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Things That Don't Exist...


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I got invited by a comedian I know to a reading of a book called “The Fake War.” The reading will be fake, too—it’s not actually going to take place. (I’m not sure whether the book really exists, either. Like the war it supposedly describes, it, too, may be fake.) So of course I agreed to “attend.” I don’t have to travel anywhere.

Wherewith, an idea. Sometime this fall—fingers crossed and hands folded—the Southern Pigfish album will be released. And the band, as an increasing number of people know, does not exist (even though “Deathgrass” plays their best-known song every concert, and always gives them credit). And it is traditional to have a CD release party. Why not have a CD release party that doesn’t exist? (We could even advertise it that way.)

The album will exist, of course, and even though Southern Pigfish probably could care less whether it sells (why should they? they don’t exist), I do care, being the author of the songs and probably the architect of the music videos, and all. Still, it would be fun to add to the unreality of the situation by advertising the album for sale through some fictional retail outlets. The album by the band that doesn’t exist, for sale at stores that don’t exist… I like that. Or… perhaps some of those little pockets of fans in various locations around the globe would be willing to nominate local retail outlets that would not be interested in carrying the album—and I could send them nice, eye-catching posters announcing “The Southern Pigfish Album Is Not For Sale Here. This Store Has Standards.” Something like that.

Both “Angel in Chains” and “The Dead Sweethearts Polka” are probably inclusions for the Southern Pigfish album—because of their outrageousness (one about a suicide, the other about a serial killer), not their political content. (However, there’s plenty of political content on the rest of the album.) I did get to play “The Dead Sweethearts Polka” at the Library Saturday—I announced that I had to, since we had an accordion player present. And the accordion player did say afterwards that she liked it—though she also asked, “Don’t you ever write about things that are alive?”

I musicated “Dust on the Moon,” an anti-Darwinist anthem by Rev. Skip Johnson. The song recalls that rather surreal number by Gem Watson, “Global Warming Sandwich,” that I musicated and recorded a couple of years ago; “Dust on the Moon” is pretty obviously ragtime, very fast and danceable. The original, with five long verses and four long choruses, came in at almost six minutes, but Skip subsequently cut it down, taking a verse and a chorus out, and I think the result (4-1/2 minutes, with a lead break) is about perfect. I do need to do more of this, so I stay familiar with the Tascam and its limitations.

I think I’ve done my contests for the year, unless an opportunity I can’t refuse surfaces, and it doesn’t look like I have any winners. The two songs (one of mine, and one of Stan Good’s) entered in the MerleFest were rejected; I was pretty sure that was going to happen when I found out Nashville professionals were doing the filtering. I sent “Duct Tape” off to an outfit putting on a song contest to raise money for Nashville flood relief; I don’t really care whether I win that one—it was basically an excuse to donate twenty bucks to the cause.

And I entered “Me and Rufus, and Burnin’ Down the House” in a music video contest put on by a fledgling outfit called “SmashTune”; $1,000 prize possible there (and there was no entry fee), but winning is dependent on votes from fans, and as noted earlier, I just don’t have that many fans. At this writing, “Rufus” is ranked #34, so somebody likes it—and at least it’s not at the bottom.

Joe

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It sounds like "Angel in Chains" and "The Dead Sweethearts Polka" bring a unique flavor to the Southern Pigfish album with their outrageous themes, although they may not necessarily focus on political content. Their inclusion adds depth and diversity to the album's overall narrative. It's amusing that you felt compelled to play "The Dead Sweethearts Polka" at the Library event, especially with an accordion player present. Their reaction, while appreciative, also hints at a preference for more lively subject matter! It's all part of the creative journey, exploring different themes and styles.

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