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

October 03, 2013 - 12:25 p.m.

From Brooklyn to Baton Rouge

Yesterday I was thinking about all the things that I've not had time to write and decided, "I have to stop writing about every musician I see and spend more time writing about my thoughts." So what happens, I see not one but two shows by great songwriters and really have to write about them as Carolann Solebello has a new CD and I haven't seen Mary Gauthier very often.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. After blogging I started to write the test I'm giving on Friday. I thought I'd have to finish it or make sure I put it in my drop box so I could work on it from home. But I don't. I'm going to Lincoln Center, three blocks from my school tonight, I'll just stop at school first.

I didn't actually realize that I could go to both shows. Mary was at Hill Country, my favorite restaurant but I wasn't going to miss the CD release of Carolann's Steel and Salt. So once I realized that I could finish the test today I raced down to grab some dinner before Carolann's show. That actually made no sense, it was an early show and I could eat afterward, I had a zillion friends there and there was a good chance I could have eaten with someone. But as we all know that I'm an idiot this is not surprising.

I stopped at Lucky Burger but got there later than I wanted to and the service was slower than I expected so I got it take out and rushed to The Living Room. Carolann asked me to do merch. That's sort of like asking me to be a chocolate taster, I'm going to say yes. I know why it doesnt happen. I know I wouldn't do it myself but it would be great if someone could just say to me. "You're marching." Not as an order, not as a request, but simply as a statement of fact.

This is as much of a home game for me as possible. The room was packed and I knew the majority of the people there. I will not begin to try and list all my friends there. I sat with Eliot and Katherine. Sorry everybody else.

Like Dylan at Newport Carolann has gone electric. I spotted Pete Seeger with an axe and wrestled him to the ground before he could cut the power. it was a tough fight. Carolann's band was not the Band but Fred Gillen who produced the album, on guitar, Cheryl Prashker on drums, and Matt Scharfglass on bass. I don't know Matt but I love his name.

I have been meaning to rave about the album for ages. Ages is my lexicon means the few weeks since I got it. Yes you can get a CD before it's release. My record is over a year before the official release. There's no business like show business. It's like no business I know.

Carolann did just what I want at a CD release. She ran through the entire album in the order they appear on the CD. As she said it's a New York album. It's about life in the City through the eyes of her family, friends, and herself. It has a sense of place as much as Susan Werner's Hayseed. Put them together and you have Katherine, she grew up in Iowa and lives in Brooklyn! See everything comes together.

I see Carolann often and I've heard many of the songs before she recorded them. I know Carolann well, I know her perspective. It's so easy for her to become part of my background, That was what made it extra special when I listened to the album for the first time with my full attention and still heard it as something new, as something that could give me a feeling of wonder. She spent a year writing a song a week for Cary Cooper's Real Women Real Songs project and that worked wonders. You work out in the gym every week and you'll get in shape. You work out as a songwriter every week and your composing muscles bulge. I'm listening now as I write, and though I can't give it my full attention it keeps distracting me from my writing. I'm trying to not write in huge detail so I'll just point out one song, Movie Queen. It starts as a song of regret of missed experiences but it becomes a love song, one that is sweet and deep and never cloying. It is not another silly love song. It's totally personally yet so many can relate to it. She and Mark, her husband, write love songs like nobody else. They should do a Valentine's day show of songs for each other. In my effort to boost sales in a room where most people had the album I told Mark that if he bought one the singer would bear his firstborn male child. I am a creative marketer.

I just remembered one other song I wanted to talk about "Put Down The Gun." It is what Obama should be playing for the congressional Republicans. It's What we should all be saying to them. Why can't I find a video of it? Is there one Carolann?

Before the show Meg told me that she was going to see Mary Gauthier afterward so I knew the timing was possible but she already had a ticket and I still thought I couldn't go. But then Katherine said that she was going and she didn't have a ticket and I could no longer resist the siren song. So after I closed up shop we headed up to Hill Country. Oh what a waste, Katherine was hungry but is a vegan. I love barbecue but I had already eaten.

We got there 10 minutes late and Mary had already started but I'm guessing we didn't miss more than one song. We ended up getting seats right next to Meg and at the same table as Kathryn and Paul. We found the seats before we saw who we were sitting with. The world isn't small it is microscopic.

I fell in love with Mary when she was interviewed by Vin Scelsa back in 1999. Wow that's even longer ago than I thought. So the first time I saw her was at either Falcon Ridge 1999 or 2000. Who has a program and can check that for me? I have a feeling that Carey was with me which would make it 2000 but I might just be inserting the familiar into a memory. I've been known to do that. It's called being human.

Mary did not slowly grow as a songwriter. She did not go to the crossroads. She sprang forth fully grown and in armor from Zeus's head. Her first album Drag Queens and Limousines is a work of genius. What did grow is her skills as a performer, not her singing but everything else. She went from being distant and cool to warm and charming. She tells stories in easy manner. While that's not the music it makes a difference. Is it that she's more comfortable, it is just a honing of skills? I don't know and I don't care. It makes the show that much better, and it was always good.

What I noticed last night is that she sings and writes in a matter that is similar to many men but few women. Much of what she does is what I've started to call lyric poetry, not so much singing as speaking to music. Sam Baker does it, Dave Van Ronk did, Todd Snider do it too. When she was just talking, not storytelling, her voice reminded me so much of someone I know well and couldnt place. I knew it was a friend but didn't know if it was a musican, someone I know now, or someone from my past. Then near the end it hit me, Julie Gold! How does a woman who grew up in a Catholic home in Louisiana then moved to Boston as an adult, and lives in Nashville now, sound like a Jewish woman from Philly who has lived in New York for most of her adult life? I'm glad I figured out who it was or I'd have gone bonkers. OK I am bonkers. I would have been annoyed.

After the show we hung out for quite a bit. I talked a lot with Amy who came over and said hello. I think this was our first long conversation. We met at Jack Hardy's memorial where I met so many other people I'm now close to including Kathryn, Paul, and Jeremiah. Oh wait I'm supposed to call Kathryn Kay now as to not confuse you with Katherine. I could just start calling Katherine Etzy but I might get slugged.

I talked Mary for the first time since I saw her open for Slaid at the Mainstage in White Plains. I know Carey was at that show. I'm not sure if I said more than five words then. Yard to believe isn't it?

On the ride home I talked to Etzy Katherine how I have to stop writing entries, like this one and told her what I wanted to write. Now it could be fun to write what I want to write in the context of me telling it to Katherine. That format even fits in with one of the themes I want to write about but I've already written 1607 words so I should call it quits. Bacon is beckoning me. Writing about writing about bacon is one of the things I want to write about. Can anyone other than Carey translate that from Gordondon? It was as clear as crystal to me. Consider it a teaser. Tonight I'm going to the Opera. That means that I'll have to write about that tomorrow. And it means that every player has to pay me $50.

50 points to anyone that can explain the filename of this page.

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

creative commons
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Horvendile October 03, 2013
site search by freefind advanced

Follow on Feedly

about me - read my profile! read other DiaryLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get your own fun + free diary at DiaryLand.com!