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Tonic Lounge Post-Mortem...


Comedy night at the Tonic Lounge in Portland was good. (I didn’t send out any notice to the “joelist” or to Facebook—this was just a short appearance, only three songs, and I didn’t know how it was going to go. But it was good.) Half a dozen standup comics there, plus me (and some were good, and others less so), but the good side was there was a fairly sizable and appreciative audience. And the bar owner really likes it—and that’s a major key to keeping it going. It happens every week, which is great.

The Tonic Loungs audience liked “Pole Dancing for Jesus” (I think that one’s definitely a keeper), and really liked “The Abomination Two-Step”—and of course liked “I’m Giving Mom a Dead Dog for Christmas” (audiences almost always do). Possibility of a real gig there later on? I don’t know; I didn’t do any outright promoting (I did give Whitney an advance copy of the Deathgrass CD, though). I think the bar owner liked what I did. The Tonic Lounge has a nice performance space, ideal for small acts—the stage and sound system could handle a full band easy, but there’s room for an audience of only about 50, and they’re all at tables. Ideal listening environment. (Of course, one could always move the tables out if one wanted to have a dance.)

The trip to Portland also bought Alice’s RAM and the portable DVD-rewritable drive; got the latter cheaper than I expected. No RAM for StuartLittle, though; his chips (the techie guy said, “Wow—these are real antiques”) are way too expensive. Found a CD-rewritable drive for the Hulk in a thrift store. (And I have a trick to try to see if one or more of the old hard drives from the college actually work.) I still would like to turn the Hulk into a working computer—1.2 gigabytes of RAM is nothing to sneeze at, even if Hulk is a 2001-vintage Pentium III.

The Deathgrass CDs are ordered (DiskFaktory confirmed they got all my stuff), and I should have them in hand by the middle of May. I will not schedule the CD Release Event until I have them in hand, though. The experts are right—too many things can go wrong.

I have the script to write for the next puppet show—a retelling of the Cinderella story, I think. Necessary to do some gender-reversal, since Princess Leah is the only girl puppet in the “Pig Wars” troupe. But we can put Darth Vader in the title role, and have Luke and Hansolo as the evil stepbrothers, Leah as the Handsome Princess, and Yoda as the fairy god-Jedi. Chewy the Wookie needs a role, too; like Shakespeare, I have to make sure my plays have slots for all the “actors” in the “company.” Chewy could be the stepmother, perhaps (step-Wookie?). People have suggested it should be a musical, and that the puppet band should “perform” again. So there is music to write for it, too. And record. The Great Intergalactic Puppet Theatre has a paying gig in June.

Filming for the video class (the weather is supposed to finally be sunny this weekend). I need to re-do the lead track to Scott Garriott’s “Clown in Paradise”; he’d like it more acoustic (the tracks I did were pretty electric), and I need to record “Earwigs in the Eggplant” so The Impromptus can play with it in their spare time.

Jane did a draft setlist for The Impromptus’ gig Aug. 12, and it’s pretty good, I think; I’d like to hear all the songs together, to make sure they fit right—that’s one reason (besides ease of practice) I like to make “setlist” CDs—but that will come later. Should have intros to each of the songs, too, and ideally, songs should be introduced by the person leading them. But I can do it if they can’t. It is one of the things I can do.


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