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

November 19, 2013 - 12:37 p.m.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Yesterday was NOT a good day. I wrote about how Monday it was in my last entry. It didn't get better. I planned things too tight for a day with such a high Mondaycity rating. I finish therapy at 4:15. I had a show I wanted to see on the LES at 7:00 I tried to fit in going to the bank and Trader Joe's, then back to my room to put things in the Fridge, then back to the City. It should have worked but there was yet another sick passenger on a train ahead of mine and the 10 minute trade ride to Trader Joe's took over half an hour and more importantly wore me out. So I didn't see a band I love but have only seen twice Pendulum Swings featuring the king of neuro, Jason Trachtenburg. I get to see his daughter Rachel far more often in Supercute. When is Tina going to get a band?

So I ended up staying home last night and spending most of the time being anxious. Like I said it wasn't a good day. I finally managed to get some NERFA homework done and ripped a lot of CDs. I somehow didn't get one from Red Moon Road which is upsetting.

Therapy was interesting. We talked about different things than usual as I was bothered by different things than usual. She gave me advice that I already knew but it's important to hear, to take care of myself in the areas I have control over. One blessing is that I can pretty much always fall asleep but I have been staying up late to no purpose. So last night I got into bed not much after 12:30, my alarm is set for 8:30. I naturally sleep somewhere between seven and a half and eight hours. I woke up at 8:15. Of course I did get up in the middle of the night with a terrible itch and had to sit in a bath for a while to make it go away. But a bath is relaxing. I am more rested than usual.

Oh I had a fight with a housemate yesterday. It's the one that's been eating my food. I won't go into the stupid details but he is very difficult. I hate running into anyone but my landlady who I love.

This is the detritus edition of Wise Madness odds and ends I've neglected to write about.

I often plan on writing about my encounters with annoying people but rarely do. There was one at the PostCrypt that bears telling. It's in the basement and you get in and out on fairly narrow spiral staircases. As I was leaving a woman started coming down. got to a wider part of the stair and moved to one side so she could get by easier. She complained to me. First she said, "Ladies first" in a remonstrative tone. the when I pointed out that I stepped aside for her she said, "Not fast enough,. Savage!" I didn't lose my cool but I did respond. The guy who watches the sanctuary at the top of the stairs heard and said, "Disengage." I did and thanked him. The woman was clearly disturbed and arguing with her was pointless. I was tired and upset that my plans hadn't worked out and unsheathed my claws when attacked. I do that but there are times I shouldn't. Same thing dealing with the housemate.

Some NERFA detritus. How did I forget to mention cookies? I knew that Jess would make bacon peanut butter cookies but I was pleasantly surprised when Jake made peanut butter, bacon, chocolate chip cookies! I didn't even know that Jake baked. You won't be surprised to learn that I did not share.

There are some musicians that I didn't talk about but should. I first met Sorcha at an earlier NERFA. I liked her from the start but she's taken it to a new level. She is so much not the generic singer/songwriter singing in that mellow drone that so many do. She has energy. Bands often do that why don't more solo artists? I'm just mad that I only saw her once and we didn't get to hang out at all. Play in New York already!

I had a paint your tongue black moment. I have to give few details or I'll have to paint my fingers black. I saw a band that I loved after seeing many performers that I didn't love. Too many were droning singer/songwriters. I kept thinking of what Howard Cosell called Felix Unger on the Odd Couple, "an inane drone!" I told the band, "You were great and such a relief after a string of performers I didn't like." Unfortunately one of the aforementioned performers had walked up behind me just as I said it. I saw his/her face drop. That's why most of what I write is positive even though I think most everything is mediocre and I don't tolerate mediocre well. I still dont' want to hurt feelings. They are bad wizards not bad people. And just because I think they are bad doesn't make them bad. OK I don't think that but they should. Everybody isn't going to like your music. Look at how many people hate Dylan. And strangers don't know that it's just my opinion but that I'm always right.

The inane drones did inspire me to write another verse of a song I've written on and off for ages. Too bad I never save what I have written before. This time I'm immortalizing it here. I wrote this while listening to music that bored me.

I am a generic singersongwriter
I don't have much to say.
My voice is nice,
I can play a few chords
For that I'm hope you will pay.

I can't get the verse about politics to work. I can't even say what inspired that as anyone that heard him/her would know who I meant.

There were musicians that didn't make my honor roll but were very good and I'd see again and befriended. I'm cheating now and looking at my recent friends which means I'm skipping people that I shouldn't; Graydon James and Laura Spink from the Young Novelists Canadians that Shawna turned me on to. That's Shawna's job, turning me on to Canadians. Tracie Potochnik who I met at dinner, Nicolette Good, and Heather Pierson who I met at Falcon Ridge but got to know better.

I was pleased at how many young performers there were. Some I knew beforehand and some I just met. If the music is to have a future it needs a younger audience and they way to cultivate them is with young musicians. My bright idea from NERFA is that every coffeehouse series should have a young performer night, everyone 25 or under maybe push it to 30 and let people 25 and under in at a discount. Then keep featuring youngsters as opening acts. We have to nurture the next generation. I was at a show where everyone was 75 or older. That is not a good business model.

So here's partial list of younger people that impressed me. I don't know everyone's age so I'll do it in alphabetical order. Presenters write these names down. We need them.

  • The Lords of Liechtenstein
  • Brittany Ann
  • Savannah King
  • Haley Reardon
  • Ben Rabb I'm not sure how old he is but he has to be under 30.
  • Alex Mallet Alex is a friend I see often but don't know his age. I'll say under 30 too. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  • Shawna Caspi is 30 but everyone in America thinks she's younger. It has to do with the Canadian/American exchange rate and the metric system.

Please mention in comments others. and I'm serious presenters, nurture the future.

I just realized that Jean Rohe has to be around 30 but she exists outside of time.

I told my paint my tongue black story so I might as well tell the flip side. Someone was asking me who to see in the Quads. I told her who I was seeing but pointed out that I see people I don't know. Then I recommended people I like that I thought she wouldn't know and started with "Whispering Tree is great." The guy on my right who I knew but didn't know from where chuckled. I then realized where I knew him from, it was Elie from Whispering Tree. It is amazing that I didn't notice his French accent till then. But at least he knows that I really like the band and it's not just me being nice. Of course that's true of everyone I write and say nice things about. I accentuate the positive but I don't say things I don't believe. If I tell you that I love your music, I love your music. A corollary of that is to not push me to tell me how I feel about you as that makes things very difficult for me as I try to carry out my dual mandate of honesty and making people feel good. Another corollary is that if I ever criticize you it means that I think enough of your talent that you can do better. It's only constructive. And If I tell it to you outright then I have a lot of trust in our friendship. And I am always insecure about friendship.

OK, time to put this baby to bed and eat brunch. I have to do laundry and tonight I'm going to see the Jean Rohe. She exists outside of time but her shows do not. It's at seven at Bowery Electric.





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 November 19, 2013
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