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Tonic Lounge Post-Mortem (&c.)...


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Tonic Lounge show was really good. The place was packed (not because of me, but it’s nice to play to a packed house) and the audience was very appreciative. The other comics were good, too—a couple of them really good. I got paid, and sold a CD—neither of which I expected. For once, one of my gig trips to Portland actually paid for itself (or would have if I hadn’t had to drive 50 miles and 1-1/2 hours out of my way because the highway home was closed by an accident). Got to throw my “Another Thong from Joe” thongs out to the audience, too—yes, I’m a thong-writer—and found they didn’t throw very far (next time I’ll put little weights in them).

The audience appeared to like “The Abomination Two-Step” best, followed by “Dead Things in the Shower.” But really, all the songs were good.

I tried to listen to the winning songs in the contests I entered in 2011 (one should know what other people think is good), but most of those aren’t available yet (and when they are, one will probably have to pay to listen to them). The exception was the one that won the Angler’s Mail contest in England, “We’re Going Fishing.” Yes it’s a happy, upbeat song—quite listenable, in fact—and the sentiments are nicely positive, unlike “Dead Fishes,” the one I’d sent them. Mine was upbeat, all right, but hardly happy.

Two points that hit home—one important, the other less so. “We’re Going Fishing” had a video. No, Angler’s Mail hadn’t asked for a video, but they got one from these folks, and that video went right to YouTube. Of course YouTube is free but it’s additional great exposure for both the song and the magazine. I can see why Angler’s Mail would pick a song that had a video over one that didn’t. (The video is quite well done, too: a nice, seamless mix of still shots, video, and computer-generated graphics. I want to try some of those tricks myself.) DJ Len Amsterdam’s mantra, again: “Video is the new audio.”

The other thing the writers did that I’m sure gave them a leg up is they mentioned Angler’s Mail in the song. (The video showed the Angler’s Mail logo a few times, too.) If I were the folks at Angler’s Mail picking the winning song, that sure would have got my attention. I couldn’t be that blatant myself, but there is an important lesson there: know your market. The people who wrote “We’re Going Fishing” definitely did.

Would this affect what I write? I don’t think so. I’m not exactly pandering to a commercial market; I’m simply expressing ideas, and hoping they’re understood and appreciated. Yes, I’d like the commercial market to appreciate them, too. The latter consideration might affect what I submit to contests in the future, though. I will do a better job of knowing my market—and if I don’t think I can supply what it wants, I won’t waste my time. The former consideration just reinforces my desire to get everything on video.

“Base” tracks are recorded for “Spend the End of the World with Me” (and the song is only a little over three minutes even with a lead break—this is definitely a shortie). “Lazarus” the laptop got Audacity in the process (along with the occasionally hard to find *.mp3 converter) because the Tascam still has Volume Issues. Next: Jane’s fiddle lead—I’m not sure the song is going to need anything else—and then the video.

Joe

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