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 01, 2012 - 10:44 a.m.

What's long and hot? My day!

I had a very busy day yesterday and a lot to write about. I keep checking but somehow today's edition is not writing itself so I'll have to do it. I'll check one more time. Nope, nothing.

Yesterday was one of those days that makes me think that I'm nuts. Nuts in a good way but nuts.

First I went to the American Roots Festival at Caramoor. My first challenge was how to get there. It's up in Katonah and not by the train station. When I saw that Coco was going I asked if I could go up with her and the answer is yes. There were seven of us in a minivan, I love road tripping with a fun crowd. Coco not only has excellent taste in music but also in friends. It felt like a trip on summer camp bus, the company that is, not the ride.

When we got there we set up the First Acoustics table and set up our base camp under the canopy. I knew everyone at the other organization tables; there was WFUV, Common Ground, Tribes Hill, CHIRP, Acoustic Music Scene, and the ever popular ones Im forgetting. This really is an incestuous community.

After that I went in search of people I know and found Fred. He was set up right by the stage and that's where I made my other camp. My rule was that I'd sit up front I the sun if cute girls were playing otherwise I'd stay under the canopy, or is that canap?Carey?

Here was the lineup on the main stage.

Spuyten Duyvill
Old Man Luedecke
Roosevelt Dime
Red Molly
Eilen Jewell

All of them but Eilen also played in the Sunken Garden, acoustically. That gave me a dilemma. I knew all the acts but Old Man Luedecke and Eilen. As I'm always looking to expand my musical horizons I wanted to see both of them but Luedecke was the same time as Red Molly in the Sunken Garden. I no longer see Red Molly all the time; they tour so much out of the area now. I figured the informal acoustic set might be my only chance to socialize with them so I saw the first 15 minutes of Luedecke then went to see Red Molly. Friendship won out over musical education. Im glad I did. That was my only chance to talk to them and once I started to I realized how much I needed that. After that Laurie came back to what I called Camp Coco to watch part of Roosevelt Dime's set. She couldn't stay for all of is because Red Molly was on right after them.

I've written a lot recently about Spuyten Duvil and Roosevelt dime so I'll move right on to Red Molly. Sure I've written as much about them as anyone but I actually had a new insight on them. Red Molly is one of my core acts. The thing is that on the surface they shouldn't be. I never knew quite why I love them. Im talking musically, as people I know why, they rock like Slayer used to. But musically they are the kind of acts that I'd usually recommend to friends but have reservations about for myself. They aren't virtuoso musicians, their lyrics don't make my brain explode, their harmonies are standard. I wouldn't describe them as quirky and their covers for the most part don't reinvent the songs. They have beautiful voices and harmonies but that's not what usually attracts me. So what is that gets me to see them over and over again and not get bored? It's their artistic sensibility. Sure their harmonies are standard but they choose just the right one almost every time. Sure they don't reinvent the songs but they phrase everything perfectly which gets me to see what's old as new. They attitude is have so much fun on the stage that the audience shares that but to take the songs seriously. They succeed not by doing the big things but by doing every little thing just right. If they were athletes we'd say they play fundamental ball, Oscar Robinson, not Michael Jordan.

Eilen Jewel was a revelation. I had heard her music and liked it but seeing her live blew me away. For those of you who have been saying that there is no one new at Falcon Ridge to get excited about, you're wrong. Do not miss Eilen! Musically the closest thing I can think of is Erin McKeown but I like Eilen more. She is not a folkie. Thanks to her guitar player there's a surf rock feel to most of her songs.

As I sat up front for all the acts with cute girls I ended up spending a lot of time with Fred. That's good as I hadn't done that before. I expanded my social horizons, not just my musical ones.

After the festival I felt like a party pooper because I didn't have time to go out with camp Coco to a diner for dinner. I had to get back home as I had plans for the evening. You know how much I love my post music meals with friends and these were people I was just getting to know too. Of course I did get several hour in the van with them. Still they are social horizons that need expanding.

My evening plan was to see Aaron Nathans in the Village. I took a pit stop at home and somehow took too long. It didn't help that the 20 minute trip somehow took 40 minutes. I must have lost track of some time. Part of the problem is that I forgot what block Caf Vivaldi was on.

I knew I might be late so I asked my friends to save me a seat. I love that my friends that were there know Aaron totally independently of me. Karyn & Claude and Jay and Catherine know him from the Kerrville New Song contest. She wasn't there but Carolann knows him from SMAF. I love when things like that happen.

When I got there I looked for my friends and couldn't see them. Now understand, Caf Vivaldi is tiny. I knew the only table they could be sitting at and didn't see them. Then Karyn or Claude caught my attention. I was looking straight through them before. I'll blame the long day in the heat. I never mentioned that it was over 90.

Aaron was performing with cellist Michael Gilbert Ronstadt. Michael wasn't there to back him up, this was a co-bill and they swapped songs and backed each other up. I loved the way Aaron sounded backed by a cello and I loved Michael's songs. What's curious is that I enjoy them with totally different parts of my brain. Aaron is all about his lyrics. As I always point out he has a unique view of the world and is able to translate it brilliantly to his songs. Michael has a music conservatory education and the focus is on the music. His music very much appeals to the mathematical side of my brain. My mind has to race to keep up with where it takes me.

After the show my friends had to head out but I went with Aaron and Michael and Aaron's friends and family to John's Pizza. I got to expand my social horizons again. I got to meet another group of great people. Aaron has great taste in friends too. I'd have had fun yesterday if I hadn't heard a note of music.

Then to top off a great day we went to Cones for ice cream. By the time I got home it was midnight. I had a very long day, most of it spent out in the heat, yet I somehow didn't collapse. Like I said, I'm nuts but in a good way. I don't seem to have anything on my agenda today. It's going to be another scorcher so I'll have to find ways to keep cool. I don't want to spend another day in my bedroom. I'll worry about that as the day goes on. I'll play it by ear.

Now I'm going to make breakfast before I melt.

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 01, 2012
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