In the years since the internet made it possible for anyone to share their music with a mass audience, numerous artists have endeavored to post a new song online every week for a year. But even with the ready availability of web storage and high-speed connections, only a tiny fraction of musicians have achieved such an ambitious project.

In the years since the internet made it possible for anyone to share their music with a mass audience, numerous artists have endeavored to post a new song online every week for a year. But even with the ready availability of web storage and high-speed connections, only a tiny fraction of musicians have achieved such an ambitious project.

Columbus musician Eric Metronome recorded 52 cover tunes a few years back, and that seemed like a monumental feat even without the added burden of writing new music. So how unusual and exciting that two unrelated local musical acts are attempting to match that regiment with original compositions.

Singer-songwriter Jared Mahone is releasing demo recordings of completed songs and posting copious amounts of backstory at a blog called The Mixtape Project at jaredmahone.com. And indie-rock quartet Ghost Shirt is uploading full-blown recordings at music blog donewaiting.com under the banner 52 Singles in 52 Weeks. Coincidentally, both acts are performing in Columbus Friday night.

For Mahone, The Mixtape Project is a way to direct his attention away from the business side of being a professional musician and back toward the artistic.

"My goal is the creative part of it, the development that comes from putting yourself to the task of being a full-time writer," Mahone said. "I kind of have to force myself into these creative environments."

Still, it would be nice to get paid for all that songwriting. He's hoping to rack up 1,000 yearlong subscriptions at $20 a pop. If he can attract that many takers, it'll be something like working as a professional songwriter in Nashville, only with complete creative reign. Still, he's pressing on, whether people buy in or not.

"If 10 people sign up, I'm still writing a song a week," he explained.

When the year is complete, Mahone hopes fans will submit tracklists of their favorite demos so he can parse through them and record the best-loved tracks for his next album.

Ghost Shirt's plan is perhaps even grander. The band, already polishing its Anyway Records debut Domestique for later this year, is attempting to record four more albums' worth of singles in 2010. Singer-guitarist Branden Barnett said the band wants to compile each set of 12 or 13 tunes into a new record every few months.

It seems like a mammoth task even for players who aren't holding down day jobs like these four, but Barnett said it's only natural.

"We're all so close, and we're always together, pretty much daily," Barnett said. "It actually is pretty conducive to us just putting out more than we should."

They're also hoping to bring in lots of Columbus musicians to collaborate on the tracks, creating a diary of their year in rock and an artifact that runs deeper than one band.

Both acts acknowledge the significant risk of failure: How to avoid repeating yourself? How to maintain quality control? How to write and record on the road, where both bands will head this spring?

"It makes me nervous," Barnett said. "But that's kind of the point is to keep us nervous and working and productive and not complacent."

Mahone concurred: "You have to do something that seems ridiculous, that seems a little impossible."

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