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Recording/videoing "quoth, The Parrot"...


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2012 is an election year. A big one. We’ll either re-elect or depose a President, and if the latter, replace him with someone who may or may not be crazy. We’ll be deciding whether to re-elect or depose most of Congress, too. And state legislatures. And city councils all over the country. And people aren’t all that happy with the government they’ve been getting. Might be an opportunity to get attention for a political song.

Specifically, “The Strange Saga of Quoth, the Parrot.” Written just a couple of days before the November 2008 election, it never had the chance to get any attention. But there’s plenty of time for that now. And all of the problems that existed then are still around, and the parrot’s “screw them all” message perhaps even more relevant than it was four years ago.

The rendition I’ve got was done on the Tascam, with me playing all parts, and is far from perfect. (Link is http://www.soundclick.com/share?songid=7021485.) It’s cute (I’ve shared it repeatedly on Facebook), but is far from “radio-ready.” If I wanted to explore the song’s commercial potential, I’d want to re-record it commercially with a real band. I’ve noted previously this would be an easy song to convert to video.

I’ve got other songs, too, particularly with an economic cast. After two years of doing Failed Economy Shows, Deathgrass has quite a repertoire. We could easily do an entire album of Failed Economy songs.

But “Quoth” is the really political one. It’d be nice to have that one out on the market, being played by radio stations and going viral on YouTube, before too many primaries take place.

How to do that? Well, I have a few options for the recording. Mike Simpson’s Calden West Studios, if he’s got his stuff set up in his new space; the home studio Sara and Wayne (Ocean Bottom Blues Band) have been building; Sedona and Michael’s setup in the Rapture Room (though I want to hear their CD first); or we could set things up at the Bay City Arts Center (where they’ve got a 15-channel mixing board) and I could try to do it there, with help from some people who “have ears.” Nice thing about Mike’s is he’s a known quantity, and very, very good. Nice thing about the Arts Center is we could easily video the song being played at the same time we were recording. I do want to do video.

And the video? I scripted that out a while ago. We start on the beach, probably at Rockaway (where we’re likely to find a pile of driftwood); some beach footage of me, lip-synching, and some footage just of the beach, without me. The lead break—after the second verse—is where we do the credits, and where I’ll want closeups of the band members as well as footage of the band as a whole, playing. Verse three, where me and the parrot go bar-hopping, can be shot entirely in front of the Ghost Hole tavern in Garibaldi. It’d be fun to get some inside footage too, but not essential. (Many things are not essential, just fun.) In the fourth and final verse we’re back to the beach—with maybe some footage in a cemetery, too (I’d scout the cemeteries in Tillamook, Hebo and Bayside Gardens for a “scenic” location). Yes, I’d want assistance with all this. And one of the 2012 Worklist items is to involve other people as much as possible.

A parrot? I’d love to feature a parrot in the video. “The Strange Saga of Quoth, the Parrot” is about a parrot, after all. (Having a parrot in the film is not essential, however—but it’d be a lot of fun.) Since baby sister moved out of Beaverton, some years back, I haven’t known anyone with a parrot that flies around the house, perching randomly on things and people. I’d like to meet one (and film one). If anyone within earshot (or eyeshot) has one or knows one, let me know. I could make the bird a star of the 2012 election…

Joe

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