One thing I decided when we started putting together Desert City Diva: The Podcast was that we needed a theme song. Nothing says “high production values” like your own custom musical theme. I whipped out my trusty Garageband software and put together the number below:
Drums, bass, and a couple of repeated keyboard chords came first. I played around a bit and finally came up with a melody that had the right feel (and sounded guitarlike). Then a little tag for all the instruments to play at the end. Rolly’s Theme was born. Not exactly Hans Zimmer or Danny Elfman level scoring, but not bad for a podcast.
The theme did prove fairly malleable, though. After Kyrsten Hafso-Koppman, who plays Macy, started humming along with the tune during rehearsal, we captured her voice on tape and I built a slightly different version of the tune. I call this one Macy’s theme:
I passed the tune over to guitar pro (and former bandmate) Ian Vatet with instructions to “come up with an acoustic guitar version of this, like Rolly might play at home”. Here’s what he came up with:
Nice, huh? I think so.
There’s more music from the podcast posted on SoundCloud, including some “atmosphere” stuff and the blues jam Ian produced on his own (my instructions – “killer guitar player sits in with adequate garage band”).
One of the more enjoyable parts of the Desert City Diva Podcast production was the live recording where got to put it all together with our cast. Four actors played a total of ten different characters for the production. We had a blast! Here’s some photographs from the session.
Nancy Snow Carr will be appearing in Alice! at Lamb’s Players Theatre February 29 – April 12, 2020.
The Desert City Diva Podcast is now live. This ain’t one of those two guys sitting around a microphone things, but a full-on audio adaptation of my 2016 mystery novel. Professional actors! High production values! Heck, I even dusted off my compositional skills and wrote a musical theme. Put on those headphones, close your eyes, sit back and give it a listen. I’ll be posting more information soon.
I’ve got a new short story on the internets. Published by Forge, it’s called “The Old Monsters Bar“. A print edition of the magazine will be published shortly, but you can read it online now at Forge Journal.
An American expatriate hangs out in a Tokyo dive bar and shares a drink with a colossus of Japanese cinema. Monsters get lonely, too.
This story’s quite a departure from the Rolly Waters mystery series. I’ll be interested in what fans of my previous work think. If you read it and like it, please share on the social media of your choice. Or email me back and tell me how weird I am. Either choice works for me.
I don’t have a personal relationship with my cars. I don’t give them names. Except one. I had a 1979 Volkswagen van I called Zeke, which I purchased used in 1984. In my novel Desert City Diva, there’s a brief homage to Zeke, as Rolly and Moogus recover from an altercation at Desert View Tower.
You remember Old Zeke?” said Moogus.
“Yeah. I wrote a song about Zeke.”
One verse. That was all he could remember. And the melody. His voice cracked as he sang it.
“Old Zeke’s got a number, stashed in his glove box
A number he’s waiting to play
She gave him her number, the day that he met her
A wahine from Hanalei Bay”
“Oh man, that sucks,” said Moogus. “A wahine from Hanalei Bay? Really?”
“I was going for a surf-rock kind of thing.”
“Zeke deserved better than that.”
My wife and I took Zeke on a monthlong tour of the West shortly after we met. San Diego to Catalina to San Francisco to Ely to Jackson to Yellowstone to Cheyenne to Denver to Meeker to Durango to Santa Fe to Grand Canyon to Flagstaff and back to San Diego. (Note: if you survive a month together in a VW Van, it’s a good indication of future compatibility).
Zeke was my band van, as well. With the middle seats removed, there was just enough room for PA gear – woofer and tweeter cabinets, monitors, mixers, microphones, cables and stands plus my keyboard equipment. You could fit it all in there, with just enough room for my brother and me in the front seats.
Zeke wasn’t the most dependable car I ever owned. If the engine got hot and you stopped anywhere above sea level, you might not be able to get started again. Vapor lock would set in. The only solution was to sit and wait for the gasoline in the fuel lines to re-liquify.
Zeke didn’t have any air-conditioning either. The engine was always threatening to overheat and the only way you could cool down the engine was to turn on the heater. I will never forget crossing Utah’s San Rafael Swell in 100 degree heat with all of Zeke’s windows open and the heater set on full blast. Car and driver both survived the trek, if you don’t count the fits of maniacal laughter I was given to by the end of the day.
At the end of my band days, when I got out of grad school, I traded Zeke in and leased a brand new red Jeep Cherokee. The Jeep was my first new car and much more dependable, but no car I’ve owned since has had Zeke’s personality. There was a brief moment of mawkish farewell as I cleared out the glove compartment and then he was gone.