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And 50 (sorta) Ways To Cure The Depression...


The “Failed Economy Concert” is going to fly, I think. Bass player’s in, and I think the rest of the band will follow. Our postmistress (who is president of the local Lions Club) is excited about the idea, and offered the Lions’ sponsorship; we can do the concert on the Dance Floor at Garibaldi City Hall—second-biggest meeting space in the county (it’ll hold 500 people if they’re friendly), and the Lions will pay the City the rent for the building.

Haven’t talked dates yet. I’ve told everybody I want to wait until after the Big Bay City Concert (Saturday, 7 March) to do anything. Of course, I think about dates anyway. Can’t do it too soon—the band is going to need a little time to practice two hours of mostly brand-new material. Best would be sometime between St. Leif’s Day (3/29) and May Day (5/1), and ideally on a Saturday, because I still don’t know what (if anything) I may be doing for a living.

I did send out a call for material to the “joelist,” and also posted it on most of the writers’ sites I subscribe to: Just Plain Folks, the Muse’s Muse, Soundclick, MusesK, Songstuff (British), Whitby Shores (Canadian), Confessionally Speaking, and (the latest one I joined) the New Red Lion (also British). I also managed to get it on MySpace as a “bulletin.”

I told folks I was after one to two hours’ worth of upbeat and/or uptempo songs about or related to the Failed Economy, that were performable by a competent 4-piece bluegrass/blues/country band. (We could end up being a 5-piece band. John is trying to get us a drummer.) I did get sent a bunch of songs almost immediately, and (as expected) some of them are really good. Most of the responses came from the “joelist” and from Just Plain Folks (where the earlier “Broken Record” project got a whole lot of attention).

The variety of responses does prompt the question what DOES one look for in a Depression song? It needs to be upbeat, and if not upbeat, at least uptempo; both upbeat and uptempo is really good. Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity in the Hindu pantheon, was the Lord of the Dance (and also, I believe, Lord of Laughter); ol’ Elephant-head used to maintain there was no situation that could not be improved by dancing. If you couldn’t make the situation better, at least you could make yourself feel better. I think that’s the attitude we want to take here.

And maybe that’s what prompted the new song. (At least, I think it’s a new song. We’ll see what the Peer Reviewers think of it.) Started out as a frank parody of “Big Bob” Provus’ “50 Ways to Kill Your Lover,” which was itself a parody of a Paul Simon song, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” which actually didn’t have 50 ways in it (Bob’s song did). Why not 50 ways to fix the Depression? (Lessee. We could rob a bank, Hank; hijack a truck, Chuck…)

I only listed 20; at that point, I had four choruses (with the “ways” in them) and five verses, and figured I was pushing the 5-minute limit. I did include an invitation in the last verse for people to add more, and maybe they will. If it passes muster, it can be an inclusion in the Failed Economy Show.

While I did keep to Bob’s (and Paul’s) meter and pattern, the music is going to be different. I looked up Paul Simon’s chords, and they’re awful fruity, jazz-type stuff. Mine will be “straight” country music, with a good Gospel-style beat to get people on their feet dancing.

UPDATES: Had a bass player sit in Wednesday night at the Ghost Hole, and another guitarist promised to bring his axe next week. One of the old-timers playing pool was recalling fondly for us the days when the Ghost Hole had live music three nights a week. We could make that happen again.

Got to play music Friday at City Hall, Saturday at the library, and Sunday at the Forestry Center, and distributed Bay City concert flyers each place. Handed ‘em out at Saturday night’s square dance, too. And I heard the concert is being advertised in a paper in Lincoln City, too, a whole county away. I didn’t do that. I wonder who did?



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