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And The Album...


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Wife Sandee and a girlfriend are on vacation this week, hitting the square dance circuit, and the dog and I are, well, doing whatever it’s possible to do with lots of time and no money. Burlesque show cast meeting tonight, job interview Tuesday, “Love Trails of the Zombie Snails” to record, a video to script out, and a webcam and flash drive to score if I can find ‘em cheap. I’ll be busy.

Latest spate of mail (which included only one rejection letter) reminded me that for over a year, I’ve been on other people’s schedules—avoiding or postponing doing things because I’ve been waiting to see what somebody else (usually somebody I’ve applied for a job with) is going to do. It’s time to stop that. I should simply pick out what I want to do, and do it. To do otherwise is to waste time—and I consider wasting time an Unforgivable Sin. I had more control of my life when I was working for somebody else.

I’ll have to press and prod (because my band members have less time than I do), but I want the new album done before Christmas. It consists of 12 songs:

Dead Things in the Shower (mod. fast two-step)

Armadillo on the Interstate (slow & sleazy)

The Termite Song (fast bluegrass)

Tillamook Railroad Blues (slow, deliberate blues)

Free-Range Person (fast bluegrass)

No Good Songs About the War (mod. slow two-step)

Rotten Candy (fast bluegrass, with a Gospel beat)

Hey, Little Chicken (mod. slow almost blues)

Doing Battle with the Lawn (fast bluegrass)

Eatin’ Cornflakes from a Hubcap Blues (slow & sleazy)

Un-Easy Street (mod. slow two-step)

Naked Space Hamsters in Love (fast bluegrass)

One blues, a couple almost-blues, some bluegrass, some country, one that’d be Gospel if it weren’t talking about one’s girlfriend leaving. Some dead animals, and some live aliens. None of the songs is really serious, but a couple sound serious. There’s a couple of co-writes that fit in well with my own material. (I’ll have to pay copyright royalties.) A smidgen of continuity—there’s one song from the last album, and one from the first album, six years ago. (People are still requesting it—a lot. My stuff tends to remain popular, I guess.)

The band does all of the songs real well, and they have a lot of fun doing it. They tend to rock the songs up (hardly a surprise—the bass player and drummer are both from heavy-metal backgrounds), but It sounds good when they do it.

John will do the recording. (He’s got some nice equipment now.) We’ll do a live “base” track—drums, bass, rhythm guitar, and my vocal—overlay lead instruments, and then John will do the mixing.

We can’t have Dick’s blues harp lead on everything, because we won’t be able to record every song before he and wife Carol go on their big trip. We’ll be limited to just what we can get done in the next two weeks. I’d pick “No Good Songs About the War” (which we want to enter in the English Dylan contest), “Tillamook Railroad Blues” and “Armadillo on the Interstate”; we’ll fudge for the rest.

Though I seem to know quite a few musicians—guitar, gbanjo (6-string banjo), fiddle, accordion, musical saw, and Jews’ harp, and they all live in Garibaldi—I want to keep things simple. One “whiny” lead and one “non-whiny” lead on each song is enough. Chippewa Bob’s saw can substitute for the harmonica on some of the songs, and the Jews’ harp would be a nice addition to some of the bluegrass ones; both can be done with some special effects. I can use Wayne’s country-barroom guitar lead on some of the songs, and do lead myself on the rest. It’ll be enough.

Simultaneously, I can’t stop pressing and prodding for gigs. When the album comes out, I want to be well-known enough so a lot of people will immediately be buying a lot of copies. Performing is about the only way to do it.

Joe

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