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 01, 2016 - 11:33 a.m.
Hold on, it's 10:02 AM and I'm already writing? Has the real Gordon been kidnapped by space aliens yet again? Is this an April fool's joke? No this is just one of the sweet mysteries of life.
Damn, my water bottle is empty. That means I have to get up and get some. That's always dangerous. Will I be able to get right back to writing or get lost in something else? Only one way to find out. Here I go; wish me luck. I'm an idiot. I already did that. It is very hard not having a brain
I actually have something to write about today. I had dinner with real live human beings, Harpeth Rising, Maria, Michelle, Jordana, and Jordan's husband David. No this isn't an April Fools' joke, there are people capable of seeing me and digesting a meal at the same time.
I was actually late! Again not an April Fools' joke. It was a day of miracles and wonders. I left here 10 minutes late and didn't go straight there. I went to my PO box. What amazing mail did I get? One was addressed to resident, the other was addressed to someone that isn't me. Yeah, that was worthwhile.
We were supposed to meet for dinner at 5:00. I texted Jordana that I'd be 10 minutes late. She said "Ten Four." I responded "No, Five Ten." And yes, she'd still have dinner with me. I told you, miracles and wonders.
We ate at Veselka, a well-known Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village. Half the time it's called Veleska. They keep switching up the name to keep me confused. There is an alternative hypothesis that the name stays the same and I can't remember it. That's a stupid hypothesis. They are doing culinary tour of New York, eating the food they can't get at the various places they call home. The place was my choice; glad I chose well. Jordana got excited as soon as she saw borscht.
Who knows what I order at a Ukrainian restaurant? It was kielbasa. It came on something I haven't seen before, a challah hero roll. It was of course delicious. The conversation was even more delicious. I have often written that if I find a musician is interesting to talk to it makes it more likely that their music is interesting. The correlation works both ways. I fell in love with Harpeth Rising's music at NERFA. I knew it before but yesterday gave more evidence that these are three fascinating people. I was my first time spending time with Michelle, the newest member of the band. She fits right in. Jordana has great tastes in husbands too.
I describe Harpeth Rising as "Chamber Folk." I coined the term myself to describe Brittany Haas's projects. The genre is in my sweet spot. Harpeth Rising independently came up with the same name for their genre. It's right here on their Story. Great minds work alike. Maybe not their style manual disagrees with Wise Madness, they write it as one word, "Chamberfolk."
We also both researched the term online and found it already existed for a genre that's totally different and not nearly as appropriate. It was used in the 60s to describe music with harps or softly picked guitar such as Vashti Bunyan and Nick Drake. I'd call them New Age Folk. It does not sound like chamber music. The term is much better used to describe small string ensembles playing classically influence folk music or is that folk influenced classical music? Other groups I'd use it for are Dagmar and Mari Black.
Everyone that fits my concept of Chamber Folk is female. Brittany's projects include men, are often majority men, Jordan Tice, Paul Kowert, and Cleek Schrey, but she's still there. Is there anyone that fits this model of chamber folk that is all male? Does Darlingside fit? Perhaps but they put less emphasis on the instrumentals. I'd like to hear your suggestions for Chamber Folk bands.
Wait, that's not where I wanted to go. I wanted to go back to the original meaning of Chamber Folk. It involved harp music. The name of the band is Harpeth Rising. That has led people to expect harp music from them. They have decided to not disappoint people and drop the cello, violin, and banjo and become a harp trio. Their first show with the new instruments is tonight at the Garden Stage. I can't go because of my baseball draft but you should go. It's going to be amazing. Remember their first show as a harp trio is tonight. Mark the date down, April 1.
After dinner they went off to meet other friends and I walked with them till we reached the Astor Place subway stop. I had great subway luck, the train pulled into the station as I was coming down the stairs and the doors were open as I reached them. That proves I'm a good person. That's the way it works.
Today I have to devote to my Fantasy baseball team the draft is tomorrow. I have done no prep whatsoever. I've had the time of course. Thank you anxiety, you make my life so much better. I'll make matzoh brei with peanut butter for breakfast. That will help. Well it will taste great.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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