Where am I now.

When I started this blog a few months ago, one of the driving forces behind starting a blog was writing about the creative process of writing a new album. But I haven’t written a lot about that, have I? I have done reviews of SpinTunes and talked about the wild wonders of the Billboard charts, but I haven’t really discussed where I am as a musician.

It’s been a tough road. As I wrote in a past post, Battle of the Block, I have been dealing with a kind of writer’s block. I can write lyrics. That’s the easy part for me. In fact, in the midst of my move, I wrote lyrics for a new song called “Speed of Sound” that I really like. But the problem has been making the music. Now, I started this project by contacting three of my fellow Songfighters and asking them if they would help make this album. Clearly this was a mistake because I was not ready at all for album making, so I left three people hanging and I feel very bad about that.

So, where am I currently? I’m trying to venture out on my own, slowly but surely. I have made a couple of appearances at the Sidewalk Cafe’s Open Stage and played a few songs. The thing is there’s a sound in my head that I’m looking for and I’m not finding it. I’m struggling to create it. I have been desiring to experiment musically. Part of me wants to seek out musicians to work with, but finding musicians who wish to hitch a wagon to your ideas can be hard, especially when you are 33. I know I have online musicians out there but it’s just not the same, especially when you are in the midst of a block and are in desperate need for a kick in the pants.

The alternative is venturing into the land of solo work. I did a little of that recently as I took part in Songfight’s most recent coverfight. I ended up having to cover a song by Berkeley Social Scene. I couldn’t have ended up with anything worse. There are two reasons for that feeling. One is that I work with BSS every year as Zinkline and write lyrics for their FAWM, so I have a personal interest in doing my best for them. Then there’s the fact that they are a progressive rock machine. They are like the molecular gastronomists of music. They live for playing with time signatures and doing technical stuff. Meanwhile here I am with only so much musical acumen and a real desire to experiment. It ended up kind of a clash.

I put out a song, a version of BSS’ “Thinking bout the Old Days”. The results were a spacey, weird song, but again production reared its ugly head. I suck at production. I listened to the song. My girlfriend listened to the song. We thought it sounded good. I sent the song in. I listened on my headphones at work a few days later and the vocals sounds muddy. I couldn’t feel more disheartened. BSS are production monsters. I knew at that moment, I had given them a cover that they probably wouldn’t enjoy and at the same time, I had screwed up at the production aspects.

So, I don’t really know where I’m at. If I can’t succeed at producing then I can’t release songs. Then there’s trying to create the sounds that I envision. There are so many issues and I just feel a little lost as a musician and I’m struggling to find my way.


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