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

August 07, 2012 - 3:16 p.m.

I'm Sick so You Come Up with the Clever Title

I'm going to attempt to write today's Wise Madness. It might end up being short. I'm having a Crohn's disease attack. I had been tapering down the prednisone and was supposed to be off it this week. Now I'm back to 20 mg a day. I am not a happy camper. Im not in pain now but I woke up with a headache and have been weak all day. My abdomen is a tender and I can't eat or at least I know I shouldn't.

I realized that my new apartment is not well set up for me being sick. I don't have a TV in my bedroom or an easy chair in the living room where I have a TV. Laying down and watching TV is how I spend my time when I'm sick. What I've down today is slouch in my couch. It isn't long enough for me to lay down.

I should have updated yesterday and the only reason I didn't was procrastination. That makes me unhappy too. I have a backlog of actual ideas I want to write about but as I went out and did something last night that comes first.

I went to The Living Room to see one of my favorite Canadian imports,Ariana Gillis. I discovered her last year at NERFA and she blew me away. She blew pretty much everyone that saw her away. The problem is that nobody in New York who wasn't at NERFA knows who she is. I found out about the show too late to do a good job getting people to go and I still knew almost everyone there; Richard and Viki, Howard, and Honor. There was one other person there when she started and a few more arrived during her set. That's a shame as Ariana's talent should be filling arenas.

I'm going to use being sick as an excuse to quote some reviews of Ariana.

"Ariana Gillis may be the best new emerging artist anywhere, PERIOD!"
Dave Marsh, best selling author, former music critic of Rolling Stone Magazine & Creem Magazine

"I'm staggered by how good she is. There is not much that impresses me these days but after hearing her available tracks I can honestly say she's the single most exciting thing I've heard in a very long time." Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist

"Last night I went to the Living Room to see the marvelous, Ariana Gillis. She was one of my great discoveries at NERFA this year. She totally blew me away. This was my first time seeing her since then. The second time is often the test. Was my original reaction do to my expectation? Was it just novelty value? Would the magic wear off? So was she as good as I felt at NERFA, no, , she was better. At NERFA her set was traditional sounding folk. What impressed me was the musicianship and singing. She knew how to deliver lyrics. She wasn't satisfied with sounding pretty or even beautiful but wanted to change the listener's world. Last night she showed off her songwriting talents. She showed that she doesn't just have technical skills but a distinctive vision. She has a happy fun song about two dead guys. She has a tragic song about somebody being cured of cancer. The latter was reminiscent in its level of meanings to Dave Carter; there is no higher praise for a songwriter. Did I mention that she's only 21? She showed her stylistic range by finishing with rocking version of Dylan's All Along the Watchtower a la Jimi Hendrix. I was head banging. She did sing alongs. We clapped along. She gave a show that appealed to mind and spirit." Horvendile author of Wise Madness.

That last guy can write!

Hearing is believing. Listen to what Bernie Taupin had to say on his radio show and then Ariana's song, Dream Street

Clip from Bernie's Show

Ariana will be back at the Living Room on September 20. If you care about music you need to be there.

I told Honor that I like Arian with the same part of my brain that likes her. I'm guessing that most people would not see that connection. Part of it is the incongruence between their appearance and their voices but that is only a minor point. What connects them to me is that they each create their own aesthetic. They are like each other in not being like anyone else. Mid-sixties Dylan (Bringing it all Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blond on Blond) wrote like that as do John Prine and Dan Bern. It is deeply personal even though the subject matter of the songs usually isn't. When someone writes in that style you know it is their work. If anyone else tries it sounds derivative. It's the kind of songwriting that elicits adjectives like quirky.

It isn't the only kind of great songwriting. Some follow the common aesthetic of the culture and take them to new heights. Some examples would be the Lennon & McCartney and Paul Simon.

What I notice from writing here is that I find I easiest to write about the "quirky" songwriters. It might just be that I'm quirky. It might be that what sets them apart is obvious.

I feel bad when I write about musicians and can't think of anything original to say. It doesn't mean that I like them less, it just means I haven't found a simple way of saying what I see in them.

Im going to post this then relax. I might go back to bed, turn on the AC, and listen to music. The problem with that is that I'd be missing he Olympics. My taste buds and blood chemistry want something to eat. My digestive system doesnt. My digestive system is going to win this one. If it doesn't I'll pay for it with pain and things that are TMI.





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 August 07, 2012
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