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The trick to memorizing the Failed Economy songs is to RECORD THEM. I’ve done that for Zmulls & Tintner’s “The Emperor,” Coleman & Lazzerini’s “So 20th Century,” Woody Guthrie’s “Dance a Little Longer” and “Ain’t Got No Home,” Gem’s “Final Payment,” Frank Papa’s “Have a Good Day,” and Betty Holt’s “Our Own Little Stimulus Plan,” doing each in one to three takes, and by the end of the process–one to two hours apiece–I’ve got the song mostly down, and can play it without looking at notes. I’m overdue to get the rest of the band CDs with the setlist songs anyway. As this is written, I’ve only four more songs to do, three of them by \Woody Guthrie–and two of those are old standards that everybody ought to be familiar with.

The recordings I’ve done are all simple: rhythm guitar, vocal, and a real simple lead guitar. The vocal’s done with one of the instrument mikes I got from Bodie (John’s got the singing mike at his house to play with the mixer and sound system)–not perfect, but it works. I’m not going to post them anywhere (with the exception of Stan Good’s “Un-Easy Street,” which I sent to Stan for approval first).

When we do the show, we should get better recordings–but I’m still not sure how we’re going to accomplish it. The Friday Night Group’s PA system, which we’ve been invited to use (and John wants to use) doesn’t have a “line out” that I know of, but it does have 8 inputs. One could interpose my 6-channel mixer before the signals go to the PA, but that doesn’t take advantage of the capabilities of the PA (and they are nice). My mixer is old, and nowhere near as fancy, and I’m sure wouldn’t produce as good a sound. The solutions that come to mind–having a splitter for each circuit, or running everything through a patch bay–involve purchasing equipment, which I’m not about to do when I don’t have an income.

I begin to understand the challenges Sharma’s facing with recording and amplifying the Portland band. (Her equipment is new, and a lot more sophisticated.)

Distributed more Failed Economy Show posters today, too. Whenever I go to Tillamook, I should take a stack with me; every place I stopped at wanted to post it right away, and I ran out of posters pretty fast. Got to chat briefly with some still-employed city and county officials I hadn’t seen in a while, too–and everywhere promoted the idea of “This should be imitated.” Wednesday, I think I’ll head north; four more city halls, another newspaper, and the Recreation District to hit, plus I want to buy a junk toilet at the recycling center to turn into a sort-of piggy bank for donations to the City of Garibaldi’s Sewer Discount Program, which we’ll also solicit help for during the Failed Economy Show.

And one idea I hadn’t thought of. I do (or did) know one of the producers at Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland; she and her camera crew visited Union several times while I was city manager there, doing a documentary on volunteerism–and of course, I sent her the “Santa’s Fallen” CD when that came out. I have no idea if she remembers me, but I sent her the invitation and poster files for the Failed Economy Show, too, emphasizing what I’m after is IMITATORS. I’d like to see a lot of people doing this–as our county judge put it, “putting your mandolins where your mandibles are.” Is OPB doing any shows about the economic mess? According to their schedule, they’re doing a lot of them–including one on the growing hunger problem. Could be right down her (and our) alley. I doubt OPB would send any film crews on a 2-1/2 hour drive over the Coast Range on bad roads to film us–but it’d be nice if what we’re doing got mentioned.

Another instance of the desirability of staying in touch with people. You never know when a particular contact may be important, either for you or for them.

TO DO: The four last Failed Economy Show songs to record; CDs to burn (and distribute) for the band; three more jobs to apply for. Music at the tavern Wednesday night, and at City hall Friday night, practice with the Portland band on Saturday and the Coast band all day Sunday. I may be unemployed, but I have plenty of work.

Joe

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