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
December 11, 2014 - 12:02 p.m.
Wow I hold a grudge. I'm listening to the Kennedys sing Nanci Griffith's Love at the Five and Dime. It's a beautiful song by beautiful people and I found myself getting upset at something incredibly stupid somebody said about the song years ago. I shouldn't say stupid. It isn't about a lack of intelligence. It's not being wrong out of ignorance, and it isn't even willful ignorance. It's being willfully wrong despite knowing the facts that upsets me.
Now I'll pull back the curtain. I needed a new way to start an entry instead of my usual asking myself what I did yesterday or starting by saying, "last night I ... ." I might dash these things off without much editing but I put an effort into the craft. I could write an entire blog on writing a blog. Part of me so wants to do that. Next time I can't figure out what to write that's what I'll write. If I remember. I'm an idiot so I probably won't. OK I was just good and put it into my file of diary ideas. Yes I have one but it was empty till I put that in.
OK enough preliminaries I have to start writing about my day. Let's just see if I can avoid using the same phrasing I always do.
The Amigos had this tremendous series, The Amigos Band Family Dinner, at the Greenwich House School of Music. As they proudly say, it isn't a conservatory anyone can take classes there. The Family Dinners fit the educational mission. There's really nothing like it. It is part house concert, part hootenanny, part music lesson. What I said last night was that it's like the late night jams at NERFA but at a reasonable hour and as the name implies, with food. Each one was on a theme, last night's was dance.
I went to three of the four, I didn't know about the first, and each one seemed perfect for Allison Scola, the first was on wind instruments, she plays clarinet, the second was drums, she plays drum, last night was dance and she does the Tarantella. So I invited her and this month she and Joe could make it. If they do this again more of you are joining me. This is not just listening to music but also participating. Hell I've played kazoo, those of you that can play and sing should come and join in.
I was a bit late but Allison and Joe saved me a seat. The room was set up differently the seats were further back so there would be room for dancing. It was a bit different that I thought it would be. It started with something I never expected. Someone dancing not to the Amigos but to a field recording from a hundred years ago. I was Appalachian music. You could tell it was a field recording, you could hear a car drive by. The singer talked about the song too. This was not the kind of music you associate with dance but it totally worked. Of all the arts dance is the one I understand the least. So whatever I say is probably going to be wrong. So now that I told you to not believe me what the dancer reminded me of was the dancing in the movie Lil Abner.. That takes place in Appalachia so it makes some sense.
The Amigos played the rest of the evening with a group of women dancing on most of the songs. OK I have their info. I really should get out of bed and get it. I will. Here they are, Hannah Bernard, Emily Perry, Alexandra Taylor, and Amy Plauche. Amy was the choreographer. OK I'm so bad I can't even begin to write intelligently about them. But I enjoyed it and I'm not a dance person.
There was but one man dancing? Why is that. Why is dance the only art form that attracts more women than men? Is dance considered unmanly? I once heard a ballet dancer say he went into dance because of all the girls in the classes. It's such an odd thing. It requires strength and agility the same things needed in athletics. Maybe that's it, the men who are physically suited to dance become athletes.
The entire effect of the American music with the dance was great. Of course the Amigos have a very broad feeling about what constitutes Americana. They played jazz and Latin music too. But it's all from the Americas.
There I a pot luck and this one had the best food yet. I had brisket chili and chicken wings. Yes there was food I like not just things like spinach quesadilla. Oh and there were Milano cookies! I pigged out while hearing great music, watching great dance, and sitting with great friends. This was a good evening.
When the show was over I was disappointed they didn't end with Goodnight Irene. The shows always end with everyone singing that together. The woman behind me felt the same way. She shouted out, "Irene!" I shouted out "Irene!" The Amigos came back and played Goodnight Irene. I cry every time I hear it. I've been posting versions here and there recently but let's go back to the original by Hudie Ledbetter himself.
In less than 3 minutes Lead Belly says so much. I've been feeling it a lot lately.
I'm afraid that Greenwich house isn't going to let Allison, Joe, and me in again. They had trouble getting us to leave. We started geeking out. First it was the history of Sicily and European monarchies and then high finance. We are eclectic. They pretty much had to shove us out the door.
Then we had too short a walk to the subway. We took the same train but in opposite directions.
OK nothing exciting on the agenda today so tomorrow I'll give my top albums of 2014.
Now I'll have breakfast. Yesterday I made pancakes! Today I'll finish the leftovers. I will make some bacon to go with it. I probably make pancakes about once a month which means that it's always a treat.
I actually did spell check today and caught two mistakes. I have to try and do that every day.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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