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
September 10, 2017 - 3:01 p.m.
Yesterday was the First Annual Hudson West Fest. I left home at 8:40 AM and didn't get back to 1:05 AM. That's why I didn't write yesterday. I could have left an hour later and it would have been fine. I was in charge of the merch. I was scheduled to get there at 11:30 but I thought that didn't give me enough time to make sure everything was going to run smoothly so I planned on getting there at 11:00. Then Google underestimated how long it would take to get there and I arrived at 10:30. That was fine, as I could help out with whatever else needed doing.
The festival was wonderful. My only problem was that I could not give every act my full attention and so many of the acts were favorites of mine.
The performers in order of appearance were:
Tim Erbach & the Delta 88Tim and The Chapin Sisters are the only ones without "priors." I'm not 100% certain that Sleeping Bee did OYR, I believe they did and I missed it. The point is this was a musical family affair for me.
The festival organizers are all my friends and I believe that I introduced the Jersey City House Concert People to each other.
Kathryn had put on one festival before this, the others were first timers. They did an amazing job. One festival goer said, "It is a measure of how great a job that the organizers did that the worst criticism I can come up with is that the church pews were uncomfortable." That wasn't to say that things went off without a hitch. There are hitches at Falcon Ridge which has been going on for 25 years. The worst was that the both bathrooms broke. It's an old building, a former Catholic Church. That of course is not the organizers' fault.
The music was amazing. It would be difficult for me to make a discovery there but I did, the Chapin Sisters. I had seen them do a few songs before and that was years. They were flawless; one of the great harmony duos. Their look even matched their sound, they look and sounded like angels. They were also two of the nicest people.
I had seen Laura Cortese before but this was the longest set I've seen her do. With the Dance Cards, it's roughly the same genre as Harpeth Rising, Chamber Folk, but the style is different, more trad. I shouldn't have used up flawless on the Chapin Sisters. What word can I use? Perfect. If you heard without seeing you'd think it was a recording cobbled together from multiple takes. Their off-mic finale gave the audience the chills. They joined the Mammals on a few songs too. Now, that was special. I was not surprised; they are both in the Kristinverse. Ruthy Merenda was Kristin Andreassen's bandmate in Sometymes Why and Laura is Kristin's partner in Miles of Music Camp. All the cool kids go to Miles of Music. I'm not cool enough.
Dayna Kurtz was not a discovery but I haven't seen her in something like 8 years. She's from Brooklyn, she plays music I love, how did that happen? Some things are inexplicable. She's a chick. She has a guitar. But she's not another chick with a guitar. Her music has so much content and so much grit.
The others I've written about before and I'm not going to do a play by play. Matt Nakoa was joined by Abbie and Craig. He did most of his set from the piano which is where he's at his best. This was my third time seeing Abbie in the last six weeks, it's just like the good old days. I just saw M Shanghai last Saturday. This ended my longest Bobtown draught.
I had friends on my team, the Merch Crew. David in the first shift and Dot in the second. They should do a sitcom Dot and Dave. It's nice having intelligent people that I know I can rely on. The procedure was a bit complicated. We sold merch for all the artists and the festival. It was also great having fun company. Jim my partner in FUV volunteer supervising was there too, guarding the instruments. He did not have to shoot anybody. I was disappointed. Just as well as he doesn't have a gun.
It was a day of small world coincidences. Arpie was in the same youth group as Dayna Kurtz. Their adult mentor was Laura Foord's father-in-law who was at the festival. The parents of one of the members of M Shanghai were married at the church the festival was held at. One of the staff photographers shot the Chapin Sisters' aunt's wedding.
Not surprisingly I had many friends there. John Platt and Joe Pszonek introduced acts. Erika & Arthur, Richard & Viki, Glenn, Michael, Lyssa, and others were in the audience. Other volunteers were Karen, Jeff, Jeff's wife whose name I'm totally blanking on, Don, and Arpie. I know I'm forgetting tons of people, sorry, it was a long day and I don't have a brain.
Damn, I have to wrap this up as I still have to shower before I leave. The important thing now is to save the date and plan on going to next year's festival. It will be even better.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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