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
October 01, 2017 - 11:44 a.m.
Yesterday I slept till noon, last night I didn't get to bed till 3 and woke up at 8. I have to find a happy medium. I tried getting back to sleep but did not succeed. Maybe I can nap after writing and breakfast.
Last night I traveled to the distant land of Red Hook to see The Brother Brothers as the well-named House of Love Concerts aka Amy & Mike's house. Even though I now live far away the House of Love counts as a home game as Amy always makes me feel at home. This is the series' fifth anniversary, the first performers were The Murphy Beds.
I made a stop on the way there, Trader Joe's in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill. I prefer it to any of the ones in Manhattan, the lines are shorter and there's more room to move. I was in and out of there in less than half an hour. The bus to the HoL is across the street. That's so convenient, it's hard to resist stopping there before a show. I used to think the bus ride took forever, it's 11 minutes. More of my friends need to go there; my only complaint, that it was too hard to get to, does not hold water.
I'm a creature of habit, when I arrived I immediately grabbed "my seat." It's an easy chair. There's a nice little slot between the sections of folding chairs that gives me a good sightline to the stage.
One of the keys to a successful house concert series is a good space to socialize with the rest of the audience. Everyone gathers at the island counter in the kitchen where the food is served. Before the show started I only knew one person there but as always, I made friends. I met a couple that just moved there from, Portland via DC. The woman, totally blanking on their names, used to give tours of Portland. She's seen the penny that was flipped to decide if the city would be named Portland or New Boston. I love that she is not confident that the story is true. That's healthy skepticism.
On the island were mini cupcakes with chocolate frosting. I was disappointed when I unwrapped them to discover what looked like yellow cake not chocolate. Then I popped it in my mouth and discovered that the disappointment was premature. It was heavenly. It was rapidly followed by more cupcakes. I had to stop myself from eating them all, and there were two trays of them. I decided I was going to marry whoever brought them. I discovered that Amy baked them. I told her that I had bad news for Mike as I vowed to marry whoever made the cupcakes. Amy said we had to wait till they made polyandry legal. I'm sure that my other fiancées, Cassie, Emily, and Susan Werner, are relieved to hear that.
The one I socialized with the longest was not one of the audience members but one of the residence, Django, the dog. It took me five years but I finally learned Django's name. He rewarded me by deciding that I was his best friend. I have no idea what kind of dog he is, I hope a mutt, I have a weak spot for mutts. He doesn't have the snooty look of a pedigree; he is a dog without pretentions. He is also rather large, that comes into the game he taught me. He came over to me as I sat and I petted him. What was odd was that he kept moving as I did it. He didn't move away, he stayed close, but kept changing position. He had a tennis ball in his mouth that was sticking halfway out. I figured he wanted to play fetch. I pulled on the ball, it wouldn't come out; he had a tight grip on it and as I said he is a big dog. We played tug of war. I let him win. He came back. We played again. I let him win again. That went on for a while then I decided to play harder. I started twisting. It was hard as the ball was a bit slimy and was hard to get a grip on. I finally wrenched it from him. Then we played fetch. He was so excited; he ran and got the ball and came back to me. I figured out to use two hands to wrestle the ball from him. What was clever on his part is that he worked to get the ball into a position where I could get a grip on it. When he fetches it, the ball is in the middle of his jaws. He maneuvers it so that part of it sticks out. That's not easy as dogs don't have hands. This game entertained but of us quite well to the show started. Few external things can make you feel as good about yourself as a dog's affection.
The show was a double bill, the Brother Brothers/Sally & George. Sally's name isn't Sally, it's Shelby. Folk music is complicated. Even though they were the better-known act the Brother Brothers, Adam and David Moss went on first. I didn't realize they have lived here only five years. They seem so Brooklyn, bearded Jewish conservatory trained trad musicians. I knew they were from Austin, but I thought they lived here longer. I figured out why I love them. Usually what I love about bands with virtuoso instrumentalists is the intricacy of the music, they appeal to the Bach part of my brain. They look like that's what they'd do, Adam plays the fiddle or guitar and David the guitar or cello. Yet what they play has the simplicity of traditional folk songs. They could be on the Anthology of American Folk Music. What sets them apart is beauty, their songs are not pretty, they are beautiful; they are not a postcard of cute kittens, they are an angel by Raphael. They are also silly. You know I have a soft spot for silly. They talk about politics by saying how they are not going to talk about politics.
During the break I said Stephanie on the other side of the Island. I went over to say hi and found her talking to Andrew. I also found that it wasn't Stephanie; it was a woman I didn't know named Daniella. Yes! I remembered a name! I had a fascinating conversation with the two of them that included a discussion of Grant's Tomb.
Sally & George are a married couple, Sally plays stand-up bass and George guitar. I thought that the Wild Ponies aka Doug & Telisha Williams were the only ones that did that. Both duos live in Nashville. Doug, Telisha, do you know Sally/Shelby and George? They are much closer to country rock than folk. On many of the songs George shreds on electric guitar. Unfortunately, I could not stay for their entire set. Things started late and I have a two-hour trip home so I decided that I was catch the first bus after 11 PM. Thanks to the MTA Bus Time website I could track the bus and got to the stop just a couple of minutes before the bus.
I'm trekking back to Red Hook tonight to see Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes at Jalopy. I was going to go to a protest this afternoon but I'm far too tired to do that. Now for breakfast and coffee, lots of coffee.
Obsession by Horvendile - October 06, 2017
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