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
December 10, 2014 - 10:36 a.m.
Where do I begin to tell this story of how stong true love can be? Oh wait, that's not Wise Madness that's the sappy theme from a sappy movie based on a sappy book. It just wrote itself after I started "Where do I begin?"
I'll begin late in the day leaving for John Platt's On Your Radar. This month's guests were The Hello Strangers, Kristin Andreassen, and Zak Smith. It had been pouring all day so I wore my trench coat, I wore my overshoes, I wore my Irish tweed hat, I had an umbrella. And when I walked out it wasn't raining. I didn't want to walk back upstairs and I figured I might need them afterward. I walked through puddles just to make wearing the overshoes not a waste.
I left later than usual but had ideal timing. If things go perfectly I get to Rockwood Music Hall in 35 minutes. I found John talking to the Hello Strangers. He introduced me to Larisa and Brechyn. Hesch was the only one around. I went downstairs. Going down before doors gives me a chance to talk to the artists. Kristin and Critter (I almost wrote Kritter) were sound checking. I still smile when my name is sung during the sound check.
Critter heard a ringing, I think that's the word he used. He told the sound guy, it wasn't Gordon so I don't know his name, "It's at the D above 440, I think that's 660." You could see he was figuring out the 660. This rang a bell in me. After they finished I said ot him that I never heard a musician give the frequency before. He then went into harmonic theory. My suspicions grew. I asked him what his major was and he said, I went in as math but studied music. I knew it! He' one of my people! I love geeking out with people.
Kristin and Critter, I also want to say Crispy Critters when I say that, were the only performers I knew. When they went off to practice some more songs I went back upstairs to see who was there. There wasn't many. Dan came in but I think that was it. We went down when doors opened
Dan sat with me. Lots of the regulars couldn't make it. There was Suzanne, Richard, Viki, and Katherine. Is that really it? I think so. Well OK we know I'm an idiot so I'm forgetting someone who I probably had a deep meaningful talk with. Non regular at OYR but one at Kristin shows, Amy was there too.
Oh you know why else I'm an idiot? I forgot my phone. I wear a watch and I knew where I was going so it wasn't a necessity. I just thought that Richard might be texting me. I had texted him earlier to remind him to bring the hat that I had left in his car. What I missed was the camera. I got no pictures of the show and Kristin was all sparkly.
Zak was up first. I thought he was solo but he had the biggest band. He's a Jersey Boy and you can hear the Springsteen influence. He had two women singing backing vocals and at times they reminded me of the Urchins in Little Shop of Horrors.
Kristin is one of the people I shouldn't have to write about any more. How many times have I seen her in the last year? This was my opportunity to kvel as the crowd applauded. I knew the clogging would get them. As John said, It isn't every day you see someone clogging in a sequined skirt. She did a nice variety, songs off the upcoming album Gondolier, her most recent EP 'Simmon, a Bill Monroe bluegrass cover, and the John Lennon Songwriting Award winner Crayola off her first album. I like that I can recognize songs from the body percussion intro.
The Hello Strangers also had a band though most of them couldn't fit on the stage. They are the only ones that had to travel to the show, from "South Central Pennsylvania" aka Pennsyltucky. Larissa and Brechyn are sisters. They father is a jazz trombonist. He played in Les Brown's Band of Renown, The sisters picked up their sound when they lived in Austin. They described one of their song as Honky Tonk. That fit a few of them. Some were ballads. Brechyn, I hope I got that right I told them I'd probably mix them up, played a button accordion unlike any I've seen. It had no straps and she moved the melody half not the rhythm half. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. There are loops for the thumbs and that's how you hold it while you play with four fingers. Seems difficult. I thought so much about the mechanics that I didn't notice that she played it left-handed till after she put it down. She has absolutely no training on it and didn't know she was holding it upside down. She's left-handed and that was what was natural. It's really unfair that I have training, I knew the theory of how the thing works and I couldn't play it acceptably to save my life. She has no training, no theory, but can play it well enough to perform with. That's because she has what I lack, talent. I am being good and put them on my list of discoveries for 2015. Yes I know the calendar says 2014 but the fiscal year starts after NERFA.
After the show I heard Kristin being disappointed that the sausage place next to Rockwood was closed. She's totally my people. I suggested they go to Georgia BBQ right across the street. Critter was excited about the fried chicken. They are both my people. Yes I bond over food. I'm not a bigot, some of my best friends are vegans. That is actually true. It makes things inconvenient at times, I'm a meatan.
I headed home right after that. I hadn't eaten and I had sausages. It was late so I had the Trader Joe's frozen mashed potatoes. I've been making my own and now I'm spoiled.
Now I know what I keep forgetting to write about, hot chocolate. For years I have been raving over the amazing chocolate truffles I get at the holiday market. I could never figure out the name of the company. They have finally settled on No Chewing Allowed. This year I tried the hot chocolate and described it as a cup of orgasm. I bought a bag of it. You can get it online, No Chewing Allowed. I have been making that at home and it's exquisite. It's halfway between sipping chocolate that is too rich to drink much of and regular hot chocolate. I'm smiling just thinking of it.
OK tomorrow I'll try and give my list of top albums of the year. if not then the next day. I am listening to one of them now. I was going to give a hint and say that it was by a vegan. But that's not such at least three are by vegans. That's called foreshadowing.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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