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Might be about to get busy. This week, I will have made two trips to the Squirrel House (one to retrieve the pellet stove); in addition, I went to that advertised jam session at the local tavern, I have practice with the Portland musicians, and I have a job interview. (Local job.) I’ve got two more jobs to apply for, too—one local and one not. Picked up an application to drive school bus, too, after I got another city manager rejection letter in the mail.

I have the tracks from Albert for the “Broken Record” CD, and they did come out nice; the master should arrive any day. In the meantime, I have finished the CD label, with song order and times, and arranged it to print two-to-a-page on CD label stock. I can print and cut the covers and liner notes while I’m waiting, too. Then I’ll burn copies, and assemble packages for mailing to the 19 recipients. It will with luck be the last time I use the Idiotically Expensive Lexmark Printer. (I’ll hook up my older one if I can find the drivers.) In my spare time (if there is any), I need to record the Dick Ackerman cuts for the Five Dollar Album, record Beth Williams’ “Kidney Stone Blues” and a country version of the Beatles’ “Nowhere Man” for a contest.

Played at the Ghost Hole Tavern for 3 hours—the “jam session” consisted of just one guy (he said he’s had friends come over before from Portland, and would next week). Mostly that sort of quasi-acoustic quasi-folk music popular in the ‘80s (a lot of Neil Young), but he was good at it. Fairly easy to follow, so I played lead. Nothing fancy—I just tried to fill holes.

I’m not sure his material was what the audience wanted. He didn’t seem to know any uptempo songs (I’ll see if he can’t get familiar with some of mine). In my opinion, uptempo songs—ideally, danceable uptempo songs—are necessary for bar gigs. People don’t go to bars to be depressed; it’s a good bet some of them are already depressed. They want to feel better. (Neil Young songs—my opinion—do not help you feel better.) If you can get folks dancing—or, failing that, at least get their toes tapping and increase their heart rate—they may feel better, and decide they like your music even if they haven’t got a clue why.

I did have the opportunity to man the mike and play solo while the other guy took a break. I figured it was good practice performing before a room of people (can’t say it was a room full of people) who mostly were not interested in the music, and probably were especially not interested in a solo acoustic guitarist. I did notice, though, that they did listen when I played my stuff (rare for a tavern), and some clapped along with the uptempo songs. (One old fellow even broke out a set of spoons. And he was good.)

Other guitarist guy played lead on some of my stuff, and he split the tip jar with me when we were done—not much money, but it felt good to be paid for doing music. It was also nice that he complimented me on both my guitar playing and my singing (even though I disagree on both). I will be back. If other musicians show up to this thing, we might actually have the material for a band.

Still looking for a band to play with on the Coast. (I am assuming the Portland musicians are not going to be interested in traveling over this way for gigs—but I’m soliciting gigs here, too.) The Joe Concert I’m proposing at the Bay City Arts Center is an unknown prospect at this point, as is the “Taste of Tillamook” festival (which very likely will not take place because of money), but there are weekend fairs in Astoria to the north, McMinnville to the south, and Tillamook right close by, where a band would be preferable to playing solo. (In Astoria, bands get paid and soloists do not.)

The other local gig I’d like to line up is a benefit for the North County Recreation District. I’d mentioned it to their Board when I first talked to them about the general manager job, but I think I’d like to do it even if I don’t get the general manager job. I can even quote President Obama’s “everybody got to help each other” mantra. It would be great promotion—for me as well as for the District’s financial problems, which need to be better publicized if they’re going to get fixed. And that’s another gig that would be really good to do with a band.



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