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Updates--4 Days Till Bay City...


The Red Room wants the Portland Band back. (I’m not surprised—we were good.) They’ve offered a choice of dates, but two of the band haven’t decided whether they want to do it again. I’ve encouraged Sharma the bass player to talk to them, and the Red Room, about the details; I’m in, if they can work something out.

I think I have the go-ahead from the Coast Band to go get more gigs. They’re committed to playing the gig at the Garibaldi Museum in June, and the Failed Economy Concert as well, and want things in between; I need to avoid the month of April, because Dick will be having an operation, but he expects to be fine afterwards. Over here, we’ve got that Sunday Market starting up in Astoria in May, the Saturday one in Tillamook, and Garibaldi Days at the end of July, for starters.

Got a number of Failed Economy Song submissions; some fall into the “too depressing” category (sad is okay, but if it’s sad, it’s got to be uptempo), and one song, alas, is just too complicated to learn in time. There are a bunch that are really good fits, though. (I do know some very good writers.) In addition, there’s two of mine that are inclusions for the show, and two, maybe three, Woody Guthrie tunes.

My new one—“50 Ways to Cure the Depression”—is coming together nicely. I’ve had a lot of suggestions for “ways,” though we’re not up to 50. Structurally, the song hangs together okay with 27, but people have asked if I’m interested in more “ways,” and I’ve told them, “Sure.” The more ideas for curing the Depression, the better—that’s what the song is trying to encourage, after all, along with the “we’re on our own, Joan” mindset.

The only rules I’ve been applying are (1) they have to make money—we are “curing the Depression,” after all—(2) they should be outrageous enough to make people think, and (3) they have to follow the “stab her in the back, Jack” pattern used by “Big Bob” Provus in “50 Ways to Kill Your Lover.” (Bob’s song is more important than the Paul Simon one it parodied, because Bob really did have 50 ways. Paul Simon didn’t.)

This is one instance where I don’t think I’ll worry about length. With 6 verses, 5 choruses (with 27 ways—thus far—to cure the Depression) and an instrumental break, the song is guaranteed to exceed the 5-minute limit, even though it’s going to move fast. I don’t think it will matter. This is one that has to be performed, and if I’m right, that Gospel beat will have people up dancing. They are unlikely to mind being kept dancing a little longer. We can do it as the second-to-last song, and then close out the evening with—what else?—“Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad.”

I think the band has the makings of a working PA system of our own, too, for the Failed Economy Concert (where we’ll have to bring our own sound system), and other future gigs—and also if the Arts Center’s PA is non-functional for some reason. My mike for vocals, Jeff’s mike for harmonica, John’s 2-channel amp and big speakers, and my old 6-channel mixer. No additional investment (yay!). Yup, some of the equipment is bona fide antiques—but so are some of the band.

The one extra copy of the “Broken Record” CD (I miscounted when I burned them) is being auctioned off as a benefit to Just Plain Folks; as this is written, the bidding is over $50, with more than two weeks to go before the deadline. Of course, it’s a collector’s item—only 21 copies were ever made, and the other 20 went to the lyricists, composers and producers who contributed material to the album—but still, it feels good to have people putting that high a price on the product. Makes me want to do more of that.



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