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As It Gets Busy...


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Well, I wanted to have stuff to do, didn’t I? I think I will be busy for a while. I have an audition at the Jade Lounge in Portland on Sunday (timed it so it’d be just after our Burlesque Troupe post-mortem, if it happens), the Insomnia Coffee Co. gig the following Saturday, a “proofreading test” to take for a state job Wednesday (yes, I’m driving 2-1/2 hours into Portland to take a test I know I’ll pass with 100-plus other people—times are hard). And, I think, another Failed Economy Show to organize and promote. And that’s just this week.

Iit looks like the “Failed Economy Show Sequel” is going to fly—drummer Chris is excited, and just wants to make sure he’s got the day/evening free. As soon as I get confirmation from him, I’ll contact lead players; I have two who said they really wanted to play with us, but just weren’t available on Rocktoberfest Saturday. With luck, one or both will be free November 14. I promised Chris and John we wouldn’t try to practice until after Nov. 1, to accommodate their work schedules. (And I already got one donation for the Food Pantry in the mail.)

We can keep most of the setlist from the last Failed Economy Show, so it won’t entail a lot of practice. There are maybe four songs I’d like to change out, because we couldn’t do them very well (hard for me to sing). I asked the writers at Just Plain Folks for material, and had one from Al David by the next morning—a bouncy, 1940s-country thing I think the band could do without any trouble. New lyrics from Stan Good, too; his “Let’s Party in 2012” is a good rock ‘n’ roll dance number, and would make a great companion to the late Jeff Tanzer’s waltz, “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

A couple folks cooked up the idea of flying Polly Hager out from Cincinnati to sing with us, and I would really, really like that—and they’d even started soliciting money for the plane fare. I asked them to hold off, because three weeks’ notice is too premature (and short-notice plane tickets are way too expensive); if we could do this in the spring—or any time next year, really—and I could have about two months to work on publicity, we could put on a heck of a show. “Polly Hager and Deathgrass” could be the biggest event this area has seen in years, and could raise tons for the Food Bank.

I can use the setlist from my Burgerville solo performance 25 August for the Insomnia Coffee Co. show on Oct. 24. I will rearrange things a little bit; the band have gotten into the habit of starting shows with “Dead Things in the Shower,” and I think I’ll do that here, too. The show is a week before Hallowe’en, and the setlist even includes both my “Hallowe’en-friendly” songs, “Vampire Roumanian Babies” and “Love Trails of the Zombie Snails.”

The “Joe Show” videos are getting some—belated—attention, encouraging me to do more. (I haven’t done one in a while—“French video” is a big time-consumer.) I do have a couple of tricks I want to try, using the digital camera as a video camera, but I’ll take it slow. I want to film Rufus the dog (for “Me & Rufus, and Burnin’ Down the House”), but for practice, I think I’ll film a little travelogue of the garage studio. (That won’t take long—the studio meansures 5-by-7 feet, and the most interesting thing in it may be the plastic flowers.) Since I don’t want to waste anything I do, it’d be nice to match that up to a soundtrack. I wonder what would work?

There may be a potential outlet for exposure of the videos, too: Whitney (of the “Life’s SubtleTease” burlesque troupe) does a monthly showcase of standup comedy that includes some comedy videos. I sent her the two “Joe Show” videos; I don’t know if she’ll be interested.

I think I figured out how to film myself singing, too—I just have to have somebody else operate the camera. (I can think of a couple of people who might do that.) The digital camera can’t record a soundtrack, of course; it’d have to be matched up to a soundtrack recorded separately. How to do that? Record the audio first, I think, and then play it back through either headphones or speakers while the filming’s going on, so I can match my hand and mouth movements to the soundtrack. Could record leads separately the same way. Hey, is this how the big boys do it?

Joe

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