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
March 04, 2018 - 3:41 p.m.
When I left you, it was Friday night and I was drinking hot chocolate at Dunkin' Donuts. My next stop was Abbie Gardner's preconcert party at Arlene's grocery. The party was at 7:00. I ran out of ways to pass my time while remaining warm and dry; I got there a few minutes early. I figured that Abbie and Craig, her husband and bass player, would be there. They weren't. it was 6:55. I'm me so I was afraid that I was an idiot and got the time or place wrong. I checked on my calendar, I hadn't. I texted Craig, he said they were on the way, they came bearing pizza. I used the waiting time to secure us a corner of the bar. I drove off the people who tried to sit there. Usually I can do that by just being me, they must already have had a drink and didn't realize that they didn't want to be anywhere near me. Don't worry, I asked very nicely and the agreed very nicely.
Abbie and I are in the same social circle, so I knew most of the other party goers; Coco & Bruce, Perry & Beth … wait, is that all I knew? No, Fred was there. Not that Fred, not that Wise Madness regular, this is musician Fred, no, not that one either. It's tough for me to remember things when people move around. I came up with Fred when I mentally look at where he was sitting again. Earlier I had been sitting there; I had to imagine it from a different perspective. I was introduced to Kyle, an up and coming songwriter from "Upstate." I was proud of Abbie for calling it upstate. When I asked his first name somebody joked that was just to cover that I wouldn't remember Kyle's first name. Ha! I did! I still remember it. I also remember Joel's name who I just met.
Abbie and Craig went over to Rockwood Music Hall 3 to load in. A bit later the rest of us walked over. When we got there, we found usual suspect Fred & Linda, and Gene & Isabel. Gene & Isabel were the only other first generation Red Molly fans there. I find that a little sad; they broke up that old gang of mine.
Guess who was doing the merch, no not Fred, not that Fred either. I'll give you a hint, he's really cute. I knew that would give it away; it was me. Abbie had put me on the list, but I make a point of trying to get in without giving my name, just acting like I belong. I figured that's a useful skill. I managed it.
I saved the first row for my crew; they are all John Platt's On Your Radar regulars so I was able to say, "Fred you're at out table, Coco, you're at John's table, and Perry, you're at Richard and Viki's table. Everyone knew what I meant. I of course was at my table. There really should be a brass plate with my name on it attached to it.
After securing the seats, I secured the merch back upstairs. I had to make everything easy to see and access. I also had to make sure to take the money with me. People won't steal CDs, but they'll steal money in a heartbeat.
I'm finally up to the music, it only took me a 1000-word entry and almost 600 words into this one. Make sure you read the Part 1, Buses, Trains, and Automobiles , It's about my adventures getting to the show.
Abbie performed all the songs from her new album, Wishes on a Neon Sign She them in order except for the last two songs which she transposed. That's my favorite format for album release shows, a live version of the album. Abbie was joined by Craig on double bass and Michael Bellar on drums, piano, accordion, and melodica! He is one of my people. He produced the album, Abbie says he's famous. She told Michael that I'm famous too but in a different way, "He's infamous." I don't get no respect. Not that I deserve it. When I came in I said, "There's an accordion? I'm leaving. That's what got me talking to Michael. I told him that the accordion was my first instrument, he replied, "I'm sorry." Told you he was my peep. When we sat down I said to Fred, "doesn't he look like he should be Jay Mafale's brother? After the show first thing Gene asked was, "is it just me or does the accordion player look just like Jay Mafale? So yes, the answer is that he does; right down to the ski cap.
Abbie's first album was swing music with her dad Herb. The rest of her music is built on that substrate and sets her apart from most folk musicians. Abbie never drones, everything she does has swing and at least a touch of blues. I can't meditate to Abbie's music, it's too stimulating, and this album is her best yet. I love it all, but I have a clear favorite song, Burn Me Down, It's as dark as it sounds and far weirder. It would work in a David Lynch film or TV show. I can just see a scene on Twin Peaks that consists of nothing but someone in a car driving while listening to that song, no lyrics, no action, just atmosphere.
After the show I sold the merch. It's pay what you want but somebody has to be there to answer questions, watch the money, do credit card sales, and be eye candy.
I'd have liked to have stayed longer but I had the long trek back to City Island. It was made more difficult as the F train wasn't running and the 4 and 5 were running local. I had to walk to the 6 and go local to the last stop. What I really cared about was that there were no trees down and the bus made it to my stop. That was a long but great day that took me 2000 words to write about. Now I can move on to yesterday. I will take care of that tomorrow.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
A Nod to Ted Geisel - March 09, 2018
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