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
August 07, 2014 - 11:16 a.m.
I am taking a break from writing about Falcon Ridge to write about yesterday. Can I manage to write twice today? Probably not but I'll try.
Yesterday I headed out to the nearer shores of the dreaded Garden State, Woodbridge to be precise. Sure it's close to New York but the part it's close to is Staten Island. I'm not sure that counts. So you know something special must have drawn me. It was Bobtown and Lera Lynn at the fabulous Woodbridge Wednesdays Free Concert Series curated by the beneficent Bill Brandenburg. Guess who was doing the merch for which band? if you don't know that you are not a loyal Gentle Reader. I of course marched for my girls, Bobtown. Yes Fred and Alan are my girls too. I'm an idiot so I go so involved tagging Falcon Ridge pictures that I lost track of time and missed my train and got there late. Late being 45 minutes before show time. This was not a disaster, It just cost me hanging out time. When I got there I was going to text Katherine to find them but I ran into Bill and he showed me to the Green Room. It's green! Well the building it's in is. It was built to commemorate the site of New Jersey's first printing press, thus the name Parker Press Park.
To make the show even better I was joined by Brianne and Abby. Who else was there that I know that I can mention is Sybil. She was with Linda but I can't mention Linda because Linda told me that I had to give her a shout out on Wise Madness and the penalty for that is not getting a shout out on Wise Madness so there will be no mention of Linda here.
She who cannot be named and me
It was a co-bill and the first act was Lera Lynn. Doesn't that sound like a science fiction name? I loved what I heard on sound check and I heard heard good things about her.
She can surely sing. Her accompanist is first rate on guitar and pedal steel. But I didn't find her special. Perhaps others do. This is what I often find. There are people that aren't bad. They aren't even mediocre. They are clearly good but without the divine spark.
Bobtown of course has the divine spark even if they as individuals don't believe in the divine. Neither do I of course We're talking metaphor. That's what a metaphor is for. Am I getting too meta?
Where was I? Oh yeah Woodbridge. Bobtown performed a lot of songs from their upcoming album. Many are quite a departure from their older material. there's still enough goth folk to title the new album A History of Ghosts but many of the songs are more contemporary. That does not make them more generic. They are still clearly Bobtown though there is one that Red Molly, could cover. Part of what makes Bobtown special is that the sound is diverse. They go where the muses take them. They are also tons of fun. I just realized that like Pesky J. Nixon they are professionally unprofessional. They celebrate not being slick.
They were joined on the last two songs by the effusive Efrat Shapira on fiddle. Efrat sat with us the rest of the show. It was my job to watch her son when she went onstage. It was her son's job to want to go onstage with her. I ended up just making sure he didn't dash off. When he did I followed till Brianne gave me the "clearly you are not competent at this look" and told me she'd take over. That reminded me that before the show that Katherine asked me to take some videos and I said, "I would but Brianne's much better" so she did that too. I will sometimes thing that if I want something right I have to do it myself but when someone's clearly better at something at me I have no trouble delegating. Brianne is clearly better than me at photography and cinematography. She was a film major but switched to photography. I have talented friends. Oh Abby is studying to be a rocket scientist. I figure if I hang around the cool kids I'll pick up some coolness.
The lighting was challenging but I got a few pics but most didn't come out usable. I am pretty sure that Jen, Karen, and Fred were not just blurs but that's how they looks on every pic I took.
After the last song I raced to sell the merch. I love getting to hear what people think of the bands I love. They always say things like "you are great" as if I'm in the band I'm not but I did get a shout out from the stage for Acoustic Live Article and my white suit. No I didn't wear it last night. Katherine said I have to wear it for now on. She also called me "the Godfather of Folk." Someone I won't name said she's going to use that. But I will not tell you that was Linda.
After the show most of the band had to run to catch the train. I thought I'd wait for the next one but then saw it was not for over an hour and takes longer so I made a mad dash and caught it. We all went to Penn Station together then as often happens Fred and I took the back to Brooklyn. I had go switch to the but only waited a minute or it to come. I was home just 20 minutes later than I would have left on the next train.
OK a few random things. I talk about friends filling emotional ecological niches. I appreciated two of those niches recently. You shouldn't really talk about other people but there were two annoying people that I just needed to vent about. I didn't want someone who would say, "learn to live with it." Or "it's not so bad." I wanted someone who would join me in mocking them. So I talked to someone who knows them both and knows how to mock and it felt great. The friend even did some research and found new details. Sometimes pretentious bubbles just need to be popped.
Then another friend patiently listens while I discuss something that's been frustrating me for a long time. Maybe it's the Mets. She listens, gives me sympathy, and encouragement. Maybe Matt Harvey will lead the Mets to the promised land. Sometimes that's just what I need.
Today's projects, make breakfast, write a blog about Falcon Ridge, go to therapy, and then to see Altan and Maura O'Connell at Celebrate Brooklyn. I have to create the event for the next John Platt's On Your Radar too. Maybe I'll start that when I get home.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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