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More Video Thoughts...


When I played “The Strange Saga of Quoth, the Parrot” at the Rapture Room Sunday night (I’d been asked if I knew any political songs), it was remarked that this would make a good music video. Yes, it would. It is one of the easiest of my songs to convert to video, I think. Most, if not all, of it could be shot on a beach (got several of those nearby), with driftwood, maybe (got some of that, too). Very minimalist—recalling Porter Wagoner’s “Committed to Parkview,” which is about an asylum but was simply shot in and around an abandoned institutional-type building that might have once been an asylum. (It was even done in black and white.) That minimalism leaves nearly everything up to the listener’s imagination—which, in my opinion, is as it should be.

It would be nice to have a professionally-done recording of the “Quoth” song to work with; the recording I have is only a draft, done on the Tascam (and not one of my best products, either). Since “Quoth” is one of the Southern Pigfish songs, it’d also be nice to film it without me in it—with someone else lip-synching the lyrics (or for fun, with several different people, maybe some of them girls, lip-synching the lyrics).

Equally minimalist—and equally easy to film—is “The Dead Sweethearts Polka.” That one simply needs to be footage of a river. I had considered the Yamhill River just outside Lafayette my ideal river, because it’s wide, fast and spooky (lots of shade), but the Nehalem River at Mohler has similar character and would work just as well (and is much closer to home). Again, there is not a professional recording of the audio, and I could use one if I’m going to do a good job with this. (And since it is a polka, it’d be nice to have an accordion player on the recording. I do know a few of those.)

One video I could do right now with the tools I’ve got is “The Dog’s Song.” I have sound for that one; it’s on the Deathgrass album. Though the song is from the point of view of the dog, the star is really the kitten—all I need is about five minutes of footage of a hyperactive kitten doing hyperactive kitten things. I can’t use our kittens, Aslan and Hansolo, because they have gotten too large; they don’t look like kittens any more. (They are now larger than the miniature poodle—and the poodle is concerned.) I need either somebody with a hyperactive kitten to send me some footage, or live close enough so I can come over and film said kitten. (I believe I know a dog or two that would be willing to play the part of the dog—which consists mostly of laying around and looking disgusted.)

Others? Ideally, everything should be video-enabled; like DJ Len Amsterdam said, “Video is the new audio.” More and more music—classic and modern—is showing up on YouTube and its clones, with “listener-generated” video if nothing else. This may be the new way people share music. They watch it. And they’ll expropriate stuff they like and post it again under their own names. You can’t download most of this stuff, so I guess people consider it okay to do that. When daughter wanted the band to play some specific cover songs at her wedding (we ended up only playing one of them), she sent me YouTube links—but to actually download the music, so I could make setlist CDs for the band, I had to go to Rhapsody or iTunes and buy it.

Slow week ahead, and I suppose I should be grateful. 45 Degrees North has indeed broken up, and that’s sad; I hope everybody continues to play and perform—and I’ll have some work for the individuals down the road, I think. The Friday Night Group has started playing again in Garibaldi, and I’ll sit in with them, and see if anything’s improved; music Saturday at the Tillamook Library, too, for the first time in a long time. Writers’ Guild Thursday night. I’ve got Ahna Ortiz’ “airship mechanic” song to musicate, too, and setlists to organize (and record) for the Rocktoberfest and railroad centennial. Maybe it’s not that slow.


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It sounds like you've got some exciting projects in mind! Having a professionally-done recording of "Quoth" would definitely elevate the song, especially if you're considering filming it with different people lip-syncing the lyrics.

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