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

September 05, 2012 - 1:01 p.m.

Between a Rockwood and a Hard Place

Last I wrote I was getting ready to have breakfast during lunchtime. Let's see how well you know me. What I really was in the mood for was a dose of anxiety meds. I don't have any so what did I have for breakfast. Food is of course the way that I self medicate. I'll give you one more sentence to guess. Got it? I had a peanut butter omelet. One of these days I'll have to have a peanut butter and bacon omelet. The only thing holding me back is that it requires two frying pans and worse, cleaning two frying pans afterward.

I can see it's going to be one of those weather days. It was raining cats and dogs a few minutes ago, now the sun is shining.

Last night I went to Rockwood Music Hall 2 to see Aoife O'Donovan. The act before had a cover charge so I figured I'd have to wait outside till that one let out. I was wrong. They just let me in. When I got inside I saw Fred. I suggested that we sit at the Statler and Waldorf Seats in the mezzanine. It is very easy to get spoiled by them. It's an off view looking down on the performers but you are right up close and the seats are so comfy. I find it hard to resist a comfy chair. If I'm at a show with one person it's where I'll sit. There are only two comfy chairs. With more I'll sit at a table and with less too. If I'm by myself I want to share a table with people. It's easier to start a conversation with strangers that way.

Partway through the show we were joined by Fred's friend Mike. He did not get a comfy chair but there was a seat next to us.

Before the show started I heard someone call my name. I usually don't know many people at Aoife's shows. I thought it might be Aoife but I didn't see her. I didn't see anybody. Then I looked straight down and saw the top of somebody's head but couldn't figure out who it was. Then she moved and I saw it was Lauraly. She came up to the mezzanine to say hi. She told me that Brittany Haas and Lauren Rioux were playing at Rockwood 1. Brittany is Aoife's bandmate in Crooked Still. I love her fiddling and have never seen her without the band. The problem is that Brittany and Lauren went on at 9:00 and Aoife at 8:30, their sets overlapped. My plan was to rush out as soon as Aoife finished her set to see Brittany.

Aoife's one of those performers that I have to worry if I've used up all my material on. I try to catch every show she does in the area and don't miss many. There are only so many ways you can say how great someone is. I've analyzed the fine details. Good thing she pulled out a new trick last night; she rocked out. On at least one of the songs we aren't talking folk rock or pop rock or any adjective before the rock. It was full throated rock and roll. Her guitar player was shredding. Of course another song ended with an instrumental on the guitars and pedal steel that involved counterpoint. Don't try and pin Aoife's music down, it's slippery.

I'm always impressed in light of how sophisticated her music is that she can fill a venue in every incarnation she performs in, Aoife O'Donovan Band, Crooked Still, or Sometymes Why. Last night was no exception. Rockwood 2 was packed. Yet the only people I knew there were Fred and Lauraly. Where were the rest of you? I keep telling you that you have to see Aoife. You should know by now to listen to me.

How much did I want to see Brittany? I left Rockwood 1 without attempting to talk to Aoife. I look forward to talking to her as much as the music but I didn't want to miss more of Brittany and Lauren's show than I had to.

When I got to Rockwood 1 it was packed too. I had to squeeze in and find a place to stand. I managed that and was well rewarded for my efforts. I didn't know what to expect. I had no idea what kind of music they'd play. It was traditional fiddle music, for the most part instrumentals. There were jigs and reels and the like. I love that stuff and don't hear enough of it. The only thing I'd change is that I'd love to hear them perform there unplugged. Rockwood 1 is tiny; their fiddles could have filled the room without amplification.

They did one interesting cover, Red and White and Blue and Gold. It's by Aoife! Aoife performed it in her set.

I'm so happy that I was able to catch Brittany and Lauren. I didn't know about the show till Laurely told me about it. I signed up on the mailing list so that won't happen again. How many people am I going to have on my "can't miss list?"

After the set I was able to talk to for a bit with Aoife and get my hug, that's always an important consideration. I unfortunately didn't get a chance to talk to Brittany and to tell her how much I loved the show.

Speaking of the can't miss list I have a dilemma on Saturday. I never miss the Take Me To the River Festival Here's the lineup.

Talia Billig Band
Woody Guthrie Tribute with Curtis Becraft, Hope Machine (Fred Gillen Jr., Steve Kirkman), Carolann Solebello, Matt Turk, and Scott Urgola
Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby
Tony Trischka
Spuyten Duyvil
Debo Band
Black Taxi
The Grand Slambovians
Urban Sun

The problem is that Caravan of Thieves who is on my can't miss list is playing at the Hurdy Gurdy that night. I just might be able to stay at Take me to the River till Spuyten Duyvil's set is over then race by Metro North, subway, and NJ Transit to see Caravan of Thieves in Fair Lawn NJ. This is where I really miss having a car. As haven't seen CoT in two years they win if I can only choose one of them. If you want to go to both and can give me a ride let me know.

Now on to eating my breakfast at lunch time. I never get ready nearly as early as I'd like.

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 September 05, 2012
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