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 26, 2016 - 1:18 p.m.
I'm making a very late start today. Maybe I'll make this short. Who am I fooling, it might be short but that has nothing to do with time. These entries write themselves and I just type. We'll see what needs to be written.
On Wednesday night Bruce posted on Facebook that he had an extra ticket to see Sunflower Bean. He got it from the WFUV member line. I had been wanting to go to the show. I saw them last year when they had their EP release; that was in a small place in Williamsburg, this was in a major venue, the Bowery Ballroom. This is not my usual fare. I don't often see bands that Rolling Stone called NYC's Coolest Young Band. Hell I don't usually see bands that WFUV has on air during the week. But then again people that I've known since they were 14, maybe younger, don't usually do these things. Julia Cumming, lead singer and bass player, was in the teen pop neuromusic band Supercute with Rachel Trachtenburg and I've known Rachel since what seems like in utero but actually she was 9 when she was in the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow players with, as you guessed it, her family Jason and Tina Trachtenburg. I often see my life as a web of connections. I independently know Julia's father Alec through What I Like About Jew people, Sean Altman, Deni Bonet, and Tammy Faye. I didn't even know that Alec and Julia were related at first. It's a common name and they came from different parts of my life.
Of course connections aren't why I like the band. It's because they, in the literal sense, rock. They are a trio of 20-year-olds that play rock and roll that to my ears hearken back to the 60s and 70s. There psychedelic rock, punk rock, and British invasion. Their music is infused with a celebration of life and youth. I could hear them covering My Generation I think that Bruce, Alec, and my age added up to the sum of everyone else's age in the audience. I was at a show with moshing. Same thing happened last time I saw Sunflower Bean. I'll get a bit meta hear. It was an evening that screamed for description "Youthful Exuberance" but that's such a clichéd term I can't use it without quotation marks. I was Exuberant too. I didn't mosh but I bounced around very much like I used to do at Früvous shows. It's pretty hard to stand still when listening to it.
You might have noticed if you looked very closely that I'm a bit of a nerd. My frame of reference, the things I know in my gut are often scientific. When watching the moshing I realized that it was a very good model of a solid being heated till first it melts then vaporizes. At first everyone stands in place just moving a bit to the music. As the intensity of the music increases so does the dancing. They are still staying in the same place but vibrating more and more just like the atoms in heated solid. Then there's a state change and they start sliding past each other and moving around as in a liquid. The movements get greater and greater and they spread out more and more and the dancers go through another change of state and move independently of each other occasionally colliding. They became a gas. So if I say the show was a gas I can mean it in more than one sense. At one point Julia joined the moshers. Unfortunately, I couldn't see that from where I was standing. The crowd went wild.
Here's a picture of the band, the one from their album cover.
You can figure out which is Julia, that's Nick Kivlen with the rose and Jacob Faber on the right. Is it just me or does Nick look like a young Dylan? In the pic he's Highway 61 Dylan. He let his hair grow into a Jewfro so now he looks more like Blonde on Blonde Dylan.
My only quibble was the sound, I could not make out the lyrics to the songs. They are well written so that's a loss. Not enough to stop me from enjoying it.
The opening acts were good too. Future Punx reminded me of Devo in sound and stage manner. Not many bands are going to remind you of Devo. Honduras played what I call No Adjective Rock. Yes, I get that's an oxymoron.
The crowd was slow arriving. The show was sold out but it was maybe a quarter full when Future Punx took the stage. It was packed by the time Honduras finished their set.
I should point out that Bruce and I stood on the main floor not sitting in the balcony with the old people. I always want to be where the action is.
There was a minor idiot story getting there. I used to frequent the Bowery Ballroom, I'd see Moxy Früvous, Great Big Sea, Dan Bern, and I think Dar there fairly frequently. But my last time there was seeing Anaïs Mitchell, my guess is that was three years ago. That's where I got friendly with Alex. He was a fan of the opening act, Cuddle Magic. Now I'm a fan too. The connections keep coming. The thing is this was my first time going to the Bowery from where I live now so I went a different way; the to Grant Street. That's just a few blocks away. But it's a stop I rarely use. I got out on the Corner of Christie and Grant. I somehow got turned around and walked East on Grant instead of North on Christie. I walked a block and looked left and saw the Chrysler Building. I knew that meant North was to the left. So I knew what I did. I walked up to Delancy Street then West to the Bowery Ballroom. That meant I was late! I'm never late. I felt bad as Bruce was kind enough to give me the extra ticket. I want to do things for his convenience. But Bruce was later so I was fine.
Getting home was no problem, I took the back to the . Luckily I heard the announcement that the is not running this weekend. I'm going to Jersey City tonight and would normally take the to the PATH train. Now I know I'll have to take the and will need to leave extra time. I'm going to Spiral Sounds to see The Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio. There are still some seats left. You should go to the Spiral Sounds website and reserve a seat.
Well this is slightly shorter than usual but it took some extra time to write as I had to rewrite my macros. I used quite a few in this entry. Good thing I'm getting more facile at doing that. Now it's time for a breakfast sandwich.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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