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 30, 2015 - 3:29 p.m.
It's 1:51 and I'm just starting to write. That's not good. I got up at 7:55 or so, went to the bathroom, then went back to sleep after my alarm went off at 8:30. I didn't wake up again till 11:10. At least now I have enough sleep and I've eaten and I'm drinking coffee. Sine it's already so late I'm going to take the time to edit the photos from last night. Judging from what I live posted on Facebook they came out well. I should have instagrammed. Oh well.
My soundtrack to writing is The Original Broadway Cast album of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It was added to Amazon Music so now I can hear it. I have mixed feelings as I feel bad I didn't see it on Broadway, my stupid anxiety got in the way. I have seen so many different versions of Hedwig including the original production four times. You still can't be John Cameron Mitchell's original recording. He prefers the movie version but it's not as good. JCM didn't play Hedwig on stage, he was Hedwig. Neil Patrick Harris can't keep the German accent. It is still great of course and should inspire my writing. Hedwig always lifts up my spirits … and my hands.
Kristin Andreassen was near the top of the list of artists I saw the most last year. That makes sense as she's a super favorite artist and she lived right here in Brooklyn, notice the use of the past tense. She joined the Nashville exodus this summer, right after my birthday I might add. Yes I took this personally. As shocking as this will sound I suspect that when faced with important life decisions some people's first thoughts are not, "how is this going to affect Gordon?"
The last time I saw Kristin, at her going away show and post show going away party she told me she'd be back at Rockwood on September 29 with no other information on the show. I put it in my calendar with a note saying that I did not know the time or which stage it was. I actually remembered to check on the Rockwood Music Hall site for the details. I was delighted to discover that it was at 9 on stage 1. Why was I delighted? Because that meant she'd be followed by the magnificent Michael Daves at 10. He has a residency then, one that is pretty much permanent. I don't go more often because it's late, 10 PM and is always so packed that it's uncomfortably hot. At least if I got there for Kristin there was a chance I'd be in before the sardine can filled and I could find a decent spot to stand. Things worked out even better than I planned. I got there at 8:40 and the previous act was still on. When she was done people got up from the tables and I got a seat! I was free from the sardine can and it's cooler lower down. A few minutes later Amy came in and sat next to me. She had a friend with her: Let's see if I get her name right, Megan. I am guessing on spelling.
Kristin plays in many configurations, last night it was her duo with Stephanie Coleman. Steph primarily plays fiddle but plays banjo on a few songs. Recently while going through old blogs I read one about seeing Slaid Cleaves and how much fun I had talking to Michael O'Connor his sideman. Slaid always has the best sidemen, not only are they great musicians but fun people. Carey and I even founded Oliver's Army for Oliver Steck. What I realized yesterday that Slaid has competition for best side people from Kristin. The people she plays with most often, in different combinations, are Stephanie, Alec Spiegelman on bass clarinet, keyboards, and guitar, and Critter Eldridge on guitar. Not only are they all great musicians they are all people I love talking to. So the question is, if Kristin has such great taste in people why am I her friend? Exception that proves the rule is not an acceptable answer.
It's tough to classify Kristin's music, she comes from the traditional music world. She plays plenty of trad songs. She clogs. But when she writes songs they aren't trad. They aren't folk. They aren't pop. They aren't jazz. They aren't even neuromusic, though that's the closest. Kristin has created her own genre and until someone else follows in her footsteps it doesn't need a name. But that won't stop me from giving it one. I dub it hypnagogic music.
Hypnagogia is the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep: the hypnagogic state of consciousness, during the onset of sleep. *When you use the term be sure to attribute it to me. Let's make it easier for future lexicographers and musicologists. I'm totally selfless and it has nothing to do with feeling my ego.
I have a confession about Michael Daves I was slow to get enthusiastic about him as I associated him with someone who was annoying about her enthusiasm for him. I didn't want to like him but was unable to maintain that because he's just too good. That's why he can play every week at Rockwood for years and still pack the place. He plays bluegrass. He's a wizard on the guitar. His vocals are nimble. Yes that's exactly the right word. He can play it straight and he can innovate. He can collaborate. He plays with everybody including Kristin and Stephanie. I don't know how I managed to never talk to him other than, "excuse me" as we walk past each other. I suspect from the way he reacts that he sees me and wonders if he knows me; probably based on the way I look at him and the fact that he's seen me at shows and seen me talking to his friends though only at an unconscious level. I make it a point to see him when he isn't at Rockwood 1 but he belongs there the way Black 47 belonged at Connolly's, it's home. The shows there are different.
When the show was over I headed right outside to cool off. It was actually pretty hot and sticky outside too. I didn't head straight home because I stopped to talk to Mel, the Rockwood door guy. Did you know that he's licensed and his company is bonded? It's his responsibility to make sure that the people inside are of legal drinking age. He doesn't card me. He said it's because he knows me not because I look eight thousand years old.
While I was talking to him Kristin came out and I got to catch up with her. Then I could head home. Kristin said she'd be back in November. I will somehow hold on till then.
I got up while writing this to get more coffee. That actually created a double break. First I also ate a whoopie pie. I dunked it in the coffee. Do other people do that? If not why? They are also good dunked in milk.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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