Monday, June 22, 2020

Something New/ 99 Bottles Part 3

My contribution to this 99 Bottle video (thus why I am renaming these entries) is supposed to be in by July 1, so I figured I'd better get going on it.  I went back to the link I had been sent and listened to the song again and read the full lyrics.  I verified that the narrator is stranded on an island (having jumped ship and having no way to get back to it), and while she is consuming the content of the bottles, what she wants most is the empty bottles, to use to carry messages back to civilization. (where this supply is coming from I have no idea) My idea was a piece of empty beach, some empty bottles, and a piece of paper onto which she has written her words.

In the song she mentions both whiskey and beer, but for bottles I am going with the former because I happen to have some to draw from. I do have a few cans of beer in my refrigerator, but that won't work for the song.  I don't drink a lot of whiskey, but occasionally I get it as gifts.  

I know that one I have came from my college friend Doug on one of his visits north, kind of housewarming present.  It was a flask style bottle of Jim Beam, which is produced in Kentucky, the state he was living and working in at the time. I did a bunch of sketches of it from different angles while I was still home in the morning. I also have a full size bottle of Jack Daniel's, another bourbon style whiskey, produced in Tennessee, Doug's home state, but I don't think this came from him.  I know he knows it well, and has called it "the Tennessee country cure", as a shot of it is a common medicine down there.  Did drawings of that bottle as well, as I figured bringing open bottles of whiskey to the Studio and having them in my car could be considered a problem. Whiskey bottles are shaped in very specific ways, and the shape will let people know what they are without labels needed.

I decided to borrow a little bit from last year's BAC/shell t-shirt design, which was never used, as the people in charge couldn't make up their mind what they wanted.   Since I have to put the words somewhere, I thought to put them on a scrap of paper, since the singer is sending notes in bottles.Worked out some ideas on paper first, then got my block and started a pencil sketch there.

Didn't get as far as I had planned on the block drawing today, as I was called away for a family emergency, so the shells are not fully realized yet.  And the lettering will be done better in the final version, plus the one I turn in should have some simple colors- sand, shells, glass, paper, maybe a little left in each bottle.  I think the idea is fine, and if I feel the same way tomorrow, I'll fix up the pencil drawing, and go from there.  The bottle labels will be kept generic, as brands are not significant to the song.

The music that seemed appropriate for today was blues, and I forgot to grab anything from home, so I went with one of the discs I keep in the Studio- a home burned one with the two heaviest albums I have from Buddy Guy- Stone Crazy and Sweet Tea, which I believe I have written about already.  One thing I thought about while listening to the song again was that besides the heavy use of harp (harmonica), the music seemed to mostly be slide guitar.  And in blues, slide guitar was traditionally played with a bottle neck.  Could be one cut off and worn on a finger, or could be achieved by holding a whole bottle and running the neck along the frets. Is this a coincidence or part of the plan for the song?  Is there such a thing as slide ukulele?  These are questions I can ask later.

Got another email from Amy late in the day, a general one that went to all participants. All the important question I had were already answered or just figured out.  One new thing was that she was retaining the right to alter images slightly to make them work in the video format, but I was expecting that already.


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