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
February 20, 2012 - 11:24 a.m.
The Chronoklepts did a pretty good job today. It isn't super late but I looking for things to do rather than write. There are few ways I can go today and can't decide which to use. I'll just write about what happened yesterday. I might not even have to write anything more than that.
Last night I went to see Red Molly and Hoots and Hellmouth at City Winery. Did I do anything before then? It was Sunday so I read the Sunday Times. That takes up a decent portion of the day. I also watched my first Knick game on TV. This actually had nothing to do with MSG making a deal with Time Warner to show the games. This was on ABC and nationally televised. The Knicks played the world champion Dallas Mavericks, a big game. The Knicks won! They were led of course by Jeremy Lin. He is just such an amazing story. Forget all the Cinderella aspects I just love watching him play. The Knicks haven't had anyone like him in 20 years. It's gone on long enough that I'm confident that it isn't a fluke. He's a special talent that someone slipped through the cracks till now.
Dinner was simple. I just put the leftover plantain and kielbasa soup in the microwave. I love cooking but I love having that option. I wonder how it would freeze. I can make a bit pot of it and put it into single servings and take one out when I need to eat on the fly.
I didn't have to get to the gig early and that made things relaxed. I arrived just when I wanted to 7:30 for an 8:00 show. I could have left even later but I wanted time to socialize with people beforehand. I always know people at Red Molly shows. My seat was not where it was the last time I was on the list from Red Molly. I was at the back of the VIP area. I didn't expect that. Oh and though it has the word VIP in it, those are not the best seats. It's in the back corner and you have to be careful about pillars. My seat was fine not the table next to mine. The only two people that I saw that I knew by chance were sitting at the table, Todd and Gary. Gary had to move his chair or all he'd have seen was a column.
I thought I wasn't merching the show, I was wrong. Good thing Laurie found me. I wasn't at the most convenient place for access to the merch table. I was not quite the least convenient but I had to make my way across the entire length of the venue and that took some doing. It's a tight fit.
After I was settled in I took a tour of City Winery looking for people I knew. I only found one Red Head and I don't know him well. Where are all the old school fans? The ones I'm friends with. I went back to my table and talked to Gary and Todd then I noticed Bruce sitting at the front of the VIP area. He was in the corner, I guess that's how I missed him. I didn't see Coco but I knew she'd be with him and she was. I think she hides from me. We see each other so often she doesn't want people to talk. The currents have brought our lives together. She's become one of the people I see the most often. That's a good thing. So everyone I knew was sitting in the same small section of a large venue. It's a small world. It was total coincidence. It also ended up being not true but I didn't know that till later.
I just saw Red Molly on Friday but as I expected this was a totally different show. The Friday show was almost but not quite acoustic and focused on ballads. This was a band show! They had a drummer; Tony Montalbano from Roosevelt Dime. They were also joined on bass by Craig Akin for one song and Eben Pariser from Roosevelt Dime for another. It was almost like seeing a different band from Friday. They did more upbeat songs and more off their latest album, Light in the Sky.
They did a great set and that was backed up when I got the merch table. Sales were brisk, far more than they usually do in the City. Even though it's pay what you want and people just put their money in a box and take change I still need to be there and not just to make sure people don't steal things. I have a lot of questions to answer and nobody can figure out the t-shirt sizes on their own. Actually it was so dark I had trouble too. I needed a flashlight. I had to ask people to open the door to the entrance foyer where there was a bright light. They had to do that when I filled out a credit card slip too.
Except for the light I love doing merch. I get to talk to people. I get to be on the receiving end of compliments. Sure they aren't earned by me. They are directed at Red Molly but I'm the one that gets to hear them. Unlike most retail, It's fun talking to my customers.
Sitting right by the merch table I found another friend, Jon. I felt bad because I forgot his name. I said it right up front though. I met him at Falcon Ridge and the played with Red Molly at Jalopy. I think it was with Red Molly. I could be wrong. I'm often wrong. I don't have a working memory.
Jon's friend wasn't feeling well and had to leave. Who then sat down there while I was merching, Craig. When Hoots and Hellmouth started their set I joined him and we were joined by Tony. I ended up staying there the entire set. That was easier. I kept having to man the merch table
I had never see Hoots and Hellmouth before and I didn't know what to expect. I loved the name and they are going to do On Your Radar in a few months so they have the John Platt seal of approval. They still went above all my expectations. They aren't good they are great. What would you call their music? Trad Funk? Their instruments are banjo, mandolin, keyboard, bass, often standup, guitar, and drums. Pretty traditional. The music has a trad core but it transformed. On some songs they are a jam band. On some they bring on the funk. They always make you want to move. A great thing about sitting in the back by the door was that I could dance and nobody could see me. Sitting still in your seat is not easy when they are playing. I don't know what I'll do when they play On Your Radar.
Their music is not similar but their sensibility reminds me of Roosevelt Dime. They both reinterpret traditional elements into a modern idiom. They do different reinventions but you get that same cognitive dissonance as the old combines with the new. They both work beautifully. This isn't about novelty. This is art. I signed right up on their mailing list when I got home. Not at the show. I didn't see a list or merch by them.
Red Molly had top billing but went on first. I thought that was a mistake as in New York they'd be the bigger draw. I know stylistically the louder more raucous Hoots and Hellmouth should follow but I was afraid people would leave early. I was right. Between 30% and 40% of the crowd left before their set was over. When that happened when Ollabelle followed Crooked Still I blamed it on Ollebelle just not being interesting. You can't say that about Hoots and Hellmouth. I wouldn't have left early on a bet. I think it's just the desire to get home early.
I of course stayed late. I sold merch until the last customers left then had to count the money and remaining merch. I love counting the money. I don't know why, maybe I'm secretly a miser. AKKK there was a lot going on and I never estimated how much money was spent per CD. Since it's pay what you want I am always curious about that. Now I don't remember the numbers so I can't do that.
Leaving was a bit difficult as I had a lot of people to say goodbye to and they were all running around doing different things and saying goodbye to them. OK it wasn't that many people, just the girls and Craig and Eben. But that's five people. I get this from my mother. She could never leave a group of friends or family either. It drove me nuts as a kid. Now I do the same thing. We become our parents.
Abbie said she didn't want to read about my travails going home. Don't worry Abbie, the trip home was easy. I told you it would take 45 minutes. I forgot to add in the walk from the subway to my apartment. It took me 53 minutes. I can't complain about that at all. I got reading done. City Winery is a very convenient venue for me.
Why was I worrying about what else to write? I don't have room for anything else. I'm up to 1603 words.
Now I'm going to make breakfast. It's my simple staple today, poached eggs and Taylor ham on a slice of bread.
The Roots of Jazz - February 19, 2017
Follow on Feedly