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
-Bertrand Russell

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

June 01, 2013 - 10:02 a.m.

Zing Zing Zing Went My Uke Strings

Stop the presses; it's 8:46 and I started writing. I have eaten breakfast and have to get out of the house in not that long so it is now or never. Writing is necessary for my mental health so I'm writing at this ungodly hour. Nice dose of irony; this atheist is up at this ungodly hour so he can go to church. Don't die of shock, it's a UU church and it's to set up for a concert with my girls, the Chicks with Dip. Love is not not having to say you're sorry. Love is getting up early.

I had no plans for last night then the Lords of Liechtenstein posted that they were playing at the New York Uke Fest. I was going to write about how the website is evil when I heard a ukulele playing over the Irish music I'm listening to on "A Thousand Welcomes." The site is so evil it has autoplay and no obvious way of turning it off. I went to the site and saw that Honor Finnegan was playing too but I couldn't find out when so I messaged Honor to find out. I also couldn't find the price. While talking to her I found the price, a lot but Honor said she had an extra comp so with a couple of hours notice I had a plan for the evening. I raced to finish this then get some posters printed for tonight's Blue Show and made it out the door an hour before the show. It was at the Ethical Culture Society a couple of blocks from my school, by Columbus Circle so I knew I had about 10 minutes to spare. I would have but the train stopped between Dekalb and the Bridge. I lost a ton of time and got there 15 minutes late. So much for grabbing a hot dog before I went in. I planned on a late dinner.

I was shocked when I got to the box office. I gave the guy my name and said, "Yes I remember your name." I don't think I have a memorable name at all and there are a lot of people there. I don't know how it stuck in his head. But then he couldn't find my pass so he gave me a new one. The festival is a bit like a convention so instead of tickets you have a pass in a plastic holder on a lanyard that you wear around your neck. It was general admission. I was going to say I never saw that at the Ethical Culture Society before but that's not true. The first time I ever went there was to see an opera singing friend perform there and it was general admission. I feel terrible, I haven't talked to her in over dozen years and now forgot her name. She was great and even though she lived in Boston we got together a number of times. She gave me a tour of Walden Pond and I saw her perform here twice. How do I have multiple opera singer friends? It's a strange and beautiful world.

I got in and found a seat right down front. That's extra good there as not only do I always like sitting up front the only problem at the venue is there isn't enough leg room. That isn't an issue in the front row.

I looked at my program and saw that the The Lords of Liechtenstein were listed as playing on Saturday. I looked at the slip of paper with late corrections. There was nothing there about them. I was very disappointed. I figured I read the post on Facebook wrong. I should know by now that festivals are not that well organized. They were the fourth act, right before Honor.

I was too late for the first. The second was two guys from Hawaii that did not excite me. I love uke music which is part of why I was there (I'd see The Lords and Honor at a tractor pull). But when I think of Uke music I think of it accompanying a singer or dancers or being played very fast with virtuosity like Jake Shimabukuro or Pete Kennedy. It isn't the best solo instrument for instrumentals otherwise.

TABU was a lot of fun. That was ukes with Hawaiian dancing. It looked like this.

Then came the Lords. They looked like this.


Notice that Noah isn't wearing his usual matching sweater vest. That's because it was a uke festival and as the uke player in the band he thought he should wear his loudest shirt so people knew he was the uke player in the band.

I've tried before but it's hard to express how much I love these guys. The emcee helped me. When they were done he said how clever their writing was and that he was glad they held up the men's end as they were followed by Honor and her brilliant songwriting And I realized that they did first hit me very much the same way when I first saw each of them. Not because they both play the uke and not because they are both adorable. Dont' take my word for they both opened for Christine Lavin and she used the word to describe both of them. But back to how they struck me. The first time I saw both of them I came away not just thinking they were amazing but wanting them as friends. It isnt that their writing is similar but the effect on me is. They are the epitome of my songwriting ideal, they don't try to fit their songs into standard structures and syntax. They'll use a lot more words than most songwriters. They'll surprise you with the words they choose. They let the thoughts out of their brains in a way that feels unfiltered though I'm sure it isn't. And I love when comes gushing forth from their brains, Mark Allen Berube accompanied Honor on guitar and he struck me the same way the first time I saw him.

A wonderful thing about folk music. I wanted to be friends with all of them the first time I saw them and I became friends with all of them. They are the kindred spirits in person that they projected on the stage.

I am starting a list of major musical discoveries of the year and I'm including the Lords. Technically I first saw them last year but that was just a few songs at an open mic. I first saw sets and spent time talking to them this year. OK no fooling around. I'm starting the list now.

I watched the rest of the show with Honor and Mark but I didn't stay till the end as I hadn't eaten. I did not have a great dinner, I went to Wendy's. It is close and I knew they'd be open.

I have to write about one of the other acts, the Ukuladies. I'm going to marry them. All off them. I couldn't even make out what they looked like from where I was sitting but that doesn't matter. Though when I told Honor my plan she assured me they were cute. they are four women. They play ukes. They also play lots of toys. Melodica, kazoo, slide whistle, grogger, and lots of other things that make noise, They act very silly. They are adorable. Carey should be in the group. So I'm marrying them. You are all invited to the wedding. BYOU (Bring Your Own Uke). I better give you a link to their website. There are several bands with the same name. The Ukuladies

OK now for a shower





Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017



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Horvendile June 01, 2013
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