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

December 05, 2017 - 10:53 a.m.

The Blue Grass of the Lower East Side

Yesterday was my third straight day of live music; tonight, I'm going to make it four. Last night it was Michael Daves and Brittany Haas. It was an 8:45 show which means getting home late but gives me time to eat dinner at home first. As it takes me an hour and a half to get anywhere that's a luxury I don't often get.

Doors theoretically open at 8:30. I made good time and got there as the previous show was letting out. At Rockwood Music Hall I have mojo. The show was on Stage 3, my most "home stage." I said, "I'm with Brittany" and was let down. I was there before Brittany and Michael. I took my usual seat. When are they going to engrave my name on that table? It's always nice getting to hear sound check. I knew they would be rushing to set up so I even put off hugs. I saw them exactly a year ago on Stage 2 with Critter Eldridge. I asked Michael if it were a coincidence; for the most part yet. He thought that Critter might be in town for Prairie Home Companion at Town Hall. He wasn't. Brittany was here because she's playing with the Dave Rawlings Machine tonight at Brooklyn Steel. Guess what my fourth night of live music is.

Michael Daves plus shows are always great. Michael and Brittany are not a touring duo. Michael, Brittany, and Critter, were not a trio. Michael invites other virtuoso musician friends to join him and they make beautiful music together because they can. Part of what made the show so much fun is that you could see how much fun the performers were having. The stage manner was as loose as can be while the music was tight. Between songs they joke with each other, joke with the audience, and seem to do everything spontaneously. Then they play incredibly intricate music in perfect sync.

I suspect some of My Gentle Readers are not familiar with the artists. That's just wrong, not on your part, but on the part of the universe. They should be household names but I bet some of my friends from Falcon Ridgeand NERFA have never seen them. Michael, does anyone call him Mike? I don't think I've ever heard someone call him Mike; Michael is a brilliant guitarists and a New York Bluegrass institution. I bet some of you didn't know that the City has a vibrant bluegrass scene. His taste goes beyond bluegrass and his most recent album, Orchids and Victory is a two-disk set with disk two being the same songs as disk one but performed on electric guitar with a rock band. He also plays Old Time, country, folk, and whatever else he wants. Whatever he plays his fingers move at lightning speed but makes it look effortless. His singing sounds somewhat like something you'd hear on a field recording from the 30s an something like you'd hear from early rockers. Don't worry, I can't put my head around it either.

Brittany was the fiddler in Crooked Still. She didn't tour with them till Rushad left because she was still in college. First time I met her I got her drink ticket as she was too young to drink. Now she has countless projects working with many musicians; of of which are on my must see list. Gene & Isabel described her as the MVP of the Fresh Grass Festival a few years ago as she was on the stage with everybody.

A special treat last night was that she sang more than usual. Some of her shows are all instrumentals. No matter what she plays, there's a lot of there there. Last night I could close my eyes and get totally lost in the landscape of their music.

Lily was sitting right next to me all show and I had no idea. She was at a stool against the wall, the opposite direction from the stage and I never turned around. She's another great fiddler that sings but unlike Brittany she has the good sense to live in Brooklyn not Nashville. She introduced me to her friend … Damn, I had her name last night. It's Libby! Give me a cookie. I had my usual difficult time describing just what I am in the New York acoustic music world. How about this, I'm the talentless music lover that for no good reason is accepted into the community. If any of you want to chime in with, "It's because you're so good looking" I won't object.

Michael hosts a bluegrass jam every Monday night at Rockwood 3, it immediately followed the show with Brittany. I was there, I wanted to stay, but it was late, and my back was sore. The atmosphere in the room was electric, I bet the jam was great. One of these days I'll do it.

I stopped taking my Gabapentin and I'm no longer sleepy all day. I'm sleepy right now but that's because I didn't get enough sleep, and it's a different kind of sleepy. I didn't have to fight to keep awake and wrote this without any problem. I like that. If my anxiety and depression can stay in check I'll be fine. If not, I'll get prescribed something else to work with the Zoloft.

Now I'll make breakfast. I have leftover ham steak I forgot to eat for dinner last night, That will be part of my breakfast. Tomorrow the WFUV pledge drive starts so I won't be eating dinner home again till Friday.



I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.





Winning Elections - December 14, 2017
Moore Couldn't Keep Up with the Jones - December 13, 2017
A Frank Discussion of Franken - December 12, 2017
Side by Side by Darlingside - December 11, 2017
Dave and Gillian, Not Gillian and Dave - December 08, 2017



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Horvendile December 05, 2017
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