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
February 18, 2016 - 11:38 a.m.
Why am I falling asleep? Oh right, I got up in the night and didn't fall back asleep for a while. I really need to work on getting at least seven and a half hours of sleep a night.
I did not leave the house yesterday and I just realized that the reason I'm sleepy is related to that. It's that I got so little sleep the night before when I was a guest DJ with Brian on WFDU. That's a good reason. My life is not going well and that's one of the bright spots.
I got a strange reaction to my last entry where I wrote about what I played. One woman I don't know commented on Facebook, "And no Jayme Stone Lomax Project? Or Solas?" It's strange for two reasons. What is "And" doing at the beginning of the comment. It is not referring to the previous comment either. That's not what I want to write about but seeing that just now threw me. I thought it might somehow explain the rest of it. Why would the woman expect me to play Jayme Stone Lomax Project and Solas? I don't know the former and though I love Solas I had no reason to play them on that show. I pointed out that I didn't play thousands and thousands of bands. Does the woman not realize I can't play everyone? Was it that she was thinking of these bands and doesn't get that doesn't mean the entire world is thinking of them then? It's not like they fit in with the theme of the show, relatively unknown acts that I never miss. The same thing happens on the WFUV Question of the Day. People will act in disbelief that one particular song wasn't played, "but they have to play it." Why? There are usually lots of options.
I had one very gratifying message sent to me out of the blue. One of my musician friends said "Maybe you should get your own radio show?" I would love that. If there were a station like WFDU that was easier for me to get to and would have me I'd jump at the chance.
I was good and set up the Facebook event for On Your Radar with Jessy Carolina & The Hot Mess, Nathans & Ronstadt, and Kirstin Maxwell. I like to see how I've gotten better with experience. One of the pictures was a png. I can't use that with Picasa when making the collage. After checking the artist's website and seeing that there was nothing I could use I just converted it to a jpg. At first I had to look up how to do that. Now I don't even think about it. The same for converting sound files to mp3s that are small enough to put on our Reverbnation page.
I was looking at the who has played On Your Radar over the years. There have been so many of my favorite acts. On my radio show I played sets by my "never miss" artists and almost all have played On Your Radar; Honor Finnegan (sorry I'm not giving links to their sites, just google it), Jean Rohe, Kristin Andreassen, Bobtown, and Harpeth Rising. The only one that didn't was Anaïs Mitchell who John would have loved to have on if it could have been arranged. But John's taste and mine don't always align, no two people's do. He's booked some people that I would never invite to play the The Budgiedome; some I would never see on my own. I of course always promote the shows with enthusiasm. What's tough though is writing about them afterward. Looking over the old shows I saw that some paired favorites and acts I disliked. That's always tough for me to handle. While I love eviscerating things I dislike be it books, movies, or music, I hate the idea of hurting someone. This is their life. Even if I didn't eviscerate and was just honest and said something like "The music didn't connect with me" it will feel bad. It's worse when it's in the same blog where I'm rhapsodizing over the act I loved. To make it even harder I usually know the artists. Even ones I don't know before often friend me on Facebook when they do On Your Radar. I always tag the event when I post so there is a good chance they'll read it.
This all springs out of a conversation I had weeks, maybe months ago with a musician that I love. She said that I should be more honest in my evaluations and saw who I don't like; that people would respect my opinions more. And she's right. I do a disservice to My Gentle Readers when I don't point out who is bad as well as good. You need dark to see the light. There's a great episode of The Twilight Zone about a robot, Casey, that pitches in the major leagues. He's unhittable. But when everyone discovers that he's a robot the league ruled that only a human can play in the league and that what makes someone human is having a heart. So the inventor that built the Casey gives him a heart. He goes out and pitches and gets hit all over the place. When they asked him what happened he said, "I didn't have the heart to strike those guys out. It would ruin their careers." He quit baseball and became a social worker because he wanted to help people. I always rebutted that by letting those batters get hits he was hurting his own teammates; it was literally a zero sum game. I feel like Carey. What I try to do is be positive and find something I like about the act and concentrate on that. There's usually some good element, there always is with On Your Radar. John is never going to book an act like the duo I've mentioned that each sings in their own key and plays in a third. Maybe what I should do is say, "this is not my kind of music but the person does ____ very well." Then I worry that I'm damning with faint praise.
I'm listening to Folk Alley as I write this and they've played the kind of pairing I'd find difficult to write about; earlier they played Jackson Browne, who you should know is the epitome of a type of musician I dislike. Then just now they played RUNA followed by Dave Van Ronk, two acts I adore; thinking about that helps. Jackson Browne might be worse by my lights but he's sold more records than the other two combined by a factor of 10? 100? If people are going to make music the public, they have to realize that everyone is not going to love their music and that sometimes even their friends won't like their music. It doesn't mean they are bad people. It doesn't even mean they are bad musicians. It means that they don't meet my musical needs. Other people will love them. Those other people are wrong but I'm pretty sure others don't realize that things are only a matter of opinion when one of the opinions isn't mine.
Now Folk Alley is playing Susan Werner. The more I heard great music like that the more I want to be honest about the not great music. What I really care about is that people appreciate the truly great and realize the big gulf between them and those that are merely pretty, the nice people singing nice songs nicely. So what's the resolution? There is none. I just know for sure that I'll enthuse over those that are special
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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