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While We Wait...


Last blog, I think, before I go down to southern Oregon for Labor Day. As usual, there are some things that didn’t pan out:

I don’t get to play at the City of Central Point Labor Day concert. (I will get a free ticket to the concert, though.) No Ashland Beanery gig, either—they’re no longer having live music (that’s probably because Chris Parreira, who’s been doing the booking for them, is leaving town—in fact, he’ll have just moved).

I still have the Saturday concert in Central Point 8/30, and the Wild Goose the following night, but that’s it. On the job front, I still think Falls City is going to hire me as their city manager (that may be wishful thinking, but a second interview is a good sign); however, they haven’t told me anything yet. And I need to decide pretty quick whether I’m going to be a full-time college student or a part-time college student; if I’m part-time, I’’m not eligible for any of the student loan money the college is offering (Federal regulations)--I’ll be paying for the tuition and books out of my retirement fund.

No word yet on either the Goodnight Kiss Music contest or the Philippine Christmas album. Waitin’ on a lot of things.

So what do we do while we wait? (Can’t just wait. Might worry.) A few more songs to record the music for, plus another of mine—just a little ditty (short drive in the car) for lyricist Beth Williams, who’s had some medical problems. Hight “I Broke My Girlfriend.” Does have a nice calypso beat—and I can play calypso music on the guitar (I just don’t do it often). Maybe I’ll have Southern Pigfish record that one—they’re good for off-the-wall stuff.

Did music to another song by somebody else—“Sometimes She Could Scream,” by a lady in The Netherlands. Very poignant lyrics about a woman leaving her husband, but told in the third person (so it can be sung by a guy). Good subject matter for country music. Country music isn’t utilized enough for discussing social issues, but it’s more literate than other genres and more usable for telling stories. And you can play around effectively with contrasts—I think I like that best. So the song got an almost bouncy melody (somebody called it “lilting”) to go with those sad, sad lyrics—but the bass (in the background) is just playing a heartbeat, over and over. Kind of epitomizes the classic definition of country music—Pain You Can Dance To. I’d like to do more of that.

I doubt my “niche” in the music business is going to be as a composer, but I like to help people, and if what I do can help get them some attention, great. It does give me an outlet for whatever seriousness I have in my nature; I don’t have to do it, because they’re doing it, and I get to play along, as it were. And I can concentrate on the funnier stuff.

Lot of feedback on “Evil Dead Fairies in My Mobile Home,” the Norwegian Black/Death Metal song, and a lot of it was good. I was told the third verse is weak (I agree, and will re-write it), and I could be more ghastly in my imagery (first time anybody’s told me that). I don’t think I’ll drop the country-boy image, though, even though I’m told it’ll make the song come across like a satire of NBDM. It sounds like the NBDM guys (haven’t seen a girl yet) take themselves way too seriously, and if that’s the case, they need their icons torpedoed a little bit.

So, as summer ends, we’ve done a fair amount of stuff: a bunch of new songs, plus music for other folks’ songs, and we have (or will have) taken a stab at rap, and Norwegian Black/Death Metal, and calypso, and folk-rock, and something jazzy, as well as the “traditional” country music that’s kind of Home Base.

And the lesson in all this? Versatility is good. The more things you can do—and the more people are aware of it—the greater the likelihood somebody’s going to call you and ask you to do something. Back in the days when there were album covers, and liner notes that listed all the musicians who played on each song, you’d see a lot of the same names showing up over and over—the same bass player would show up on a rock album, a country album, and so forth. I want to do the same thing with writing.

Any money in that? Don’t know yet. Another thing I’m waitin’ on, I guess.



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