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

February 27, 2016 - 1:35 p.m.

Heather Pierson My Heart

I'm starting to write this after noon. What's with me? I hate when I get in weird diurnal rhythms. I know the problem, I'm not going outside during the day and getting sunlight. I need to do that. I just figured that out.

I also just figured out that I still have the bad writing habit of putting words like "really," "actually," and "literally" in sentences where they aren't needed. They are very rarely needed. I originally wrote "I actually just figured that out." What part of speech is actually there? I'd call it extraneous. Here's something funny. I almost did it again. I started to right, "I just call it extraneous." That's enough metablogging.

Yesterday's expedition was to light and shallow New Jersey; I went to see The Heather Pierson trio at Spiral Sounds in Jersey City. Yesterday I wrote here that I'd have to leave extra time because the wouldn't be running. I'm an idiot, well OK we know that. I showed my idiocy by hearing an announcement that the would not be running on the weekend and then as it felt like the weekend thought it applied to Friday. The was running which made it faster and easier. I stopped at the bank and that took longer than usual so I arrived at exactly 6:30 when doors opened. Of course I would be let in if I got there earlier. Someone actually beat me there; I was not the first.

Every time I see a show at Spiral Sounds I have to give the establishing shot.


That's the view when I get off the PATH train.

When I walk to Gidge and Loyse's house I see the sign for Sussex Street. That invariably makes me think of English history and the seven kingdoms. The Anglo-Saxon era is something I wish I knew more about. Sussex means South Saxons. There was also Wessex which means West Saxons. I bet you can guess what Essex and Middlesex means. There was no Nossex. Makes sense as if there was no sex they'd have no children to keep the kingdom going. I also think of Sherlock Holmes. Who knows why? I always see the same hands. It’s because Holmes retired to Sussex and took up beekeeping. He came out of retirement to help solve a case in WWI.

That's the kind of thing that goes on in my head all the time and every once in a while I have to tell you about it.

I love going to Spiral Sounds. Gidge and Loyse are such great people and I feel immediately at home. I have my routine, I put my coat on the coat hook which is available since I get there first or almost first. I help out with anything that needs to be done last minute, and of course I schmooze. Much of the regular crowd was missing but many more of my New York peeps were there than usual, Richard, Karyn & Claude, and Allison & Joe. I had plenty of people to hang out with.

Heather was someone I sort of knew. Then she did a show with Carolann Solebello and it was a revelation. We talked afterward and she became one of my people. I have not seen her perform that often but that's not what it takes. Bobtown became my people after hearing them do nothing but the DJ showcase at NERFA. I now have nightmares of people asking me, "Am I your people." My people know to not ask that. Wasn't that clever or me?

Heather was there last night with the Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio, that’s Davy Sturtevant and Shawn Nadeau. I can never remember how to spell Davy's first or last name. I can never remember Shawn's name. this is getting ridiculous. When I got there last night I surrendered to reality and asked Davy, "What's your bandmate's name and don't say Heather."

Let's see if I can describe what they do without using "eclectic" or "infused." The first song heather played guitar, Shawn upright bass, and Davy resonator guitar. It was folk though the resonator gives everything some blues. But then they start switching off instruments. I'll show you in pictures.


Heather guitar, Davy resonator guitar


Shawn on bass


Davy on mandolin


Davy on violin


Heather on banjo


Heather on melodica the queen of instruments


Heather on the electric horizontal melodica. There is also a string melodica that some people call a piano. There's a very large pump powered melodica called an organ. But those are just the poor relatives of the melodica family


Davy on cornet


Shawn is still plucking away on the bass

The music is as varied as the instrumentation, there's folk ballads, blues, and jazz. There was even an extended instrumental improvisation on the Beatle's "Norwegian Wood." Oddly that was not the first time that happened at Spiral Sounds, Harpeth Rising did one too. The two versions couldn't be more different.

They ended the first set with a Bessie Smith tune. It came to me that I want to see Heather do a gig with Mamie Minch. When they find common ground in the blues they are coming from the same place. I bet most people familiar with them both are now saying, "I want to see that too!"

Heather knows of my affection for the melodica and I get name-checked every time she plays it. I wonder if she plays it more when she knows I'm there. I am pretty sure it's the first instrument I ever played. I had one as a kid. I also had a tiny horizontal melodica made to look like a pump melodica. But it's the ones you blow through that rule.

My favorite configuration is when Heather is on piano or keyboard, Davy is on cornet, and of course Shawn is on bass. I love all the Heathers but New Orleans Heather Is my favorite.

After the show I made my usual slow getaway. There are just too many people to talk to. Then Richard and I made our way to the PATH; My train came first, 4 minutes before his. When I get off the PATH I have a choice of trains and stations. I use my navigation apps to choose which is best. It said if I left in three minutes I could catch the at Fulton. The app knows where the trains are on the numbered lines. So I should have had a three-minute wait for the train. I had a six-minute wait. While I might walk fast I don't walk twice as fast as they expect. I think it doesn't know about the entrance next to St. Paul's Church that leads right to the downtown train.

OK now to make Bacon and eggs for breakfast.





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 February 27, 2016
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