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
March 10, 2012 - 4:50 p.m.
Welcome to a rare afternoon addition of Wise Madness. I'm not quite sure where the day went. Part of the problem is that I had to run to the stores this morning for the final ingredients of the Chocolavinator that I made. I went to make it last night and realized that not only did I not have milk, which I could run out and get but also chocolate chips so I had to put it off till today. I've mixed everything and four loafs are sitting in my fridge waiting to be baked, two tonight and two tomorrow. But that's getting way ahead of myself, Let's back it up a bit, well a lot.
First off my students are still making my ears bleed. I gave them a quiz on Thursday. It was the third quiz on exactly the same topic, the quadratic and cubic identities. All they have to do is memorize five formulae and be able to use them. I teach this every semester no matter what course I'm teaching. Some people resist but for the most part they learn it. This class didn't. The majority got most of the questions wrong the third time around. It feels to me that they simply refuse to spend the time to memorize them even though they know they will be tested on it. People always learn it. I find it hard to believe that almost an entire class is incapable of doing something the vast majority of people can do.
I wasted time after class and that started a cascade effect. I got to Trader Joe's late and rushed my way through shopping. I got home so late that I only had an hour turnaround time before I had to go back to the City. Good thing I had the soup prepared and just had to nuke it. I made a Taylor Ham and cheese panino with it, so I hardly needed any cooking time.
I still left later than I'd have liked to get to 72 to see the this:
Tom Tom Magazine is devoted to Female Drummers. Yesterday was Cheryl Prashker's Birthday. Sometimes things work out perfectly. This show was the Kids Issue Release Party and featured four teen girl bands. Does everyone know which one I was there to see? You should, I've seen them before; Supercute.
The address of 72 is 72 Warren Street. I thought that even I could handle that. I know exactly where that is. I got there with no problem. The thing is there were two doors with the address 72 Warren Street and neither was what I was looking for. Someone else showed for the show and he couldn't figure it out either. We asked someone and was told it was across the street at 77 Warren Street. It wasn't. That was a bar without music. I was thinking of giving up. But we asked somebody else and they pointed to 74 Warren Street and said that if it were music it would be there. The sign there said "Church Street School." There was no sign outside or inside saying there was a concert. We went inside to check. It was the right place. Why don't they give the address as 74 Warren Street and say to go into the school? When I told them how much trouble we had finding the place the woman at the gate asked, "Didn't you see the sign?" No and neither did the other guy that was lost. Apparently it's projected in light on the ground. This was a true failure to communicate. I hope they realize that they need to make things more obvious. We have similar problems at Christopher Street Coffee House and we are doing something about it.
Of course this is a kids program that's just getting started so there are growing pains. I love the idea of the place. This was billed as an all-ages show. Usually that means that kids are allowed. In this case what made it special is that adults were allowed in. It's an oasis for cultured teens; Thats a very good thing.
Once in I had to figure out the lay of the land. Not surprisingly it was a standing venue with no place to put your stuff. I folded up my jacket and sweatshirt and put them and my bag under a table. Other people left their stuff against the walls. It was way too hot to leave any outer clothing on. I brought my own water but was pleased to see that they provided bottled water for free. Sure they were hard to find but they worked other things out great.
I looked around but the only people I saw that I knew were Rachel Trachtenburg's parents, Jason and Tina and they didn't stay in any one place long enough for me to talk to them so I concentrated on getting a good spot for photography. I found one off to the side.
The first band up was Toy Sugar. They started just as I got there. Unfortunately I spent most of their set thinking about what I was going to do and how I could take pictures and didn't give them the listen they deserve. I did get the pictures but not good ones. I didn't work out how to get those till Puta de Cava came on. OH this is great. Picasa isn't working correctly. It started by making Google+ my primary way to deal with my pictures. That did not let me share them here so I deleted my Google + account. Now some pictures can be shared but not all.
So you you'll just have to deal with the slideshow at the end.
I was able to spend a lot more attention to Puta de Cava. What impressed me was that they have already developed their own voice. They do not play generic pop or rock but something all their own. They have definite potential.
This is what the space looked like. Yes that is a Tom and Jerry cartoon you see projected oh the wall.
I of course prefer What's Opera Doc!
It's getting late and this is getting long. I better get on to Supercute. Supercute always have had their own voice. They are a teen girl band that will do songs comparing candy and drug addiction and then cover Led Zeppelin. They have a wonderful sense of irony without being at all affected or infected by hipsterism. Disney Channel could never figure them out, well except for the Phineas & Ferb but they'd make perfect sense to Daniel Pinkwater. They could have walked right out of one of his YA novels. They are the Dada Wild Ducks. I don't think they are great of a kid's band or that they have potential; I love as they are right now. They have more originality, more of a voice, than most of the musicians I heard and see.
Rachel and Julia have started a side project, Terry Tinsel, a tribute band to Gary Glitter. Yes two teenage girls have a tribute band to a 1970s glam rocker who is a convicted sex offender, a pedophile. As they said, "He did very bad things, we're a tribute to his music." They can separate the two. It is amazing how many adults can't. And of course can you get more dada than that? And this isn't done with a wink and a nudge. It isn't quite played straight either. They know they are being absurd but that isn't why they are doing it. They achieve balance, and that's art.
The last band, the headliner was Smoosh. Apparently they are well known. Their drummer was the back cover girl of the magazine. They were at South by Southwest. How do I know that? Two obsessive fans were talking about it near me. The two obsessive fans were not teenage girls. They were not teenage boys. They were middle-aged men. They remind me of many obsessive fans that I'd see. They not only list every song being played they discus where they've heard them before. What the stage patter was the last time they played it. They got excited because they heard a drum rhythm they hadn't heard before. I found it all a bit creepy. Oh and one was very tall and moved his way to the front when they came on. He announced to the world, "This is the band we are here to see and I don't care whose view I block" As you can see there was no stage so I stood a bit off to the side; Not him. Remember this guy is around 40.
I found him so oft-putting that I was prejudiced against the band. My first reaction was that they were generic and not interesting. But I listened some more and realized that wasn't true. They don't connect with me like Supercute. They don't have the spark of originality as Puta da Cava, but they were the most professional sounding band there and the smoothest musicians. I'll give them another chance.
I started enjoying things more when I moved away from the stage and the annoying fans. First I went to my bag and got a drink then I walked around the periphery looking for a comfortable place to stand and listen. I ended up right next to Jason who recognized me. I know he does but I still find that I don't fully expect it. We had our usual great neuro conversation. He's a really fun person to talk to. We talked about our Bar Mitvahs. That was his first public singing.
We continued talking after the live music ended. It was followed by a DJ. Rachel came over and was leaving and Jason left with her. That was for the best as I wanted to get home at a decent hour. Rachel knows me to. Good to know. The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players and Supercute, are two of my favorite bands but they are totally outside my usual circles. It's a good thing to go out of your usual circles. You should join me next time I see them. You know you want to.
I've written over 1742 words and have left out so much. Remind me that I want to write about idiosyncratic artists and universal ones.
When I got home I realized that I didn't have milk in the house to make my chocolavinator. I was going to stop at the all night grocery when I realized that I had forgotten to buy the chocolate chips at Trader Joe's. So I had to buy them this morning. Have I mentioned that I’m an idiot? Good thing Christine Lavin told me that it was fine to do that. They still will have been soaked for 5 hours before I bake them so things will be fine.
As I'm making chocolavinators you might have deduced that I'm going to a house concert; two in fact. We're About 9 is playing at Chris's house tonight and Gene's tomorrow. OK I better run. Here's the slideshow.
Drums Along the Barrow Street - November 20, 2014