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 12, 2014 - 3:15 p.m.

Bet My Money on a Bobtown Album

A rare after breakfast mid afternoon edition of Wise Madness. I was busy on the phone this morning. If my readership drops you owe me a big time person I was talking to.

I did stuff yesterday. I know I did. I have pictures to prove it. OK Now I know what I did even though I'm starting with something I don't have pictures of.

A few weeks ago Heather told me that her parents got her a sleeper sofa. My first thought was, How they hell can they get it up her narrow stairs to her apartment on the third floor. I hadn't seen the couch but I have seen the steps so I tried to visualize the process. Oh and guess who helped to do it. Yes me. The sofa weighed about 3000 lbs and we soon gave up carrying it up the stairs, even the straight start. Heather's father had some tools and took out the bed part. With the help of Heather's friend Sam we carried up the mattress. We carried up the mattress frame. Then came the actual couch. Someone warned us we wouldn't be able to do it as he couldn't get his sofa around a turn on the stairs. We got to that turn. We couldn't get it passed it. It was a few inches too long. Of course we didn't bring up the problematic part first even though we all thought of it. So down everything came and back in the truck. It was an exercise in futility but I think I earn karma points. That's how karma works, right? You get points you can redeem for valuable prizes?

Then I was off to Union Hall to see Bobtown. I was doing merch of course. Doors were at 7:30 so I planned on getting there at 7:00. I checked Google Maps on the timing. I left just when it said I should. I walked to the train and it arrived as I got to the platform. There is not a free transfer to the which I needed so I got out at Fulton Street and walked to Atlantic Terminal walked to the platform which arrived as I got on the platform. I arrived at Union Hall at precisely 7:00. OK commute out of the way,

I walked downstairs like I belonged and got into the sound check. Nobody tried to stop me. As I found Jen as soon as I walked in nobody was going to throw me out after that. I couldnt' find Katherine. The I spotted her. She was playing the drums during sound check of another band. I should have taken pictures as she was actually sitting at a drum kit. She never does that, she stands with Bobtown. I didn't because it was sound check and it wasn't just my friends on stage. I should have as she was just sitting I with their drummer for the check.

I would have set up the merch except the merch hadn't arrived yet. So I just schmoozed and played on my phone.

The show was an extravaganza with Jumbo Brown, Seth Kessel and The Two Cent Band, Bobtown, Melody Allegra Band. While I was there for Bobtown I won't turn down a chance to discover new music. Seth was not totally new. I met him through Alex Mallett at Rockwood. But we were all in the audience then. He was fun to talk to so by my theory a better than random chance that I'd like his music. I did! He throws klezmer in! That's always a shortcut to my musical heart. They were all good. Melody did trad and trad sounding music including a great version of "Hang Me." Jumbo Brown is sort of a string party band. They are NOT family friendly.

And Bobtown reminded me what great taste I have. Yes I'm patting myself on the back for the talent of others. This was in a bar with a loud crowd and imperfect sound but they lifted me as they always do. It was standing and I was dancing and looking idiotic and I loved it. Here's the thing, their music is not just good, it has genius. But they are also a party band. Deni is like that too. It's serious music and silly fun at the same time. You can't beat that. I know I always point this out but I want to repeat the theme I used when discussing The Sea The Sea a few days ago. Most bands use harmony to sound pretty. To some, like Bobtown and the Sea the Sea, it is as much a means of expression as lyrics and melody. It gives another dimension to listening.

I know I'm not the only person who felt this way as people came and talked to me afterward. Three groups of people came up to me when I was merching and felt compelled to gush about Bobtown and ask me questions. They had never seen the band before and were entranced. They bought CDs, and one kicked in money on their Kickstarter. I talked a lot to Jim, I even learned his name. He was Ken Rockwood, from the Music Hall's best friend in elementary school. Yes we talked a lot. He said there was only one other time he was ever so enthralled by a band. And yes I think of that as giving me affirmation. I was happy we talked long enough that he got to tell people in the band himself.

I almost forgot to show you my pictures.


impressive merch display


Katherine


Alan


Jen


Karen

Fred was standing in the shadows so I couldn't get any of him. Notice the light is strange on Katherine? That's because there was a video being projected on her. It's clearer here.

I took a series of pictures as the images changed. I'd have liked to have taken more with a good camera. That would make a great photo series. Here's what I got as a slideshow.

Here are the rest of the photos of the band.
Great American Roots Stomp 2014

Something I've been thinking about quite a bit is my propensity to love bomb. I wasn't always that way. I don't know when it started but now I can't help but gush over people I love and artists of genius. I sometimes wonder if people find it awkward to hear but when people make great music I think they need to hear it. I know so many just hear the flaws in their own work. I hear the flaws but edit them out and concentrate on the underlying brilliance, when the brilliance is there.

I do something similar with friends except it's less eloquent, usually "have I mentioned that I love you lately?" Sometimes people make me feel good and I have to let them know. Even if at some level they are uncomfortable on another it has to feel good. I know it does every time someone compliments my writing. That is NOT fishing for compliments. Oy now I won't feel good if I get a compliment the next few says from anyone that read this.

So I mentioned a kickstarter. You too can be a patron of the arts. Here's how.

Here's a link to the page where you can give, A History of Ghosts. Today is the halfway point of the drive and they want to reach 50% of their goal by midnight tonight. They are at 39%. Help them get there. Pledge and as an extra added bonus you can consider it my birthday present.

My birthday is a week from today. Guess what band I'm seeing, yes Bobtown, and many other friends, at the Huntington Folk Festival. Look who else is playing.

.

I counted 10 acts that have played the Budgiedome and one that is debuting this year.

After the show I took the subway with Katherine for one stopped to Atlantic Terminal where we switched to different trains. I took the home. Notice I never mentioned dinner. You know that's not because I didn't think it worth writing about. Food is always worth writing about. it's because I didn't eat till I got home. I just had cashew butter on an English muffin. It was delicious.

More music tonight. You'll read about it tomorrow.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile July 12, 2014
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