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"spend The End Of The World With Me"...


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Christmas shopping done, I think—and the “Spend the End of the World with Me” song is done, too. It’s undergoing peer review, and then I’ll essay recording it. Played it at Garibaldi City Hall, and the audience did like it so I guess it’s a “keeper.” Ragtime, definitely; I couldn’t make it come out jazz with me playing guitar but ragtime is kinda close.

It’s only got one verse and a chorus; it’d be nice to have more, but those two things really do sum it up, and saying anything else would be superfluous. And I refuse to be superfluous. Wrabek’s Rule One is make it a complete thought—someone should be able to say, “Well, I guess that’s all that needs to be said about that.” And I think I have a complete thought here, even though it’s simple and primal (of the “Hey, the world’s ending, honey—let’s go to bed” variety).

What do I think makes people like it? (I rarely ask directly.) I think because it’s a happy, bouncy song about a dark and serious issue—the world ending next December. Not that it’s happy about that happening per se but that it finds an aspect of it to be light-hearted about. I do enjoy playing against type.

I need to ask—I think I’ll ask it of all songs from now on—“How would I turn this into video?” I want apocalyptic imagery, I think—but I don’t have the technology or the money to create it on my own. I can think of two possible ways to go. I could do still shots of end-of-the-world paintings by Brueghel (et al.) mixed with news articles announcing the Dec. 21 apocalypse, and maybe live footage of me and other musicians playing; that’d be easiest. Alternatively, I could mimic what Bob Dylan did in his early video of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (and two British guys did in “I Saw It in the Daily Mail”), and film me (or someone) displaying, and then tossing away, those images while the soundtrack plays. That’d take help—but I’m supposed to be asking for help.

For the soundtrack, I would ideally want a manic fiddle for the “whiny” lead and a honky-tonk piano for the “non-whiny” lead. I do know people who can do those. I’ll record a “base” track first so I can shop it around. (And of course, it may not turn out that way. Like Mick Jagger said, “You can’t always get what you want…”)

I have results from all three of the concerts I entered in 2011. Only the Songwriters Association of Washington sent me an e-mail telling me judging was over, and I wasn’t the one who won—I had to go to the other outfits’ Websites to find the results. No, I didn’t win any of the contests. Goodnight Kiss Music said “No Good Songs About the War” was “close” to being in the Top Ten, which is nice (however, the Top Three are the ones who get the good stuff), and Angler’s Mail magazine over in England said they hadn’t picked their #2 and #3 songs yet, just the #1 (which wasn’t me). I guess that means “Dead Fishes” is still in the running, but I won’t hold my breath.

Played Electric Banjo at the Tsunami; hadn’t intended to play it as much as I did, but there were way too many guitarists there, and all of them better’n me. I did have to amplify the thing in order to be heard at all. Got to experiment with some of the effects on the little guitar amp, too. Since the banjo as a species does not have a lot of sustain, I have to play it faster, so I’m fitting more notes into the dead spaces; I do more hammering-on and pulling-off as well (lazy way to get more extra notes). And what I do on the banjo is transferable to the guitar, and vice versa.

With the Christmas holiday upon us, the next time I actually get to play music is The Gig, next Wednesday at the Tonic Lounge in Portland. Lots to do before then.

Joe

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