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A Quick Update...


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The Burlesque Show will be okay, I think. Dress rehearsal today in Laurelhurst Park in Portland, and everybody seemed to know their lines, including me. We’ll do one more dress rehearsal, the afternoon before the show (Sept. 26), and that will be at the Hawthorne Theater itself.

Recording was good, too. I continue to be impressed with this band. The songs we were familiar with—i.e., that have been regular inclusions at our gigs—were note-perfect the first time. Even “Rotten Candy,” which I think we’ve only played once, and that back at Garibaldi Days in July, we only had to do twice.

Besides “Rotten Candy,” we’ve got “Free-Range Person” and Stan Good’s “Un-Easy Street” in the can. We also played, while we were setting the sound levels, “Armadillo on the Interstate” (which is on the album list and the setlist for the “Rocktoberfest”) and “For Their Own Ends” (which is on the “Rocktoberfest” list—being a rock song, and all).

What we did were “scratch tracks” of everything—a live recording against which John wants to re-record all the parts separately—rhythm guitar, bass, drums, vocal, and (when we find one) lead. However, it’s quite possible that the “scratch tracks” may be as good as anything we could do “layered.” It was tight; we knew what we were doing; and the band (and the recording) are good.

We still don’t have a lead player (my job to find one, I guess)—or a name. The suggestion was made that they could just (like the old song says) call us Irresponsible. Maybe they should. We are all adults, after all, and probably should know better.

The “Favorite Show” was good, too. Problems with the sound system (I’m not sure why that happens everywhere I go—do I make electronic equipment freak out?) made the show start late, so my “pre-rounds” (a square dance term for what happens before the Real Dance) was two songs instead of six. People liked what I did. The other performers in the “Favorite Show” were mostly standup comics (four of them), and two guys did comic videos (one of them also being one of the standup comics). Interesting stuff. I think standup is a really hard gig—what I do is easier, because I have a guitar to hide behind. However, my music is definitely a good fit with this stuff.

Interesting, too, that all but one of the standup comics tended to define themselves in terms of what they do for a living. I don’t—of course, it’s not like I’m doing anything for a living right now—but I never have, really. Part of that is a deliberate attempt on my part to keep music separate from work, and part of it is deliberately trying to escape what I once heard called an East Coast tendency to define one’s self by one’s job (and I’m from the East Coast, after all). That’s a tendency to be avoided, I think; if the sociologists are correct, and in the Modern Era a person will change careers a good seven times before retirement, wouldn’t defining one’s self in terms of one’s job give one an awful case of multiple-personality disorder?

The Urban Grind East is a beautiful place—a big industrial warehouse space with a lot of seating and intimate as well as public spaces. I’d like to perform there. Everybody kept waiting for the owner to show up (he reportedly normally comes to the “Favorite Show” nights), but he never did. I left a CD with the baristo. (I also presented one of my “Another Thong from Joe” thongs to host Whitney.)

UPCOMING: Job interviews Monday (in Eugene, 200 miles away), Tuesday (in Manzanita, 25 miles away—a lot better), and Friday (in Salem—90 miles and a 2-hour drive over bad roads). Tuesday afternoon, I’ve been asked to sit in on speech practice at the high school (where I’ve applied to be assistant speech coach). Music just Friday this week—but we may have the chance to do some more recording a couple of evenings. Burlesque Show Saturday. Time to send out the invites.

Joe

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