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I Bailed On The Portland Gig...


Bailed on tonight’s caller class and Thirsty Lion gig; hated to, but the roads to Portland are bad and near as I can tell will be getting worse—and county emergency management says a “real†storm is on the way. Eric has re-scheduled me for Tuesday, Feb. 14—Valentine’s Day. Told him I’d play all love songs. I have plenty.

Some video thoughts. Some of my songs are easier to script out than others. Some potentially easy ones are:

SPEND THE END OF THE WORLD WITH ME: I’d like to try filming just a clock, with a prominent second hand, ticking toward midnight; overlay the lyrics. I actually have several clocks like that. Could I use them all? Audio: I would re-record the music, mostly because I’d like a higher-quality recording. Just guitar and fiddle (again) might be enough. This one needs to go to market because everybody who’s heard it likes it.

THE STRANGE SAGA OF QUOTH, THE PARROT: I’d film this partly on the beach at Rockaway (where I found some big piles of driftwood), partly in front of the Ghost Hole tavern in Garibaldi. Audio: I’d give this one the Full Band Treatment—bass, drums, lead guitar, and blues harp. I think this election year, this one’s marketable.

THE DEAD SWEETHEARTS POLKA: I’d film this entirely on or near the banks of the Nehalem River (which is wide and deep, and therefore perfect for the song). Another one where I could overlay lyrics. Audio: When I re-record the music, I want an accordion for the “whiny†lead, to emphasize the “polka†aspect.

THE DOG’S SONG: I need about five minutes’ worth of footage of a hyperactive kitten doing hyperactive kitten things. (All the kittens I knew grew up too fast, including Aslan and Hansolo here at home.) For the dog, still shots of Amy, our late giant Doberman, unless I can find a large old dog willing to be filmed. Audio: Music for this one is done—it’s the Deathgrass cut, off the album.

POLE DANCING FOR JESUS: I need a pole (or poles), and dancers. A little outside footage in front of a tavern (I’ll hide the name); for the chorus, I would like a churchlike congregation—and in the final chorus, the dancers would ideally join the congregation. Audio: A full band would make this sound really sleazy (which would be ideal); one needs that heavy bass to give it a Gospel feel. This is the other real popular one, and should go to market for the same reason.

I can do all these myself (or with minimal help, of the “actor†or “hold the camera†variety). Accordingly, when I talk to videographers (I know a couple who are quite good, and there may be more), I should focus their attention on other songs, asking “What can you do with these?†The Arts Center videotapes performances, too—we’ll be videoing the next Open Mike, first Saturday in February—and that’s a good time to get footage of any songs where just a solo performance would be sufficient.

I’ve noticed that’s all that some of those grand-prize-is-a-music-video companies do—they simply film you playing. That’s okay—one simply needs to be aware that’s what one is going to get. It might be professional-quality, but it’s nothing particularly special. I’d like to get more.

Despite not being able (or willing) to travel very far in the Winter Storm, I have two verses (the second and third, I think) and the chorus to the Gospel song (tentative title “Is There Room Up in Heaven for a Sinner Like Me?â€). I still need a first verse, to set things up, and a fourth one, to wrap things up. The redemption sentiments notwithstanding, it’s still got some tongue-in-cheekiness. I bet it can’t be performed in church.


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Recording solo performances during events like the Open Mike night at the Arts Center is a fantastic opportunity to capture high-quality footage without the need for elaborate setups.

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