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Sept. 25 Post-Mortem (And A New Cat)...


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The Deathgrass Sept. 25 concert was good. Small—very small—but appreciative crowd (we were competing for attention with three other events in the area at the same time—a contra dance, a square dance, and the final night of a very good play). Told the audience to applaud real loud, because we (and they) were being recorded by Jim Nelson, who was running sound; I told them, too, the audience was small enough so if we got album-quality cuts out of the recording, we could list them by name in the credits.

Our only chance to practice was just before the performance, while we were doing sound checks—and the songs we practiced came out, for the most part, better than the ones we didn’t. Best, though, were our standard opening and closing songs, “Dead Things in the Shower” and Stan Good’s “Un-Easy Street.” A close third: “She Ain’t Starvin’ Herself,” the classic (and fast) blues about anorexia.

Because it was a 2-hour show, we did a bunch of stuff we hadn’t played in a long time—Coleman & Lazzerini’s “So 20th Century,” my “50 Ways to Cure the Depression,” “Crosses by the Roadside” and “I May Write You from Jupiter.” “Jupiter” was a little rough, but everything else came off quite good—especially considering we hadn’t been able to practice at all. Comments afterward included that the band were very good (true) and very tight (true), Charlie was a very good lead guitarist (true), and that we ought to do another show and drag in more people (I agreed—and told ‘em to tell their friends and neighbors what a great performance they missed).

Charlie is willing and available to play the wedding reception Oct. 31; that’d give us five pieces—him (lead guitar), Doc (blues harp), Chris (drums), John (bass), and me. I do think that’s the ideal mix; I think it helps to have both a “whiny” lead (blues harp) and a “non-whiny” lead (electric guitar). Question now is whether they want us to do it. I’m told they want classic rock—good, danceable stuff—and we can do that, sort of. It’s “sort of” because while it’ll sound like classic rock (with 3/5 of the band being rock musicians, that’s easy), it won’t be classic, though, because the material will be either original or by people as equally unknown as I am. It’s what we do. (Besides, as I remind folks regularly, I can’t sing most other people’s stuff anyway—I don’t have the voice range.)

Next steps? I’ve been seeing newspaper articles from other towns saying their local food banks are in trouble (way more demand than supply); I assume there’s a similar problem here (though I know the folks running the outfit don’t like to talk about it). It is probably time to do another Failed Economy Show benefit for the Food Pantry—and like last year, the ideal time to do it would be just before Christmas. With a long lead time, might be possible to do some effective publicity (and practice). And I think everybody in the band really likes to play.

No music, I think, until next weekend, though the job will keep me thoroughly busy. I did get the material for the next column for the paper, started soliciting musicians for a performance at the Second Annual Pumpkinfest in Lafayette Oct. 24, and am ready for the next Southern Oregon Songwriters newsletter, which I believe I can typeset on StuartLittle. And we have a new cat at home (coyotes got our two, I’m told). “Ghost” is a “flame-point” Siamese—an abundance of albino genes, with a little tabby thrown in—a teenage boy cat, intelligent and very affectionate. He is learning slowly that walking on keyboards to get attention is not a good idea.

Joe

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