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 26, 2015 - 1:08 p.m.
I'm getting started earlier than usual, 10:10 but not as early as I'd like, 9:30 should be the plan. That's an hour after I wake up. I also did something new. I made coffee before brunch. I'm on my second cup now. This might not be a coincidence. I did that because I want to have a batch of cold brew ready for tomorrow and it takes 24 hours to make. That means I won't be doing this tomorrow as the cold brew won't be ready yet. That's decaf as I often drink it at night. I've been having enough trouble sleeping that I'm not going to add caffeine to the mix. I made the coffee extra well today. What did I do differently? No idea. I know. I am drinking it faster as I'm not eating. Coffee loses flavor as it sits there. I'm so good. I finished the coffee and set up the cold brew for tomorrow! Am I cured of my anxiety? Nah. But I'm going to have good iced coffee and that's almost as important.
Bah. I forgot to get something while I was up. Now I have to get up again. I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere. This will take less than 20 seconds .I'm back. See I told you. OK you there not in your seat. I told you I'd be right back. You can go to the bathroom after you finish reading this. Everybody settled in now?
Oh great I had to restart my computer and forgot to come back to writing. Now it is after noon. So much for the early start. I sometimes get very upset with myself.
OK so last night I went for what should be my default Monday plan, I went to see Tara O'Grady at the NYLO Hotel. Weird thing, it has a Broadway address but the entrance is on 77th Street. It might actually have a Broadway entrance but there's no sign on the door there. It is an odd place. It is Tara's usual Monday night gig.
I got there during her first song and was the first one in her immediate vicinity. Others were over at the bar. She asked me what I wanted to hear and being me I said songs from the new album, Irish Bayou. She played some then gave me the album so I could look up the titles instead of her. As more people showed up it became an all request show. Only one other person knew her stuff so it was all covers other than my requests. That was a great demonstration of how covers work. Tara does lots of covers on every other album, the first and third are covers, the second and fourth mainly originals .They are all covers she makes her own. At hotel shows she has to be ready to play requests from all over the place, Cole Porter to Patsy Cline to Elvis. She can't put her creative stamp on all of them. So you get two kinds of covers, the bar band covers and her concert covers. You hear the difference. She's a great singer with a first rate band. The bar band covers have musicianship and pizzazz. She knows how to sing and she knows how to sell a song. But they don't have the genius of the concert covers. The songs are for the most part, there are a few exceptions, done the way you are used to hearing them. The songs are not transformed. Do I love listening to them? Yes. She has a great bar band. But it is nothing like the experience of her own songs and her personalized covers. No one else is going to make Louis Armstrong's Irish Black Bottom into, OK I don't have the word for it. But it's not the way Satchmo did it. Usually she takes a song that doesn't swing and makes it swing. Here she took a song that swings and made it swing in a totally different way. Armstrong would have loved it.
When two of her three albums were Irish music made to swing I thought of that as what she did and Good Things Come to Those Who Wait as the exception. That's originals that she recorded in Nashville and you hear the influence. The New album, Irish Bayou as you might guess from the title was recorded in New Orleans and the city is reflected in the music. There is no usual to Tara's music. She plays where the muse takes her. The most constant element is that it swings. If you just watched her singing with no sound you'd pick that up.
Next Monday if you have nothing to do go and listen to Tara. She plays on Tuesday too at the Refinery Hotel. The audience is not as good there. At the Nylo the crowd was into it. After I got the ball rolling everyone was giving requests, listening, and appreciating what they heard.
OK now it's really late and I have therapy. I better make brunch. It's after 1 PM.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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