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 20, 2016 - 11:06 a.m.
I don't have much time so I'm writing a short sticking to music, well it's me so you know not to believe that, edition of Wise Madness.
I am spending yesterday and today in the City to register for social services. On the 1-10 anxiety scale this is a 14 and of course it means missing therapy when I need it most. But, and this is a big but, bigger than Kim Kardashian's. I heard great live music and felt better than I have in weeks. I went to The House of Love Concerts aka Amy's house to see Rachel Ries and Jean Rohe. First idiot story, there are at least three, I had the time wrong. I thought doors were at 7:00 and the music at 7:30. I was upset as I got there at 7:20. But if course I was wrong and doors were at 7:30 and music at 8:00. As I was the first one there I got to have a nice talk with Jean. We see each other often but and always talk but rarely have much time for one-on-one. I also got to claim my chair, the one I always sit in there and set up the folding chairs. Yes, helping set up is a bonus, not a chore.
When I walked in Rachel and a fiddler were practicing. I knew I knew the fiddler but didn't know who or from where. When the finished she came over and said hi as she knew she knew me. She's Liz Hanley who sat in a few time with Spuyten Duyvil. When other people came in Jean went upstairs to make a set list and I circulated even though I didn't know anyone because that's what I do. It's easy to join in conversations when you hear people talking about Anaïs Mitchell.
Jean went on first with a no longer rare but still less common solo set. If forced to choose one I'd say that her full band shows were my favorite but I would never want her to give up the solo shows or Robinson & Rohe, otherwise we be the blind man thinking an elephant was like a snake as he only felt the trunk.
She did her usual wonderful set with some of her usual solo songs, some from her musical theater project, the Odysseus whatever comes after Odysseus, and band songs rearranged for solo performance. She kept it fresh.
Rachel I see maybe once a year which is not often enough. I was surprised she knew my name, I expected her to know that she knew me. She is touring in support of her new EP Cardinal (The Rouen EP) . So remember when she made the EP with the knitted or was that crocheted CD jacket? This time she made individualized art prints. Have I mentioned that I love Rachel? As I don't see her often it's always a revelation when I do especially this time as the new songs are her best yet. So you know how most singer-songwriters think that songwriting is about repeated stanzas with a simple rhyme scheme, many of which are forced rhymes? That's exactly what Rachel doesn't do. The songs are narratives that often don’t' rhyme at all yet it doesn't come off as lyric poetry. These aren't words with the music just as an accompaniment. Yet they don't have the elaborateness of an Art Song. They are simply Riesman and I won't shoehorn them into another category; I'd much rather coin a neologism. Remember in 30 years when people start wondering where the term "Riesman" comes from this is the place. I expect to be given full credit.
I said I didn't know anyone there, that was before the show. Afterward I found all my friends at the far end of the room. There was Alec, Andrew, and, and, and, I knew last night when I was planning this out. I stopped and talked to one other person, I'm sure of it. OK here's another idiot story. But I remember the name of Amy's dog! Django. He runs around loose so he's Django unchained. He's also a great gypsy jazz guitarist.
I was not the last one to leave as I spent the night at Dan's and didn't want to keep him up all night. The House of Love is in Red Hook; Dan is in Williamsburg; those are the two parts of Brooklyn that are the hardest to get to by public transportation from Brooklyn. I took the 19-minute walk to the G train. Well I started to. I got part way and realized I left the backpack with my computer and clothes in it. So back to the Amy's house I went. Of course it meant approaching Amy's house from the opposite direction that I usually do. She lives in the bottom floor of a townhouse with the entrance under the stairs. What do you call those apartments? There's a nice name for them. But the point is from the direction I was coming from I couldn't see the entrance and it looked totally different. I walked right past it and kept walking till I could see the water and new I went too far. Yes, a double idiot story. I turned around and found the place from the direction I was used to. I was very good, I saw my friends talking and didn't say a word, I just picked up my backpack and left. I walked to the Smith and 9th Street stop. There were no trains, just shuttle busses. ARRRGGHHH. Eventually I made my way back to Dan's an hour later than I wanted to.
You'll find out about the rest of my adventures in the City tomorrow. Now I have to make the adventures happen.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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