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Video Thoughts (mostly)...


I have seen both of the Bay City videos—the one taken by John with his digital camera (it had enough memory for two songs), and the one taken by Dick’s wife Carol (which caught nearly all of the 2-hour show). John’s is not bad visually, but the audio is awful. I assume that’s the result of the camera’s limitations (those built-in mikes are cheap), and that we really didn’t sound that bad.

Dick’s has better sound (more expensive camera, better microphone), but It’s still not great; the bass can’t be heard well at all, because the bass amp wasn’t pointing directly at the camera, and my guitar sounds tinny (of course, maybe my guitar does sound tinny). The band doesn’t all fit in the frame of the camera most of the time, either. Neither tape, I think, is marketable because of the sound, but I’ll install “Alice” her DVD-rewritable drive (and extra RAM) and see what I can do with it. I think, though, we will probably have to do better.

Next time, we should bypass the camera’s mike, and pipe the sound in direct from the soundboard (if everyone’s plugged into the board) or from an omnidirectional mike set up in the audience, in front of the band. Using the soundboard instead of separate amps for the lead guitar and bass would provide better control of the sound.

Two cameras would help, too. I’d mount the second one off to the side, so it could pick up the vocalist’s face without the mike getting in the way (one has to get very close to my singing mike)—and also easily pan to the audience.

One of those two cameras could be mine. My old video camera works now—I stopped by the Radio Shack store, and the techie (who happens to be the owner) made me a power adapter for the thing while I waited. So I bought a tape from him at the same time. All the camera needs now is a tripod, which I’m determined not to buy new. I have everything necessary, I think, to hook the camera up to either a sound board (my 6-channel mixer) or a remote mike.

RED ROOM CONCERT #2 will be in APRIL, not March—maybe the last Saturday in April. That would give us some time to practice. Our Coast band will be out of action most of April, too, because blues harpist Dick Ackerman is having an operation; the rest of us will practice, but the band won’t be playing any gigs.

“50 WAYS TO CURE THE DEPRESSION” got tested out on a live audience at the Tillamook Library. Yes, it’s a keeper. The recording actually came in under 4-1/2 minutes, even with a lead break, so there’s really plenty of room to add more “ways” (only 17 are listed in the song). One could carry the song out for a long time—just like “Big Bob” Provus did with “50 Ways to kill Your Lover” (which actually had 50 ways). Might do that when we play it in concert.

(This song might make a good music video, too. All of the imagery is quite photogenic—banks, trucks, and so on. One could do still photos—rotating pretty fast—for the “ways,” and then footage of the band during the verses.)

KGW-TV in Portland did air the “30-Second Resume” music video, on their “Live at 7” show Friday night; their producer e-mailed me to tell me he liked it. No job offers yet, but I did get a lead on a city-manager job—in Alaska.



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