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Christmas Show Setlist?


Here’s a tentative setlist for the Christmas show:

SET #1 (12 SONGS):

Dead Things in the Shower (fast two-step, in C)

Armadillo on the Interstate (slow & sleazy, in C)

[NEW] Santa’s Fallen and He Can’t Get Up (fast bluegrass, in C)

Tillamook Railroad Blues (deliberate blues, in D)

Things Are Getting Better Now That Things Are Getting Worse—Burnett (fast two-step, in C)

Eatin’ Cornflakes from a Hubcap Blues (slow & sleazy quasi-blues, in C)

For Their Own Ends—Southern Pigfish (folk-rock, in E)

Duct Tape (mod. fast two-step, in C)

Bluebird on My Windshield (fast bluegrass, in C)

[NEW] Test Tube Baby (Elvis-style rock ‘n’ roll, in E)

Bungee Jumpin’ Jesus (mod. fast Gospel, in C)

Un-Easy Street (mod. two-step, in C)

SET #2 (11 SONGS):

[NEW] The Dog’s Song (rock ‘n’ roll, in E)

Hey, Little Chicken (mod. slow quasi-blues, in C)

When I Jump Off the Cliff I’ll Think of You (fast bluegrass, in C)

Our Own Little Stimulus Plan—Holt (Buddy Holly-style rock ‘n’ roll, in D)

[NEW] Even Roadkill Gets the Blues (slow two-step, in C)

So 20th Century—Coleman/Lazzerini (ragtime, in G)

Free-Range Person (fast bluegrass, in C)

Final Payment—Watson (mod. two-step, in G)

Rotten Candy (fast Gospel, in C)

I’m Giving Mom a Dead Dog for Christmas (slow & sleazy, in C)

Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad (fast bluegrass, in C)

Some bluegrass, some rock ‘n’ roll, a little blues, a little ragtime, and a lot of country. Eight tunes from the Failed Economy Show, the rest “Joe songs”—most of them known crowd-pleasers. Includes three Christmas songs (all by me), and one song by Woody Guthrie (with a nod to the Grateful Dead, who made it famous). I’ll put ‘em all onto a couple of CDs and hear how the package sounds.

There are four songs on the list that the band has not played before. Two are Christmas songs; the other two are pretty traditional rock ‘n’ roll. I worried about “Even Roadkill Gets the Blues”—there’s a band back East somewhere that usually does my songs around Christmas season, but they didn’t want to play that one because they thought it was too sad (the lyrics are very dark—I was unemployed at the time, and not feeling at all good about it). So I played it for the Friday Night Group and asked their opinion. They were teary-eyed, all right—but from laughing. I think the song comes across as too over-the-top—especially coming from me—to be taken seriously. It’ll be okay.

Thanks to the awful weather, Saturday’s thing at the library drew only four musicians, including me, and the other three were all really good, and there was virtually no audience, so we got to do fun stuff. For me, that was “The Strange Saga of Quoth, the Parrot” (never played in public before), “Me and Rufus, and Burning Down the House” (for librarian Sara), “Crosses by the Roadside,” and “Santa’s Fallen and He Can’t Get Up.” All came across real good.

And I finished musicating and recording Polly Hager’s “Cougars & Cub Scouts.” Definitely one of those not-for-everyone songs (especially with the cougar’s part being sung by a guy), but one of the purposes of music is to make people think, and this does that. I could see this being done in a burlesque show. I wonder if I’ll get to be in another burlesque show? I haven’t heard anything from our ringleaders…



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