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
May 20, 2013 - 11:17 a.m.
Late start today. I had this planned out last night but that was last night. What are the odds I'll remember anything?
I finished my grading. I had a scare. When I entered the grades from the final I discovered one was missing. I was afraid I lost it on the subway or LIRR. I left the house thinking that. I had an anxiety attack. I couldn't face it. When I got home I came up with a theory, that It just found its way into somebody else's test booklet. I had them in alphabetical order but I guess I was still anxious enough I wasn't thinking. I should have looked at the ones next to it. That's where it was, right in the first place I should have looked. The test next to his was of a woman that took two full booklets to say what everybody else did in one. She didn't write large or skip pages. She just wrote far too much on every question. Some students think that will impress a teacher. I told them that it's just the opposite. I did finally realize I should look at hers and there it was. If I hadn't found it I know what I'd have done, His grades were all over the place, I needed the final to see what he knew. I haven't entered the grades yet because that's just easier if I have a printer. For every student that failed or dropped the test I have to find their date of last attendance. I'd rather read that off a paper than shift between windows. I have to go to school to hand in the test papers. I will be in the City anyway for therapy.
Last night I went to Rockwood Music Hall, both stages; 1 to see Kat Quinn then 2 to see Jean Rohe.. This has been estrogen music week, Caitlin Canty and Kristin Andreassen on Thursday, Michaela Anne on Friday, Nellie McKay and Red Molly on Saturday, and those two last night. I just realized that I've run into all of them but Nellie when they weren't performing.
Kat commented on how long it's been since we've seen each other. That's how I feel too but is it really that long? I said it might have just been six weeks it just feels like it's been long since we are used to seeing each other more often. I was wrong, it's been two whole months! The thing is I saw her about 5 times in December to February.
She introduced me to new musical circles. She was backed last night by two singers, Caitlin Mahoney who won me over with her own music and well someone else whose name I've forgotten. She also was joined by people on guitar, drums, and piano. I dind't know them either. Well OK I knew one of them but can't remember his name.
Caitlin and Kat
So you can see that I love Kat. She's someone that I had to do a mental audit about. I met her socially first, she's a friend of Kathy from the Me and Thee coffeehouse. In fact I ate dinner with her at the Huntington Folk Festival dinner last summer and I didn't even know she was a musician till I asked what she as doing there. That means that I had to make doubly sure that what I liked was her music, not just her. As I see her all the time you know the outcome. I love her music. Of course you knew that because I wouldn't have brought it up otherwise. More on her music later. I'm going to do a compare and contrast with Jean's.
I also amused myself at the show. She has a great new song where a paper airplane figured prominently so I I made a paper airplane and flew it at her when she was done. Everyone in the room saw it but her. It passed right in front of her but below eye level. I want to start a tradition of throwing planes when she's done with that song. Some day she'll play Madison Square Garden and 19,000 planes will fly through the air.
She has a new song without a title. At a previous show, I somehow missed, she said she was looking for a title. After the show someone walked up to her and just said, "Phoenix." She thought that strange and mysterious till he explained it was his suggestion for a title. She then said that she's still looking for a title and we should find a sketchy way of telling her. I wrote mine, "Regrets?" on a piece of paper that I folded small. I then palmed it and passed it to her while we shook hands. I was born to be a spy.
She put her CDs down on my table and without any discussion I ended up doing the merch. I must radiate "merch guy" vibes as people kept coming up to me and asking to buy a CD. I almost sold out, there was only one left.
Jean was one of my NERFA discoveries. I first saw her performing so I knew I loved her music. I didn't get friendly with her later. I don't have to do the mental audit that way. Liking someone's music isn't going to make me like someone, It can only make me wish I liked them.
What Jean plays now is quite different than what I first heard. Then it was world music. Half of it was in foreign languages with regional instruments. Now it's , well it's hard to describe but it's all in English and I recognize all the instruments.
I have no idea why Jean's picture came out bigger than Kat's. I didn't change any settings.
I can see Jean's current music catching on. If she got featured on NPR she could be one of those over night sensations. I think of her as music for serious listeners but her music is catchy enough and her message endearing enough that people might very well be willing to overlook that it's complex. People will listen to "Nobody Asked Me To Dance" (no idea if that's the actual title) and hear just the joyous music not the dark side. It is about a singer whose throat was slashed by Syrians loyal to Bashar Hafez al-Assad. Red Rover really is pure joy. You aren't the same species as me as you can sit still while you listen to it. If she caught the right breaks people might forgive her for having substance.
Kat is almost the opposite. She seems totally accessible. She's an open person with a big smile singing catchy tunes. It would be easy for someone to dismiss her as "another pretty girl with a ukulele." With her the serious listeners have to make the effort to realize that there is substance and complexity. It's easier to hear when she's backed by other singers, the harmonies get dark.
Kat's songs are often little personal vignettes or character study. She starts from something simple and works out the story behind it. The reality is left behind. "Coffee Shop Song" was based on her sister saying she thought the barista was cute. She worked out an entire scenario behind it and wrote the songs. By the time she did her sister had no idea what she was talking about. That's how art works.
Jean's inspiration tends more towards the mythic, the guy selling umbrellas to Noah and the true story of the Syrian singer. Instead of the personal they are epic, She writes of grand themes. Even when they come out with an infectious melody. The name of her current band is "The End of the World Show." That's a bit of a tipoff, as long as you realize to take it with a grain of salt. She is NOT depressing.
I have to eat, shower, and get my day going so I'll call this the end of the entry, not the world.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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