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Tonic Lounge Setlist (&c.)...


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For the Tonic Lounge Dec. 28, I’ve got a maximum of 12 minutes. That’s four songs if (1) I’m playing solo (no lead breaks), and (2) the songs are short and (3) people don’t clap too much. (I can ask them to limit their applause. I’m sure that’ll go over well.) How about:

Can I Have Your Car When the Rapture Comes?—slow & sleazy

Dead Things in the Shower—fast two-step

The Abomination Two-Step—fast bluegrass

Pole Dancing for Jesus—slow, sleazy Gospel

Three of the four are “religious” songs. I really did manage to incorporate the old mantra I gave the Songstuff people, years ago—my songs are about death, lost love, betrayal, religion and dead animals—in just four songs, but it’s not obvious; I’ll have to point it out. I wanted to lead off with “Rapture,” because it needs no introduction (and at 12 minutes, I will be pressed for time). The four are mostly short songs for that reason. Having “Dead Things” on the list (the longest song, at just over 4 minutes) allows me to promote the album, which would be good. No Christmas songs ‘cause ‘Tis The Season Season will be over.

This coming week, most of my spare energy will go into the soundtrack for the “Remembering Tillamook County” video production. I want to use part of Deathgrass’ cut of “Tillamook Railroad Blues” for the sound behind the opening credits (and I will need some train images and footage), and maybe for the closing credits as well. Charlie caught on film about two-thirds of a Kid Seagal song at the Wheeler Summerfest that we’d like to use, too. (Kid’s had two strokes since then.) For the rest of the film, I think it’s mostly my puppy; I’ll need to watch the entire production to figure out what music would go best, record a base track, and then enlist other musicians to help. All in one week. Premiere of the film is December 29.

I now have a lot of homework for the square dance caller class. A lot of moves to learn, and “modules” of moves (the modules are zero-sum things—sequences of moves that end up returning your dancers to the same place they started, whereupon you can do it again). Instructor Daryl is recommending I start practicing on live dancers right away. (He also said it wouldn’t really be necessary to hire a caller to teach square dance classes—I could do it. I appreciate the confidence.) He’s sent me some music, too.

I’d also like to assemble a square (that’s 8) miniature square dance “dolls” I could move around on a board like chess pieces, to see what my calls make dancers do. (In fact, chess pieces would work for this—but what would be more fun would be rubber ducks. I bet I know where I could get some.) Still to do: test out the sound system and make sure those speakers work. And get a cable—if I don’t already have one—to connect the laptop to the amp/amp-and-mixer.

I heard it was the acoustic-folksinger guy who won the “contest” at the Thirsty Lion Tuesday night. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised; he was the only one actually from Portland (both I and Heavy Metal Guy had come from out of town) and winning is based on votes—i.e., how big a bunch of fans you can get to turn out and vote for you. There might be a song in it, though—I heard the beginnings of it last night as I was driving home—a dark, very hora-like dance chock-full of minor chords (a lot like that guy’s music, in fact, though with a more conventional chord progression) about someone with an angelic voice who has nothing to say. I have no idea if it’ll be any good—or if I can prevent that Israeli beat from morphing into country music—but it at least will get the frustration out of my system.

And he’s not the only one who could use some good material. There was a girl singing at the Tsunami last night who had a voice that could put Patsy Cline to shame (and that’s hard to do)—and I think she’s got some ambition to do something with it, because she’s teaching herself to play guitar. I’ve met others too. There are a couple of my songs that would work well for this girl—I’d love to hear what she could do with “Rotten Candy”—but I’m not the only writer out there with songs going begging. I know enough people now to be able to put independent, unknown talent together with unknown, independent writers—I could even produce their records. What I can’t do is get them to market. I do not know how to achieve that.

Joe

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