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 11, 2016 - 2:00 p.m.
It's late so I am going to jump write into this. I won't have my usual introductory paragraph where I write about my night's sleep or whatever it is that I just head on the radio or read on Facebook. I'm not going to write about the writing process or talk about my readership or what I ate or how I feel. I won't leave some sort of cryptic remarks about things I can't tell you, No, I will start right off talking about what I did last night from the very first parag... D'oh!
Last night was the release show for Honor Finnegan's album Roses and Victory. I reviewed it when it came out, Love in the Time of Victory. The capsule review is "Wow!" The show was an event for my social circle. The room was filled with people I knew, many of them on or near the stage. There were too many performers to fit ON the actual stage. In my review I said that I wanted to see her with a big band. This was not quite that but there was a full band on all the songs and a trumpet, violin, and backup singers on some of them. The Honorable Orchestra was Paul Silverman on piano and accordion, Aviv "Steve" Roth on guitar, Michael O'Brien on upright bass, Eric Puente on drums, Kiki Collins on trumpet, Deni Bonet on violin, Turner Adams as special guest vocalist, and the No Fuss and Feather Chicks, Carolann Solebello, Catherine Miles, and Karyn Oliver on harmony vocals.
Getting to the show as a bit of a trial it was the weekend and subway lines weren't running. The usual 40-minute trip took an hour. But I left early to make sure I was there early enough to set up the merch before the show. You knew I was selling the merch right? When I got there Fred and Jay and who else? Bev and Karen, were already there. I went downstairs to get the CDs from Honor. I have to admit that I enjoy just telling the person at the door that I'm with the band and they just believe me. I wasn't even on the list yet. I set up the merch and stayed upstairs to schmooze. There were so many people I love talking to there.
I sat at my usual table with Fred and Dan. This was very much a home game. I'm not going to attempt to list everyone I knew there. There were far too many.
This was not just musicians playing songs, this was a show. Honor started offstage and Paul sang and played "Here she comes Miss America" as Honor took the stage in a tiara and holding a bouquet of roses. Honor has a lot more talents than making music, she was an actress and improv comic and she used them. So now I have my new vision of what Honor would be doing in a just world, she's have her own 1960s-70s style variety show. Was Tracy Ullman the last one to have one? Honor's show could last 2 years and the spinoff animated series could last 25. Of course that would not be just so it won't happen.
Let me count how many times I've seen Honor, a zillion times. I thought it might be a gazillion. I try hard to be accurate so you can believe everything you read here. That way you'll believe me when I tell you this was the best show I ever saw Honor do. This is how she should be doing most of her shows. It's not financially feasible but it's the artistic ideal. Notice I said most, she should still do intimate shows with just a guitar player too. This is where we miss the old record label system. Someone would sign Honor and then supply the means to tour like this. The system had huge faults but it also had virtues. When I win the Megamillions I'm sponsoring the tour. It will be a nice fair 60-40 split, maybe 70-30. I get the 70. I told you there were faults in the system.
There is too much inside Honor to be able to come out of just her mouth, even with her pipes. She needs all these others to fully voice it all. She followed the intro with the raucous and dare I say bawdy I Should Stop Having Sex with You. She went from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds flat. This was a take no prisoners performance. I'm listening to my favorite song now, Swimming. This is not a big production number. Honor can sell this song all by herself and make you weep. But even here the spare backing bowed bass adds gravity. I'm betting this will be my favorite song by anyone this year. As great as it is it is magnified coming in contrast to everything else that Honor does. In the show last night amidst all the glitter and flash she did the spare interlude of Swimming and Stark as Stone.
So much of what I love I know is not for the mass audience; it requires too much investment by the listener. Honor pays off the investment for those willing to make it but for those who just want entertainment she'll knock their socks off. I wish I didn't know so many people in the audience. This needs to be heard and seen by the wide world.
After the show came the price paid for doing merch, I could not partake in the after concert socializing. I had to man the table. Interestingly I sold a few of Honor's first album. Most of the people there probably had Roses and Victory. Even I didn't have Human Heart. I have it now. I'll listen to it after I'm done ripping it. When I closed shop Honor invited me to come to afterparty at the place whose name I don't know next to Rockwood 0. I call it the "you know the vegan/glutton free friendly place next to Rockwood 0." I used to go there often with a vegan friend. This was my first time there without her. Now I'm going to show off and remember no only who was there but the order around the table. Well except I'm blanking on some people on the far end of the table. I'll see what I can come up with. I should at least be able to figure out who I am not thinking of. Starting at my left and going counterclockwise, Carolann, Dave (who I just met), Ereshnee (Paul's wife who I met for the first time), Catherine, Milo (Honor's son), Honor, Paul, seats I can't remember, Jay, Piper, Aviv, and Michael (the bass player in the band who I just met). I love that I can sit down with a stranger, Michael, and have a discussion on the relationship between Old Testament stories and actual history. I got an education on places to hear Jazz in the City. I missed the Shakespeare discussion. I told a story about Carey and I to Carolann that nobody should ever be allowed to hear. Yeah it's not all intellectual. Carey I told her the story behind and sang the greatest song every written. After-parties are the best even if it wasn't in the proper milieu, a diner.
We finally made our way out and I made my way home. If Honor gets to do another full band show like this do NOT miss it. I just realized there is a chance I can help it happen. I'm going to do that before I even finish this. It's important. I'm back. Where was I? right honoring Honor.
I know I come across as enthusiastic and go to great lengths explaining why I love artists but I always feel that I come up short of the mark. It's not my fault, if you could fully convey what's in the music in words we wouldn't need music. All I can hope to do is create enough interest in My Gentle Readers that they listen for themselves. If I've done that I've accomplished something more than putting 1368 words on the internet.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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