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Doing Something About The Dead Fish...


Now I get to fantasize about living in Falls City. Got alerted the Mayor was going to be calling me about the city manager job—and they don’t usually bother to call you to tell you “no.” Falls City lies at the end of a dead-end county road in Oregon’s Coast Range. There’s a waterfall there, river running through the middle of town, one grocery store, a couple of taverns, nice City library; nice park on the river, closest gas station is 9 miles away in Dallas. 945 people; not much money. (That’s why people hire me—I fix financial problems. It’s what I do.)

There is reportedly a country jam session in Dallas—I’m not sure how frequently—and I know two musicians (one a fellow songwriter) in Salem, 30 miles away (and they don’t know each other, and ought to get introduced). There’s a songwriters’ association in Eugene (80 miles) that gets together monthly to critique each other’s stuff; I don’t know if they do performances. I had told the Falls City Council I wouldn’t bother them about my music, but would be available to do free entertainment for a local festival if they wanted; it appears they don’t have any local festival, and would like one.

UPDATES: Marge McKinnis and I didn’t win the Goodnight Kiss Music contest (only the top 2 got on the record, and “So Far” came in at #28); hopefully, the score was high enough so that somebody will remember us later on. Finished music for Beth Williams’ song “Cast Away,” with an electric banjo lead, and it appears people like it—they’re calling us “the Beth and Joe Show,” which I guess is pretty good for only three songs. (And I have two more Beth songs to record.)

Got to play with the Friday Night Group—my first opportunity to play guitar at any length since I injured my wrist last week—and that was good, too. They got two of the new songs, “When They Die, I Put Them in the Cookies” and “Dead Fishes.” There were the usual “Eww, gross!” comments on the cookies song, but people were singing along—and I noticed feet tapping to “Dead Fishes” despite the serious (and out of character) sentiments. Both are probably keepers; the cookies song is definitely fodder for the next album

“DEAD FISHES”: Not sure what to do about “Dead Fishes.” It could go on an album, sure, even though it’s different material from what I usually do—but it seems like I should be doing more with it. It’s a protest song, of sorts, and protest songs don’t just get recorded, they get sung, by lots of people in lots of places.

How does one accomplish something like that? Well, I do know a couple of music publishers, but they don’t accept unsolicited material, so I can’t just send it to them. A music library—the place filmmakers go when they want music for a movie or TV show—would be the most likely people to buy it (license it, actually), but I don’t know how to reach those guys. (The lesson there is I probably better learn how. Film is the best outlet these days for independent writers; filmmakers, for the most part, reportedly don’t or won’t deal with the big record companies—and the big record companies, for their part, ignore independent writers.)

The best I may be able to hope for it is some exposure, without any money attached. That would be okay—exposure, to somebody who’s “on the make,” is valuable in itself.

Googling “anti-pollution organizations” returned 51,600 hits. Weeding out the “professional greenies”—the people who sue just to generate income for themselves, or lobby Congress just to control things (I ran across a lot of “environmentalists” of both types when I worked in Washington, D.C.)—one is left with a still respectable number of mostly small, mostly local groups, seriously trying to do something about a local pollution problem. I guess they all need to get an e-mail (1) telling ‘em what I’ve got, (2) asking whether they might have a use for it, and (3) emphasizing I’m not asking for money, just credit as the author if they use it. And see what happens.

Mechanically, it’s doable—same technology that produced the “joelist.” It just takes a little time.



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