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
October 03, 2016 - 11:53 a.m.
Sorry I didn't update yesterday. It was a bad meds day. I couldn't stay awake in front of the computer. Now I have to write about Saturday night two days later. I better get my program out so I have a chance of remembering things. That means getting up. That's not that easy as I'm still a big sluggish and now my tummy is gurgling. When I get up I might end up in the bathroom which will slow things down. But I will persevere as the blog must get through. I will not disappoint My Gentle Readers two days in a row.
I made it back to the computer alive.
Saturday night I went up to Irvington Town Hall. The Common Ground Coffeehouse presented, The Music of Linda Ronstadt: A Benefit for Parkinson's Research. There was an all-star cast including a ridiculous number of my friends and favorites. Carter Smith who runs the Common Ground and run in the same circles and have very similar musical tastes. He's also a great friend. Here was the lineup in an order that I can't figure out.
Steve Addabbo (I have never written his name without checking the spelling)
The only two that I had not met before were Jim Gaudett and Abbie Hollander.
Getting to Irvington is a bit of an adventure. I take a bus west, a subway southwest all the way to Harlem and then MetroNorth up to Irvington. The walk to Town Hall is not far but it's straight uphill. It's basically a cliff climb. I always mean to use Map My Walk to see just how much the vertical rise is. The Lower Hudson River is a fjord; it runs through a valley cut by a glacier.
I made it and went in the stage entrance of the theater. I'm always amazed that nobody thinks of stopping me. The people at the venue don't know me at all. I should go early to every show and hang out backstage till show time.
Of course I do belong there; I was one of the merch people. There were lots of acts so lots of people doing merch. My bailiwick was Bobtown, Spuyten Duyvil, and Steve Addabbo. The first two are the two I have marched for the most unless you count all the times I marched for Red Molly and Abbie had solo CDs for sale too.
The merch was set up before I got there. I think the artists did it themselves. After I checked everything out I went backstage to hang out. There was a time that Abbie was the person I saw the most often, not the musician, the person. Now I rarely see her. I said that to her and she said we should go back to the old way. See everyone doesn't hate me. We'll get to who does later.
I snacked, schmoozed, got in the way, and did a few useful things while I was there. One was writing lyrics on Katherine's hand. I hope I'm not giving out trade secrets.
I watched the show from the back of the orchestra level where the merch was set up. That meant I couldn't see well but I heard every note. That's a good thing as the notes were amazing. This was another special night of music. I'm on a run. These were brilliant interpretations of songs that Linda Ronstadt made famous. Many of them done quite differently from the way Linda did them. I was not a huge Linda Ronstadt fan during her heyday. I like her more now looking back at what a great vocalist she was. But as I wasn't following in real time I didn't even know she recorded Carmelita, I know it through Warren Zevon. That's more where I lived musically. I also didn't know that she recorded Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues. That's one of my favorite Dylan songs. I can't even imagine her singing it. I'll have to find the recording.
I know Sara Milonovich through her backing people on violin, Carolann Solebello and Richard Shindell among others. I have heard her sing harmonies but had no idea what a great singer she was till I heard her do, You're No Good. Actually there were a lot of songs I hadn't heard her sing, but those were the two that hit me in the beginning of the show.
Mark Miller from Spuyten Duyvil was the music director and did a great job. It wasn't just each artist performing by themselves. They were backing each other. Steve Addabbo (remembered how to spell it) played electric guitar on many of the songs and John Neidhart or Bobby Ristau played electric or stand-up bass respectively.
Sara, Abby, and Ana did one of the Linda, Dolly, and Emmylou trio songs. Ana and sang Willin'. Bobtown and Abbie Gardner did Get Closer with Abbie on dobro. Abbie, Ana, and Sara did another of the trio songs, Those Memories of You.
Then came the Standards Part of the evening. Abbie and Vance did Someone to Watch Over Me. Vance did all of those songs, just as I was thinking, "Sure have the black guy do all the jazz songs;" Vance said, "Isn't it racist having me do all the jazz?" I've seen Vance enough to anticipate his sense of humor. Vance and Matt did Desperado and threw a few other songs in the mix. I'm an idiot and they aren't in the program so I can't remember them. But I do remember how well it worked. Matt and Spuyten Duyvil did Heatwave and then the ensemble finished with That'll Be the Day.
I listed all the collaborations but not the songs done by one artist and each did at least one song. You'll just have to hunt down that info someplace else. It's your own fault you should have been there. I loved hearing what people were saying. "Those Bobtown girls are great." "That's the best version of Desperado I ever heard." "I want the album of the guy that sang like Satchmo." That was Vance, he did that when he sang with Abbie. Vance sounds nothing like Satchmo which made it funny. Abbie kept losing it laughing. I forgot to ask if he just pulled that on her during the show and not in rehearsal. Hey Abbie or Vance; is that what happened?
There was a well-deserved standing ovation by the sell-out crowd when the show was over. Carter and Mark did a great job putting this together and the musicians were at the top of their games. They exceeded their goal and raised more than $11,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
It was such a great show, why weren't you there? I know why Lori not LORi wasn't; it was because she hates me. Her birthday month is over and I can once again speak the truth.
I had only one disappointment for the evening. I somehow didn't get a chance to talk to Arlon. We bonded over the Mets and they clinched the top Wild Card spot that afternoon.
I got home at a reasonable hour as Gene & Isabel were there and gave me a ride. I was back before midnight. God knows how late it would have been otherwise.
Yesterday I went with Jane and Bernie to pick up a trundle bed from a mutual friend of ours in the East Village. The logistics were difficult but Bernie and I were able to get it to the street, not a short trip. Packing it in the back of the hatchback was simpler than I thought it would be. Of course it meant putting the back seat down so I had to take the bus and subway and bus again home. I killed two birds with one stone by stopping at Trader Joe's for some much needed supplies. I spent most of the rest of the day sleeping. Today I'll try and stay awake. I have to prepare tomorrow's radio show. Yes, I'm going to be on WFDU with Brian tomorrow from 7 – 10. I expect you to listen either live or on the archives. Now I have to post this, eat, and then take in the bed from the car. I also want to make a run into the City for bagels. It's Monday and Bagel Bob's has it's 45¢ bagel special after 4 PM.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Follow on Feedly