Friday, February 13, 2009

...15th Place!

We didn't win, nor were we in the top 10, but still it was amazing to be a finalist in the My City/My Song contest. To top it off we were the only finalist, besides the winner and the two runner-ups that had their photo published in the Winnipeg Free Press article, Spirited Melody. The Zamboni Joe photo only appeared in the print version, not the online, but it is available for purchase at the Free Press online photo shop ($10-25). This photo was awesome because it gave us great exposure and because we have never had a (formal) band photo before. For another cool photo from the same photo shoot, check out our photographer's, David Lipnowski's blog under the February 4th posting called, Long Day. (So I don't offend any copyright infringements I will not re-post any of David's photo's on this blog)

The accompanying article profiled a few of the performers, including myself which helped explain the origins and meaning of the song. I think a lot of people will be scratching their heads wondering what the hell I'm talking about, but Melissa Martin did a good job including quotes from the song and quotes from me.

The Kid

OK, at 44, Geoff Miki, songwriter for occasional "hockey rock" trio Zamboni Joe, isn't a kid anymore. But he was one in the '60s and '70s, when a local puppet show called Archie and Friends dominated the noon hour on CKY TV. The show was cancelled in the early 1980s, but it lives on in Zamboni Joe's song, Mayor of Funtown. ("Marvin Mouse was the coolest thing on that show / Man, that sock would take no guff from anyone," Miki sings on the tune, which was written in 2001.)

"There may never be a TV show like it again," Miki says. "It was a shock when it came to an end. At first I was hesitant to put the song in, because it isn't your usual sort of Winnipeg song. But we thought it might be something different."

That it was. One of our judges dreamily remembered rushing home to nibble cheese sandwiches and watch Archie; all of them giggled over how the song's chugging rock 'n' roll chords mixed with the impotent childhood rage of the lyrics. "How could they mess with a formula such as this / highest rated show on CKY."

The exposure of the newspaper article not only attracted attention from friends and co-workers, but also the Manitoba Moose who called me the following Monday to ask if we were interested in performing at the MTS Centre. Okay, not in the arena area, but in the lobby at the south end where they have a mini stage (near the Tim's concession) and they feature a band, before the game and between periods at select games. They said, "hockey jerseys, a hockey sounding name and playing hockey-rock, what a perfect fit". The only problem is that Zamboni Joe hasn't played a gig in years and the other two probably aren't interested in playing. We'll have to see, this would have been a no-brainer opportunity a few years ago, but now it'll take a lot of leg pulling and band rehearsals to get in game shape again, but it could be our last chance for success or at least mediocrity.

If you haven't had a chance to listen to the finalists yet, go to the My City/My Song page and leave a comment and vote for your favourite. According to the article there will be a people's choice winner as well, I'm guessing the person that unofficially receives the most votes. So far out of the 171 comments, not one has commented (good or bad) about Mayor Of Funtown. Sure the sound quality is rough and not as slick as a lot of the other recordings, but has anyone actually listened to the song? Another thing before I finish, the top 3 along with a couple other finalists are professional musicians that have professionally recorded CD's, why do they need to enter a contest where the top prize is a recording session (for one song)? Obviously they want the attention and publicity, but I really think this contest should have been open only for non-pro musicians that haven't produced a record label quality work. It reminds me of what pissed me off about Canadian Idol, how can musicians such as Rob James (from McMaster and James) and Keith MacPherson (from Keith and Renee), both professional performers that tour, record and receive airplay compete on the same level as untrained amateurs? Just saying...

(Note: From now on any other Zamboni Joe or local level stories will be written about on my other blog, Sick Puppy)

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