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Friday Show; Rocktoberfest Setlist...


It’d be nice if 45 Degrees North got to practice a little bit tonight. We won’t have Jane—she’s manning a booth at the county fair (like half the people in the county, I think)—but what I’m after is just some basic refresher on some of the material, before we go on stage Friday. One of the frustrating things about not having any recordings of the group is I can’t just boot up an *.mp3 file if I encounter one of those “Wait—I don’t remember how this goes” moments. (I do have one, though—there’s video of “The Road to Lisdoonvarna” from the last time we played at the Arts Center’s open mike, and that’s one of the tunes I need refreshing on.)

Failing practice—or maybe even if we do practice—I want to go play lead guitar at the Tsunami Grill in Wheeler. I’ve only played music once this week, and I just need to feel better about myself as a musician, again before I get up on stage. Everything is really done: the setlists are done, the Rap is done, and the band is as practiced as they’re going to be.

Deathgrass won’t have Doc for either the Rocktoberfest (Sept. 17) or the railroad centennial (Oct. 1), but we have substitutes: Larry Christiansen is willing to join us on sax for the Rocktoberfest, and Jane Dunkin on fiddle for the Train Set. New material (with luck) for the Train Set—I’d like that to be all train songs—and a bunch of unfamiliar material for the Rocktoberfest, that not everybody has played or that we haven’t played in a long time.

With a saxophone in the band, we can really rock out (and the band really like to play rock ‘n’ roll, anyway). We could have a set that includes:

For Their own Ends (Southern Pigfish)—folk-rock

Test Tube Baby—Elvis-style rock ‘n’ roll

The Dog’s Song—rock ‘n’ roll

Angel in Chains—country death metal

Love Trails of the Zombie Snails—folk-rock

Simple Questions (O.N. Vindstad)—rockabilly

Our Own Little Stimulus Plan (Betty Holt)—Buddy Holly-style rockabilly

She Ain’t Starvin’ Herself—fast blues

Tillamook Railroad Blues—deliberate blues

So 20th Century (Coleman & Lazzerini)—ragtime

Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad (Woody Guthrie)—fast bluegrass

That’s 11 right there, and most of them are pretty fast. I think Larry’s played seven of those with us before, the Woody Guthrie song at the Val Folkema benefit concert in April 2010 and the other six at our last Failed Economy Show; Charlie hasn’t played “Test Tube Baby” or “Zombie Snails.”

Most of the slow songs I have written are two-steps, but I have to have a few slow songs in the mix to break things up (and also give me and the band a chance to catch breath). There are a few that for one reason or another sound a little bit different:

The Writer’s Block Blues—slow & sleazy

Pole Dancing for Jesus—slow Gospel (of course)

Need five more to fill an hour and a half. We could do “No Good Songs About the War” (the excuse being that it won a prize), “Eatin’ Cornflakes from a Hubcap Blues” (which people have told me they think is well-written), Stan Good’s “Un-Easy Street” (makes ‘em think), and maybe Diane Ewing’s “Distraction” (the sax could definitely add a rockier sound). More? How about “Can I Have Your Car When the Rapture Comes?” Would that be too over-the-top?

I get to process video today at the Arts Center from the Deathgrass performance in Wheeler at the Summerfest July 16. Was filmed with the Arts Center’s new camera, which I haven’t worked with before, so I don’t know what the sound is going to be like. With luck, there’s some good concert footage. Couple new jobs to apply for, too.



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