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
April 10, 2015 - 5:12 p.m.
I'm writing this on the Boltbus. A miracle occurred both the outlet and the WiFi are working fine. Funny I was going to warn you I was posting late but this is exactly when I usually start writing. When in my head I should have been long finished. I would like to start each day by 9 AM. It is usually after 11:00
OK I have real things to write about today. Ugh, I wrote to soon the WiFi is spotty. Worse, no page will load but Facebook. OK. I am scanning my computer for viruses and malware to see if something came aboard with the WiFi. In the meantime I'm going to write.
I had plans for last night, Christine Lavin was playing at the Christopher Street Coffee House. It was only a half-hour set during the open mic but it was free and at one of my places and I asked friends to go and it was Christine. Then all my friends couldn't make it. But I figured I'd still go and see Chris. But a funny thing happened as I was getting ready to leave. I got a text from Kevin. Earlier in the week he told me he might have an extra ticket for Thursday night. He had it. I jumped at the chance. Why? It was to see this
That says "Rhiannon Giddens. It’s a bit hard to read. Yes I got to see a star at Town Hall. Not the first time of course. I've seen Richard Thompson there many times. But it's been a while. I don't usually see hot commodities but that's because hot commodities are not usually my kind of music. She is.
I was supposed to meet Kevin there at 7:45. I'm supercommuter man so I got there at 7:45. I'm also super cute and available. Hear that ladies? There was a little problem. Kevin's tickets were online on his phone and the two seats weren't together. How to get the ticket to my phone? It wasn’t by email, it was on a ticketmaster app. I did the trick of putting our phones back to back. Did you know that androids will transfer whatever's on one to the other when you do that? The problem was I didn't have the ticketmaster app. I downloaded it. But then I didn't know my password. I haven't used it for years. So I took a picture of the ticket on his camera. It worked. We went in at exactly 8:00. The show was starting. They start exactly on time not seven or eight minutes late like Broadway theaters and the Metropolitan Opera, and every other place in the universe. Fortunately I had an aisle seat and didn't inconvenience anyone.
The opening act was Bhi Bhiman. I had seen him before, I am pretty sure at Clearwater. I liked him a lot. Diaryland won't load so I can't check to see what I wrote. I liked him last night but I don't think as much. He was good, not great.
Then came Rhiannon, she was great. I had heard great things and was not disappointed at all. She has everything. Everyone knows she has an incredible voice. But there's more to singing than a voice, and she has it. She can play banjo and fiddle. There were instrumentals. She has great stage presence. She's charming There was pretty much nothing I didn't love. Oh and she has a band. She was in the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Now they are her backing band. That shows an amazing lack of ego on their part, especially the leader. I'm blanking on his name and can't look it up. Damn this wonky WiFi. And best of all I know someone in the band, Rowen Corbett. He played Budgiedome! He was in ilyAIMY which I can confidently call one of my bands. He rarely toured with them so I only saw Rowen twice, at Falcon Ridge and when I went to Baltimore for their CD release show. But he fits in perfectly with Heather, Rob, and Kristen. He's my kind of people. More importantly for last night he's an incredible hand percussionist. From where I was sitting I couldn't see him. I knew he should be there but I didn't know for sure. Then on one song he played the bones. Nobody plays the bones like him. I recognized the sound immediately. I scanned the stage and could see the blur of his hands, I'd enjoy him playing if I were deaf. It l looks like martial arts, bones as numchucks.
Rhiannon plays songs from a huge variety of sources, but all my kinds of music. There's folk, blues, mountain ballads, even Irish … IN IRISH! It was like a survey course, "music Gordon loves." And she can pull it all off.
This was a big show for her. Town Hall is where she was discovered, at the "Inside Lewin Davis" show. I think this is her hometown, not sure. But she was nervous at the start. She said it was a big show for her. And it was her first show with lights. I can always do without the lights. They are just a distraction. There were so many great musicians on stage, I don't need more than that.
It's so gratifying to see my kind of music reaching a mass audience. It so rarely happens. The Carolina Chocolate Drops are a string band! I love string bands. She was not playing pop music. She wasn't dumbing things down for a general audience. Marcus Mumford played with her on the encore. I had been thinking about Mumford and Sons. They are also my kind of music, sort of, but when I always ask, 'Why them?" I hear tons of musicians that are better than them. They aren't special. I know why Rhiannon. She has IT. What's it? I don't know. If I did I wouldn't call it IT. Part IT is genius, but there's more. There's amazing musicians that have genius but I know can never be huge. Perhaps charisma is the missing ingredient. Genius + Charisma = IT. Whatever it is I hope to see her again. I hope that maybe she creates space for some of the other musicians I love to get exposure. I know that the audience would love many of the musicians I do if they saw them. Maybe not as much but they'd get them. And they could see them in intermit venues.
I was a bit surprised I didn't see anyone I knew. Then as I was leaving, just ahead of me, I saw the back of a head that looked like Stephanie, it was! And she was with Melanie!. She said she wondered if she'd see any other old timey people there Yay I count as an old timey person. Usually I just count as an old person. Kevin was sitting on the other side of the auditorium from me. I waited for him outside. I was about to give up when he walked out. I told him that I saw Stephanie and he told me that he saw Andrew. So two of the three other people we saw were musicians.
I headed home. I had never really eaten. I had a hot sausage from a cart when I got off the subway. When I got home I had a grilled cheese sandwich. I know not much of a dinner.
I haven't talked about my fantasy baseball team, The Nashional Batnoses, since the draft. They will probably never be doing better than they are right now, four whole days into the season. My plan was to do a screenshot of the standings but I can't do that as I can't load the internet. Boo. OK We have 82.5 points and the second place team has 64. We have 46 out of a possible 48 pitching points. Our five starters have each started one game, only one has allowed more than one run or gone less than six innings. We had exactly one save every day. The team is pretty much working perfectly. It won't last but I'm still enjoying it.
Now for the adventures this morning. The bus was scheduled for 11 AM on the far west side. I left my house as planned at 9:45 which would get me there about 25 minutes early. I got on the which I was going to take to the or . Before it got one station it stopped in the tunnel. There was an announcement that because of a sick passenger on a at Chambers Street there were delays and some and were being rerouted over the . The delays would be through Nevins Street. I lost about a half an hour sitting there. I could not afford that. As I said I'm a supercommuter so I rerouted myself. I got off at Atlantic and switched the the and took that to Herald square. That's Sixth Avenue and I had to get to 11th. I had 15 minutes till the bus left. That was not enough time to walk. I did what I never do, I took a cab. I made it with five minutes to spare. I was so lucky I found the cab.
OK I'd post this now but I can't get on Diaryland. It will have to wait till I get to Joe and Emily's. I'll say, 'Sorry kids., I'll give you hugs as soon as I get online and post this. That's how much I love My Gentle Readers. OK I'm lying. I can't resist kids. I'll pet the dog too, maybe even the rabbit. But then I'm posting before I eat. Yes I am going to make that sacrifice for you.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Follow on Feedly