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 13, 2013 - 10:58 p.m.

NERFA 2013 Discoveries

Ok, I just broke an anxiety barrier and unzipped my NERFA bag. Now I can start writing the entry you all want to read, my NERFA discoveries.

My first discovery is my WFUV cap. I was wondering where that was.

OK I found my most important tools for writing this, my program and my notes. Next year I write the notes in my notebook not the pad they give you My notes are on loose scraps of paper now. I'm going to divide the discoveries into two groups, "OMG they are great" and "On my RADAR" They are in the order they appear in the NERFA program followed by people I discovered in guerillas.


  • OCEAN Quartet - An Irish band featuring the singing of Lisa Moscatello. She was the vocalist in one of my all-time favorite Celtic bands, Whirligig. I have not heard from her in ages. It is not her band. Their full name is Jennifer Cuttings OCEAN Quartet. I'm going to have to talk to Kathleen Biggins, Tara, and Megan at the
    WfUV Irish shows about them.
  • Hickory Project - My notes simply say "Sweet Spot." They are another bluegrass/neo-trad band. Love up.
  • Ian Fitzgerald - I met Ian and Courtney at dinner and kept running into them after that. On the theory that people that make good conversation are more likely to make good music than others I checked them out their Quad. I was right. He defined himself best, he's a folksinger, not a singer-songwriter. He tells complex story songs that you have to pay attention to. If you do you are richly rewarded.

OMG they are great!

  • Harpeth Rising - I discovered these guys at dinner or by the elevator, someplace we got to talking. Ron Olesko told me to not miss them in the Folk DJ Showcase. He was right. I saw them in the showcase. I saw them in guerillas, and I saw them playing in the lobby. They impressed me every time. What do they play? Like so many of my discoveries neo-trad. They can play. They can sing. They be entertaining. They think houses in Nashville are expensive. I had to say that because people in New York move to Nashville because it's so cheap.
  • Tricky Britches - These guys are a lot more trad than neo. What do they put in the water in Maine to make all these great musicians? I saw them do only two songs or three songs and that was enough to win me over. It was just not enough to give me much to say about them.
  • Tumbling Bones - Another band of Maineiacs. In fact they are friends with Tricky Britches and play with each other. Think hillbilly music combined with the Beatles. Can't, then go hear them for yourself.
  • Cheryl Prashker called Comas her favorite Irish band. Cheryl has an Irish band, RUNA that is my favorite Irish band, So she knows what's good. Former member of RUNA Isaac Alderson is in Comas. They don't so much make music as magic.
  • Red Moon Road - The belle of the NERFA ball. They are the band that everybody is talking about and this time I'm with everybody. There are two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. Red Moon Road does not make the other kind. They are a bit hard to put in a box. They reminded me of bands like Fairport Convention and Renaissance when they weren't being trad. The Daniels can play their instruments. Sheena can sing. They have charisma to spare. You want to see them.
  • Michael Laureanno - Mike is another dinner companion. He won me over with Jack Hardy stories. He used to play bass for Jack. He writes songs like someone who know Jack well. That means he writes great songs. I only heard him do two songs at a guerilla and he won me over. We listened to his entire album on the ride home and he super won me over. He lives in New York. He's the one I'll probably be seeing the most from this NERFA. He writes songs on multiple levels like Dave Carter. He can be gritty but on the album he's accompanied by violin and comes off as lyrical. Live or recorded he's the real deal.

Now there were plenty of other bands there I liked. I started to make a third tier but thought that would dilute what said. There were others that I liked enough to invite to the Budgiedome so you know I seriously like them.

OK. this isn't that long so maybe this is where I should put in something I've been looking forward to writing. A transcription of my notes about some acts that I didn't like with no names attached. I never want to hurt anyone's feelings but this should be safe. If you are my friend you are not going to find yourself here. These are all strangers that I made a point of not getting friendly with. Since I only write the good stuff people aren't aware that I actually dislike most musicians as musicians. The mediocre form the fat part of the distribution curve. So this is what I say just for myself. Ahh here is a note I wrote to write here. Most acts have no spark, They can play and sing but have nothing to say.

Against poverty war and injustice not like the rest of you squares. Ugh!
Boring, fell asleep twice
I want to like them but so earnest
I'm bored, doesn't go anywhere.
No content
Overly earnest
Oy! sensitive singer songwriter
Parody of a Folk Singer

See I'm not always positive.

I even have a criticism of a guerrilla presenter. He/she committed not one but two mortal sins. First by 1:30 she was running a half an hour late. That should NEVER happen. This is not Falcon Ridge late night. This is people sticking to tight schedules. It isn't fair to the performers or the audience. To make it worth it was my least favorite format, a song swap. One act I know and love but I was there to check out the other two. I found something else to do and came back in a ten minute window I had for when it was pushed back to. I of course saw the band I already knew and one song by the person I most wanted to check out. But then the presenter committed the second deadly sin. I was going to introduce myself ot the performer but the presenter decided to make small talk with her and monopolize her time as I was standing there card in hand. I had to be someplace else so I left without talking to her.

Don't say anything in public but does anyone other than the act I already knew know who I meant?

OK, tomorrow I'll write about the people I already knew as both performers and as friends.
If your band is one of my discoveries please leave a comment on facebook and send me a friend request.

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 13, 2013
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