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Garibaldi Days Post-Mortem...


The Garibaldi Days performance went well. I found out late that morning that there would be no talent show participants (I had wondered if that might happen), so the two-hour show was back to consisting of just the “Rockshop” bands and Roland and Deathgrass. The “Rockshop” bands stuck to the two-song limit they’d originally been handed, and so did Roland, which left us as the flex point—but we’d originally planned on playing a half-hour set anyway. We actually did 25 minutes (the “Rockshop” kids started late), giving Mike a little extra time to get the PA system packed up for his paying gig that evening. The setlist:

Dead Things in the Shower

Tillamook Railroad Blues

Things Are Getting Better Now That Things Are Getting Worse (Gene Burnett)

Armadillo on the Interstate

Un-Easy Street (Stan Good)

Three two-steps (at different speeds), one blues, and one (“Armadillo”) that’s just plain sleazy. All are songs that the band can do really well at the drop of a hat (which is basically the amount of warning we did have). Mike had harmonies worked out for the last four of the songs that were real impressive. I don’t know if there’s a single song I could point to this time as being “best.” Everything was actually good, even though we hadn’t practiced at all since April.

A fair percentage of the audience that had come to hear their kids or their friends play (that’s why you book kid bands—the park was packed) stuck around to hear us perform (and a few people said they had actually come specifically to hear us), and I could see they laughed at the right points and their toes were tapping. Got a few compliments afterwards (one from a teenager—that was a real surprise), so I guess we did okay. I didn’t mention in the Rap where we were playing next, but one fellow did ask afterwards (he seemed to be under the impression we should be touring).

I suppose we do come across as professional (well, that was intentional). We started on the same note, without even drummer clicks (or appeared to—we do have that worked out), never had to look at each other when we played (we looked at each other plenty when we were practicing), never paused except for applause, and everybody knew what they were playing without being told (actually, the Rap does that, but it’s not obvious). All of the songs we performed have little quirks in them, but everybody’s familiar with them, and our “arrangements” were note-perfect. Is there a lesson in all that? Sure—but the lesson is simply, “Practice.”

I got band photos of all the “Rockshop” bands, and will go over those with Mike later to identify the kids. I can give ‘em all photos of their bands as a thank-you for doing the show—plus I want to use the photos in advertising the “Rockshop” band concert I still want to put on at the Bay City Arts Center.

The contra dance reportedly now has a caller (yay) and another guitarist (double yay). We practice tonight—the last time we’ll get together before the big dance July 31. The newspaper ran a big article on it, mentioning the musicians by name (I’d wondered where people had found out about it). I got sent a pile of new contra dance music, tunes which none of us know and which we will not have time to learn and master by dance time. We will stick, I believe, to what we know, and concentrate on making it sound good (and staying in time).

Elsewhere in Music World: The music publisher in Hawaii wanted happy songs about dogs, so I sent her “The Dog’s Song,” my Ramones-style country love song. And I sent “Angel in Chains” to a filmmaker doing something on Kurt Cobain (I figured a country death metal song about a suicide might be apropos). In both cases, I expect no miracles—it’s just something that had to be done, and doing it didn’t cost anything (an important consideration these days).



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