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
August 18, 2017 - 10:43 a.m.
The weather is miserable and I have to go up to Harrison for therapy then down to Brooklyn for a concert. If someone can make it stop raining I'd appreciate it. I don't have that much time I have to write, I'm working on a deadline. Sure, that deadline is three and a half hours from now but the Chronoklepts work overtime in the morning especially when I did not get enough sleep.
Remember when I lived in Brooklyn and went to concerts in Brooklyn all the time because they were so convenient? I am not only going to Brooklyn tonight, I went last night; will people start playing in the Bronx, somewhere along the 6 train or BX 12 bus? You say you love me but you won't do me that one small favor; creating a Bronx acoustic music scene.
What drew me to Brooklyn yesterday? The Robinson & Rohe
The show was at one of my favorite venues, The Owl Music Parlor in Lefferts Gardens. It's just a few blocks from where Liam and Jean live. I could have walked past their house on the way from the subway. I didn't but I could have.
It took me a bus and three trains to get there but because after the 6 I always have choices of trains I made it fast, an hour and 45 minutes. You grade on a curve when you live on City Island. It takes something special to get me to Brooklyn.
I took advantage of the neighborhood and had jerk chicken patties for dinner. I make jerk chicken at home but it's not the same. Those highly spiced hand-held meat pies are special. They should make them with priest.
I was doing merch and got there early. I wish I had time to process my pictures; it would be worth it to just see the merch display. Except for the award winning Jean Rohe and the End of the World Show album artwork all the art is by Liam and Jean's housemate, the brilliant, Andrew Benincasa. I love his work. If you are looking for art for your album or someone to do an animated video ask Andrew. There were a lot of people I gush over there last night.
The opening act was Sessie James; that's the duo of Stephanie Coleman and James Shipp. Stephanie plays Old Timey fiddle and banjo. James plays a collection of synthesizers. Not a combination you'd think of but love will find a way. This was either going to be a disaster or the best thing ever and they knew it. This was their debut. The verdict? It was the best thing ever. It's one of those works of art that is made specially for me and if anyone else loves it that's a bonus. I was in a state of constant delight. Charles Ives and Peter Schickele would be delighted too. I know that Carey and Megan would love it; I don't know who else among my friends but I'd like to think you would. The audience last night was with me. On most songs Steph would play a trad fiddle or banjo tune and James provide counterpoint and a beat on the synths. There were also totally neuro songs that James wrote. It was a room full of friends and weird cool people so their stage manner was relaxed. I was not the only one that heckled. There should be a word for heckling with love. Schmeckling. We schmeckled them.
I've been seeing Robinson & Rohe since they brought the duo back a few years ago. I've heard it evolve. It started great and got even better. This was the first time I've seen them with a band, Hannah Read on fiddle and Chris I still don't know his last name on upright bass. Some of their music evokes Simon & Garfunkel, some is hauntingly medieval, and some is true folk, telling stories. Jean and Liam is very different from Jean with her band or solo. Liam's songwriting is folkier. Their collaboration is gentle. It's music to comfort the disturbed without being at all twee or wimpy. There's substance; it is music to make you think. It just happens to still the waters. At a time when Nazis are in the news it's just what we need.
I don't know them as well but this social set is as comfortable and intellectually stimulating as Camp Budgiesteeple or the Chicks and Roosters. Everyone there is creative. In talked the most with Hannah, Steph, and Andrew but I also met cool new people; The head of the Brooklyn Society of Ethical Culture went to MIT and we discussed 11-dimensional spaces and urban planning. I discussed the band the Horseflies with Steph and Jeremy? Is that his name? Yes, Jeremy Kittle, he's a fiddler. There was Will, Liam's best and only composition student. He was so good that Liam knew anyone else would be a disappointment so gave up teaching. I want all my worlds to come together. Everyone come to the Budgiedome next year. I'd love a lineup of Robinson & Rohe, Sessie James, and Hannah Read. Hannah has a new album coming out NERFA weekend in November. You can be assured I'll be writing more about her then.
There was a dance party afterward. I was out selling the merch and didn't even see that Skye Steele was in the band. Three of my favorite fiddlers were there, Skye, Steph, and Hannah. After I see Jeremy play there might very well be a fourth.
Heading home was not as easy as getting there. I stayed a little later than I planned. Then the 4 ran local between Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Central. There were delays. Even though I left 15 minutes earlier than Google Maps said I had to leave to make the last bus, I missed it by 15 minutes. I had to take a cab for the first time since they extended the bus hours. She was a fun cabbie that lives on City Island so there was a benefit, not just a cost.
I'm done gushing for the day. Robinson & Rohe are going on tour. If they play your area go see them. Tonight, come see The Whiskey Charmers with me at the Way Station. You can use the TARDIS bathroom. It's an 8 PM show so I should have no trouble getting back home, neither should you. Now it's time for bacon and eggs on lavash bread. Wow I was good and finished this before 10:40. I never manage that.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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