Michael Bone’s 1 Day Song Club produces near-instant local albums
Every other week, late on Friday night, Michael Bone posts a theme like “dreams,” “math” or “nonsense” on a group Facebook page. On Saturday, his inbox fills up with songs—all composed and recorded by local musicians to fit the theme—and he arranges them in a semi-cohesive order. Bone or his wife, Ginger, creates cover artwork and he posts the album to the club’s Bandcamp page by midnight.
The project is called 1 Day Song Club. Since launching it about a year ago, Bone hasn’t missed a beat, managing to get it done while on tour and even the day before his wedding last October. In total, he’s curated 25 albums, each with around 10 to 15 songs. During a recent interview, he estimated that about 50 artists have participated.
“Some Saturdays, I’m really feeling it,” he said. “I’m recording and writing with my whole heart and head, and some Saturdays I don’t have that much time. It’s just a fun project, trying to make as much local art as possible.”
Originally from Shingle Springs, Bone is a Chico State music grad who earns his living in gigging bands and as a music instructor for adults with disabilities.
The 1 Day Song Club collections are all over the place, varying wildly in audio quality and style. Some musicians go into professional studios, while others record tracks on cheap microphones. Then it’s all strung together—punk bands, electronic musicians, rock groups and solo singer-songwriters—to disorienting effect. Since it’s a one-day project, musicians tend to go crazy, and many of the songs could be classified as avant-garde. Strange music doesn’t have much of a place in live settings, Bone said, but it does in the 1 Day Song Club.
“Maybe a full-band song is followed by somebody singing over their washing machine, and then the next song is electronic,” he said. “If everybody came over and I recorded them, it wouldn’t be as chaotic and cool.”
Some sense of unity is provided by the theme. As a music listener, Bone gravitates toward concept albums in which every song ties together, and he’s created that kind of music as vocalist/guitarist for the classic prog-rock group Clouds on Strings and drummer in Bogg, the popular local jazz troupe that plays a wide range of local venues, from bars and recital halls to restaurants like Café Coda. The band has a longstanding gig there during brunch on Fridays.
Bone is the only artist to contribute songs to all 25 albums, although a few other local musicians—Alex Montes de Oca, Bran Crown, Josh Hegg, Matt Weiner and Madison DeSantis—feature regularly. He won’t quit the project anytime soon, despite being plenty busy with overseeing the musical arrangements for the elaborate productions put on by Uncle Dad’s Art Collective (including Queen: A Night at the Opera at Laxson Auditorium a couple of months ago), and being newly involved with the North State Symphony. Not to mention, he’s currently working on a solo album for which he’s recruiting friends from out of town to lay down instrumentation on recordings he emails them.
“It’s all these different musicians I’ll probably never play live with,” he explained. “We’re putting it together slowly, and I don’t know when it’s going to be done, but it’s sounding so good. I can’t imagine recording it by myself and having it sound this fun.”
That’s kind of the way it goes now. With a full-time job, wife and baby girl due in June, Bone often turns to the Internet to collaborate with other musicians.
“The technology and bandwidth is here now, when it wasn’t just five or 10 years ago,” he said. “It’s cool that we’re using technology to get people creative, rather than the other things technology does.”