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
July 11, 2015 - 2:58 p.m.
I'm getting a very late start writing this, 12:30. Hell I might stop and make breakfast. I do have my coffee made and I'm drinking it now. I woke up around 6:00 and couldn't fall asleep for an hour and half and that threw me off. This of course happens when I have a lot to write about.
I routinely violate good journalism practice by not writing a strong lead. I don't introduce my main topic. It's something I often criticize in others. So who do I do it? This is not journalism; it's personal blogging. I start with me.
I've been hearing a lot of great live music and that continued last night. It's not just great, it's great music by artists I don't hear that often. These are not the usual suspects. Outdoor summer music is a gift of the gods.
I had plans last night to see indoor music from usual suspects but then I got an email from Kevin that his wife was not going to go to a show that he knew I wanted to see, I'm With Her, that's Sara Watkins Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan. Kevin thinks they should be called Aoife and the Sara(h)s. I changed that to Aoife and the Sarai. Just don't call them Aoife, Sarah, and Sara, that would be shortened to ASS. Yes I had to use this title and justify it once that hit me last night. Getting personal again, to me that' a math joke? "Huh? You crazy?" Well yes I am but if this be madness there is method to it. Remember back to high school geometry and the rules for congruent triangles. There was SAS, Side Angle Side, SSS, and ASA. What didn't work is ASS and you remember to not be an ASS. Yes it's sad but that's what goes on in my head.
I know I said I don't hear them often but this was the third time I saw them this week. Aoife sang with Mike + Ruthy on Tuesday and the Sarai were in the audience. Sarah opened for the Punch Brothers on Thursdsay and Aoife and Sara joined her on the last song a cappella. But this is the first time I've ever heard them do a set together. I've known about the project since before they ever played. Aoife told Kevin about it at a show that I missed because I had the time wrong. Yes we know I'm an idiot. He told me. This is their first time playing in the New York Area. The show was at Caramoor in upper Westchester and a place I can't really get to without getting a ride. That's particularly sad as the roots music program is curated by my friend and musical tastemate Maggi. And it's a beautiful place. Most years I make it up there for the roots music festival. This year I missed that but this makes up for it.
Kevin lives on the Upper East Side, a long but one train ride from home. I made it in just under an hour. Not too bad. Kevin got there a few minutes after I did. We met as the garage his car lives in. Waze maneuvered us around traffic, it was rush hour, as well as it could and we got there with 15 minutes to spare. That was enough time for us to get "hand-crafted hot dogs" from the truck. It's exactly the same food as at the festival. It's pretty much like being in Williamsburg. I think there's a place that makes artisanal artisans.
OK it's 1 PM and I haven't gotten to the music. I'm going to eat then get back to you. This would be a good time for you to grab a bite or maybe go out and enjoy the beautiful weather. I'll be back in let's say 45 minutes.
It was 47 minutes but I went through and tagged an 85 picture album by Jake and I set up my cold brew for tomorrow. So I'm giving myself an A on that. I made a ham and cheese Cajun omelet. I know everyone always needs to know everything I eat. So I should mentioned I also had a buttered salt bagel. I used Irish Kerry Gold butter. One of these days Wise Madness is going to collapse in a black hole of Meta. Wait one more minute. I have to tell Seth of a cunning plan before I forget it. Done now where the hell was I?
The show was in a part of Caramoor they don't use in the festival, the courtyard of the Rosen House. I only know that because I took a picture of the sign that says "Rosen House." I use a lot of external memory.
I figured I'd know some of my Westchester people at the show. As soon as we walked in I saw Stephanie. She lives in Brooklyn. Brooklyn people rule. Barbara did sit down a row behind us and she's a Westchester person. Of course Maggi was there but that doesn't count.
I'm 850 words in and finally getting to the music. Can I assume that all My Gentle Readers know who Sarah, Sara, and Aoife are? I have explained that this week. Tell you what. You should google their names if you don't know.
I have been waiting to see this show for over a year and it was worth the wait. These guys can play and they can sing and most importantly they can do it together. They can do the close harmony and they can do the dance around each other's voices. They can play instrumentals. Sara plays the fiddle. Aoife the guitar and the uke on one song. I'm not sure if Sarah played the same instrument on two consecutive songs. Kevin thinks she did play mandolin on two in a row. She also played banjo and guitar. Am I missing something? Wow somehow I took no pictures with her on the mandolin. What do I have?
After the show we did not make a quick getaway. First I said hi to Maggi and Barbara. No not the previous Barbara this is Ridgefield CT Barbara. That's about 15 minutes down the road so I was not surprised to see her. When I had a car I used to go to her series in Ridgefield all the time. In fact that's the first place I talked to Aoife. See it all comes together.
On the way back from the bathroom I ran into Mike and Kate. I had met them last year at the Brooklyn Bluegrass Bash.. I know Sarah Jarosz was there, was Aoife? Pretty sure that Stephanie and Kristin were. They are from Westchester and musical kindred spirits so I wasn't surprised to see them. They of course recognized me not the other way around. It's sad because I know them and like them and see at least Mike on Facebook but I'm blind and an idiot. Wow just realized I'm the most powerful being in the Cthulhu Mythos, Azathoth, who is called "The blind idiot god." Fear me!
We were going to wait to talk to the performers but were told they wouldn't be out for half an hour after I returned from the bathroom so we headed home. Kevin was kind enough to drive me all the way home to Brooklyn. I can now give people directions here. His GPS did it for him but I could have done it. I did warn him about the place where Eastern Parkway veers right and it's not clear which tine of the fork in the road to take.
I have more great music coming up. Just keep coming back here to get your vicarious music thrills. You should be taking notes so you know what shows you shouldn't miss. Of course that does assume that you use my definition of good taste, agreeing with mine.
For some non-musical catch up. Yesterday I broke my coffee grinder. I cannot live without one. I only have whole beans in the house and the idea of going without coffee does not bear serious consideration. So yesterday I went to target. I spent less money and got a better one than the one I broke. It grinds more coffee at a time, times it so I don't have to rely on sound, and it pours far easier; no more spilled grounds and beans.
I need to shave today. How did I go a week without shaving? Or did it just grow fast. I don't mind the way it looks but I hate the feel when it gets like this.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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