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Garibaldi Days Brochure (and The New Song)...


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The Garibaldi Days program is done. I can’t say “finally,” because a lot of the delay is my own fault—I waited until the last minute to do anything. Of course, I didn’t get the last ads until 11 p.m. yesterday, and had to design one from scratch today from an e-mail, but it was fun nonetheless. I stayed up until 3 a.m. working on it, and was up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 7, anxious to finish the job. I do love this kind of work. It goes to the printer—that part is not my job—tonight.

Even though it felt like it took a long time, it really didn’t. Had I been charging for my time (which I was not), the bill, even at the high prices I used to charge, would have been only a few hundred bucks. And the product is—even if I do say so myself—pretty good. I hope the Lions Club and the advertisers like it. (I suppose a copy should go in the Joe Portfolio so I can use it to impress people.)

One of the ads I got for the Garibaldi Days program was from [drum roll] a recording studio. Girl who was selling the ads is married to a rock guitarist whose band is playing at Garibaldi Days, and he uses ‘em. I don’t know if they’re any good—I haven’t heard any of his records—but it’s nice to know the business exists.

“Always Pet the Dogs” is recorded. Just a simple couple-of-takes rendition on the Tascam, but it should be sufficient show-and-tell for the band down in southern Oregon. I’ve included it on the setlist for the August 22 concert in Central Point. I won’t include it in the RVTV taping this Saturday (7/18), or the Garibaldi Days concert next Saturday (7/25)—those sets are, well, set, and I won’t change them at the last minute.

I don’t know if I’d include the song in the Museum gig the following week (8/1); I’ll ask the band. It is a fairly simple tune, but the band is not getting a lot of time to practice, and I’ve been trying to stick to familiar material. On the other hand, audiences do half-expect me to keep coming up with new stuff (me being a writer, and all); the song could get a pretty good hearing, even on a “we’re playing this in public for the first time” basis. Other songs have.

I was excited about “Always Pet the Dogs,” because I thought it was pretty good, but looking at it realistically (which one has to do eventually), I don’t have a lot of places I can go with it. I don’t control “Star-Maker machinery” that can get my material a lot of exposure; all I can do is perform it, and put it on the next album, and neither of those is really big-time stuff.

I do know a number of music publishers (the number is three), but—no offense to the publishers, if they’re reading this—that may not count for a lot. Publishers these days are in exactly the same position real estate agents are, trying to peddle an increasing volume of material to a shrinking number of mostly disinterested buyers. It’s probably worth an e-mail—not sending the song (most publishers flat refuse any unsolicited material), but just asking if they’d be interested in listening.

The key to getting attention for a good song—and that’s not just this song, but ANY good song—is getting it performed by more people, people who hopefully reach larger audiences than I can myself. That was the principle put into practice in the Failed Economy Show, where we performed a lot of good songs by writers every bit as unknown as I am. (And the ones that got people dancing we want to keep playing, as a regular part of our repertoire.) I’d like to see other people performing my stuff—some do already, just not on the scale I’d wish. Royalty-free, of course; I’m not interested in revenue so much as I am exposure. When I get the phone call that says, “Y’know, we’d really like to include this song on our next album,” that’s the point where we can talk about those little copyright fees. Otherwise, I’d be happy if people just played the song, and mentioned my name.

Another outlet—one that’s not dependent on other people—is that Great Lakes Song Contest I keep hearing about. Their spam messages are pretty annoying—to the point where I was going to refuse to enter their contest—but I could send them “Always Pet the Dogs.” Worth the entry fee? Probably. The band will need to record base tracks, and then Dick and I can overlay harmonica and guitar leads, respectively. John (bass player/sound engineer) is pretty busy with his new city-manager job, but we could maybe do this in conjunction with practice.

Leaving tomorrow for the job interview, et al. I have not packed. And I still have stuff to do.

Joe

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