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

July 17, 2012 - 2:01 p.m.

"Blue" Monday

It's 91 F I better finish this before my computer melts. Then I'll run to the AC comfort of the DMV.

Last night I went to the third performance of Joni Mitchell's Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration by the Chicks with Dip. I've been to all three. We'll see how long I can keep the streak up.

The show was at City Winery, one of the City's premiere midsized venues. I call it the Bottom Line with airs. The shows tend to be somewhat expensive so if I'm there I'm usually doing the merch.

The first thing I did when I got there check in with the chicks, Actually Cheryl found me, got the bank, and a briefing on the merch prices. Then of course I went in search of people I knew to talk to. At first I saw only two people, Fred and Charles, Cheryl's husband. They were sitting together even though they don't know each other. I love coincidences like that. Then I spotted Gary and John and Sheila talking to each other. The only other people I knew there other than people married Chicks was Gary's wife Edith and Stuart who I didn't spot till later. Considering it was a large crowd I found that surprising but it is also good. It shows that they are expanding their audience.

I guess I shouldn't assume everyone either knows the Chicks or has read what I've written about them before. They are a flock (that has the be the right collective noun) of Greater New York area based woman singer/songwriters. They provide each other with support, both moral and practical, inspiration, and collaborators. When they get together they serve chips with dip. They got together for a fundraiser Christopher Street Coffee House and performed all the songs from the Blue album. Before that evening was over they had offers to perform it at other venues. Then the recorded an album of it. You can buy that at CD Baby. Here's who performs on the album. Cheryl Prashker plays drums on many of the tracks.

  1. All I Want (Honor Finnegan)
  2. My Old Man (Allison Tartalia)
  3. Little Green (Elisa Peimer)
  4. Carey (Sharon Goldman)
  5. Blue (Carolann Solebello)
  6. California (Victoria Lavington)
  7. This Flight Tonight (Allison Scola and Anna Dagmar)
  8. River (Meg Braun) 3:52
  9. A Case of You (Karyn Oliver)*
  10. The Last Time I Saw Richard (Catherine Miles)

*Karen couldn't make last night's show; A Case of You was sung by Kirsten Williams.

They perform the album straight through with no breaks or banter. It's a special show. The best praise I heard about it was from someone that bought the CD. She said, "This was great. I thought it would all be covers." That baffled me for a moment as they were all covers of Joni Mitchell's songs. Did the woman not get that? Talking to her I figured out what she meant. They weren't just covers. They didn't blindly try and duplicate Joni. These were their own takes on the songs. If you want to be anything but a bar band that's what a cover should be, otherwise why sing it? People could just listen to the original if that's what they want to hear. The chicks all strike a nice balance between totally reinventing the song and parroting the original. What you hear is Blue but seen from another perspective.

After a break the Chicks came back to each do one original song. They are supposed to show Joni's influence but if you are a singer/songwriter that hasn't been living in a cave the last 50 years you've been influenced by Joni even if you never listened to her, even if you don't like her music. She's such a giant that she's left her mark everywhere.

This was a show where even I could see the benefit of having me do the merch. There were 11 CDs on sale in addition to Blue and I'm familiar with all the artists. When a woman wanted something by the woman in the red dress that played piano I knew immediately that he wanted Anna's and could find it right away. And of course I wasnt daunted by numbers, dividing up the money wasn't the easiest thing with so many people involved. I have to admit I was $5. I wonder if I dropped a 5 or someone snatched an EP when I wasn't looking or I charged someone for an EP when they bought an album. I'm not going to worry about it, that's rounding error.

After we finished the business Allison T, Meg, Carolann, and I went out in search of food. It was late, after 11 and there weren't that many places open but we found someplace that we all liked and could afford. I did quibble with the name, Caf Borgia. Do you really want a restaurant named after a family famous for poisoning people?

I'm not sure which I like more, an evening of great music or going out to eat afterward. I don't know what it is but that's always a delectable pleasure. We all talked about how much we like getting breakfast then, and they served breakfast, but none of us ordered it. I had a prosciutto and provolone sandwich. I always manage to get food into Wise Madness.

As I expected last night was just what I needed for my blues. The Chicks are not just great musicians but great friends. I became friends with Carolann, Meg, and Catherine independently, the rest I met through other Chicks. They must all have great taste in people as I not only like all the Chicks I like all their husbands.

As they perform and I try and remember who is up next I find that the first thing that comes to me is the emotional space the singer occupies. They each have a unique niche. Me being me I analyzed that. I tried to find the dimensions of the emotional space. It's really the same dimensions as everyone's emotional space except of course "musical style" isn't a big dimension for most people.

My computer is starting to drip with melting plastic so I better finish this off. There was more I wanted to say but I'll save it for another time.

Now I better head out and get the rest of my day started. I'm heading off to the abyss of the DMV. Wish me luck.





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 July 17, 2012
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