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
-Bertrand Russell

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

April 30, 2018 - 3:09 p.m.

You'll Rue that You Didn't Pay to See Madeleine

Who is the wise guy that speeds up time, so I start blogging late? It is not appreciated. It would be noon, not 2:08 without your meddling. Now I must rush this. It probably means forgoing bagels this week. The sacrifices I make for My Gentle Readers.

Last week I got an email from WFUV that I had won tickets on the Member Line to the magnificent Madeleine Peyroux at Tarrytown Music Hall. As it so happened I was talking online with Genevieve about seeing live music, preferably jazz together. Sometimes things just work out. I often complain about the changes at WFUV but sometimes they can be useful. I was late applying for the tickets and they are first come first serve, but the new audience apparently doesn't care for the legacy artists they still promote. With the old format and old audience the tickets would have been snatched right up.

I was smart and remembered that I live on City Island and that on weekends the buses are often late because of the traffic. I took one bus earlier than I needed to. It left right on time. There was no traffic. I got to the MetroNorth station 25 minutes early. The buses run every 20 minutes, so I would have been worried if I had waited one bus, perhaps I'd have missed my train. I was patting myself on the back. It was a bit chilly, so I waited in the tiny heated waiting room. I then realized I was an idiot as I was dressed find for the current weather, but I'd be cold on the way home. That's what I get for multi-tasking. I was preparing graphics for First Acoustics before I left and talking to Coco on the phone. I checked on the temperature but not the forecast. Dressing properly is one of the things I take foolish pride in, so I feel foolish shame when I screw up.

On the train I planned my dinner. The amazing Revenge Barbecue is only a couple of blocks from the theater and I planned on eating there. Too bad the theater is Irvington Town Hall and I was going to the Tarrytown Music Hall, one town up the river. I discovered that there was a barbecue place a block away and went to that. It was good but nothing like Revenge. The saving grace was the young woman at the counter who was contagiously vivacious. They should give her a raise.

I got to the theater with time to spare. I got my ticket from will call and was told that Genevieve should give my name when she came to pick up her ticket. She had to be a bit late as she was at Arpie's house for a concert by Sloane Wainwright. It is a tiny world. I knew everyone involved. Yet somehow, I didn't know anyone at the show other than Genevieve. Where are my Madeleine Peyroux loving friends? I can pretty much assure you that she was the best performer in the Metropolitan Area. She is a maximal element like Richard Thompson and Rhiannon Giddens; there is nobody who is better than she is. That doesn't mean that she's better than everyone else, but the odds are very high that she's better than a random great musician.

Our seats were up in the balcony, Row E. You are thinking that means the fifth row. You are jumping to conclusions. It's the fourth. There is no row A on the side sections. The seats were excellent, great sightlines and sound. The only problem was not enough leg room. I was lucky nobody sat next to me and Gen was on the aisle.

The opener was Carsie Blanton. First time I saw Carsie was as a guest on Kelly Flint's Upstairs Sessions. Those were held in the tiny Googie's Lounge. She's moved up. This was the best that I've seen her. She moved to New Orleans and taken up a sound to match; more blues and jazz and less Betty Boop.

Gen arrived during the intermission. I was not sure if I'd recognize her. We haven't seen each other in 10 years and only a few times then. I thought she moved to LA right after we met but she was already living there. She came to Falcon Ridge and was caught in the Budgiedome during the storm of 08. Was that the tornado? Was it that long ago?

Eight years ago, she moved to South Africa and became a wildlife photographer. If I had a nickel for every musician I knew that became a wildlife photographer I'd have a nickel. She is my mystery Instagram friend, jvwordandimage. She was someone that Instagram said was my FB friend. I had no idea who it was but loved the photos of Africa. I thought it was a glitch, no one I knew but followed her for the pictures. I found that she has another, even better, IG buzzfromthebush. Check them out.

I was catching up with a friend that I never knew that well but knew that we connected. I got to combine that with amazing music. Gen feels the same way about Madeleine as I do. That's important, when at an event with someone it's better when you share the same event. If her response was, "She has a nice voice" it would not be the same.

Madeleine has moved in a new direction. Her sound was always lush, her voice lyrical and romantic. Her new material is different. Three's funk. There's more syncopated jazz, it's less melodic. It's still amazing, her voice is as fine an instrument as a Stradivarius and she plays it as well as Joshua Bell.

Somewhere along the line she decided that her job was to make beautiful music not be theatrical. She talks to the audience like she's sitting around with friends saying whatever comes into her head. The stage blocking is her sitting on a chair surrounded by gifted musicians most of whom sat on chairs. It's wonderful, she knows what's important and what's fluff.

I might have to marry one of the gifted musicians. He had a triple keyboard. The lowest one was a typical piano keyboard. The top one a typical synthesizer. The middle one is the reason I'm going to marry him. It's attached to a tube that he put in his mouth. I'm pretty sure it's a melodica with a full-sized keyboard. Does this make Madeleine neuromusic? Carey? Megan?

Gen gave me a ride to the train station. It was only an 8-minute walk to the Music Hall and that's up a steep hill. The drive back too longer as we got lost. That was hard as all we had to do was drive down Main Street. The problem was when we got off the side street she was parked on we thought we were on Main Street and made a right. We weren't and found ourselves on Broadway going north instead of Mainstreet going west. I had to use the GPS on my phone to get us back. Good thing we left enough time and all it did was give us more time to talk.

Now to rush and get read to take the bus to the train into the City. Or maybe I'll just do without bagels for a week and go to Stop & Shop. I think I'll be lazy and do that. Another good reason to do that is I can't find the prescription I filled last week. I used up what I had left last night. I know it must be here someplace. I know I took it out of my bag as I was rushing out of the house.


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please hold me accountable.





Video Didn't Kill the Blogging Star - May 18, 2018
Blue Jays Feel Mjollner - May 16, 2018
We're Right and You're Evil - May 15, 2018
Us and Them - May 14, 2018
Pesky Kat - May 13, 2018



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