RPM Challenge 2010: Golden Days

This past February, I have been working on new music as part of the RPM Challenge. As you might recall from past years, the RPM Challenge is a month-long endeavor to encourage musicians to create an entire album of original music, start to finish. That means write songs, record, mix, master and mail off a hard copy to the good folks who sponsor the event.

This is the third time I’ve taken part in four years. Here are my entries from 2007 and 2009 with Hello Come In. Incidentally, we also spent the entire year of 2007 making 12 original EPs which you can find here.

So now it’s March 1st 2010. This year I decided to mix it up and make music with people locally in Washington D.C. Working with me in collaboration is Robin Hilton and Meg Ruddick — both NPR Music coworkers. Robin I have worked with in the past on a few songs, Meg never before, so it’s pretty cool to try something new this year.

For this project we have named ourselves Golden Days and we’re proud to present our debut effort: It Was Over Before We Began.

Anyway, on to the music:

You can download the entire album here.


1. It Was Over Before We Began
2. Year Of Dreams
3. Mind Control
4. Pig
5. Come Tomorrow
6. It’s A Weakness
7. Captain Kid
8. Bone Fragments
9. Scene


Produced by Golden Days
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Robin Hilton and Mike Katzif
at Hello Come In Studios & Small Good Thing Productions,
in Washington DC; February 2010
Artwork and layout design by Mike Katzif
Drums on “It’s A Weakness by Aryn Crowley
All Songs by Golden Days; Copyright 2010
Special Thanks to Hello Come In, Small Good Thing,
Krusher, for her unwavering patience and support
and our nearly half dozen fans.

RPM Challenge 2009: Hello Come In, ‘You Can’t Find Your Way Outside’

Hello Come In's 2009 RPM Challenge album, 'You Cant Find Your Way Outside.'
Hello Come In’s 2009 RPM Challenge album, ‘You Cant Find Your Way Outside.’

We know it’s been years since you’ve heard from the crew over at hellocomein.com, but fear not young maidens and noble gentlemen, the beast has not been slain permanently. After our year-long hiatus, we’ve had a productive month of February, and created the newest edition in the ongoing melodrama: You Can’t Find Your Way Outside.

This undertaking was written, performed, and recorded (mostly) in the month of February for the famed RPM Challenge. For those unaware, the RPM Challenge, costs no money to enter, does not provide any winnings of millions for the best entries, and really, is merely a catalyst to inspire people to get out of their nightly taco-flavored-Dorrito-fueled reality television watching lifestyle, and get them to make music for the sake of making music. The rules are simple: you have the month of February to completely create either 35 minutes of music, or 10 songs — whichever comes first.

Listen to our attempt at greatness: Some songs are pure genius, while others only part genius. But it’s safe to say that you will either be crying from joy, or despair, or not at all, after listening. The point of the project is not true perfection of the final product, but the process of creating and making music. We hope that comes across in these new songs.

Please leave comments here in the blog about what you love/hate/don’t care about, to help encourage us to create again, or give up for good.

Thanks and good night sweet princes.

~Aryn & Mike
Hello Come In — Chicago & Washington D.C. Divisions

Click here to DOWNLOAD the full album.


1. White Walls
2. Half Awake
3. The Winch
4. The Academy Of Birds
5. Yellow Matter
6. You Are The Sea
7. Why The Oceans Matter
8. This Is A Fire
9. Music Box

Produced by Mike Katzif
Recorded and Engineered by Aryn Crowley and Mike Katzif
Mixed and Mastered by Mike Katzif and Hello Come In
at Hello Come In Studios, Washington DC & Chicago IL; February 2009
Artwork and layout design by Mike Katzif
Cellos on “Yellow Matter” by Thomas Pierce
Special Thanks to Greg Johnson, Robin Hilton, and our dozen fans.
All Songs by Mike Katzif, Aryn Crowley and Hello Come In, Copyright 2009

RPM Challenge 2009: Weekend Progress Report

Spent most of this weekend out of town and in airports and hotel rooms. But I did have a chance to mix a bit during that time and spent most of today recording. Here is the progress report:

Half Awake (v4a) — Finally tracked verses two and three… not sure about a few lines here and there and might retrack if there’s time… But otherwise, I’m calling this one relatively done: Warts and all, it’s as good as it’s likely gonna get.

“Half Awake” v4a by Mike Katzif


Why The Oceans Matter (v3d) — Here’s a song Aryn wrote and bumped over to me to start mixing and adding a few things on my own. Not quite there yet, but it’s different and has lots of potential. He has a few more in the works but I’ll let Aryn chime in here later about this if he so desires.

“Why The Oceans Matter” v3d by Aryn Crowley (MK Mix)


Slack Stringed (v3a) — Another shelved and long forgotten song, now refreshed and reworked in honor of RPM. Aryn added some drums to this and will add a bit more sooner than later. I am also planning on refining my lyrics for this (half written, still untracked) so stay tuned…

“Slack Stringed” v3a by Mike Katzif

That’s all for now…

RPM Challenge 2009: The Song Graveyard

In the last week I’ve refreshed some interest in a few song ideas I had either started and aborted or just had rattling around but never committed to working on. Here is a progress report on what I’ve got so far:

This Is A Fire (v2d) — This song still needs major refinement of lyrics and better melodies, but I think I like where it’s vaguely pointing to: simple electronic background music and sequenced drums and not much else.

“This Is A Fire” v2d by Mike Katzif


Yellow Matter (v3a) — Sunday night I did write some lyrics for this song and track an attempt at a melody and vocal harmonies here, but really found it loathsome to listen to after the fact. So back to the drawing board, yet with some lessons learned and ideas on how to fix later on. Otherwise I really like the music to this, with an amazing assist on the great cello arrangements by my friend and fellow NPR type, Thomas Pierce.

“Yellow Matter” v3a by Mike Katzif


Half Awake (v3b) — This is a song that I started a couple days before February but including here still. Not much progress here in terms of those elusive 2nd and 3rd verses. But its getting there and ready to move on once those are tracked.

“Half Awake” v3b by Mike Katzif


White Walls v2a — Here is an instrumental thing I started on that basically repeats over and over again, but could be fodder for some lyrics. Now with drums by Aryn.

“White Walls” v2a by Mike Katzif

That’s all for now… stay tuned.

RPM Challenge 2009: Half Awake

Back in 2007, Hello Come In (Aryn, Greg and I) took part in the RPM Challenge which asks people to spend the month of February (28 days) writing and recording an entire album of music — 10 songs or 35 minutes of music whichever comes first. That album also served as the second EP in our year-long project to record a short EP of original music each and every month.

After laying low musically for nearly all of 2008, I’ve decided to undertake the challenge again this year. Today was the first day of the official challenge. To commemorate day one, I offer a song that I actually began writing last week or so, but hadn’t finished.

Here is where I am right now:

“Half Awake v3a” by Mike Katzif
[audio:https://hellocomein.com/soundbox/hellomusic_mike/Half Awake v3a.mp3]

I’m not totally thrilled with the mix (much to muddy for my taste), and I plan to add verses 2 and 3 once I finalize the vocals, but otherwise, happy with how it’s coming together. Stay tuned for the next 27 days for more updates and songs to hear.

hello.music -Ping Pong Robots

hello.musicHowdy folks.. so this is my first work since my retiring/hiatus after our 12 ep series. A classic aryn tune complete with robot references, standard hooks and even upright bass (though no whistling this time).


Stay tuned for maybe another track from me someday. It is nice to make something again though .. even if its a rusty first attempt.

December 2007 EP: Hello Come In, ‘The Last Duel’

One year (and change) after setting out to complete 12 mini albums in 12 months we’ve come to the end. It’s been an interesting challenge to keep up with, and we think we did pretty well despite not completing a single one by the end of its respective month. It was an exercise to see if we could expand our musicality beyond what we’ve done in the past. It was a way to keep up the momentum over the years despite ever increasing busy-ness between jobs, relationships, house cleaning, and laziness.

I’m not sure what the next year will bring, but I do hope that we can keep up this upward arch and continue to create, collaborate, remix, and produce our own music in our conquest of the internets. Thanks for the memories listeners. — Aryn Crowley, December 2007


Take a listen for yourself here. Or right click here to DOWNLOAD the entire album.

You can always take us with you via the podcast. And please enjoy the fruits of our MySpace and our Facebook Group.

And most important… leave comments on the blog or via email at decemberEP@hellocomein.com. Enjoy!!


1. The Last Duel (Crowley)
2. Crushed (Johnson\Crowley)
3. Blood Red Skies (Katzif)
4. After Hours (Crowley)


Past EP’s

Temporary Setback :: January 2007
Clouded Spaces, Falling Skies :: February 2007
First Pull Up, Second Pull Down, Third Take Away :: March 2007
Ancient Telephones :: April 2007
The Cavalry Arrived Again :: May 2007
Designed In Anticipation Of His Centennial Years :: June 2007
The Rundown :: July 2007
The Ninth Great Fire :: August 2007
Empty Bottles And Dog-Eared Books :: September 2007
I Can Fix Things In The Morning :: October 2007
We Are Full Of Useful Noise :: November 2007
The Last Duel :: December 2007