OUR BLOG CHRONICLES A MUSICAL JOURNEY
The basic story line is, even though he never played guitar before and had not played a musical instrument since tuba in elementary school band, Bill T received an electric guitar after he was 60 -- as a joke. From then on, despite a musical talent deficit, he tried to learn instrumental surf music but at first could not find an instructor. He met Paul the Pyronaut -- a surf guitarist a couple of generations younger. Over a few years they wrote some original songs. The Lava Pups eventually emerged from Bill T's imagination. A CD was recorded to check something off of his bucket list. Then the CD had to be performed live. And -- voila -- we had a band! The Lava Pups were a reality. For how long, who knows?
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For the upcoming July Sunday Surf Party, we had to add some new items to our pre-gig check list. Changes beget changes.
Find new bass player. Check. Find a new rhythm guitar player. Check (if rhythm “uke” counts). Learn to play enough songs together to make up a set. In progress. Practice, practice, practice. In progress.
The check list also contains old items. Post announcements to websites. Check. Emails to critics and other media folks. Check. Create and print posters and fliers. Check. Put up and distribute posters and fliers. In progress.
And, of course, we have one recurring task which just will not go away and does not seem to get better with time: Work on guitar face. How about wearing a lucha libre mask with a built-in smile?
Today, we added something else new to our promotional efforts. We did not add it out of necessity; instead, it is a product of fun. Whether it makes the pre-gig check list remains to be seen. It is a “new school” promotional tool. It is so new school that I have not seen it used. To be truthful, I really have not looked.
Some time ago, the idea came for an animated “poster” for today’s digital world. The little voice that usually questions whatever I am doing changed its tone and asked, “What if a poster could talk?” Video posters! They could go on a website or Facebook.
Imagining the Lava Pup turning around in a car seat, looking to the viewer, and pimping an upcoming show was easy. In another imagined feature (or “talking poster”), the Pup could promote our multi-use bag (AKA “poop bag”) dispenser. The possibilities bumping around were endless.
A talking poster surely would be a hoot. Of course, Mr. Practical Voice threw a bucket of water on that creative spark, “Too hard. Too time-consuming. Too juvenile. You don’t know what you’re doing. You got a day job.” Etc., etc., etc. Another idea appeared to be doused by Mr. Practical Voice.
But Mr. Practical Voice was not vigilant. While his back was turned, the smoldering embers of creativity flashed into flames. The Dreamer Voice fanned those flames and implored, “Use some of the animation stuff you have. Keep it simple. Go for ten seconds.” Mr. Practical Voice was silent, and the old MacBook and tablet were put to work.
Pixar and Disney do not have to worry. Mr. Practical Voice was right about juvenile and time-consuming. But who really cares? We do this for the fun!
Meet the Surfer Dude, who joins the Lava Pup in our first -- a perhaps only -- video poster. Check it out.