I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
March 24, 2016 - 12:18 p.m.
Yesterday I went to see Deni Bonet at Bowery Electric. It was a beautiful day and I took advantage of it. I had to go to the East Village but I took the subway to the West Village and walked around. I made it all the way to the Hudson River before heading east. I only took one picture, it's of one of the residents of the neighborhood.
The pig liked me. It walked straight up to me and sniffed my feet. I did not return the favor. The owner clearly enjoyed the attention he got from walking a pig. I enjoy that it lets me tell one of my favorite jokes.
A snooty rich woman was walking her Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. A drunk sees them and says, "That's the ugliest dog I've ever seen." The woman in her snootiest tone said, "I'll have you know that this is an exquisite Vietnamese pot-bellied pig." The drunk replied; "I know, I was talking to the pig."I then walked over to Bowery Electric. As far as I'm concerned the address of Bowery Electric is one block north of where CBGBs was. I've been there a number of times but it is not burned into my head like CBGBs was. That's one of those places that I'll call that well after it ceased to exist. I still say "Korvettes in Douglaston" even though that's been gone something like 30 years. People know what I mean. I don't say that about the Bottom Line even though I was there far more often. The brain works in mysterious ways.
The show was at 7:30 and as I wanted to get there early to set up the merch and of course schmooze and here sound check I arrived a little after 6:00. I beat Deni! I love that nobody stopped me from going in despite the fact that it was way before doors opened. I didn't tell anyone "I'm with the band" because nobody asked. It's not like Rockwood where everybody knows me. They just had nobody watching the door. Paul was already there setting up the sound. Then Deni arrived and started sound check and I hung with her husband Andy till they got us a table for the merch and we set that up. This was an Album completion show, not a CD release show. The album is not ready to be sold, it's been recorded and mixed. So I was selling her old merch, three CDs, download cards, and best of all a thumb drive shaped like a violin. It contains her three albums, EP, and best of all Kitchen Sink a collection of rarities not available any other way. I'm listening to that right now. As a special deal last night Deni will send anyone that bought one a digital version of the new album, Bright Shiny Objects when it's ready. She announced that from the stage so I had to figure out how to do that. Good thing I had the pad I always carry on me. I had people put down their email addresses if they bought the thumb drive.
Bright Shiny Objects is a departure from Deni's previous albums, it's all instrumentals. Deni's previous releases have included instrumental sections and most songs include her virtuoso violin, but they also had lyrical funny. The songs are often funny or usually raucous, party music with content. Some of the new songs, like Raising the Roof are still party music. Palisades Fog makes Deni cry. Einstein's Brain is deep. I loved every single new song. In light of my usual taste you might think, "Conservatory violinist, this is chamber folk." I adore chamber folk but it's not all I adore. Deni usually calls it pop and I disagree. I think her older material is Rock and Roll. The new instrumentals are, … hell, they are their own genre. I was thinking Art Rock and I guess you can call it that; if Keith Emerson had played violin instead of piano it might have come out akin to what Deni does. What it's not is a hook and filler. These songs develop. You need to hear the entire song, they are repetitious. I took a video of the title track now and seeing if that helps me describe it. I'd say a musical odyssey but I know you people and you are going to think of Spinal Tap's Jazz Odyssey>. The best thing I can do is tell you it's effect on me. It gets my body moving while engaging my mind. There is so much there there. There's a keyboard solo in the song which reminds me to tell you what a great band she had. This is not just Deni. Make it easy on me and yourself. Go see Deni and see for yourself. Now that she's finished with the album she'll be playing out more often and I'll be at the shows.
I didn't tell you who I schmoozed with. Bob was there before me waiting to be allowed in. Once inside I see Steve whose name I so often forget. I finally remembered it and then as he walked over it fled my brain. I kept thinking, "It's not Richard. the names that were super common when I was growing up, Richard, Steve, David, and Michael, are hard for me. I saw Todd for the first time since right after NERFA when I saw him at the Eric Schwartz house concert. Todd came up with that, not me, I'm an idiot.
I went to Stop & Shop after the show. I always get happy when I find great sales and thinking about writing about them. Is it wrong that I get excited that I found 24 slices of Kraft American cheese for only 10¢ more than 16 slices of the store brand? One deal was so good I took a chance. Kraft Mac & Cheese was on sale, 3 boxes for $4. But then I saw that the store band was 3 boxes for $2. I'm sure it won't be as good but will it be half as good? Is that the actual threshold of being "worthwhile?" What's the utility value of mac & cheese and small amounts of money? I figured it's mac & cheese so it will be edible and not a complete waste. No I don't just by Kraft "cheese products."
Why can't I finish writing before noon? I got up at 8:30 this morning. I thought I was back on a better schedule. Oh well. I'm going to make pancakes today anyway.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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