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

February 01, 2016 - 12:15 p.m.

Off the Beaten Trachtenburg

I have to leave here in two and a half hours so should not be feeling time pressure but I am. Let's see if I can write this in less than an hour. I used to be able to finish them off in 20 minutes. Now I'm much better at writing you'd think I could do it faster. Instead I write them longer.

Every day I read my entries from five, ten, and fifteen years ago. One thing I noticed is that for years when I wrote about going to a concert I wouldn't write much, or sometimes at all, about the music. Now I feel obligated to write about the music even when I've written about the artists many times before. I think I should always have an insight. I tried going back to the old way once but couldn't. Today I'll write about the music because it's someone I don't see that often and there have been changes in what she does.

But his is me so we have to start with the minutiae of my day. I often talk about how WFUV doesn't play my music anymore. But that's only true six days a week. On Sundays there are 12 hours of music I love; two Irish music shows, A Thousand Welcomes and Ceol na nGael, Woody's Children, and Sunday Supper. That’s actually too much on one day. Till the recent changes they were spread over two days thought there were also two great syndicated shows they no longer carry and an Irish language program. But with that much more to listen I felt less need to hear it all.

I didn't need to leave the house till right after John Platt's Sunday Supper ended so I stayed home all day and listened to the radio. Well except for the fact that I don't own a radio. I listened to it all on my computer. I slept late so I missed most of Kathleen Biggin's A Thousand Welcomes. There's an hour gap between that and Ceol na nGael so you might think I'd take a radio break. But no, that's when I listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. I could listen to it on Saturday when it's first posted but on Saturday afternoon if I'm home I listen to the opera on WQXR. It was Turandot. this week.

I of course know all the WFUV DJs from volunteering. Over the years I get to know them well and I was delighted to find I understood how two of their minds worked. I told Bob Sherman that he'd love Harpeth Rising. He's a classical DJ with a love of folk music. How could he not love Harpeth Rising? Yesterday he played two songs off Shifted!.

When I heard John Platt play Amy Rigby's Will We Ever Have Sex Again I wrote on Facebook: "let's see how well I know John Platt. I say the next song he plays will be by Honor Finnegan." He then played her I Should Stop Having Sex with You.. I did the Roses and Victory dance. Let's see what FB friends he played of mine yesterday:

  1. The Four Bitchin Babes - all four, Christine Lavin, Julie Gold, Megon McDonough, and Sally Fingerett
  2. Pierce Pettis
  3. Amy Rigby
  4. Honor Finnegan
Whoops only the first 40 minutes of the show are listed on the Weekend Playlist so that's all I can list. But that's one song every ten minutes, pretty impressive. I had to take a quick shower so I took it at the end of Bob's show. I knew that I'd be finished around the time of the changeover. I got out of the shower and heard a song I didn't know and didn't like. Both Bob and John have similar taste to mine but both will of course play songs I don't like. What amused me was I knew this would be a Bob song I wasn't liking not a John song. I was right.

I tried something a new for dinner. I made French fries. But I mixed in chopped garlic before I fried them. That worked! Next time I think I'll just smash the garlic so I don't have to deal with the little pieces. The flavor seems into the fries and I eat the garlic. It's a double win.

After dinner I went to see Rachel "I love you very much so will you please get a website" Trachtenburg. The show was at a bar I'd never been to, Berlin, in the East Village. The time was posted as 9 PM but I know the way these things work so I planned to arrive exactly at 9:00. The was not running so I knew it would take extra time. I arrived exactly at 9:00. I don't know how these things work. Doors had not even opened. The guy acted as if I were crazy to get there that early. He then opened the doors about 10 minutes later. I went downstairs and saw Rachel and sat with her. There was very loud music playing, some of which was very good, but we managed to talk a bit. A little after Rachel got up to get ready her mother Tina came in and took her seat and I talked with her some. I am sure I have told you that I pretty much love all Trachtenburgs.

The music started at maybe 9:30, it wasn't Rachel. There was someone on before her! And the announcement said 9:00. I really don't know how these things work. Anyway this was interesting. Before she said a word she opened a can of whipped cream and started putting it in her hair and then all over herself. I bet you never saw a singer do that before. Then during the first song she took off her pants. She was wearing underwear and tights under them. You might have seen that before but is not the normal fare at the shows I go to. Her music was punk; it could have been sung in 1977 at CBGBs; more Sex Pistols than the Ramones. It wasn't my cup of tea but it was fun and the crowd loved it.

Then Rachel came on with her band. I've known Rachel since she was 9. This is at least the third incarnation I've seen her in. First she was the drummer and a vocalist in the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow players. Just google them. There has never been anything else quite like them. Then she was in Supercute, a teen bubblegum pop band that was very much more than bubble gum pop. I have decided that I am putting "quirky" on the shelf as overused so I have to find another word to use. In this case it's weird. Weird is a high compliment coming from me. She was then in a band in a supporting role as drummer in The Prettiots but I never saw them. Then she did some solo gig. Now she's gone electric and has a band. In the short time she's been playing with the band she's changed. The pop has moved to harder rock and at times punk. But this is not 1977 CBGBs. Rachel's songs have meaningful lyrics about topics punk bands don't sing about, like the plight of the whales at Sea World. I took pictures but guess what I've been writing for an hour and ten minutes so I don't have time to edit them. This is the one I posted on Instagram.


I took 130 pictures. Let's see if I can find five usable ones. Notice that one is not in great focus and the color is off. But I like how Rachel is much more in focus than the guitarist. It's a nice effect and Rachel's pose is good. The whole thing gives her an iconic look. It could be a movie poster.

After the show I headed home and for once did not spend a lot of time socializing. I did not have good luck with train times. When I got home I treated myself to a Ghirardelli's hot chocolate. I'm extra decadent and put a Trader Joe's chocolate truffle in it. I know how to live.

I had planned on writing about the new Lords of Liechtenstein album that I listened to for the first time this morning. I also listened to it the second time this morning. Yes, that means it's good but if you want to hear more you'll have to wait. I don't have time to write it now. Poached eggs are next on my agenda.





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 February 01, 2016
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