After2Glasses, the Grateful Dead, and having a good time at work

I think one of the things I do well is to make my work fun. Yes, work is work, but it doesn’t have to be drudgery; I’ve learned that I can have a good time while simultaneously making a living. Of course, it’s not always fun — there are deadlines that are bears, occasional problematic clients, and so on — but I do what I can to enjoy what I do.

One of the ways I keep work fun is to work “outside of the box” by doing something different and mixing things up a bit. I like to create; I like to stretch my skills; I enjoy working on different projects. This week I am getting to do all three.

As you may or may not know, Jean is in a musical duo called After2Glasses with local semi-celebrity Paul Walters of Magic City Blues Society fame. Jean and Paul have been playing together for several years now, and you can occasionally find them performing at a local festival or neighborhood pub. Naturally, After2Glasses is a kind of in-house client for us. Jean and I built the original website for the duo, and I am currently in process of moving the whole kit and kaboodle to WordPress.

Now we have begun a new project for the band, one that is fun for me and good publicity for After2Glasses.

Let me explain.

One of the first songs After2Glasses started playing was an old Jesse Fuller tune called “Monkey and the Engineer” which the Grateful Dead eventually covered and made more popular. It is one of my favorite songs that Jean and Paul play, for a couple of reasons (not the least being that I’m a big Dead fan). But I also like the humor in the song, and how everything turns out okay in the end; it makes for a nice story. In fact, I often sang it lullaby-style to put my daughters to sleep when they were little.

Flash forward to three weeks ago: One afternoon while perusing the web, I noticed a Grateful Dead newsletter in my inbox. I often gloss over these, but something caught my attention in this one: The newsletter  announced with great fanfare the Grateful Dead Covers project. The site was seeking musicians to video their covers of songs performed by the Dead, and to upload them to YouTube. Beginning in February, all the submissions will be reviewed and the favorites — as chosen by what I assume will be a group of incredibly qualified people — will be promoted on the website.

Of course, the gears in my head started creaking and I think a tiny lightbulb flickered momentarily above my skull. All the pieces were in place: After2Glasses, a Dead song, and I get to play with Adobe Premiere.

Thus, a project was born.

Jean, Paul, and I (and, poor child, my 14-year-old daughter — she will NEVER want to hear the song again) spent an afternoon this weekend shooting the song, and now I am in the process of putting the clips into order, making certain the sound is in sync with the video, and building transitions. It’s not easy; I am much more accustomed to working with Dreamweaver and WordPress than I am with Premiere, but I’m learning as I go.

We have until the end of the month to get the video uploaded, where it may or may not end up being featured on the website, but who knows? Stranger things have happened, and I know I am having fun with the project. I’m being creative, learning something new, and doing something different.

And once the project is done?

Well, of course, the fun goes on and there will be nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.


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