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

April 17, 2014 - 1:27 p.m.

I'm a Nanci Boy

I've procrastinated enough I will start writing. I even know what I want to write about. And it's not that someone just left the door to the office open so I have to now get up and close it.

Somebody actually asked me how my Fantasy Baseball team, the Nashional Batnoses were doing. I mean to give that every week. Right now we are in 3rd place. We won last week! I have never won the second week. My teams always start slowly. Here are the standings.

Last entry I told you that I left my keys at the post office. Yesterday I went there to see if they had been found. I wasn't sure how it would go. It depended on if an honest person found them. I walked in and rang the buzzer for service. The woman I know best there saw me and said, "You left your keys here!" I love that I get personalized service at the post office. This is my favorite post office branch and she is my favorite one working there. It's so much better than the Oakland Gardens Station where I lived most of my life. I have written the Postal Service to tell them how good the people are at Columbus Circle Station, especially my friend there. I was sad to hear that she's leaving.

As long as I was in the neighborhood I went to my office to get work done. I made up a practice test for finite math and a real test for pre-calculus. Making up the real test was easier as I just changed the numbers from the practice test.

After I fished working I went down to, OK you should know where I go most often, yes Rockwood Music Hall. Actually I stopped for pizza first. I don't do that enough. I love pizza.

Then I was off to Rockwood 3 to see The Kennedys. This was a special show, a Nanci Griffith tribute. The first time I ever saw Pete was with the her band, the Blue Moon Orchestra. Maura was in it too but I didn't catch a show with her. Nanci is a huge favorite. Twenty years ago I decided that even though I had never actually met her if she asked me to marry her I would. Then she went and got married to somebody else. It just isn't fair. Why didn't she ask me?

Guess who did the merch, yes me. That meant I sat in the back, not my first choice but it's a small room so not so bad. The worst part was I didn't sit with my friends and I had a ton there, I know I will forget some. There were Jeff & Karen, Fred, Glenn, Marty, and Tara. They were the first 6 people to get there. Before the show I hung out with them up front. So I was only by myself when I shouldn't have been talking anyway.

If I don't see the Kennedys for a couple of months it seems like a long time. I have no idea how many times I've seen them but over 20 years it has to be more than 100. So it's no surprise that I think they are not good but great. I didn't think I'd be able to come up with something new to write about them but I did! What makes the Kennedys great is that there music feels so simple. So much of it sounds like pop. Accept for Pete's guitar solos, which nobody else can play, it sounds like anybody could do what they do. But it's wrong. Their genius is to write and play sophisticated songs that only sound simple. I love quoting the negative review that called them "Candy-ass happy folk." That just proved that the reviewer didn't pay attention. He only heard the surface.

Everybody who hears them knows that Pete plays guitar like a demon and Maura doesn't just have a beautiful voice, but knows what she's doing with it. But if you listen you hear that Maura plays a hell of a rhythm guitar and while Pete's voice isn't pretty, he is a great backup singer. He knows exactly what he's doing.

But even that isn't what I want to write about. It's an example of what I want to write about. I sit here day after day an analyze music, or appear to. But that's not quite what happens. I don't break down music into components and judge it by how it meets technical criteria. My reaction to music is visceral, even when the appeal is intellectual. What I start by loving, liking,, ehing, disliking, or hating the music. Then I dont' analyze the music but my reaction to it. I work on how it achieves its effect on me. The most basic thing is, does it hold my attention. Can I listen to a song from beginning to end and not get bored? I see if it gets my mind racing off in different directions. The Kennedys always do. I could write blogs inspired by the Kennedys without ever mentioning them. Often it has nothing to do with music. They get me thinking about other things.

I have become what as a teen I thought the target audience should be. An experienced but not trained listener. I know enough to hear the difference between something being merely pretty and something that has content. But I am not going to like something because it uses an innovative chord progression. It might afterward give that credit but it has to affect me first.

After the show I raced upstairs to set up the merch. I never had so many people want to pay with credit card and Maura has to do that as she has the software on her iPad. Not surprisingly she sold mainly the Nanci Griffith tribute CD that they organized. They have one song on it.

After we closed shop Pete took their stuff home and Maura stayed and hung out with Tara and I. You know I always like hanging out with friends after a show. As an extra bonus I heard someone call my name and come over and give me a hug. It was Jean Rohe. I told John that he'd be jealous as I was hanging out with intelligent beautiful women. But alas I had to teach today so I couldn't stay as late as they could and headed home.

I have been having a rough time with anxiety lately, My heart was pounding as I got off the train to go to the show. It provided a welcome relief from it. I'm still stressed. Good thing I have therapy today. If they could bottle the Kennedys I wouldn't need to.

Students just showed up for help. I have to post this and help them.

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 April 17, 2014
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