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
November 24, 2015 - 1:29 p.m.
I slept late again today. Maybe I should start taking note of when I don't. I talked about that during therapy. It was a rough therapy session. Those are probably the most useful but they are still unpleasant. Part of me always analyzes my analyst. Part of me would love to write about therapy but of course the whole point of therapy is that it's private. I just got anomic. Private is not the word I want. The right word keeps coming almost to the surface then dives down deep again. I got it, confidential. I could just go back and edit it in, easiest thing in the world but I'll keep it this way to document my anomia. That's funny anomic is in the Word dictionary but anomia isn't. Maybe I added anomic.
I actually came home after therapy even though I was going out. I didn't want to have to kill four hours so I spent two of them on the subway.
Then last night Jean Rohe and Maeve Gilchrist at Rockwood. Jean is doing a residency this month and last we she exhorted me to come early to see Maeve. I have seen Maeve and didn't need the exhortation but the reminder was a good idea. I can time my trips to Rockwood well and arrived a five minutes before eight when Maeve went on. I found and empty chair and it was right next to Liam who was there with his parents and his niece who was making her first trip to New York. That was fun, I like his family.
Maeve is very much not another sensitive woman with a guitar. She doesn't play guitar. She doesn't play keyboard or piano or fiddle or banjo or mandolin. So what's left? I'll give you a hint it's a string instrument. It has a lot of strings. It's angelic. Yes she plays the harp. And that's why I object to people calling a harmonica a harp. Why have two instruments with the same name? Call it a harmonica people. Maeve is not just another sensitive young woman with a harp. If you think of every picture you ever saw of a woman playing the harp she's wearing a long gown and sitting down looking very elegant. Maeve wears pants and a shirt, plays it standing up, and sort of dances while she plays. She also sings. She was accompanied by an electric guitar. That probably was not on your list of instruments that you thought would accompany a harp.
She's great. The music has range from almost new age to almost folk. It's pretty much all Maeve. OK I guess I need to pronounce that for you. I didn't talk to her to nail this down but I do listen to a lot of Irish music so I should know this. It's a long a, both ees are silent. Maeve rhymes with rave. If I'm wrong please correct me. Maeve is from Scotland and I'm not as good with Scottish as Irish and I'm not that great with Irish.
I have seen her before but this time she totally won me over. I would love to get her to the Budgiedome. She should enter the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase. I wanted to talk to her after the show but it was something of a madhouse, the place was packed.
Jean's residency is about trying out new songs which means that I can't miss them. These are with the band, last night she has five piece, Liam on piano and accordion, James on little keyboard, glockenspiel, and something I couldn't see but I think was another glockenspiel, at least something in that family, Chris on bass, and I don't know the name of the drummer. Maeve joined her on a few songs. The band is growing again.
She repeated one song from last week, the one I called the radio hit. I still think it's a radio hit though if a record company got a hold of it they would put more emphasis on the chorus. The song has a lot of words for a pop hit, ti's still a Jean Rohe song, just one you can dance to. With the two keyboards at times the music approached seventies art rock. As that was my first musical love that's a good thing. You know how I love music with a lot of moving parts? These songs had a lot of moving parts. I found myself isolating a lot of the individual instruments and concentrating on their lines. It was a rare time where the bass line leapt out at me. I usually just feel that. One song is about Odysseus returning to Ithica. Dougmore is working on an album based on Ovid's Metamorphosis. Of course Anais Mitchell's Hadestown is based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Is this the folk music Renaissance with songs referring back to classical mythology? That's OK with me; I ran the category on Jeopardy. Who wants to start on Norse?
I love that I can go out on a Monday night to a small club and hear such amazing and sophisticated music. I have seen Maeve before but last night she won me over. So since NERFA I have made two musical discoveries, Maeve and The Gaslight Tinkers. I am very proud of myself that I remembered their name.
The room was packed but the only one I knew there was Alec who I saw while I was leaving, Of course I might not have noticed people in the crowd. But I didn't see you there. Do yourself a favor and see Jean next Monday at Rockwood as she continues her exploration of new facets of her music.
Tomorrow I'm off to Massachusetts for Thanksgiving. I should be able to keep blogging from there as long as I remember to bring the computer. I'm afraid I'm going to have to miss Anthony da Costa tonight. I need a night in. I should not feel guilty about that but I do.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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