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

May 23, 2014 - 1:14 p.m.

Great Night For A Concert; Let's Hear Two

First off I'm proud of my last entry so if you haven't read it read it now. You back? Are you now convinced of my utter brilliance? Are you at least convinced that I'm a dangerous psycho and should be humored?

Writing that reminded me how much writing works as therapy. It takes the jumble of thoughts in my brain and gets them organized. What I like about yesterday's entry is that it illustrates the process.

I got a super late start on my day yesterday. I wrote late and then went to make breakfast late. I was going to make pancakes but when I went into the kitchen, my nemesis the thief was in there. As I had to go out shopping to replace the food he stole anyway and as the landlady said she's reimburse me for the dinner out that I didn't have as the thief stole the food I had set out for my it and what I planned on eating for breakfast yesterday I decided to go out for breakfast and ask to be compensated for that as I ended up not having dinner out the night before. I wanted pancakes and it was late so I went to IHOP which I love and where I can get it any time. They changed the menu! there was no chocolate chip pancakes! I think they might still have them as there was no list of pancakes, just pancake combos. They might have a separate breakfast menu that I wasn't given. I hope so. It wasn't what I wanted yesterday anyway. I wanted the big basic combo, pancakes, eggs, and sausages, just what I planned on eating at home Then I went shopping at Trader Joe's and Pathmark I went to Pathmark just to get Taylor Ham. That's one of the things he stole. Isn't that a capital offense?

Later I went right back to the same subway station as Trader Joe's to see Spuyten Duyvil at Hill Country Barbecue Market Brooklyn. If the crowd was there to hear the music that would be my favorite venue. But they are there to eat and drink. But I still get to eat at my favorite restaurant while hearing one of my favorite bands and hang out with favorite people. Carey sent me a review of a festival she went to and didn't include what she ate, what friends of hers were there, or information on the commute. What kind of concert review is that? Oh so I had ribs, brisket, chicken, and corn pudding. I took the there. And the only ones I knew at the show other than the band were Beth's mother and Bruce, a WfUV volunteer. You would have felt unsatisfied if I hadn't told you that and I would never do that to My Gentle Readers.

What is this the 736th time I've seen Spuyten Duyvil over the last year? I really need to keep track of those things. They are certainly in the running for musical act I've seen the most. Do I need to say more? They still rock my world.

I took some pictures. For some reason my camera hated Mark today. He just wouldn't come out in focus. I even got a better shot of Rick who was at the far end of stage. John was blocked off from me for most of the show but I think the main reason I didn't get good pics of him is that Mark would have had to been in the same picture. I even got great ones of Lou in the back on drums.


Jim on Harmonica


Rik on Lap Steel



Beth on Emoting and Mark on Bouzouki


Meredith on Fiddle


Lou on Drums

The rest of the pics:
spuyten Duyvil HCB 5-14

I could only stay for an hour and a half which was not the full set. I had to get to Rockwood Music Hall to see Emily Elbert. It turns out I didn't have to rush. It's only a few stops away on the but I was afraid there might be delays as there was a water main break on Houston Street and I wanted to get there early to grab my usual seat on stage 3. So what happened? I left at 8:30 for a 9:30 show and got there at 8:45. I might have left a few minutes after that. I had seen pics of the flooding earlier in the day but things were just a bit damp by the time I got there. I wasn't worried about the show being canceled as I saw that even Katz's deli was open and that's right where the break was. Rockwood would have posted if there were a problem.

I got there and the backroom above Stage 3 was empty. At least so I thought then I saw Emily sitting with some friends. I always like a show where I walk in and the artist gives me a hug. I talked to her for a bit then went out to get more food. What was missing from the day? I had pancakes and sausage and barbecue and corn pudding. So what essential did I miss? Yes you got it, chocolate. I went to to to damn, I never remember the name of the place on the corner of Houston and Allen. I just cheated and looked it up. It's the well-named Sugar Caf. My pal Joe was working. I don't get a hug from Joe but he come over and enthusiastically shakes my hand. We have basically developed a relationship around being excited to see each other. I had the chocolate mousse cake, I think for the first time. Unfortunately I wasn't served by Joe who always gives me extras, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. He always makes it look good too. He actually apologized afterward for my having to deal with unadorned dessert. I ended up having a great conversation with another customer. I started when somebody asked him where he was from and he said Queens. I pointed out that a real Queens person would ask, "Where in Queens?" So I did. he's from Glendale. Someone asked if that was near "Met's Stadium." Turns out he's a Yankee fan. Joe of course is a good human being and therefore a Met fan. We just had a lot of fun talking baseball, football, fantasy sports, and basketball. See I'm a real guy.

It got me thinking of the ways I think about people. I can love talking to random people like that but I'm also a snob and appreciating a tiny sliver of humanity far more than the rest. I live on the tail of the curve. In an imaginary conversation I had with someone at the furthest end of the tail I described someone else as "a person I don't dislike that I see often." Don't worry that isn't you. It wasn't a Gentle Reader.

When I was done I went back to Rockwood. I was told doors would open at 9:15. They didn't. That's when they let Emily in for sound check. The earlier performer stayed on way too long. Good thing Emily was playing solo with only one guitar and had a quick sound check.

Was I at least 20 years older than anyone in the audience? I think so. That's a good thing. The music needs a young audience to survive. I just wish some of my friends had come out to see her. So you know that tail of the distribution. Emily is out there many standard deviations. I prefer her with a band, many of her ideas come out in the arrangements but there's more than enough there when she's solo. OK it was important to me to tell you who she covered last night and I'm not sure I remember. There was one song by Aretha/Stevie Wonder, another by Patsy Cline/Willie Nelson, and a third by Hendrix. Emily covers all the bases. He home base is jazz and that' show it all comes out Much of her new material reminded me of Burt Bacharach, someone I adore but would not associate with Emily. She just does it all. What I think of as distinctly Emily sounds like scat but she sings words. Or you might call it jazz rap. It's not the kind of thing I usually go for. It's not melodic, I couldn't attempt to sing along, but it blows me away every time. She's one of the small group of performers who there is not quite like. She's not fungible.

One new song spoke of the divinity within her. Those of you who correspond with me know that I sign letters "Namaste" instead of "Sincerely", or "Love." My first bonding with Emily came when I'm not sure I had even met her but she signed her email "Namaste," And what does that have to do with the song? One translation of Namaste is "the divine within me acknowledges the divine within you." It can also be "light" instead of "divine." Literally it just means "bow." It's a greeting of not just respect but appreciation.


I almost forgot to post the pics of Emily. Know why? I'm an idiot. Come on that was an easy one.






After her set I let Emily know how great she was and bid her adieu. Then I headed home. It was a good night.






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 May 23, 2014
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