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
-Bertrand Russell

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

November 09, 2014 - 11:44 a.m.

Bluegrass and all that Jazz

I had nothing planned when I woke up yesterday but when I looked at Rockwood I saw this.

Live Webcast on Concert Window this Saturday, Nov. 8 at 4pm EST. Michael Daves & Friends featuring Sarah Jarosz, Tony Trischka, Chris Eldridge, Jen Larson, and Alex Hargreaves. Watch from anywhere or join us live at the Rockwood Music Hall!
I wasn't going to turn that down especially as it was free. Yes I just saw most of these people at the Brooklyn Bluegrass Bash but hey look who it is, they bear repeating.

Most people would not think getting to a 4 PM show would mean making himself get ready early. Most people aren't me. Especially as I wanted to get there early as it was a free show and I thought there was a chance I wouldn't get in. It's Rockwood and a Saturday afternoon so I didn't do the get there two hours early thing, I was satisfied with half an hour. I arrived at precisely 3:30, I'm good. I was the seventh person on the line. I didn't let it crush me that I wasn't the first. I just hoped that none of the people in front of me would rush upstairs for the Statler and Waldorf seats.

I sometimes like waiting on the line before a show, it's a chance to socialize. I mean that's how I met LORi, that's enough to pay off for a lifetime of waiting on lines for concerts. I did not make a lifelong friends yesterday but something great did happen. The person in front of me offered me a French fry. We weren't even talking. He was with a group of friends. He just asked this total stranger if he wanted a fry out of the blue. A few minutes later he said, "I'm doing with these anyone want them to his friends. When none of them wanted them he offered them to me. Do I need to tell you I accepted the offer? I also told him that I'd blog about it. This was clearly the most important thing that happened yesterday. Maybe it's a Louisville thing, that's where he's from.

I'm pretty sure someone I knew was behind me a bit in the line. I tried to get her attention and say hi but I couldn't and I decided I didn't know her well enough to break into her conversation with friends just to greet her. It was a bit of an awkward situation for me. Am I being rude for interrupting or rude for not being friendly? I was actually more interested in figuring out the situation than uncomfortable about it.

When they let us in everyone else made a beeline for the tables down front and I had the mezzanine to myself. I got one of the two Statler and Waldorf seats.. I took the one I like less, the one further in, otherwise that would leave it a single and that's not really fair to other people. I didn't want to make someone else have to ask me if I could move in a seat.

This is the view I actually get from the seat.

Michael Daves and Chris Eldridge

For the rest of the pics I put my phone on the other side of the bars. This was an all-star lineup, it isn't every day that you get to see Tony Trischka, Sarah Jarosz, and Chris Eldridge as sidemen. Yes Sarah was a sideman. I have decided to make that a gende-free term. side person is just too cumbersome. Man originally meant a human of either gender and I'll use that meaning when useful.

The show was freewheeling. It wasn't so much the others backing Michael as everybody jamming together. I think you can get that from the pics.

Yesterday I wrote that what Cricket Tells the Weather does is influenced by Bluegrass but isn't Bluegrass. Much of what was played last night. In true bluegrass style they share one condenser mic and take turns playing the melody. That makes the show visually dynamic as the lead walks up to the mic so the configuration always changes.

Jen Larson was totally new to me. Oddly when she was featured I couldn't take any pictures of her, Chris was always in the way. But I caught her in the finale.

I love living in a City where I can see all these amazing musicians together for free and not have to wait or hours on a line My only question is why none of you were there? OK one friend that I talked to was. As I was leaving I heard my named called out; it was Eddie Barbash. It's the third time I've run into him recently. I have find where he's going musically, bluegrass on the saxophone. Yes it works.

The show was over before six. I had the Saturday night free so what did I do? I went to Trader Joe's. I'm such a wild man Hey I got chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. They are essentially giant Reese cups. That is exciting. I had dinner at home. I'm happy about that. I want eating at home to be the norm.

I finished watching the first part of Ken Burns' Jazz. It is literally epic. That's Ken Burns' gift. He is the modern day Homer. He stitches the disparate elements into a cohesive narrative. He manages this using just old photos, narration, and talking heads. I'm sure in the later episodes there will be concert footage. I'm learning a lot.

TV like that is so much more rewarding than standard fare but it requires more of the viewer. It's why I didn't watch it when it was on. I couldn't make the commitment of time This way I can watch it when I want. But the thing is the effort is worth it. It's always like that, the best art requires effort to be appreciated you have to give of yourself too.

It was very nice this morning when I turned on John Platt he was introducing a song by Mya Adriene Byrne. It happens every week but I still get a kick out of hearing my friends on the radio. John obviously has good taste as he played the same song I picked to represent Adriene on the On Your Radar Reverbnation Page. Mya is going to be a guest on this month's installment along with the Boxcar Lillies and Matt Nakoa. Then Matt was John's guest in the last hour of the show.

Unlike Ken Burns I'm having trouble making this into a narrative, at least one with an ending. This is why I always used to end by telling you what I planned on eating for breakfast. It gave me a way out. Now I'm stuck forever writing this. I will stay strong. I won't tell you about my breakfast. I will figure out how to finish this or keep writing till I die. I know I ca

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile November 09, 2014
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