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Christmas Show Setlist Thoughts...


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For the Christmas Show, we want about an hour and a half’s worth of songs. That’s 18. I should start a list (I like lists). With “Alice” the ‘puter dead, I don’t have past setlists to work from; they were all on her hard drive. I have to invent one from scratch. Could include—not in any kind of order yet, of course:

CHRISTMAS SONGS:

Santa’s Fallen and He Can’t Get Up—fast bluegrass

I’m Giving Mom a Dead Dog for Christmas—slow & sleazy

Christmas Roadkill—slow & sleazy

--and maybe:

I Want a Man for Christmas—rock & roll (though a girl should really sing this)

Another Crappy Christmas (Don Varnell)—fast quasi-pop

FAILED ECONOMY SONGS:

Things Are Getting Better Now That Things Are Getting Worse (Gene Burnett)—fast two-step

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

Free-Range Person—fast bluegrass

Ain’t Got No Home in This World Any More (Woody Guthrie)—fast two-step

Un-Easy Street (Stan Good)—deliberate two-step

--and maybe:

Final Payment (Gem Watson)—deliberate Gospel

50 Ways to Cure the Depression—folk-rock

THE DEATHGRASS “STANDARDS”:

Dead Things in the Shower—fast two-step

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

Tillamook Railroad Blues—deliberate blues

She Ain’t Starvin’ Herself—fast blues

That’s 16. That’d leave room for a couple of new ones, should any happen in the next couple of weeks, or for a couple more Old Standards if they don’t. I’d like to concentrate on danceable music, just in case there are any dancers, and three danceables that aren’t on the above list are “Test Tube Baby,” Woody Guthrie’s “Dance a Little Longer,” and Diane Ewing’s “Distraction.” One rock ‘n’ roll, one country rock, and one two-step. (Or I could substitute Diane Ewing’s “Alabama Blues,” which is a heartbreaker as well as being a very danceable two-step.)

An hour and a half seems to be a good length; people get tired (the band gets tired, too) if we play two hours. It being a benefit, I’d still have a quick break in the middle for the Donation Pitch, and probably one at the beginning, too. The mid-concert pitch should not be made by us (I could do the one at the beginning if needed). We’ll need refreshments—cookies, coffee and punch—and I’d like to enlist a couple folks to man a meet-and-greet-and-accept-donations table.

Could we do more? Enlist some backup singers, perhaps? Maybe some additional instruments? (I do know some people.) Since it’s a benefit concert, I don’t have to worry about splitting revenue too many ways—there is no revenue, not for the band. I have to worry simply about putting on the best show possible, to attract the biggest possible crowd (and biggest amount of donations). It would take more practice, but maybe not a lot—most of the musicians I know are familiar with at least some of the material, and distributing setlist CDs makes getting familiar with the rest easy. Besides, as some more professional performers have pointed out, my music tends to be very predictable. It’s one of the things that makes it easy to play with me.

Joe

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