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

October 26, 2014 - 11:09 a.m.

Dan Performs with Honor or Finnegan gets Berned.

I just managed to depress myself thinking about something ego crushing that happened months ago. Now I'll cheer myself up writing about last night. That's one of the ways in writing Wise Madness helps me.

Yesterday was a good day. I went up to the Common Ground Community Concerts to see Dan Bern with Honor Finnegan opening. I've seen Dan a zillion times right from the start of his national touring. Honor's not just a favorite musician but a good friend. That's a promising evening.

I'm sort of a free-lance volunteer at the Common Ground. It's too hard for me to get their regularly but whenever someone I love plays I go up and sell merch and do whatever else is necessary. You can't get there by public transit so I work it out with Carter who runs it to be picked up. Usually it's by Carter but this time by Peter and Paula. I was at their house last weekend to see The Lords of Liechtenstein. Somehow I'm part of the Hastings-on-Hudson music scene.

To make things even better Karen went with me. Now usually I get there early but we couldn't get picked up at the train station till 7:00 for a 7:30 show. That is plenty of time but cut down on the schmoozing. It did give me more time to eat dinner. My train left at 6:20. I got to Grand Central Terminal at 5:50 which gave me time to grab something at Chirping Chicken. Yes I'm living large.

Karen lives upstate, Inwood. Sure it's Manhattan but it's the northern tip. It's a stone's throw from Canada. At least that's how New Yorkers view it. So she didn't meet me at Grand Central but got on at Marble Hill. That's the last stop in Manhattan even though it's after the first stop in the Bronx. Thanks to them digging a shipping canal and filling in a creek it is now on the mainland, not Manhattan Island. But it's still part of the Borough. Got that? It's important New York City trivia.

By now all the Dan Bern fans are saying, "When is getting to Dan the Man?" Come on you're Dan Bern fans you have to be used to circuitous routes.

When Karen called me earlier to tell me she was going I was in the kitchen washing up from Brunch. I walked in my room to hear the phone and answered. I told Karen I was just washing her face. What did I mean? This is what I drink my coffee out of.

As I know Peter and Paula I didn't have to wear a red carnation so they'd recognize us. We found then at headed to the show. We didn't get to sit in my usual seats up front as the show was a sellout and we were there late and as a Volunteer I shouldn't sit up front anyway. I found honor and worked out the merch details. Dan brought his own merchmeister

I've written about Honor a zillion times. I've seen her a zillion times. I'll give you the short version. She's brilliant funny dynamic heartbreaking and multifaceted. Honor writes like there's a lot of people in her head People think of her as funny, she is funny, but it's a minority of her songs. Oh and Honor got pipes. She could win you over with just her voice. "Honor Finnegan is the Susan Boyle of quirky indie folk, only hotter." That's from her official bio. It was a running joke last night.

Oh and Honor is also one of my favorite people.

Oh one more thing she makes it really easy for me to come up with punny titles.

During the break I caught up with some friends in the audience, glamorous Gail, Matt, and Gene & Isabel. I thought that Gene & Isabel had traveled the furthest to see the show, from Long Island, but I was wrong. There were people that came all the way from Michigan for the show and too see "The Death of Klinghoffer" at the Met.

Now for Dan. See I told you I'd get to him. Jeez give me a break. Anything worth reading is worth waiting for. Oh wait I'm still not writing about him.

Dan was a favorite of mine from the first song I heard by him on WfUV. Was it "Talking Alien Abduction Blues?" Maybe not sure. About time he did that one again. Dan relearn the song. I've seen him all over the place, the Bottom Line to Bowery Ballroom, to Festivals to the basement of St. Paul's chapel at Columbia University, the Postcrypt Coffeehouse. Where I have rarely seen him is where I see the most shows, a folk Coffeehouse like the Common Ground. What's with that?

Dan is an original. He is the polar opposite of the cookie-cutter sensitive singer songwriter. Maybe he's he bipolar opposite. He doesn't march to the beat of a different drummer. He doesn't march at all. He doesn't stroll or jog or even mosey. His mind walks like Paul Atreides avoiding the giant sandworms on Arrakis. Come on you know Dune don't you? To not draw a worm you have to walk with no rhythm or patter. Step step pause slide pause slide pause step . That's what Dan does to your mind. He always makes you think no matter what he's writing about. Even if he were writing about something totally inconsequential he's make you think by making the rhymes or lack of rhymes go against your expectations. The changes in tone and language convey meaning in and of themselves.

Last night he did something I've never heard him do in all the scores of times I've seen him, he didn't mention Vincent Van Gogh or a baseball player once. He did sing about Vin Scully so baseball found it's way in there. That's another reason to love Dan, he loves baseball.

He did sing a lot about God.. He has always done that. Makes sense he's the Messiah. At least he says he is. He also sang about a garbage truck and a backloader that are best friends. It's the theme for an Amazon cartoon series, Stinky and Dirty. I thought Amazon recommended it to me but now I can't find it. Here it is on IMBD, The Stinky & Dirty Show. Ah I had the title slightly off. Nope still can't find it.

Dan was backed by Adam Busch. He is often backed by Adam's band Common Rotation. I wish I had a chance to talk to Adam. He's been amusing Carey and me for over a decade. He played Warren, one of the Legion of Dim, on Buffy. I first saw Common Rotation opening for They Might Be Giants. I said to the friend I was with, "Doesn't he look like Warren?" She said, "I think he looks more like Jonathan." But that's not the big thing. Carey and I saw him at Creepcon. He was funny on the panel and every few minutes he's say, 'You know I have a band and we are playing at the Vault tonight." Carey and I kept saying "Adam Busch has a band? Why didn't he say something about it. So for a decade all Carey and I have to say is "Adam Busch has a band?" and we laugh. We got other Frheads saying it too who had no idea what we were talking about. My fantasy is that I'd go up to Adam and tell him the story and he'd say, "You are the ones that started that? My family always teases me with "Adam Busch has band?"

I am sad and pathetic.

I of course texted Carey as soon as I saw Adam.

Very sad and very pathetic.

The reason I couldn't talk to Adam is that Karen and I had to make a train. Peter and Paula drove us to the station. Karen couldn't resist taking a picture by the station sign. Why? Her full name is Karen Hudson.

I said she should post that pic and call it "Hastings-on-Me." Yes I can't resist puns. Our names are both the names of obscure old car makers so I want a picture of us with a Hudson and a Nash.

Now off for breakfast. Today's menu is a breakfast sandwich. I'm using my last slice of cheese product, they can't legally call it cheese.





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 October 26, 2014
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