You Gotta Look Out, Kid
Have you ever been so depressed you self published a novel? Surely no one would do such a thing! Who on earth would… oh. I’m a little embarrassed that Laugh Track pops up when I Google my name. & yeah, I’m also a little embarrassed to admit that sometimes I Google my name. But after the redness drains & my cheeks cool down, I’m reminded of a down and out soul who saw the void, called it an asshole, & recklessly ran the opposite direction until failure.
& boy, did Laugh Track fail. But that’s okay. It got me going. It uncovered a little bit of confidence that I had seemed to have lost along the way. & sure, that confidence is in a constant state of coming and going, but it was enough to jump start the ‘make dope shit’ mindset I try to live in.
Failure’s not so bad. I’ve come to accept it as a reoccurring theme in life. Heck, it’s even a little funny if you let it.
But wait, what does this have to do with Indie Rock?
It took writing and self publishing a book, along with watching Wilco’s ‘I Am Trying To Break Your Heart’ & Magnetic Fields ‘Strange Powers,’ to help me realize that if I wanted to make a record, I had to just make a record, or to quote my favorite movie trailer, “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.” (That kind of works in this context, and I will use it any time I can, so ‘kind of works’ is a-okay by me).
With some good friends and a shitty laptop, the same laptop I wrote Laugh Track on, I spent 2013 recording what would become Oklahoma’s All Us Bad Folk EP. It was an exciting time. My brother and I finally started making music together. We tracked his parts at his & Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum’s recording studio. Someone even asked me how Oklahoma was doing—that may seem small, but it was huge! Oklahoma became a realized thing.
Fast forward a bit & we’re playing out, having a ball, taking whatever shitty late night spot we can, & the aforementioned Dave Pirner asks to produce our next album. WHOA.
We crunched the numbers & launched a modest crowd funding campaign & after 30 days we unsuccessfully completed a modest crowd funding campaign.
We were at a crossroads.
Our EP wasn’t doing well. After a midnight set a fella came up super pumped on the show. I told him I’d grab him a CD, his hands immediately shot up as he exclaimed, “I’m not paying for it!” I told him I was going to give it to him for free & he replied, “I rode my bike here, I don’t have anywhere to put it.” I couldn’t give it away, literally.
But still, there was a record in us we needed to make. We had a studio, & a producer. The rest would fall in place.
Then we lost the studio & the producer.
See, failure can be kind of funny.