, etc.)
  4. No loops or samples (virtual instruments and effects are OK).
  5. I had to completely finish recording the song before midnight and then draft up the post for the next morning. No touch-ups were allowed the next day, but I could get ahead of the game and work on more than one song in any single day, as long as the one that was posted the following day was finished by midnight.

Other than those rules, it was a free for all. Some songs came out a bit better than others. Some received completely different treatments than the originals while some were note-for-note duplicate performances. I consciously tried to force myself to not be too technical with the recording process by not getting too mucked up with microphone placement, digital effects, tone, etc. I wanted to make it sound good, but I didn’t expect it to sound great.

To answer a few questions that I’ve received:

So - thanks for listening and thanks for your hearts and reblogs and do not hesitate to ask me questions or provide feedback. You can reply, use my ask box, or email me at steelopus [at] gmail {dot} com.

The following links will take you directly to the individual songs and the links to the right will appear on every page you visit.

  1. Pedro The Lion - Options
  2. Foreigner - Cold As Ice
  3. Weezer - Butterfly
  4. The Presidents Of The USA - Stranger
  5. Nerf Herder - Nosering Girl
  6. Ben Kweller - Lizzy
  7. That Dog. - Silently
  8. Imperial Teen - Lipstick
  9. The Cardigans - My Favorite Game
  10. Nada Surf - Blizzard of ‘77
  11. Phantom Planet - Always On My Mind
  12. The Cars - You’re All I’ve Got Tonight
  13. Hawksley Workman - No Sissies
  14. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Crosstown Traffic
  15. They Might Be Giants - Dead
  16. Harvey Danger - Pike St./Park Slope
  17. Headphones - I Never Wanted You
  18. Queens of the Stone Age - Long Slow Goodbye
  19. Thin Lizzy - Chinatown
  20. Nine Inch Nails - The Wretched
  21. Guns N’ Roses - Don’t Cry (alternate lyrics)
  22. Spirit - Nature’s Way
  23. David Bazan - Cold Beer And Cigarettes
  24. Devo - Girl U Want
  25. Ben Folds Five - Kate
  26. Tool - Forty-six & 2
  27. Cake - Frank Sinatra
  28. Blur - Tender
  29. The Rentals - She Says It’s Alright
  30. Toadies - Pressed Against The Sky
  31. Silverchair - Tomorrow
  32. Manchester Orchestra - Tony The Tiger
  33. Radiohead - How To Disappear Completely
  34. Green Day - Hitchin’ A Ride
  35. Splashdown - The Archer
  36. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Susie Q
  37. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - American Girl
  38. Joe Jackson - Steppin’ Out
  39. Pink Floyd - Young Lust
  40. Superdrag - Keep It Close To Me
  41. Jesus Christ Superstar - The Last Supper / Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say)