Sending A Firecracker to NPR

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Last friday afternoon, NPR’s Monitor Mix, a blog written by Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein and devoted to deep thoughts about today’s music, noted that many musicians these days have their own recording setups, and issued a “Write And Record A Song In A Weekend” challenge.

Short version: I wrote a brand new song and you can hear it on their blog page here: just scroll down in their black & white player widget until you see “Radio Nowhere – “Firecracker” – it’s the sixth song in the list. Read on for the rest of the story…

Their ground rules:
a) The song and recording had to be brand new, started from scratch
b) The song had to contain at least one of these five words: dog, lampshade, firecracker, NPR, Japan
c) The track had to be uploaded to Monitor Mix by 5pm Sunday night.
Sounds like fun, right? I thought so, plus something about the percussive nature of the word “firecracker” instantly had my musical wheels turning. I briefly toyed with a rock opera based on an NPR report about a Japanese dog who brought a lampshade and some firecrackers to a house party, but…um, no.
Unfortunately, I had unbreakable plans for Friday night, Saturday night, and all day Sunday, which whittled NPR’s generous 48 hour bequest down to a 10 hour sprint: 8.5 hours straight on Saturday and 90 minutes of triaged insanity between 3:30 and 5pm on Sunday.

I ended up getting the song in to Monitor Mix at 5 o’clock on the dot.

You can hear it on their blog page here: just scroll down in their player until you see “Radio Nowhere – “Firecracker” – it’s the sixth song in the list.

Hope you like it [and if you dig it enough to leave a comment on their blog, thus inciting other visitors to check out the song, well, I wouldn’t mind that at all ;)…]

P.S. If you like this whole idea and want to hear more about it, I just found out that NPR’s “Weekend Edition” will be airing a piece on the project – and interviewing some of the musicians involved – tomorrow morning (Saturday 11/21).


5 thoughts on “Sending A Firecracker to NPR

  • Nice! Maybe you should impose more tight deadlines on yourself, just to see what happens. Btw, did you hear the piece on this contest this morning? If you wanted to be featured on Morning Edition, clearly the word to incorporate was “NPR” — preferably in the context of a promotional ode to said media organization.

    • Yes, clearly I failed to properly apprehend the degree of pimpitude that they were looking for. At least I’ve got a new song I wouldn’t be afraid to sing at a gig. I wonder if the “NPRNPRNPR” guy will ever sing his song again….

  • Well done! I submitted my variation of John Cage’s 4’33” and whispered ‘NPR’ at the end. I am befuddled as to why I wasn’t chosen for air… Maybe when I die they’ll play it.

    • Heh…good one. I’m pretty sure that if you remix it and just put the whisper at the front, they’ll interview you on the show and you’ll get an NPR tote bag.

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