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 21, 2018 - 11:16 a.m.
Last night I had a musical doubleheader and pizza. Did that grab your attention? I'm working on my ledes. I mentioned two of the most important things in the world, music and pizza; you should be entranced.
I got myself out of the house in time to do what I wanted to do, stop at my PO box and Trader Joe's before the music started. I had one piece of important mail and junk, including junk addressed to somebody else. While I was there I renewed my PO box and had fun flirting with the counter person. Whoever manages the Columbus Circle Station most be great, they have the friendliest people working there. When I say flirting, it's not what you think of as flirting, it's be being charming, funny, and taking and treating the person as a person. Why do I call that flirting? I have no idea but I'm not about to change just because I'm using the word wrong.
It was an early night, the first musical act, Caves & Clouds went on Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1 at 6 o'clock. This was my first time seeing them. I had never heard their music. So why did I go? Half of the band is Jo Kroger whom I love, the other half is E.W. Harris. They had to do some explaining about their name. It's not that one of them is Caves and the other Clouds; they are both Caves & Clouds. Also, their name is not Cakes and Clowns. That's good because now Dan and I can use it for our duo. Dan does not even know that we have a duo, but I figured he'd go for it as we'd be wearing clownie pajamas and Dan is obsessed with the picture from when I was two and that was what I was wearing.
Caves & Clowns' music falls in the Creepy Folk genre. The archetype is Laura Dunn & the Ghosts of Xmas Past. C&C does not sound like them, but their music is creepy and it's folk. Let me make it clear that creepy is not a pejorative, it's a description of the mood the music sets. When you title your album, "The Winter of Our Discontent" you've given fair warming. The other band I'm starting that they inspired is "Son of York;" Our album is Glorious Summer. As all smart bands that play depressing songs their banter was funny. Like Laura, in between songs Jo has a big smile with dimples. Always beware of cute women with dimples; they can easily hide their evil. Good thing evil makes for good music. EW also doesn't look evil, with his beard and mustache he is hidden behind red hair. They have great onstage chemistry and their voices blend well. Whatever they do it works. I didn't get a chance to talk to E.W. I don't even know what it stands for. After reading this he is not going to want to ever talk to me. Jo, put in a good word for me. Let him know that I'm mostly harmless.
Unfortunately, I had to miss the last two songs as I had to make my way over to Stage 3. I was doing merch for The Young Novelists. Every once in a while, it's useful being me. They let me walk through Stage 2, right next to 1, to get to Stage 3. If they didn't I'd have had to walk around the block in yucky weather. If I knew they'd let me I could have stayed for one more song but as it is the timing was almost perfect. I got into Stage 3 a little before Laura and Graydon. When they arrived, I performed Sherpa duties. I'm more than a merch guy, I'm an all-purpose lackey. The Young Novelists added a new instrument to the road show, a keyboard. They asked what instrument they should add next time. I said a pipe organ and Fred suggested bagpipes. On further consideration, I'm going with didgeridoo. Every band needs a didgeridoo.
As you just picked up I was joined by Fred and he was joined by his colleague, Ricardo. Am I getting good with names? The Sound guy is Daniel. I had a way of remembering the waitress's name but forgot it. Too bad I don't have an Amazon Echo, I'd say, "Alexa what's the name of the waitress?" and she'd respond, "It's Alexa, just like me, you doofus."
I have loved Graydon and Laura as both musicians and people for years. We met at NERFA. I'm not sure if Shawna turned me on to them or I stumbled on them on my own; I suspect the former. Shawna is my Canadian musical matchmaker. The Young Novelists are an easy sell, they sing beautiful, well written, intricate nerdy, sad songs. They keep the sound changing, they don't just have a keyboard but a melodica, glockenspiel, hand percussion, and of course a guitar. They have a new album coming out on "Star Wars Day," May the fourth. It has an honest to god happy song on it. They weren't grading on a curve.
After the show we hung out in the bar above Stage 3 until they had to head back to their friends' house and relieve the baby sitter. They brought their son on this tour. I want to meet him. He sounds just like me as an 8-year-old.
I gave myself a treat for dinner. Instead of my usual dollar pizza I went to Rosario's, right down the block from Rockwood 3. The owner is Sicilian and their take on Sicilian pizza isn't like other places. They have these very thick round pies. I had one slice with sausage and peppers and another with bacon and American cheese. The latter made me want to try a bacon and egg pizza. I bet somebody must have made it. I like 99¢ pizza but it's not the real deal and Rosario's is exceptional.
It's the first full day of spring so of course there's a snowstorm. My plan for the day is stay home, binge watch Jessica Jones. and drink hot chocolate.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
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