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Nightmare (And Job Interviews)...


I had a nightmare last night. I dreamed the band was going on stage for the “Rocktoberfest,” and I hadn’t done a setlist—and hadn’t the faintest idea what we were going to play (and the band didn’t, either). I decided to take care of that as soon as I woke up. We’ve got 40 minutes, which is 8 songs. I think we’ll do:

Dead Things in the Shower (fast two-step)

Armadillo on the Interstate (slow & sleazy)

Bluebird on My Windshield (fast bluegrass)

For Their Own Ends (folk-rock)

Duct Tape (mod. fast two-step)

Eatin’ Cornflakes from a Hubcap Blues (mod. slow quasi-blues)

Free-Range Person (fast bluegrass)

Un-Easy Street (mod. two-step)

We have, I notice, started every show we’ve done with “Dead Things.” It’s not what I’d have considered an opening number, but the band likes it, and drops into it real comfortably. And we do “rock it up” good. “For Their Own Ends” is going to make us famous if it doesn’t make Southern Pigfish famous; it is at this point our only rock-‘n’-roll song, and it invariably gets people up dancing. I had asked why people liked it—the lyrics are very obscure, and you can see people looking puzzled even while they’re dancing—and it was suggested it was because I obviously have so much fun singing it. I guess I do.

The setlist is mostly high-energy stuff (which the band are good at); starts off with dead animals, and closes on a more serious note. Probably doesn’t offend anybody, though—no bestiality, no pokes at religion, no live-animal sex (well, except for the armadillos—and that’s pointedly Shakespearean, and therefore educational). I assume we’re playing to a generally family crowd. Let the kids who come after us be sleazy. We’ll be adults. I still need to find us a lead player.

Last of the Fool’s parts is fleshed out for the Burlesque Show (nothing like waking up from a no-setlist nightmare to get you taking care of business first thing in the morning). The Fool is definitely going to come across as Larry the Cable Guy meets the Oracle at Delphi. (Yes, it’s type-casting—but it’ll be easy to pull off.) Got my three songs picked out; now, I need to practice reciting an e.e. cummings poem about driving a car while I’m playing some halfway sleazy music on the guitar. I’ll need to have the cummings piece memorized, even though I’ll be pretending to read it on stage.

FOUR calls for job interviews this morning; hey, this is getting good. Monday 9/21, I get interviewed by State DHS to be an office manager in Eugene (200 miles away); Tuesday 9/22, it’s Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue, the new fire district here on the Coast, to be their administrative assistant person; and Wednesday, 9/30, I’ll have an all-day round of interviews about being City Recorder in Woodburn, south of Portland. Monday, 10/6, I have a job interview at the fish hatchery in Trail, in southern Oregon, to be their (I think) one-person office. I’ll go down a day ahead of time for that one, and leave the morning after, and play music while I’m in the area.

Eugene… I hadn’t expected that one—and with my luck, that’s the one that’ll happen, because I hadn’t thought of it. Second-biggest city in Oregon; a college town (two colleges, in fact), with the second-biggest bookstore in Oregon, a songwriters association (one of only 4 in Oregon), and some nice, funky neighborhoods to live in (that are probably way too expensive on the salary I’ll be getting). I would have to live there, ‘cause it’s much too far from the Coast (200 miles) to commute. And I know a fiddle player who lives there.

All the attention feels good (and I have needed that)—but I can’t forget the mantra of Chuck Cushman, head of the National Inholders Assn. (and my boss when I was a lobbyist): “Never confuse Motion with Progress.” Nice to have the activity, but I haven’t accomplished anything yet.



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