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 20, 2010 - 10:30 a.m.

NERFA Episode 4: The New Hope

Once again I didn't go out last night, I was too tired. I realized that it isn't so much directly recovering from NERFA. It's that I'm falling asleep on NERFA time and waking up on teaching time. That means getting no sleep. I'll see if I can work my way out of that. Last night I went to bed around midnight and woke up this morning a little before seven. It didn't help that a super loud car alarm went off at 2:30. Oh and I got up for a snack around 12:30.

I've finished almost all my NERFA homework. I've sent friend requests to all the people who gave me cards and ripped all the CDs people gave me. Odd thing, most of the CDs are from people I didn't see or even talk to much. I have no idea who some of them are.

It's been almost a week and it is finally time to give you the rundown of my biggest NERFA discoveries. I actually took notes so I'll go through them and list them as they come up.

I love that the last thing in the notebook from before NERFA are the notes I took for the cake I got for Red Molly's CD release party for James.

I'm a tough audience. Here are some of my negative reviews without mentioning the artist.

  • Beautiful harmonies; uninspired
  • Too earnest
  • Eh
  • Way too earnest
  • not exciting
  • invite decadent. This one had a good sound but lost me.

Most performers don't leave much of an impression on me at all. I took notes on one of them twice because I forgot that I saw her the first time.

What's bothering me now is that there are some that I really like that I don't remember well but I see I said I should invite them to The Budgiedome. That's more homework. I'm going to have to contact them as I didn't at the conference. I didn't invite some of the ones I remember either. It depended on how easy it was to talk to them.

Here are the acts that blew me away, the short list.

  • Barnaby Bright: I went to see them on Gene and Isabel's recommendation. I saw them at one of my first guerilla showcases. Those are held in hotel rooms. It isn't even a house concert. In many of them you just sit on a bed. They impressed me immediately. They are the husband and wife team of Nathan and Becky Bliss.
    She doesn't have a good voice, she has a great one. Their songwriting is brilliant. You don't have to take my word for that last night they won the NYC Song Circle Songwriters Competition. The musicianship is there. They are the total package. One of the highlights of NERFA was Nathan joining in with his sax on a Beaucoup Blue's song. I also was so sure I'd remember them I didn't take any notes on them. I was supposed to. They were the first person I gave a card to and I was the first one that they got a card from. We were each other's first. Isn't that romantic?
  • Jory Nash: He was a recommendation of Shawna Caspi. She's a Torontonian who I met through David Hein but who remembered me from the Frhead world. She told me that I had to see him and not just for his cool name. Not knowing that he introduced himself to me before I saw him perform because he saw the tag with my very cool name.
    I was worried that I wouldn't like him as a performer even though I did as a person. That's always an issue. No need to worry. He was amazing, a born performer. He's funny, charismatic, and has musical chops. He'd have been a highlight with no warning. I adopted him into our family after I knew he could cut the mustard. What the hell does that mean?
  • Round Mountain If you forced me to name just one act I discovered at NERFA it would be Round Mountain. Before the conference I said there were acts that I knew I had to see and others that I didn't know that I had to see. Round Mountain was one I didn't know. I met Robby in the lobby when he bumped into me in the lobby with his kora. That was enough to intrigue me and after talking to him I made a point of seeing their showcase on Friday. It was arranged late and wasn't even in the program. I might have seen them anyway because John Platt had them on his list to see. He had heard one minute of one of their songs on the On the Griddle workshop and was impressed. Everyone who saw them perform was impressed. They got the most enthusiastic guerilla showcase audience reaction I heard. They are two brothers, Robby and Char Rothschild from from Sante Fe New Mexico. I didn't know it till I got home but Robby is friends with my friend Joy from Sante Fe. Char is the one that plays the trumpet with his right and the accordion with his left.
    Everyone in that room became a fan of theirs. I told them that if they are at Falcon Ridge and they don't play The Budgiedome I'm beating them up.
  • Burning Bridget Cleary. They are the band that I just happened to have dinner with on Saturday night. They did a showcase with RUNA that I wasn't going to miss under any circumstance. They play Irish music. There are two fiddles, a guitar, and a drum.
    The fiddler on the end, Rose Baldino (a fine Irish name) is the daughter of the guitar player Lou Baldino. The other fiddler is Genevieve Gillespie (what's a name like that doing in an Irish band) is Rose's friend and schoolmate at Temple. The drummer Peter Trezzi (another fine Irish name) is a more recent addition to the band. Like Jory was glad I loved their music as I already loved them as people. Irish music is one of my sweet spots and they hit it just right. Anyone that can hold their own with RUNA is a major talent.

I'll give a quick list of the other performers that impressed me the most. They all deserve more than this but then I'd be writing forever.

  • Ben Bedord
  • The Winterlings
  • Jane Fallon
  • Brian Ashley-Jones
  • Robert Koch
  • Coyote Run
  • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
  • Kath Buckell
  • Les Chauffeears a Pied
  • The Jean Rohe Trio
  • Brittany Ann

I feel bad not writing more about them. They might all become among my favorite musicians. Try and catch them if you can.

I think I'll do one more entry of my favorite NERFA photos that I haven't posted here yet.

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 20, 2010
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