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I'm In Two Bands Now?


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A couple of “uppers” (that’s good—helps offset the two job rejection letters I got in the mail). I got hit up on the street by a fan asking when the band were going to do our next concert (I think it will be the Failed Economy Show, and probably the beginning of May). I’ve heard already from a number of folks who didn’t make it to the Bay City concert but say they are determined to come to the next one—and I’ve encouraged them, emphasizing what a good time they missed.

The director of the Arts Center said she was hit up by “a tall guy” (I think I know who he was) wanting to get in touch with our manager (he thought she was it). We don’t have one, of course—we’re not ready yet—but it’s nice somebody thought we were professional enough (at our first gig, no less) to be being professionally managed. And the band themselves have started asking me when our next gig is.

All the band are gung-ho for the Failed Economy Show. The song lineup—still not complete—includes at this point blues, jazz, bluegrass, Gospel, “straight” country, and an R&B tune, plus three songs from me (one blues, one bluegrass, and one Gospel) and two from Woody Guthrie. An impressive lineup—and it would really establish our reputation if we could pull all those different styles off. We do have maybe five weeks to practice in. Chris, the drummer John knows, is also interested—and he, too, lives and works in Garibaldi.

John brought his bass down to the Ghost Hole tonight; he, Jeff and I are going to treat Wednesday nights as an opportunity to practice from now on, I think. That provides another important component of the Performing Band picture—a home base where you’re playing regularly, that lets you tell people (for instance) “Yeah, we play there every Wednesday night—come down and you can hear what we sound like.” Having a Regular Gig raises you a bunch of notches in the eyes of those who might hire you; it says somebody likes you enough to have you playing regularly, that audiences like what you’re doing, and also that you-the-band are serious about what you do. (It is not necessary to tell anybody how much you’re getting paid.)

TWO BANDS? On the Portland front, Sharma has a go-ahead from the Red Room for a return gig—both for the Portland Band (David, Don, Doug, Sharma, and me) and for lead guitarist David’s other band (a prerequisite for his playing with us was getting that other band a gig, too, on the same night). The Red Room is apparently amenable—they’re offering Saturday nights, which I think means they really want us back. SATURDAY, 28 MARCH looks like the date—which will give us time probably for only one practice before Gig Night. (That’s St. Leif’s Eve—probably as close as I’m going to get to playing music on St. Leif’s Day this year.)

I think we’ll do mostly the same material as last time (we didn’t have time to perform all of it last time), plus one or two new songs. I’d like to see them tackle “Rotten Candy,” with Sharma the bass player doing lead vocal. The song really would benefit from a female voice. The other one we could do is “Bluebird on My Windshield,” which is a simple 1-4-5 progression—and its “trucker rhythm” works as well with rock ‘n’ roll as bluegrass. Both are pretty fast-moving songs—and I have noticed those guys (and gal) do better on fast-paced material.

We’ll videotape the Portland gig, too—using (if I can manage it) the two-camera approach, one camera doing static footage of the band (with audio feed from the soundboard, so there’s good sound) and the other “roaming,” doing closeups from different angles of people playing and shots of the audience. And then hopefully I can splice them together on the computer. It is probably time to visit the Radio Shack store (the Tillamook store has a pretty good resident techie) with the old Fisher video camera in hand, and see if the guy can’t make me an adapter to bypass the $60 battery pack I don’t have and don’t want to buy.

TO DO: Five songs, I think, to musicate, and “50 Ways to Cure the Depression” to finish recording; then I can assemble CDs for the band to start listening to. I’d like to do all that in one day (plus finish and send off another job application)—I’ve been asked to judge a debate tournament at my daughter’s old high school on Friday, and that’s another thing I’d like to keep my hand in.

Joe

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