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 โ 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 โ except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
May 04, 2013 - 2:26 p.m.
So what happened yesterday. I should be able to remember this. I know I taught precalculus. I know I finished teaching what I planned. I just don't have any real memories of teaching it. I have fake memories where I see myself in the mental image.
There was something that happened on Thursday I forgot about. When you learn trigonometry in high school you measure angles in degrees. In calculus you always use radians. It makes things much easier, it's a more natural unit. But students of course hate learning anything new and they resist radians. In precalculus I do almost everything in radians and jokingly make them complete the mantra, "Degrees are ________" and they say "useless." We were having fun with that and I said, try completing this, "Prof. Nash is __________" and two students sitting on opposite sides of the room said, "Awesome! "
After class I was good and worked on the practice final for finite math. I wasn't that good as I only finished a third of it. I want both practice finals finished by Tuesday.
Then I went down to Greenwich Village to see The Lords of Liechtenstein aka Daniel and Noah Rauchwerk. They played in my kind of venue, the Ivy Bakery. The show was listed as 7:00 and I got there at 6:30. I saw Dan out front practicing. I said hi and found out that they went on third so I decided to go out to dinner at Peanut Butter & Company. I had the dark chocolate peanutbutter with bananas, honey, and bacon! That's three of the basic food groups, chocolate, peanut butter, and bacon. the only one missing was coffee. I had that later. I got back to Ivy at 7:10 and there was a young woman singing and most of the seats were taken. I ordered my dessert, a chocolate espresso cupcake, with chocolate covered beans in the frosting, and a cup of coffee and found a seat right next to he singer. It wasn't the best. My view was someone blocked by her music stand and it was a bench seat without back support. The table was behind me. The place was packed but someone decided that a packed bakery with a musician playing was the perfect place to get some reading done. He was sitting spread out so I couldn't sit on the far side of the table where I could have my food and drink I front of me and lean on the table. Yes I was upset at him. After the lovely young woman finished a dashing young man sang and the lovely young woman's mother got up and I took her seat. It was still a bench with the table behind me but it was not off to he side. More people had come in by then and had to stand but that didn't bother the guy that had no place else in the world to read a book.
The lovely young woman had a lovely voice. It totally reminded me of someone but I'm not sure who, maybe Rebecca Loebe. Her material didn't connect with me but I liked her singing. She accompanied herself on the uke.
The dashing young man was more to my taste. A miracle just occurred, I remembered his name, Corey Sky. Most of the songs he was solo but he was joined by Dan and his girlfriend on a few of them. There was just something infectious about his melodies. They were upbeat and hard to keep still to. He could even get away with my pet peeve, repeating a line over and over.
Everyone in the audience that wasn't a parent of a performer was literally half my age or less. It was like going to a Supercute show except the audience was mainly girls. Funny how it works out how the cute girls have guy fans and the cute boys attract girls. I might have felt out of place but I didn't. I love the Lords' music and I'm friends with Noah and Dan. I know I belong. In fact I like it. It's great seeing an audience that isn't geezers. There's a future for the music I love.
And I do love the music of the Lords. A recurring theme is how women are mean to Noah but they break that up and show the other side; sometimes women are mean to Dan. The songs are honest and funny and catchy and musical. My mind does NOT wander off while I listen. They hold my attention from beginning to end. They do totally ridiculous schtick which isn't forced. It's two brothers acting like brothers and not caring that people are watching. Dan makes fun of Noah's hair. Noah puts his uke right in front of Dan's face. It's funny. It's endearing. It makes you happy. Noah decided to end one song standing on a bench. They have fun and that makes the audience have fun. They are the exact opposite of overly earnest. I'd love to see them play with Mark Berube. I love to see them play with Supercute. Dan and Noah can fall in love with Rachel and Julia. They can married, and breed a race of fun and not overly earnest musicians. And Ariana Gillis should marry Anthony da Costa. Should I not be sharing my OTP (one true pairings) about people I actually know and know me and were my friends till they read this? The Lords of Liechtenstein would so I will too.
One of my themes to my thoughts lately has been sensibilities. Not quite sure how to define it but like pornography I know it when I see it. It is a huge part of my connecting to musicians. Yes I love the silly stuff but there's more. I love that I can talk to Chuck and Mira aka the Sea the Sea and find that they are trying to achieve exactly the things I love about their music. It's seeing art in the same way. Tom Stoppard might not be a greater playwright than Eugene O'Neil but what he vision aligns more with mine. I love Noah and Dan's sensibilities. They don't write what they think other people want out of a song, they write what they want. It makes me smile and it makes me think. That's enough to make a song a success.
I almost forgot a related line of thought that fits right in. So you know how I say that Mark Berube writes the songs I would write if I could write songs? The Lords of Liechtenstein perform the way Trainwreck with Clowns would If I had actual musical talent. Trainwreck with Clowns is the only one of my many bands to actually perform. It's Carey and Me and a truckload of silly. We busked in Washington Square Park in the rain. Carey can play and sing but we were hindered by my not only not playing an instrument and being a terrible singer but by my complete inability to remember lyrics. But somehow it worked. It might not be music but it was fun. Dan and Noah can make it music too.
So here's what I want. I want you to go see them and discover for yourself that you love them. You do, you just don't know it yet. Next time I see them I don't want to be twice as old as anyone that isn't a parent of a performer. I also want their world to intersect more with mind. Here was this whole scene I wasn't aware of and a venue I never heard of. I know there are others in my world that would appreciate it. My musical horizons expanded and now I want yours to.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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