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 13, 2014 - 9:54 a.m.
I don't know who is writing this. It certainly isn't your usual humble diarist. This writer packed for NERFA last night. Like the real Gordon would ever do that. It's an obvious giveaway. Perhaps space aliens took him over. Carey suggested very organized space aliens. Of course after a last minute pack of my meds I woke up in the middle of the night with an allergic itch. I had to open my suitcase to get out the Zyrtec, generic equivalent of course. It worked
True to the real Gordon I waited till 5 PM the day before I left to do my laundry. I tried to multitask during it. I went to Duane Reade to by nasal strips. They were out. Then when the clothes was in the dryer I planned on returning something to Radio Shack but I got an urgent text.. A friend of a friend needed a ride to NERFA.. I had to give up on the texting and call. I'm just not a great texter.
I also had to arrange my own ride.. I knew who I was going with, Suzanne and Carter but I had to figure out meeting. Not the most convenient ride for me as I had to make my way up to Westchester. Last year I went up with John and had to make my way up to the Bronx. I seem to always start by taking MetroNorth. At least that means I am going in the right direction.
I guess some of you need to be told what NERFA is. It is the NorthEast Regional Folk Alliance conference. It's the big regional folk music business convention. Yes you read that right, it isn't quite an oxymoron. What am I doing there? My place in the folk world is nebulous but clearly exist. I love hearing how people introduce me. Carter says I'm the Maitre d' of the Greater New York folk world. I think Amy Speace put it best, "man about folk." I do the Budgiedome, I write this blog, I do social media for John Platt's On Your Radar, I merch for a ton of people, I do miscellaneous volunteering ant publicity for venues, and most of all I just know people. I belong because when somebody needs a ride to NERFA they come to me.. I'm good at putting people together. As one musician friend said I just on the right side of the line of who should be going to NERFA.. It isn't a festival.. You don't go to just hear music. You should have some part in making it all happen. I have the smallest allowable part. Damn, please don't quote that out of context. Shrinkage! OK I'm there for comic relief.
So every year the tribe gathers in the great metropolis of Kerhonkson NY at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa. It's often called Falcon Ridge without the mud. There are workshops during the day. I usually don't attend them, not even the ones on social media which I should. Actually I would like to be on the panel for that.. OK this year I'll try and go. But I want to keep up my strength to stay up all night. First come the official showcases.. Today is the DJ's showcase where DJ's each pick one musician to introduce to everyone else. Readers of Wise Madness should be familiar with Mike Laureanno, Mya Byrne, Villa Palogonia, and The Lords of Liechtenstein.
On Friday and Saturday there are the Formal Showcases which have no competition followed by the Quads where there as you might guess, four performers at the same time, in different rooms of course. My people in the Formals are: Bobtown, Guy Mendilow, Harpeth Rising, David Jacobs Strain, SONiA, Modern Man, Burning Bridget Cleary, No Fuss & Feathers Roadshow, and Jory Nash aka Cousin Jory.
In the Quads there's Kristin Andreassen, Phil Henry, Scott Wolfson & Other Heroes, Sean Altman as Jewmongous, Connor Garvey, the Lords again. Matt Naoka, and Beaucoup Blue.
I know others too but those are the people that I've written about enough that I think you might know them. Most have played the Budgiedome.
But what really matters, the heart of the conferences are te guerilla showcases. Those are given in regular hotel rooms.. You run around from room to room trying to catch people. Organized people make up a schedule before they go. I do it when I'm there. Next year I'll try and get it together and put it on a spreadsheet. the problem is that I don't know till I get there who I want to see. I often go to see people I just bump into and start talking about. If I like them as people I figure they might be interesting musicians too. And of course I take recommendations. I also give them. OK this is what I do next year. Make a list of people I want others to know and print it out on cards to hand to people. Some names I might have on this years list are. Aaron Nathans, Alex Mallet, Friction Farm, Mark Allen Berube, Robert Sarazin Blake, and Shawna Caspi. OK that's hard. I skipped people I felt everyone who knew me would know and those that I mentioned in the earlier lists and then I got tired typing so left people off because of that. that requires more preparation.
Hey if you are going make sure you check out all those people!
Now I should get ready. I have to pick up nasal strips before I go. what else do I need, right a highlighter!
Know the best thing about NERFA, all the friends I made there. I will make more this year You won't hear from me again till Monday. See you on the other side.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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