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Concert, Et Al...


Another blog away from—well, not exactly home, because I am home, but away from “Alice” the ‘puter, who’s still 125 miles away at the Squirrel House. Can’t wait to get back, but it’s because I have a lot of work to do.

Not just finishing the work on the house, either; I have “21 Steamer Drive” to record (I’ve worked out the music—only four chords, though it sounds like jazz), and a Stan Good song, “Stay-cation,” to do music for and record. There’s another lyricist interested in my setting her stuff to music (she said I came recommended, which is nice). And another set of programs to do for the Southern Oregon Songwriters’ concert series.

Job interview went well; I was the only person they interviewed, so it will come down to a “yes Joe” or “no Joe” on their part, and I’m resolved to be comfortable with whichever way it goes. It is a nice little town, and I could be happy there.

I got from a girl rocker I know in England (the Internet is a marvelous place sometimes) links to Norwegian Black/Death Metal bands, so I can steep myself in the genre preparatory to writing That Song—and I have arranged to have my banjo electrified when I go down to southern Oregon to visit Labor Day weekend (John, the heavy metal bass player who has offered to record it, is excited, and I’m excited to see what recording stuff he’s got and how he uses it).

One concomitant of being away from (mostly) everybody and everything is I’ve got to explore a bunch of different genres I’ve never worked in before. I’ve written a jazzy song (not the first, but way better than the last one I did five years ago), one burlesque, a couple of folk-rockers for Southern Pigfish, a rap, and now I’m seriously going to tackle metal. All in the last three months, too, and on top of doing a couple of “traditional” country songs.

I have a band (maybe) for the 30 August concert—Dan Doshier playing lead (mandolin and fiddle, I think) and a friend of his on standup bass. I like how bands seem to just kind of develop around these things. Setlist for the concert looks like:

1. Dead Things in the Shower (mod. fast country)

2. Hey, Little Chicken (sleazy blues)

3. Armadillo on the Interstate (slow and sleazy)

4. Bluebird on My Windshield (fast bluegrass)

5. I’m Giving Mom a Dead Dog for Christmas (mod. slow country)

Since it’ll be a family crowd in Central Point’s city park, I figured going entirely with dead-animal songs would be appropriate. Gotta have something for the kids, as it were.

One place I want to make sure to go while I’m in southern Oregon is the Wild Goose in Ashland, for their historic Sunday night open mike. For them, I can be real sleazy, and I’ll do stuff they haven’t heard yet:

1. Electronic Love (Internet porn)

2. Something’s Missing (identity theft), and

3. 21 Steamer Drive (my real estate ad)

If there’s a band (and there might be—most or all of the Penguins on a Rock band may go to this, and I know most of them), I think I want to do the Southern Pigfish song, “Bedpans for Brains,” instead of “21 Steamer Drive.” I think a band could do this just great—and it would definitely be a surprise for the crowd. I doubt they’ve ever heard anything like it before.

Lessons in all this? (There are always lessons.) Be versatile, for starters. Don’t hesitate to try new things. You don’t know what’s going to be successful, and you have to keep your name Out There somehow. And do favors for people. Karma does work.



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