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

October 22, 2017 - 2:37 p.m.

Cry Uncle Bonsai and Let Loose the Dogs of War

I woke up at 8:45 this morning and thought my sleep cycle might be back to normal. Then I fell back to sleep at the computer just as I was about to write. I'm still in a bit of a fog but I'm going to attempt to write anyway.

Here is my dilemma I have so much to catch up on but I also did something I want to write about last night. I could write a double length entry or I could leave out my usual introductory section where I write about writing. D'oh! Too late for that now. I'll write till I'm not comfortable writing more and stop. At some point the need for coffee will override my need for writing.

I feel bad not writing about the WFUV pledge drive, that's such an important part of my life but I suspect My Gentle Readers prefer reading about music. I have two shows two write about; maybe if I'm lucky I'll get them both in.

On Wednesday I volunteered at WFUV in the morning, headed home for a nap then headed downtown to Pace University. There's a venue there that I had never been to, the Schimmel Center. They have been having events there since 2010 but only recently have they started hosting concerts with my kind of music; the Bottom Line Tribute was there last weekend. I suspect I'll be back.

I traveled that far during a pledge drive when I had to get up early the next day to see Uncle Bonsai. They hardly ever tour so this is an event, one worth giving up sleep for. The opening act was The Lords of Liechtenstein; I was doing the merch for the Lords. I arrived later than I wanted, there were some travel glitches, but still in time to help Michael, the Lords' father get the merch set up. I didn't see Dan and Noah but I did talk to Andrew from UB.

I got to my seat shortly before the introduction I took my seat. By pure chance I was sitting next to Jeff and his wife. I didn't think I would know anyone at the show other than friends and family of the Lords. Then I spotted Dan and Phyllis. I should have seen all of you.

The Lords led off. The did a leadoff hitters job, took a lot of pitches, worked the count, and set the table for the rest hitters down in the order. I have no more idea what that means than you do but the World Series is coming up and baseball is on my mind. I have written about the Lords often. Let me check exactly how often, 127.3 times. Andrew has talcum powder older than they are. I'm not making that up, he said that from the stage. They are were an excellent choice to open for UB. I thought I was the one that suggested them but I wasn't, it was John Platt. Perhaps it was both of us. The Lords are weird, that is a prerequisite for fitting in with Uncle Bonsai. People think of them as funny but most of their songs aren't. Their stage manner is silly and they have a few very memorable funny songs but weird describes most of them. They are very much not sensitive guys on guitars. All of Dan's songs are about George Washington or the Civil War. He has only one song about the Civil War and none about Washington yet that's said every show. It's a Zen thing. What is the sound of one hand clapping? The Lords of Liechtenstein.

Why don't I see all my friends at Uncle Bonsai shows? They are not just great they are unique. You are not going to get the same thing out of anything. I used to say that they are the other band that Fruheads, the fans of Moxy Fruvous, should like most but they were never integral to the Fruniverse. I might have been influenced as it was Carey, a Fruhead, that turned me on to them. That was backward as she was too young to know them when they started and I should have known them through Vin Scelsa. Five minutes into the first time I saw them I was hooked. How can I describe them? I was going to say combine They Might Be Giants weirdness with We're About 9 harmonies, but WA9 is just as weird. Still it's the way to think about it. The songwriting is just as distinctive as the Johns or Brian Gundersdorf but in their own distinct way. There is an element of Da Vinci's Notebook humor. Andrew is one of the three songwriters I know that have used "penis" in the title of a song, along with Paul and Storm of DVN and Eric Schwartz. I saw Eric last night. This is national penis week. Neither did their penis song.

It hit me at the show that The Baby's Head is a Hexagon is the ultimate They Might Be Giant's Show. It was essentially written by Andrew's daughter when she was seven. Be honest, if I asked you what band would have a song called "The Baby's Head is a Hexagon" you'd answer TMBG. I'm glad you see my point and admit that I'm right. It's always good to admit that I'm right. It's also always good to see Uncle Bonsai. I like what I said about the Lords, it's a good quote for the press page of a band so I'm going to use it again. What's the sound of one hand clapping? Uncle Bonsai.

UB is based in Seattle but Andrew is from New York. He made a reference that instantly made every New Yorker around my age happy, Wonderama with Sonny Fox. He even disparaged the next host, "What's with Bob McAllister?" If you lived anywhere else, any other time, you did not know the glory of the show.

I didn't get home until midnight and wasn't in bed till 12:30. I had to be at WFUV early the next day. It was worth the lack of sleep. I let myself come in late, 6:30, Thursday morning. I got there at 7:42 AM and left at 6:42 PM. How do I know the times to the minute? I let Google Maps stalk me. It tells me exactly where I was at all times. Some people find that creepy, I find it useful. No person knows it, it's just in a database. Could somebody access it? If they worked hard enough I'm sure someone could but why would anyone be that interested in my doings? How could it harm me? I think of it as an alibi. "Where were you on the night of October 19?" I got home at 7:39 and stayed there till 4:54 the next morning.

I'm going to see Emily Elbert at Rockwood Music Hall on Stage 2 at 8 PM. You should join me. The cute merch guy will be there. Will I remain one concert behind? Last night I saw Eric Schwartz and Honor Finnegan. I need to write about that. It's so hard being me. Patrice, Andrew, and Arni, can put it better than me.1.

1. Washington Post January 24, 2014 “Is it now acceptable grammar to say ‘[is a much better advocate] than me and 95% of my colleagues …'”? - Eugene Volokh







Koan the Barbarian - October 27, 2017
Let er Rip - October 26, 2017
Idiocy and Genius - October 25, 2017
For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her - October 24, 2017
Peace with Honor or May the Schwartz be with You - October 23, 2017



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