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
July 24, 2015 - 12:42 p.m.
I have been debating on how to write this. I was going to save the serious stuff for the end but if I did you would have no idea on how the day actually unfolded for me. It would not give a true representation of my mental state. So I'm going to forego dramatic tension for honesty and accuracy. I've been hinting at problems without telling you what they are. Now I will.
I've been a wreck and trying to convey that if only in hints. There are two threads here but they converge on Falcon Ridge. First I have once again not been able to take care of Budgiedome scheduling. This happens every year now. I always get it done but I have to first overcome a huge wall of anxiety around it. The Budgiedome gives me such satisfaction. It's something I'm proud of. But for years now I've frozen when it comes time to make the schedule. I have no problems asking people to play. But every time someone asks about the schedule my anxiety shoot up. I have not been able to read posts about Falcon Ridge for the last week or so.
And that's the smaller problem. The bigger one is my storage, where I keep all my camping gear. I fell behind in my payments. Then when I was totally broke I got a call from them. .I knew they were going to tell me I had to pay or they'd take everything. I couldn't take the call. Yesterday I finally brought it up with LORi. I sent her a simple message, "Help." That was it. She called me. I dreaded answering the call as it meant I had to talk about what happened. But I did. It's why I sent her the message, to make myself deal with it. She is a great friend and offered to call the storage place for me and find out the story. She did. She called me back. My stuff is gone. They auctioned it off. I don't care about furniture or most of my stuff. Just my books, my CDs, and the things from my parents. The last cannot be replaced. I have to remind myself that they are just things. I have been living without them for years. I still wanted to cry.
But it gave me enough energy to contact Brianne, my assistant and give her what I got from the Budgiedome and had her contact the musicians and start on making the schedule. I went through a phase change and can do it now. My mind is too complex for me to understand. I hope everyone can forgive me. There's a lot of guilt and shame involved in this. I am letting people down.
But that did not stop me from going on with my plans for the day. Now the mood changes. What good is sitting alone in your room/come hear the music play. That's my prescription for many ills. Fred had an extra ticket for the Indigo Girls at aWFUV Marquee Member show at City Winery. Doors were at 4:00 and the show at 5:00. The one I went to the seats were assigned so there was no point in getting their early. I still arrived early, 4:10 and Fred beat me there. But the seats were not assigned. If I had known I'd have gotten there before doors. Of course we still got good seats. John Platt and his wife Sheila were right behind us. John hosted the show. The only other friends I saw were Damon, Dan, and Phyllis. But I didn't walk around looking for people. It's very hard to get into and out of the seats there.
I'm not a huge fan of the Indigo Girls. I discovered them on WFUV in the early 90s. I heard those harmonies and said, "I love them!" but then listened more and it didn't take me places. There were three female duos I knew that I had discovered over just a few years, disappear fear, The Indigo Girls, and The Story. The Indigo Girls were always the least interesting to me. But I did see them live at Clearwater and wanted to give them another chance. They are obviously loaded with talent. I'm not insane, I know they good. So they came on and my opinion didn't change. I enjoyed it but it wasn't special. I said that Rhiannon Giddens is bigger on the inside than the outside. The Indigo Girls are all surface. There's a hell of a lot of surface, but I don't find more digging down. I almost said "you don’t find more …" But I can't say that. Perhaps you do and they just don't connect with me. That happens. There's always a hint that there's more there that I'm missing.
I got a call when I was there. It was Brianne. She was worried about me. Earlier I had just emailed her. I told her I'd call when the show was done. And that's what I did. Instead of schmoozing I called Brianne. I actually took care of some Budgiedome business and more importantly talked so a friend. Brianne I always connect with.
Then Fred and I embarked on our journey to the second leg of our musical double header The Kennedys at HiFi in the East Village. Fred needed something from REI so we stopped on the way over. It was pretty much right on our path. When we left REI we went off our path. We didn't come out where we went in. Neither of us gave it much thought but we thought we headed east. Instead we headed south. We needed to go northeast. Good thing I noticed that the first street we hit was Prince Street. . The problem was we exited on the opposite side of the store than we entered and neither of us noticed.
I stopped for a couple of slices on the way but made it to HiFi at 7:15 for an 8:00 show. I was doing merch, well duh, so I went in to talk to Maura, set up and save seats. Fred waited in the main room. The show was in the smaller back room,
This was the acoustic premier of Pete's new solo CD, Heart of Gotham. The first set they did the entire album, almost in order. It might have been totally in order. Pete has been working on this for years. I saw him perform the entire album solo four years ago, or was it five? But it's changed since then. There are new songs. I loved it then but now it's even better. No it's not about Batman. It's a song cycle about New York. The songs are as good as anything he's ever written. In this and Maura's new album, Villanelle there is more of an emphasis on lyrics than in most of what they have done before. Not that they didn't write great lyrics but most people's attention went to the singing and musicianship. It just hit me that it reminds me of Lou Reed's similarly themed album New York. It's a series of vignettes and slices of life in the City. And it's a true song cycle, ending where it began in Union Square. I recently complained about a musician that I couldn't listen to the lyrics. Every time I tried I got bored and my mind wandered. On Gotham you hang on every word. I found myself seeing what Pete was describing. And of course it had his usual great guitar with Maura playing Emmylou to his Gram. Pete even got a brand new guitar, not red but white!
They did a second set of songs off Villanelle and their new duo album, West. Yes they celebrated their 20th anniversary as a band and a couple by putting out three brand new albums of original music. So many people have trouble coming up with material once every five years. Where do the songs come from? Inside and they have plenty inside them.
Have I known them a long time? They asked for requests in the second set but I didn't say anything because I see them all the time. But I thought as it was getting near the end that I wanted to hear Elegy their tribute to Dave Carter. But that song is too sad to end with so they needed to follow it with something upbeat, and there's nothing more upbeat than Travel Day Blues. But I didn't say anything. I let them do what they want. So what did they do? They finished with Elegy followed by Travel Day Blues. We are in synch. Good thing we aren't the back street boys.
After I was done selling CDs and the crowd thinned out I wasn't about to do the same. I hung out more and when we were alone I told Maura what happened to my things in storage. I got virtual hugs from LORi, Carey, and Brianne, but I needed a real one I got it and it helped. Maura's always a good person to talk to when things gang aft aglay. Then we went back to talking about music and Maura's ultrahightop Chucks and me getting new eyes. I did my Sherpa duties and helped carry things out to their car. Then when I was heading out I heard my named called. I went back to them. They were going to eat and asked if I wanted to join them. Sure I had slices but I am a fathomless maw and two dollar slices is not that much of a dinner. We tried a new place right by HiFi, Moonstruck. It didn't look like a dinner but it really was one. I had bacon cheese fries and a chocolate shake. Yes health food. Well it's mental health food. Pete got some bacon with what he ordered but didn't want it so he gave it to me. I responded the way I had to, "Sorry Maura; Pete will you marry me?" LORi and I decided that I'm bromasexual. Broma means food. Give me food and I'll love you.
So I headed home late. It was after midnight when we got out of there. It's nice living in New York, you can walk to a place where you can eat at midnight. There is nothing like post-concert dining. A hot dog at a ball game is the only thing close.
After an evening of music and friends I was feeling much better. I lost things. No matter how personal, they are things. The Budgiedome will work out. Shakespeare in Love explains it.
This morning I learned of a true tragedy; Saburah died. I knew she was ill but didn't know she was that ill. The fact that I hadn't heard from her in a while should have tipped me off. Sab was a Frühead One of the many I befriended when Moxy Früvous was still playing. They did their last show 14 years ago but Sab and I have stayed friends. When she was in New York we always got together. When she lived her for a summer we got together often. I'll miss her. Put her name in the search box and read about the fun I had with her. She was special.
I'm an idiot. I went to the bathroom and forgot I hadn't posted this and started to make breakfast. I am a bromasexual but an obligatory blogger; this comes first.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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