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

May 06, 2013 - 10:15 a.m.

Ellis in Queens and a Blast from the Past

I have a lot to do today so I'm glad that I'm getting started writing only nine minutes behind schedule. Nobody is checking but I like to start by 9:00.

I have three things to write about. Two are not time sensitive but I might forget to write about them if I don't do it today. I'll see how it goes and actually write them down if I don't get to them.

I got an email from Gene a few days ago about a hastily thrown together house concert, Ellis at Rich's house. Rich goes to Gene's house concerts and Gene helped him publicize it. The initial email didn't give the date so I emailed Gene asking him when it was. I suspected it was Sunday. Then anxiety hit and I couldn't read the email. I know what I'm talking about in therapy today. Yesterday I did my tricks and forced myself to read it. When I did it was so late that I had to leave right then to make it on time. I called Rich, found there were still seats available and headed out. Because of construction the was not going across the Manhattan Bridge which slowed it down enough that I missed the LIRR train I wanted to take. Rich lives in Murray Hill in Queens, a neighborhood I used to spend a lot of time in. Because I missed the train I had to take the subway and bus and got there 40 minutes later than I wanted to. I was still on time for the music but missed the full time at the pot luck.

I didn't expect to know anyone there other than Rich but Gary and Edith, Long Island music friends of mine were there. I am pretty sure I met them when Red Molly played Gene and Isabel's. And Ellis was on the Falcon Ridge Preview Tour with Red Molly. It all hangs together.

Ellis counts as a musical home game for me. I know I'm going to get a hug. Last time I saw her was at the late lamented Christopher Street Coffee House. The Coffee House is still there but not the series she played, the one I was involved with. I wrote my definitive analysis of Ellis when I wrote about it, Soul Music. I still stand by that. What I'll add is that Ellis is actually the type of musician I'm usually not fond of, the sensitive singer/songwriter. What she does is actually similar to what I do here, she blogs. The difference is that she makes hers rhyme. So what's the difference between her and the great mass of singer/songwriters I don't like? She doesn't whine. She doesn't think that banalities are revelations. She has something to say worth hearing. It's as simple as that. That's not something that can be taught. It comes from the sum total of her experience.

Ellis did something somewhat uncharacteristic, she talked politics, the legalization of same-sex marriage in Minnesota where she lives. She has brought up before her preference "I like girls." I like Terri, the girl she likes too. They are the cutest couple in folk music not named Pete & Maura. Sorry every other couple in folk music that I love but I call them as I see 'em. The thing is that I never think of Ellis as being gay, I think of her as being Ellis, which is exactly how it should be. She didn't preach when she talked politics, she basically said that it made her happy. That says more than any long speech would. You can't help but liking Ellis so you want what makes her happy. In all seriousness she does more to promote gay rights just being open about who she is and being who she is than any speech she could make.

The other thing that got my mind racing was that she said she'd like to do a cover album. As you know I've spent a lot of time thinking about what makes a good cover song. She agrees with me about the basic notion, that you should reinvent the songs. Someone suggested she cover Catie Curtis, to me that's a exactly the kind of song she shouldn't cover. She's too similar to Catie to reinvent her music. I'd love to hear her do some of the country music she grew up on. While thinking about this I came to another thing a cover can do. It can not just reinvent the song it can also reinvent the singer. Most of Ellis's songs are lyrical. I'd love to hear her sing something more rhythmic, how about some Bob Wills and Western Swing or a rock song? I'm starting a file of songs I'd love to hear her cover.

Now for something completely different. Last night I saw from sitemeter that someone found this entry of Wise Madness, My Life as a Frühead. It was about all my Frühead friends,. I posted a link to it on Facebook. When I reread it I found that for some reason I forgot two dear friends that I should have included. I can't figure out how I didn't? They were obvious choices that I know better than people I did include. I must have something like write about them and accidentally deleted that section, I talked to one of them, Jill last night about it and she sent me a link to a pic that has both of them in it along with other Früheads ,

Jill is the cute blonde in the purple jacket and scarf and Joy is the cute brunette holding what looks like newspaper. This was actually the day I met Joy. This was at a Great Big Sea show at the Bowery Ballroom. Joy was a high school student checking out Yale which is where Kat (cute blonde at the bottom of the pic) met her and took her to see GBS with her. I think I got that right. Joy didn't go to Yale but to Swarthmore which is in Philly not and part of my concert going zone so we ended up seeing each other. She came to my house for my first and most intimate house concert with Ruth Gerson. That was pretty much all close friends most of whom crashed at my house. She has since lived in Paris, London, and now Australia, I think Melbourne at the moment, but we have always stayed in touch.

Jill is one of my better meeting a Frühead stories. It is still talked about by people that aren't me or her. I went to volunteer at WfUV. I'm pretty sure it was for John Platt's show Sunday morning, I walked in the room. That's like Norm walking into Cheers. Everyone says "Norm" well OK they say, "Hi Gordon,." This beautiful blond teen that I had never seen comes over to me and gives me a hug., That' was Jill. I posted on AMMF, the Moxy Früvous newsgroup, yes this was the stone age, that WfUV was having their pledge drive, she read my post and came down to volunteer. When the shift was over I met her mother who picked her up. Based on that brief meeting her mother trusted me enough that she was OK with me acting in loco parentis when Früvous played a 21+ show and Jill needed an adult so she could get in. I drove her home from the big-ass fruparty weekend when Früvous played in Steve and Lori's backyard.

Wow it is after 10 and I have work to do so I will hold off on the politics till tomorrow. Now I have to eat breakfast, shower, and go to school and write a practice final before therapy. I'll write the other practice final after therapy.

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 May 06, 2013
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