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
January 15, 2015 - 11:33 a.m.
A happy edition of Wise Madness today. Last night was filled with my two favorite things, great music and great friends. Yes I know there wasn't chocolate but accept my lie that music and friends are more important. I want people to like me.
If you look at my list of Top Albums of 2014 you'll find at the top As I Am by Mya Adriene Byrne and A History of Ghosts by Bobtown. Yes the order was alphabetical but they were both easy choices for the top 10. Unfortunately by chance the CD release shows were both scheduled for yesterday! I was distraught that I'd have to miss one. Many people were distraught that they'd have to miss one. There's a huge overlap in fandom and social circles. Look how often I mention both of them. So what happened? Sophie's choice? A battle between the bands for their fans? No! Life imitated art.
A bunch of us, Sharon, Elaine, Scott, Bev, and I piled into Mark's car and drove from Rockwood to see Mya up to Hill Country to see Bobtown. Not only that but I know Karyn did it too. But not only that. Bobtown did it! The folk world is friendly. Oh and I'm forgetting one person in the car. There were seven of us. She was sitting in Bev at the other table and my memory works by visualizing where people were sitting. I couldn't see that person. Unless I'm just wrong and there were only six of us.
I like Mya as a folk singer. I love love love her as a rocker. She's as far from kumbaya as you can get. This is muscular go for the throat bluesy Rock and Roll. I was dancing in my seat. That's the best place for me to dance as you'll find out. I should have taken videos. Well somebody did with a real camera. I'll point you to them when they are posted, assuming they are posted. I used the comparison before but think Patti Smith. Hell she even misspells her name, just like Patti. Mya plays a meaner guitar. Electric on most of the songs. And that band! Scott Stein on piano and Chris Kelly on bass are the only ones I knew and I knew there were great. The guitarist, Mark Marshall was awesome too. How do I remember his name? Sometimes miracles happen.
Mya Adriene and Chris
We couldn’t stay for the entire show but we did see all the songs from the album played plus a couple more. Then we piled into the aforementioned car and went up to Hill Country. Things were running late there and the doors were not yet open to downstairs where the show was. But I'm very very cute so they let me down. It had nothing to do with me saying, "I'm doing the merch and have to set it up." No this was a sexy sexy monotreme perk. I'd like to think I just sent somebody to the dictionary to look up monotreme.
So I was good. I actually found the band, found the merch, and set it up before I socialized. They let the others down as I was finishing. More friends showed up, most of the Chicks with dip with their significant others, Carolann & Mark, Honor, Alison Scola & Joe, Elisa and Jon, Karyn was joined by Claude. I bet I'm forgetting someone from that group too. It really isn't easy not having a brain. As I was prove again. Greta and her husband who I saw at Kristin Andreassen's show the night before were there. I saw them two days in a row. I have met them many times. I have talked to them many times. I asked his name two days in a row. And I still have to call him Greta's husband. OK I need a mnemonic.
I have been pushing Bobtown to Howard since I discovered them. He finally made it to a show. He even announced on Facebook that he was going on my recommendation. I made his and Bobtown's life better. I did good, give me a cookie. Funny thing, the only one I didn't talk to was Carolann, the one I've known the longest. Of course we met earlier in the day and talked for a few hours. As usual if I forgot you please forgive me. OK. I will throw in that Eliot was at Mya but I didn't list all the people that I saw there. But I know he'd say, "OK I'll forgive you for forgetting me." Damn bloggers and their attitude.
Like Mya Bobtown did their entire album in order. I have heard most but not all the songs live before. Katherine will no probably tell me that I have. But I don’t count songs I only hear once. I used up all my superlatives on Mya. What can I say about Bobtown? Ditto? No they are great in different ways. In fact the History of Ghosts is slower tempo and more personal than their earlier works and so less like Mya's rock. As the title suggests, A History of Ghosts is hauntingly beautiful. Of course it still has a good beat and you could dance to it. I sat with Scott near the back for much of the show but I got up and stood by the merch when I thought some people might be leaving and want to buy something. I had my eye out before then and if anyone had walked back there I'd have joined then. But the thing is once I was standing I started to dance. I do that when I stand at the back. I figure nobody can see me but the perhaps the band if the lighting allows it. The audience has their back to me. But Katherine told me that when she went back to talk to me she said to the person he was talking to, "I am going back to talk to the merch guy" He asked who? "Gordon the one selling the CDs." "Oh the dancing guy." So somebody spotted me and now I'm the dancing guy. Shocked he didn't say' "Oh the spaz making a fool of himself dancing."
Wow my pics really suck. I had one of Joe Pszonek holding up the CD and introducing the band that came out so indistinct. Hell I'll show it anyway. I wish I got this right.
I really need to learn to use my real camera.
OK here's a few more.
After the show Beth and Mark came over to say hi. I didn't see them before the music started.
I need to mention that I got some great hugs.
I stayed late selling merch and packing up and hanging out a bit with Alan and Katherine. Then I headed home. This was a night of being me. It’s pretty amazing that I heard two of my favorite albums of last year performed in their entirety and the night before I saw Kristin perform Gondolier which isn't released yet but Is going to make next year's list. I've been luck enough to hear the recording in advance.
It reminds me that there's no reason to listen to mediocre music. There's great music out there waiting to be heard. Can I throw in another "Wow this was great music?" Yes I can. Wow this was great music.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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