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Signs, 9/11, &c...


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It’s the tenth anniversary of September 11, and the airwaves and cyberspace are full of 9/11 songs. I don’t have one. I tend to leave the serious stuff up to others, and this is no exception. I wasn’t directly involved, and don’t know anyone who was. As a city manager, I noticed our firefighters were the most affected: these are folks who lay their lives on the line regularly, and 9/11 was and is a reminder you don’t always get that life back. And the terrorist attacks? It’s a little like losing a leg, I think: no, your life is not over, but you are going to do things a little differently from now on (though hopefully not a lot differently). Politically, I saw the terrorist attacks used as an excuse to limit people’s freedom by people who were primarily interested in restricting people’s freedom, and I like to think if I had been directly involved, I’d still feel the same way.

Saw a few videos of the old rock ‘n’ roll song “Signs,” with slide shows of (what else?) signs—at times illustrative, at others just funny. A lot of the photos were obviously off the Internet: online photos tend to be poor quality, very fuzzy and “pixillated” if you try to change the resolution. I think that’s because those photos had to be slimmed down to very small file sizes in order to get posted in the first place. I decided some time back not to use any photos from the Internet in any music video. I either take the photos myself, or have someone e-mail me directly photos they took—and in the latter case, I tell them to make sure they’re high resolution (my camera is always set to maximum resolution). I figure that’s one of the trade-offs for high quality.

Took a bunch more photos for the “Twenty-Four Seven” video. I expect I can get most of what I need in the immediate local area, but there are a few shots I need that may entail my traveling as far afield as Lincoln City or Seaside (about an hour north and south).

Found a new contest to enter: Angler’s Mail, a British fishing magazine, was soliciting fishing songs, and one of the themes they were looking for was conservation. So they got “Dead Fishes,” the Elizabethan bluegrass song about a child’s view of pollution. I’m not expecting to win, though it is the sort of contest I like—small market, not much in prizes (they’re giving away a guitar), one judge (who, importantly, does not appear to be from the recording industry). I’m primarily interested in getting a little attention for my stuff, and also for the Coventry Songwriters (I mentioned they were the people who’d told me about the contest). That, the Goodnight Kiss Music contest, and the Songwriters Association of Washington (D.C.) contest, will take care of my contest-entering for the year, I think.

I didn’t search any of these contests out randomly; the D.C. and Angler’s Mail contests I heard about from other writers, and I knew about the Goodnight Kiss contest because I’m on the publisher’s mailing list (and I actually wrote one of the press releases for the thing). I doubt any of that gives me an edge as a contestant, but it does make me more comfortable about entering.

The Rocktoberfest is just one week away, and I need to strengthen my fingers, again. I should play music every chance I can during the next week. Sunday is the jam session at the “Rapture Room” in Nehalem; Monday’s out because of the Arts Center board meeting, but there’s music up north on both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and I should go. Thursday and maybe Friday the band will practice—it’ll be our only chance before the gig.

I still have the posters to make for the Rocktoberfest gig, and notices to send out to the “joelist.” I have all the pieces, too, for the Shoes Project. I found a good pair of women’s dress shoes at a thrift store, a CD player at another, and I have the headphones to cut apart for the speakers that I’ll bury in the soles of the shoes. I need to outfit “Alice” with her new CD-rewritable drive (I’ve been avoiding doing that)—I need that to make entry CDs for the other contests, and Train Set CDs for the band.

Joe

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