Uncomfortable EP Pt 2
Little known fact: Don Was never finished producing his solo album. With a fact like that coming from such an eminent producer, I was terrified to end up the same. I’ve heard many times that the hardest skill to learn as a producer is finishing your work. Uncomfortable EP Pt 2 has the distinguished honor of being the second installment of what was supposed to be a whole album. As you know, the music industry has changed. Unless you’re Adele, Bieber, or Rihanna, you’ve got no business making whole albums these days; much less if it’s your first release.
An Uncomfortable Release
I called this project Uncomfortable EP Pt 2 since it’s part two but primarily because I was in an awkward stage of life. After I moved to California with my girl for the second time, actually my fourth time, I was struggling to adapt. School, coupled with limited social time in a very strange neighborhood, was taking its toll.
If you didn’t know, I’m from Chicago originally. People out here in LA think that Midwestern folks are friendly. I guess when you compare them to the Los Angeles Frozen, you’ll find them warm. Out here in the South Bay people give off a classist vibe, I’m sorry to say.
You should probably expect it given that Palos Verdes Estates is one of the top 10 wealthiest zip codes in the world. I haven’t been there but it’s biking distance from Redondo Beach and Torrance. Many of those elites come down to the beach and, believe me, you can feel their hilltop chill.
Now, this EP isn’t necessarily about those people. “Poetry Without Words” is about me walking around and seeing babes everywhere. I feel like, how I look, women expect me to be more aggressive. In fact, I love being alone and see approaching dames more of an interruption to my life than theirs.
Like I mentioned, doing an entire album for your first musical release is ambitious to say the least. Besides learning the myriad tools of music production, there’s time management and other factors to challenge you. It was only after taking a Coursera class on The Beatles did I discover the virtues of smaller releases.
Believe it or not, prior to The Fab Four, no British act had ever cracked the American market. Even those mop tops didn’t believe they could do it. Their manager, if I remember right, was the one to persuade them into making smaller records to test the waters. Strangely, they made different versions of each release for the UK and US markets but, ultimately, they succeeded in seducing the Yanks.
All this was taking place back in the 50’s. Isn’t it wonderful how everything comes full circle? If EPs and singles were the norm back in Dick Van Dyke’s day then my point gets supported. Whereas before, you may have been limited by distribution, now you’re limited by oversaturation. Maybe my grandma didn’t have a large selection of artists in Appalachia. Yes, even there, if you have internet then you can get every release – not just Uncomfortable EP Pt 2.
Point of No Return
The other two songs I put on this disc are: “Lightbulb” and “Keep Your Head Up High”. The former was one I wrote using the John Mayer ‘channeling’ writing method back in 2004. Yep, a very uncomfortable experience provided inspiration for that track. The latter song was inspired by forcing myself to finish schoolwork while all the locals were out at play.
To this day I hate being cooped up in the studio during the summer. Maybe now, for any number of reasons, I’m a little more adapted to it. Still, these tracks definitely capture where I was at the time. There is probably no way I’ll ever feel the same and, hence, will never make music like this again.
Whether it’s the one-man-rock-band aesthetic, the screaming, or the smokey rasp in my voice, every element signals the time of their expression. I definitely feel more chill about a lot of things now. When I go out, I more easily manage the rhythmic social friction. Surprisingly, I actually want to make music that people like!
I didn’t really want to release this album for free. For better or worse, no one is buying it. It’s been out since October 2017 and still rides Bandcamp‘s long tail. You know what? I really don’t care. What matters most to me is that I put everything I could into the project. If any of you are feeling like I did while writing any of these tracks then I’m sure Uncomfortable EP Pt 2 will resonate with you.
To That End
Thanks for reading and listening to my work. I’m going to get back to writing this coming week. Actually, prior to this last week which I took off, I had been very active. You have to rest if you want to do creative work. Nobody wants to be the next suicide case and I can tell you that success brings almost no lasting satisfaction.
Shrugging to myself, I think we create because we have to. It’s a combination of what Bukowski said and actually grinding out a finish. You need to spark to get you started but very few works are completed on that initiative alone. Uncomfortable EP Pt 2 certainly wasn’t.
If you like what I’m doing then sub on YouTube, my newsletter, become a Patron, or just straight up give me money. Alternatively, you can hit me up on Twitter or Instagram, ya I’m back in photo land, and we can chat. Let me know how you’re doing and I’ll be back here next Monday 4PM, as always, to upload new material.