The Idea The Rules The Albums The Signup The Creator

The 2016 JoCoAlbMo Albums

JoCoAlbMo Reg. #: 2016.0001 -- WINNER

"An Ocean"
Joseph Mancuso

New Jersey


Original Concept:
we were given an image of music,
and we believed.

Artist Post-Game:
For me, JoCoAlbMo did exactly what it was supposed to. From a production standpoint, the album is honestly weak, but letting go of that priority freed me up tremendously, and it resulted in an album of which i'm very proud in terms of creative content. Thanks to many supportive folks, i was able to complete this album before the end of March, and kept it all within the JoCoAlbMo Rules of 40, 30, 20 and 10. I'm already cooking up some ideas for next year ...

JoCoAlbMo Reg. #: 2016.0002 -- WINNER

"The Threefinger Opera"
Jeff Elbel + Ping

Wheaton, IL


Original Concept:
On 12/17/15, a tiny bomb went off in my cervical spine. It damaged my C8 nerve, which now refuses to properly carry messages from my brain to two fingers in my left hand. For a working musician, this is not fabulous. The Threefinger Opera will provide a means to examine my experience in a way that compels me to be constructive with a situation that is otherwise a setback, find something positive to say about it, and make some jokes at my own expense - plus, write some fun songs. I've got lemons. Who wants lemonade?

Artist Post-Game:
My goal was to write the album within the challenge period, and I was very happy to develop more than enough material. I was able to throw some material away that either didn't propel the story forward or provide musical breadth. My take on the rules:
40: I trimmed as much as I could stand with a preference to hit 36 minutes. My project might (emphasis on "might") go to vinyl. LP audio quality suffers around 19 minutes and longer. My longer side is 19:15. Since concept albums are the territory of classic prog-rock from the vinyl record age, the Rule of 40 was the one rule I balked at.
30: No problem. Once I decided that I was willing to accept the concept, the songs practically wrote themselves. The concept was to write a batch of songs about personal experience with nerve damage that would somehow be fun, relatable and something that people would actually enjoy hearing. It's not exactly girls, sun and cars, but I think I succeeded. The story has optimism, downfall, a villain, gratitude and growth.
20: My goal wasn't to record anything beyond basic tracks in March. I recorded rhythm guitars and scratch vocals. I have turned the project over to Ping, and recording with the group takes a long time. In the end, I want something that I want to continue listening to, and something I can present as a worthy souvenir of the band.
10: The Threefinger Opera features ten original songs and one cover that pulls various threads together. I arranged a jangly, psychedelic pop version of goth-rock band Dead Artist Syndrome's "In Your Hands." I produced the original version for the DAS album "Saving Grace" in 2003. The Ping version sounds like the Hollies and the Church rather than Love & Rockets or Sisters of Mercy.
0: See above.

JoCoAlbMo Reg. #: 2016.0003 -- WINNER

"Three Final Days"
Thee Moths



Original Concept:
The world is ending in three days, we hear each one told from a different character as global and personal panic mounts - a look at personal crisis vs universal extinction. I've had the idea for this in my head for over a decade, but never had an excuse to be self indulgent enough to do it!

JoCoAlbMo Reg. #: 2016.0008 -- WINNER

"The Marshmallow-to-Oat Ratio Has Been Reversed!"
Brian Lillie / Lobsta Thermidor

Ann Arbor, MI


Original Concept:
I have decided it would be an interesting concept to pretend to be somebody else making an album--and that somebody else is somewhat deranged...

JoCoAlbMo Reg. #: 2016.0004 -- ENTRY

(working title) by
Gregor Barclay


JoCoAlbMo Reg. #: 2016.0005 -- ENTRY

"in their words"
(working title) by
My four fastest

JoCoAlbMo Reg. #: 2016.0006 -- ENTRY

"Surfing the Gravitational Waves Around the Sun"
(working title) by
Extinguished Suns

Raleigh, NC

The greats of scientific thought on the nature of our universe meet psychedelic noise guitar rock.

JoCoAlbMo Reg. #: 2016.0007 -- ENTRY

"Through the Fear"
(working title) by
Stacey Krejci

Champaign, IL

Exploring the irresolvable tensions between the subjective and objective, clarity and confusion, ignorance and truth, sanity and insanity.

JoCoAlbMo Reg. #: 2016.0009 -- ENTRY

"Research Project"
(working title) by
Jim Novak

Ann Arbor, MI

This semester I am teaching an undergrad research seminar and a graduate one. In solidarity with students, I will focus on song ideas that come from books/articles/news stories that have caught my eye. The songs won't be "just the facts" but I'll start there and see what happens. Songs could have an invisible bibliography behind them.

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