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6-month Goal Review...


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It’s July—six months since we set those 2009 goals. How are we doing?

At the beginning of the year, I said 2009 would be the Year of Exposure. By the beginning of 2010, I wanted to (1) be better known, (2) be a music publisher with somebody besides myself as a client, (3) have another CD out, for sale in stores and on.line, (4) have played some writers’ nights in Nashville, (5) have more sophisticated recording equipment, and (6) be doing video. And I had a work list intended to achieve those goals. In addition to writing an average of one good song a month, and having a round dozen of other people’s songs musicated, too.

Am I getting better known (1)? I noticed I wasn’t forgotten in southern Oregon when I visited last week, and I’m definitely not forgotten on the Coast—I’m playing somewhere at least twice a week. I’ve had some gigs in Portland, too (and one still coming up), and some of them have been paid (they just haven’t paid much). I’ve put together two bands, and the one on the Coast is going to make it, I think; we’ve done two shows, got two more coming up, and I want to use them for the album. The “joelist,” which keeps growing (slowly), is a big help; so has been the strategic and timely placement of posters.

I haven’t pushed the publishing company (2), after getting advice from a music publisher I know how to pay co-writers and such without having to have a publishing company. As long as I’m penniless, I’ll avoid the expense. I did register as a writer with BMI—that was free. And Outside Services Ltd. will take out a local business license, as soon as I figure out where “local” is going to be.

I have made some progress on the CD (3). What I’ve done is mostly setup work; I have the band, I have the studio, and I have picked out the songs. There is no recording studio here on the Coast, so it’s been necessary to create our own. I will have it professionally mastered, and this time around I’ll invest in shrink-wrapping and barcoding so the CD can be sold through CDBaby. The intent is to have it done in time for Christmas.

I keep getting asked about the Southern Pigfish album, too—which is kind of a surprise. (Those guys are popular? How’d THAT happen?) I know how and where I could get a Pigfish CD done, I think; I just need to let a few more people in on the secret. It would be a hoot if the thing sold. My album first, though.

A trip to Nashville (4) is out this year because of money. Even if I were to be offered a job right away, it’d still be this time next year before I could take the vacation time to go. Money, or the shortage thereof, is also why I’ve done almost nothing about upgrading recording equipment (5). I have acquired a few additional things—a couple of decent instrument mikes, for instance—but it’s all been free or cheap. I do have a wish list of things I’d like, but I’m using what I’ve got as long as it keeps working.

Video (6) was kind of a surprise. I did do a music video—“The 30-Second Resume,” in response to a solicitation by a Portland TV station. I don’t have video equipment; I gave daughter Kimberly my cheap little Webcam over a year ago, and while I’ve bought a tripod and power adapter for the big Fisher camcorder, I still haven’t managed to make it work. I did “The 30-Second Resume” in what I think of as “French style” (because French teenagers do it), as a fast-moving slide show with soundtrack and printed comments on screen. It didn’t come out bad—and the TV station in Portland did air it. I have another one to do now, for that Performing Songwriters (United Worldwide) organization Lorelei Loveridge formed, and I’ll do that video the same way. I’ll use “The Taboo Song” for the soundtrack, and I’ve scripted out some printed comments on the present and future of the music industry (which is what Lorelei wanted the video to be about). I just need to find—or take—more photos.

On the WRITING front, I have not managed that song-a-month quota I set for myself; I’ve had only three new songs since the beginning of the year (the two oldest have been played in public, and are definitely “keepers,” and I think the third will be, too). I have done a lot of musicating of other people’s stuff, though—one by Beth Williams, one by Betty Holt, three by Stan Good, plus I had to figure out music for two obscure Woody Guthrie songs we wanted to do in the Failed Economy Show. Maybe it evens out.

Better than last year this time? Maybe. I don’t have time to worry about it—next gig (Rockaway Beach’s 100th anniversary celebration—Dick and I will do it as a duo) is tomorrow.

Joe

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