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
May 09, 2012 - 6:11 p.m.
The Wise Madness factory is now back in operation. We've haven't finished retooling and there might be some glitches along the way but we'll are at full production.
Yesterday was the second Tuesday of the month. That should tell you where I was last night; the Living Room to see John Platt's On Your Radar. The performers was Honor Finnegan, Jory "No Relation but We Call Each Other Cousin" Nash, and Gathering Time. They are all friends and or mock relatives and I do send out the invitations for the event so I knew just about everybody there. I have some cheat sheets from what other people put on Facebook so lets see if I can remember them all.
Dan, Carter, Lori not LORi & Joe, Bob not Roberta & Rona not Wrona, Maggi, Sheila, Richard & Viki, Lisa, Bill, Catherine & Jay, Mark, Fred, Laura, Scott, Howard, Deni, and Carl.
Hey I remembered 21 people. That's pretty good. And of course there were all the performer. Then again Deni is Deni Bonet who played with Gathering Time and Carl is Carl Money who plays with Honor. Sometimes he makes music with her too. He's her husband.
I'm jumping ahead of myself. Before the show I had dinner with Catherine at the Burger place down the block, Mikey's? Yes that's it. Wow I'm on a memory roll. The Burger was on a bun. I never had dinner with just Catherine. That was great. Breaking bread with someone is always special to me.
Before we went in Catherine got a call from someone who asked her to say hi to Jory. She didn't know Jory but said she would. Then right as we started to leave who comes over to us? Jory and we stayed around while he ate his dinner. I introduced them and Catherine got to pass on her hello. All that made it so we weren't early for the show. We weren't even on time. Technically we were two minutes late. The show didn't start because the crowd was let in late because there was a private show before ours. You might have heard of one of the performers; Bono. I thought he died? Didn't Cher say something at his funeral? Maybe that was another Bono. Everyone else saw him as he left.
When we got in I found that Dan, Lori not LORi and company had saved me my usual seat. I like having a usual seat.
Now I have to come up with what to write about the show. Honor was up first. You know how much I love her as both a person and a performer. If you are one of my regular Gentle Readers you also know how much I've written about her so coming up with something new isn't easy. But I did! My tags for Honor are "small funny woman with big voice." She is much more than that though and she designed her set to show off all her assets. Each song could have been by a different performer. One song was sweet, the next sarcastic. She showed off her voice with Joni Mitchell's Blue. She showed off her Irish music roots. She showed off being silly. She showed off touching your heart. If she were a baseball prospect we'd be calling her a five-tool player.
Then Jory came up and did the same thing. I would never think of the two of them as similar but they are in so far as they are funny people, who are funny between songs, but whose music can make you laugh, cry, and do everything in between. Jory doesn't just sing, he does comedy bits. He reminds me of a vaudevillian. He looks like vaudevillian. When he sits at the piano he touches on Uncle Floyd. Yet it never comes across as schtick. It's all natural. He isn't my cousin by blood but I have adopted him into my family. He's kindred in other ways. OK he lets me brag about my talented cousin. Next time he comes in the area you are going to see him. You owe it to yourself. If you are in Canada check to see if he's playing at a festival near you.
When I got there Lori pointed out that Deni's violin was on stage and she saw Deni. I couldn't figure out who she was playing with. Jory made by far the most musical sense. They should make music together. Jory is a vaudevillian and Deni has always reminded me of Fanny Brice. Her violin would be a great complement to his music. The thing is he lives in Toronto. How would they have gotten together? Deni could walk to Honor's house. Geographically that makes the most sense. But it doesn't make sense musically. Honor's accompaniment is simple, her uke and or Carl's guitar. Her songs are about the lyrics and her voice. More would be a distraction. Most importantly if they were playing together I find it almost impossible to believe I wouldn't know it.
I was going to ask Jory but before I got to him Glen from Gathering Time walked over and said hello and I asked if she was playing with them. She was! That surprised me. As I learned from Dave Van Ronk's memoir Mayor of MacDougal Street there were two traditions in folk music; the beautiful sounding bel canto and the rougher neo-ethnic. Gathering time is pure bel canto. Deni is more of a rocker which comes out of neo-ethnic. Gathering Time comforts the disturbed. Deni disturbs the comfortable. This combination can turn out badly. Have you ever heard Joan Baez and Dylan singing together? It's historic but not something pleasant to listen to. Their voices don't blend at all. Don't worry that's not what happened with Gathering Time and Deni. The difference is that Dylan's talent was not making making technically great music. He was insanely creative but lacked skills. Deni can play anything on her violin. Sure she can star but she can also accompany people. So she played with Gathering Time and they comforted the disturbed.
After the show I did more schmoozing but cut it short because I got a ride back to Queens from Bob and Rona who also drove back Lori not LORi. Joe had to head to work, he operates a choo choo, so drove off on his own.
Now I'm at school writing my final. I wasted too much time and won't finish today. Grrr. I wanted to be able to give my students a copy of a practice final. Actually that was what I was writing. I'll just change the numbers for the actual test. I'll stay a bit longer and see what I can do.
Tomorrow I'm going to write about the Echo Chamber and same-sex marriage. I hope I remember what I'm supposed to say.
Popping the Cork - May 08, 2017
Follow on Feedly