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
-Bertrand Russell

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

July 10, 2013 - 11:41 a.m.

Reflections of Microwaves

Yesterday I finished by talking about the Nac Mac Feegle. That and a series of other things got me thinking about Tiffany Aching and feminism but then I saw two concerts with five acts last night and lots of friends on and off the stage and that will give me enough to write about so if I don't get to Tiffany today remind me I owe you one.

For the second summer in a row it was easier to buy new summer clothing than to get my old stuff out of storage. I went on a shopping spree at Marshall's. Still no linen, I really do have to get to my storage, but I got wicking fabric shirts and shorts. I even got something new, wicking fabric golf shirts with collars. I might look a bit pretty in them. What I care about of course is comfort. I never have enough warm weather clothes so this isn't killing me. You know that one of the things that gives me pleasure is wearing clothing for extreme weather whether hot or cold. It's what separates us from the animals. We adapt technologically not biologically.

I planned on going back to Bag End after shopping but mistimed things and went straight to the lower east side. It was the second Tuesday of the month, that means John Platt's On Your Radar. I was early so I just dropped my stuff off at Rockwood and went to eat. The best perk of doing the social media for the series is getting to go in early. It gave me time to talk to Char and Robby aka Round Mountain. They live in Sante Fe so I hardly ever get to see them. I knew I couldn't hang out long after the show so I wanted to have time to talk to them earlier.

For dinner I was going to go to the fried pizza place but it went out of business! I ran into Marty on the way over, This was his first On Your Radar. He was on his way to the Meatball Restaurant. When I saw the restaurant was closed I went to the old standby Katz's Deli. The only problem was that my tummy was not great and couldn't eat that much. I had a piece of Stuke, aka one knobblewurst on rye. After I sat down Marty walked in. He changed his mind about dinner and he ate with me, I then went back to get more time to talk to the musicians but took a detour to talk to my friends outside who I knew I'd be sitting with, Lori not LORi, Rona, and Bob. I can't resist my the gravitational attraction of people I love.

I went in and grabbed my usual seat, which is actually reserved so I don't have to but I like to and reserved the rest for my friends. I was joined by the aforementioned people, Fred, and Richard and Viki. There were so many other friends around, Dan and Phyillis, Lisa, Honor, Ina, Karyn, Suzanne, Mike, Jeremy, and Catherine. Katherine and Kathryn were not there so things were less confusing than they could be. Who else did I talk to? Oh yes, Bruce was at his first On Your Radar. He and Marty are both WFUV volunteers there for the first time. One of my plans is to get more and more volunteers at the shows as a social gathering. It would work better at the Living Room where there was more seating. Is that everyone I know? Coco's silhouette was there but she wasn't. John or someone said, "there's Coco." and saw the silhouette at the door he meant. But when I went to look for her I couldnt find her. Then I thought I saw her upstairs, someone else agreed it was her. It wasn't. It's dark in Rockwood. I love that Karyn is totally obvious by silhouette. She's a prisoner of her hairdo. As you can tell On Your Radar is an important part of my social life.

But then there's the music. I knew all the performers already and met them all at NERFA, Round Mountain and Jean Rohe at my first one in 2010 and Twangtown Paramours the next year. Marybeth from Twangtown was steered my way by Paul from the Yayas. It's a small, incestuous, and friendly world.

Twangtown is a nickname of Nashville (Wouldn't Gordontown be a better choice?) and Mike and Marybeth live up to the twang even when they are less twangy as on their last album. They live where folk and country meet, which is a pretty big area. I didn't ask if they know my other Nashville friends who I know all know each other. I'm not sure how big the folk country community is there. So this Nashvlle based band does a song about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, such a New York thing. It's also something I always feel connected to. My grandfather was in the rag trade and the factory's was located a few blocks from where the Bottom Line used to be so I passed it all the time.

I'm mad because I don't remember how Fred described them because he put it better than I can. The best I can put it is that they are fun, even if they sing songs about industrial accidents and love songs to Mike's first wife, MaryBeth is his second. The fact that they share that is what makes it fun. Like the Kennedys and Barnaby Bright part of the fun is watching them enjoy each other. As Carey once said about the Kennedys' I'd pay to watch them look at each other."

I met Jean and Round Mountain at the same NERFA where they met each other and I'm so happy that they see they are kindred spirits just as I do. Their music is not similar but I enjoy them with the same part of my brain. The same part of my brain that I process Bach and Mozart with. You've heard me complain that with some musicians that there's no there there. With Jean and Round Mountain there is a vast amount of there there. Think of all of Eurasia not an island. The music is complex and multilayered. You are not going to get it all at one hearing.

I get to see Jean as often as I see anyone. I have to average about once a month. I never get tired of her and the End of the World orchestra. She brought a stripped down version with her last night. I thought that was going to mean the trio. Nope it meant a six piece instead of eight. It was 75% of the end of the world. Or is that the end of 75% of the world. All the oceans?

I just went back and looked at my Rankings of performers at my first NERFA and Jean made the second tier. She made a strong impression on me then but repeated listening has moved her up the charts,. I wrote about her often so I'm going to just post a video she just released so you can hear for yourself.

I'm all for adopting that as our national anthem. It's a sing along and I don't think I ever heard her audience sing as well to it before. I really wanted to stand and put my hand over my heart last night.

Jean's band has a big sound from six or eight people playing instruments. Round mountain has two people playing many instruments at the same time. Their defining look is Char playing the trumpet or Gaida, a Thracian baqpipe, with one hand and the accordion with the other. Robbie will play the Kora or bouzouki with his hands and percussion with his feet. They switch off what they play in one song. But here's the thing. It isn't a gimmick. They are not a novelty act. They place rich complex music with the depth of Lake Baikal. Like Jean they have large international influences. I was going to say that they don't sound like Sante Fe but that's only if you don't know Sante Fe. Sante Fe is quite cosmopolitan They even know my most well traveled friend Joy. She started in Sante Fe and since I met her has lived in Philly, France, England ( Scotland too right) and now Australia. There's something in the thin air of Sante Fe. The air is thin but Round Mountain's music is dense. There is a lot of content per unit of time and per performer. Jean I hear all the time but Round Mountain I haven't heard in two years. I wonder if I they could really be as good as I remember. They aren't. They are even better. You can hear for yourself. They were John's guest on Sunday Breakfast and here's a video recorded of one of their songs.

Who thinks that Jean Rohe and Round Mountain should tour together? Who thinks that they should take me along as their road manager?

OK here's a problem. I actually went to another concert after that one but I've already written 1575 words. I think I'm going to write a second entry later today. I'm doing something fun tonight so I can't tag it on then. Maybe I'll write about The Deadly Gentleman and Tiffany Aching tonight or before I go out. I could bring my computer with me and write it on the train. We'll see.

After the show I did go out so I didn't have as much time to schmooze as I'd have liked. I got the new Round Mountain CD, The Goat. Hey guys there's a picture of the cover art but nothing about the CD on your website. You might want to fix that. After reading this all My Gentle Readers will want to buy it just like I did. At least they should.

Now I have to go eat. Then I'll try and write some more. I really need to find a way to get paid for writing. I'm compelled to write. It is part of me living, it should be the way I make a living.





Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017



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Horvendile July 10, 2013
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