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Thirsty Lion Post-Mortem (&c.)...


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blog-0146479001332970291.jpgThirsty Lion show was good. It was really nice having Denise for backup vocals and lead; one thing she pointed out was in our arrangement, the accordion player (her) got to be the “straight man,†which never happens—and probably threw people off balance. (Precisely what I like to do.) We actually had fans there: Ji Tanzer came (just to see us), and a couple friends of Denise’s—no, not enough to make us winners of the “contest,†but still nice to see.

I think we were better than the competition. That’s not to diss the other performers, two of whom were quite good musicians, and quite versatile—but I think our repertoire was better written. One problem other writers have—and this is true of nearly all those who perform at the Songwriter Showcases—is they’re writing in a vacuum: they’re not getting outside input or critiques, and their stuff is just not as good as it could be. A number of people did say they listened to our stuff, and liked it.

I don’t think I could point to any particular song as “best†or “worst.†I hadn’t organized the setlist with reference to what I thought folks would like, this time: I wanted to do “The Six-Legged Polka†because St. Leif’s Day was only two days away, and “Invitation to St. Patrick†because St. Patrick’s Day was ten days past, and “50 Ways to Cure the Depression†because I was upset about the economy (like everybody else, I think) and wanted to be tongue-in-cheek about it (as usual). A couple of “religious†songs to fill the setlist out that I knew were popular; I’d played “Can I Have Your Car When the Rapture Comes?†there before (though not with a lead player and harmony vocals), but not “Bungee Jumpin’ Jesus.†It was all good, really. And I noticed they listened to the Rap for the St. Leif’s Day song (which I had thought was a little long—but they listened anyway).

Next? The NCRD comedy show Saturday, with Jane on fiddle. We’ll be doing “When They Die, I Put Them in the Cookies†(for the kids) and “The Strange Saga of Quoth, the Parrot†(for the adults). Would be good to practice them a little more before Gig Day. I can arrange to play both at the Tsunami Thursday night.

The Mercantile is interested in having The Other Band (me, Jane on fiddle, Clint on bass, and Ken on lead guitar) play a show there, but say they don’t have openings until July. July could be a little problematic; I think I (or we) have gigs three of the four Saturdays in July—the Relay for Life the first weekend, the Wheeler Summerfest the second, and Garibaldi Days the fourth. August, perhaps? That might be easier.

April is coming up (always happens just a couple of days after St. Leif’s Day—I should have noticed), and that’s when I wanted to start the Song-a-Month Experiment. I still have no idea what to release first. I haven’t managed to get professional recordings of anything new, except for the three me-and-solo-guitar numbers I did at the Influence Music Hall last month (and I’ve decided I’m not really happy with any of those). There are, as noted before, a handful of recordings done on the Tascam that I think came out professional; they are mostly co-writes, however—Diane Ewing’s “Alabama Blues,†Odd Vindstad’s “Simple Questions†and Rev. Skip Johnson’s “Tune the Strings of My Soul†come immediately to mind. The recording of “Hey, Little Chicken†with Dan Doshier isn’t bad; maybe I can use that. Most of my home recordings, though, have “cringe†moments, where I find myself saying “OMG I did that? I could do that way better.†I don’t want to release anything that’s not as absolutely perfect as it can be. And once I’ve started, I want to be consistent: there will be a song a month, no matter what.

Job interview’s over (I might find out within a week); two more jobs to apply for today, square dance lessons tonight—and tomorrow I can play music. One is supposed to celebrate St. Leif’s Day by playing music.

Joe

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