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
April 06, 2015 - 12:09 p.m.
I'm more tired than I should be. I don't know what that's about but I'll power through it and write for the pleasure of My Gentle Readers.
I let yesterday fritter away. I hate when I do that. I had to go to Trader Joe's and I never got there. I joke about it but not being able to get moving is a serious problem Anxiety leads to inertia. I ended up having to rush to make dinner then I hopped on the bus to get to The Living Room to see two longtime favorites Amy Speace and Antje Duvekot.
The Living Room is a great place to hear music but a bitch to get to. I take the bus then walk 0.8 miles. When the weather is nice and I have time I'll walk. Google Maps says I can do it in an hour and a half. Must be five miles. Let me see if I'm right. It's four and a half. I can do that in less than an hour and a half. I'm going to try that next time. It takes 45 minutes by bus and walk and of course I have to wait for the bus.
I got there a little before doors but I went in anyway because well I can. I had to find out I were marching for Amy. I wasn't. I should have asked Antje. Oh well. I've been a bit at sixes and sevens. I am going to slip up now and then.
The website said that Amy was on at 8 and Antje at 9. That was backward. As nobody else was playing last night they decided to move the show 25 minutes later so people there for Antje would catch her. I was talking quite a bit to John, Amy's manager, and much of it revolved around the folk music business being herding cats. There are just so many headaches. Things are disorganized, and some people are outright dishonest. Yet there are musicians brave enough to play music for a living anyway. Amy wrote an article in the times on the financial aspects of being a musician and wrote a song to go with it; Amy Speace, a Singer-Songwriter, Just Trying to Make Do. Go read that, listen to the song, then come back here. I'll wait.
It's fun seeing your friend on the gray pages of the New York Times. Even when you are reading it online and the pages aren't gray. Search for my name on it. You'll find me a few times.
I always have to start a discussion about Antje by teaching you how to say her name. I sat with her for about five minutes before I could get it close to correct. It's German and uses sounds we don't use in English. I find the best thing is to try and sneeze her first name. ahn-tchuh. Her last name is easy if you hear it once, doo'-vuh-cot. I think it means dove house or pigeon coop. She is part of the unpronounceable tour with Anaïs Mitchell and Aoife O'Donovan. Oddly Amy belongs too. Unlike the others her name is English and her last name has only one syllable but people still will get it wrong. They see Speace and want to say Space. The name of her blog makes it clear, "Inner Speace."
Antje talks quite a bit about her songs being depressing tales of broken hearts. What strikes me is that they are intelligent. They are the total opposite of mindless pop drivel. I wonder what reading level they are at. Like so many singers of sad songs she's funny in between them. She has one theme that will always get me thinking as it's about one of my pet topics. Her parents were "fundamentalist atheists." What I would simply call annoying atheists. Antje wants to believe but she can't. Of course I don't even want to believe. But I love that she's thinking of these things and that she doesn't let her emotions overrule her reason.
I met Amy at the Goldhawk in Hoboken, where she was living at the time, on a bill with Rod Picott. That's when they met too. Then she moved to Nashville on the same block as Rod. It is such a small world
What does Amy do? That's changed over the years. For a while there was a lot of country rock. Now she also sings depressing tales of broken hearts. She's also super intelligent. Yet I put them in totally different parts of my brain. It must have to do with Style. Antje is folky, Amy far more musical theater. That makes sense as she was an actress. She blows you away with her singing. She blows you away with her writing. I am going to resist saying, "She blows."
She has a song about Chicago that when she performed there was told that the street she placed it out was not right. She would never go there. Then the audience members started suggesting other streets it could be based on the kind of guy she's with in the song. She went through a bunch of types starting with college professor. She says she doesn't remember which she chose just that it wasn't the professor. I said, "The story of my life." Amy that's the kind of thinking that leads to broken hearts. Everyone knows college professors make the best boyfriends. Well everyone except every woman that's ever met me.
I watched the show from my usual table with Eliot. I think I've sat at the same table every time I've been there. Front row stage left. Antje was joined by Kenny White on piano and and and a woman whose name I'm totally blanking on, on fiddle. I know Kenny so I can remember his name when I can disentangle him from Marc Black and Don White.
I should point out that this was the Brooklyn release show for Amy's new album, That Kind of Girl. I somehow didn't get one. I think it's because I ran to the bathroom at the end of the show. But you know what? I'm seeing her again tonight. She and Antje are playing Rockwood Music Hall starting at 7:00. I didn't even consider not going to both shows.
After the show I walked part of the way with Eliot who went to the subway and I went to catch my bus. Once again thanks to Google Maps I times it so I only waited a couple of minutes for the bus.
OK now I have to eat. Then I have to figure out when I'm going to get to Trader Joe's. Can I race there after Rockwood? Maybe. I have therapy today. If I eat brunch fast and can get a move on I do have time to go there, come back then get to therapy. No I don't. I have to leave here in two and a half hours.
Yesterday is the real start of the baseball season. There was one game last night. But today it's for real. It's the best day of the year. I have two pitchers on my fantasy baseball team going. That's a good sign. Teams start their best pitcher opening day. Wish the Batnoses luck. Wish my beloved Mets luck. Play Ball!
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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