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 17, 2014 - 10:51 a.m.
I'm slowly getting out of my funk. I had something to do last night but had trouble dragging myself out of the house before then. I did and went to pick up mail at my PO box, nothing interesting. But that put me at Columbus Circle at 5:30. A Circle of Songs, Hosted by Richard Barone with Very Special Guests: Eric Andersen, "Captain" Kirk Douglas of The Roots, & Nellie McKay was at SubCulture in the East Village at 8:00. I didn't have a ticket and it's general admission so I wanted to be there at 7:30 so that gave me two hours to kill. The weather was nice so I decided to walk. First I went to Shake and Burger for dinner. I haven't done that in ages. A few blocks after I left there I finally remembered to use Map My Walk. I walked 3.14 miles in 1:00:47. the reason it was so slow is lights and pedestrian traffic. I walked down Broadway most of the way. I'd love to see a map of how I actually walked. it is nothing like a straight line. I had to keep dodging other people. I walked faster than the traffic flow so that means speeding up and slowing down then slipping to the side to keep moving. I can show you the walk. OK this is my new toy.
Notice that my pace on each split is faster than the overall pace. It must have included the time I spent at the ATM in the overall even though I hit pause. That's stupid. It isn't shown in that pic but I burnt 324 calories. That's not much a dent in my dinner. I had a burger, fries, and a chocolate shake. You can add just about half a mile to that for my walk from the post office to where I started it. I need to walk like that more often. I used to do that at least three times a week.
I got to the venue at 7:20, just when I wanted to and bought my ticket. I knew a few people on the line including the glamorous Gail. In the afternoon I found out that Deni was playing with Richard. I planted myself in front of Deni's violin and not surprisingly was soon joined by her husband Andy. Deni sat with him when she wasn't playing. I was just thinking that I need more Deni time.
The show was a songwriters in the round, part of a series that Richard has started. Richard's a friend and I've been a fan of Nellie since she started. I used to sit with her mother at shows at the start. About ten years ago she went on tour opening for Cindi Lauper. I told her to look out for my friend Deni who was playing violin in Cindi's band. See it all comes together. I always say folk is a small world but I guess rock is too. I had seen Eric Anderson once on a cobill with Renaissance at the Bottom line and had no idea who Captain Kirk Douglas was.
The show was great. It was informal and conversational. I always love Nellie and Richard. Nellie is about as far from standard issue as they come. Most o the quirky songwriters are lyrically driven but Nellie would be great doing jazz standards. She can play, sing, write melodies, and arrange.
The other day I was thinking about a musician I saw an ad for. My thoughts were "A nice person, playing nice music, nicely." That might sound nice but I meant it as an insult. Music isn't supposed to be nice. It's supposed to be transformative. It should change your perception of the world. It should excite. Nice music is just background. I'd much rather hear an SOB playing great music than a pleasant person being boring. I want a reason to listen to an artist. Nellie is one of the people that reason is clearest. She's also a nice person.
Richard is a rocker too. I first knew him with the Bongos. He doesn't come across as quirky but I don't know anyone that does what he does. He's always worth the trip.
Eric is often described as "legendary" but that's stretching the term legendary. He was part of the classic folk scene and Andy Warhol's Factory He writes good songs and has a fun stage presence. he was joined by Steve Addabbo who is one of those people that has multiple connections with me. I've seen him playing with so many people But Eric doesn't blow me away.
Kirk Douglas was totally new to me. Is he on the Tonight show band? I know he's on some TV show. They just never said which one. I'd love to sit down and talk to him. He has good stories, one involved him dissing Michelle Bachman and the other having difficulties with Prince who has a reputation of being difficult.
After the show I talked to Richard and Deni but did not get a chance to talk to Nellie. I always feel that I should have made friends with her when she was just starting out. I do that with everybody else. Somehow this is what always happens.
Subculture is one of my favorite venues in the city. It's a nice size and a real listening room. there is theater seating and first rate sound. People aren't drinking and talking during the music. That's a godsend.
I somehow have no plans the next two days. I'll have to find something to do, hopefully something cheap. Last night was a bit pricey for me.
I was going to write about other thins but as it looks like I won't be doing anything worth writing about the next few days I should save them.. Look forward to me writing about Ebola.. That seems to be a ratings grabber now. That's not why I want to write about it.
Should I make pancakes for breakfast? I think I will. I haven't done that for a while and I finished this early so I have more time for it.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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