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"one Gas Station" And Thirsty Lion Thoughts...


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“One Gas Station†is recorded and posted; link is http://www.soundclick.com/share?songid=11400173 Problems with Audacity (my first time trying to use it to record stuff rather than just modify it), so I used the Tascam. I think the Tascam’s buzz was coming from the “effects†unit, so I left that turned off (except when I wanted the guitar to “emulate†a bass) and used Audacity to boost the volume afterwards. The old unit may be usable yet.

For the video (I am trying to “think video†for every song), I’d like to shoot a bunch of photos of little Dodson, Oregon (pop. 50), birthplace of the Dodson Drifters. There is virtually nothing left of the town now, since the Forest Service bought most of it for the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area after 1986—but the gas station, the 3-room schoolhouse, and Big Bob’s café are still standing (sort of—they’ve all been vacant for years), along with a few homes. We really did go play music every night at the café when the power went out (and if you’re playing every night, you will become good).

A “woot, woot!†I think. Denise Drake wants to come to the Thirsty Lion in Portland and play lead (on accordion) at the gig Feb. 14. This could be tons of fun. She is very good, and an accomplished performer; yes, I know performance, too, but I definitely sound better when someone else is playing with me.

This does change what I want to play. With accompaniment, I’m doing fewer songs, because they’re 20% longer when there’s lead breaks. Instead of seven songs, I’ll have six, or maybe five. I can do songs that I don’t usually perform solo, like “Armadillo on the Interstate,†because they have to have lead breaks because of the phrasing. And songs where it’s possible to have harmonies (“Armadillo†fits in that category, too)—so the setlist should be songs with choruses. It should be easier to make sure the setlist is songs the Thirsty Lion crowd hasn’t heard before, since all my performances there have been solo.

I still would like to stick to the “all love songs†theme; the performance is on Valentine’s Day, after all. I made a list (I like lists), and of the more than 80 songs I’ve written, 24 are classifiable as love songs (I could have more, if I defined “love†even more loosely). I should be able to extract five (six, if they’re short) from that.

How about (not in order yet, of course):

Spend the End of the World with Me—ragtime (and short)

Armadillo on the Interstate—slow & sleazy

Rotten Candy—fast Gospel (and also kinda short)

Dead Things in the Shower—fast two-step

In the Shadows, I’ll Be Watching You—slow two-step

The above list has death, lost love, betrayal, and dead animals. Still need religion to have the complete list. What do I have that’s relatively slow, religious, and still a love song? And ideally not serious: this is a bar, and bar crowds don’t need more depressing music—they already get enough. And they’ll remember (sort of) things that were funny.

The retired Nashville guy and his wife came (finally) to the Friday Night Group. Impressive, he was. I was sitting next to him, and since he was raising the bar pretty high for performers, I didn’t try to do the new “One Gas Station†song; instead, I gave ‘em the old Gospel song “Turn Your Radio On†(with Carol Ackerman’s harmonies), “Lost Highway†(which everybody there knows) and my previous new song, “Spend the End of the World with Me†(which I can do pretty good and which for some reason nobody has trouble following). Distributed flyers for the Feb. 4 open mike at the Arts Center, too.

Joe

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