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
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
May 10, 2014 - 1:19 p.m.
Yesterday I posted early. Today I'm not starting to 11:50. I slept late but it's more about wasting time. Procrastination is a manifestation of anxiety. As much as I love writing it's always hard to start. The only reason I do is because it would be even harder for me to stop writing.
So how was school frustrating yesterday? Actually I think it wasn't. Things went relatively smoothly. At least if you discount that the students still don't know how to work with fractions.
After class I finished writing my finite math final! I even printed it out. I just have to insert it in the test booklets but I can do that before the final on Tuesday.
Now on to what people like to read, what I ate. No that's what I like to write. You want to hear about my commute.. No, that's me again. You want to hear about music. That comes right after the commute and the food. But I'll tell you about it first as it motivates the commute.
Last night I went to the Outpost in the Burbs to see Richard Barone with special guests In the Round featuring Milton, Jeffrey Gaines, and Deni Bonet. A side trip to geekocity; I copied and pasted the name of the show from the website but I had to edit it to include the Oxford comma. I'm not a barbarian.
It's not that hard to get to the Outpost, NJ Transit takes me 0.9 miles away,, Of course using NJ Transit is never easy. I finally saw the place in Penn Station where it actually lists What time the next train to each stop is and what line it's on so you can find it on the screens that update the statuses. The problem is it's in a place that's not visible from much of the station. But things did go much mor4 smoothly than usual and I made my train with time to spare. And this time I was more prepared geographically than last time. I not only checked the walk on Google maps but I switched to Google Earth mode so I could see that I needed to walk through the parking garage. I couldn't figure that out the last two times there and took a more complicate route.
For dinner I went to Elevation Burger, It appeals to a limited audience. It's an organic burger, fry, and shake place. I'm sorry if I'm trying to eat healthy I am not eating a burger, fry, and shake. Of course I' was just looking for something yummy that I could eat why walk. not the best but it was good.
When I got to the venue a ticket was put aside for me by the glamorous Gail. I got to pay the advance price. I was not the first one on the line and that actually changed where sat. Not that I'm complaining about my second row aisle seat. It just wan't ideal for photographs.
Everyone I knew there was either performing, volunteering, or doing sound. I have a skewed social set. It was also because I was out of my home turf and the performers are better known among the cognoscenti than the general public. And that's particularly odd for these guys as they are all assessable and dynamic performers. This is not free jazz improve. These are people that know how to put on a show.
The Outpost is a great performance space. It always reminds me of a medieval hall. It always reminds me of a larger version of Beorn's Hall from The Hobbit
I should have taken a picture that lets you see that. But I'm an idiot so I didn't. It doesn't have the cool fire in the middle of the room. It does have great sound and a great sound man, Jeremy.
Deni, Richard, Jeffrey, and Milton
Richard led off, hosted, and curated the show. That's one of the things that he does. He was the musical director, or was that director, of The Downtown Messiah that I always raved about. That's not where I first know him from. He was in the Bongos! You are either going, "Who?" Or "Oh yeah they rocked!" They were a great rock band.
Richard is a teachers a class in stage presence at NYU and if you know him your reaction is, well that's perfect. Whatever that is, he has it. One of the most off the mark remarks I ever heard was someone saying how he's exactly the same on stage as off. No he's not. He knows he's on stage to entertain and that it's the job of the person in the spotlight to be the command your attention. He also plays great music that ranges from rock, to pop, to folk. I never noticed the folk side to last night. Maybe it's because he had been working with Pete Seeger! Yeah he got cred.
Milton is also a rocker, at least with his band. Last night he was solo which makes a big difference. The songs are the same but they come off differently and his stage presence changes. Last night he was particularly funny and did more banter than usual. He got me laughing out loud.
Is it wrong that whenever I see Milton I think back to the first time I saw him and told Carey, "Here's another cute Jewish boy for you?"
WfUV only plays one song of Milton's In the City. It's not that it's not a great song but I wish they'd play some of his other great songs. He's a rocker but fits in the folk world because of his song's lyrics. He has something to say.
Jeffrey Gaines is the performer I knew the least. I've seen him a few times including an "In Their Own Words" with Richard at the Bottom Line and a memorable performance at SMAF. He was on right before or after Jess Klein and everyone joked that they felt like they needed a cigarette after both sets. The performances were shall we say sensual.
It's hard to tell in the pictures but Milton and Jeffrey are Big guys. Richard who is about my size looked tiny next to them. I felt the same way when I posed for a pic with Bill who books the Outpost shows and the mayor of Montclair. They grow them big in Jersey.
Last up was Deni who of course I know the best. I've road-tripped to SMAF with Deni. And now she has a car and could give me a ride back to the City. That's the only reason I could go to the show. The last train leaves too early to get back otherwise.
Now talk about an accessible and versatile performer. She's a brilliant violinist but her banter is like Fanny Brice and her songs are just plain fun. I always think of them as party music but some are pure rockers and others are closer to folk.
I enjoy listening to Deni as much as anyone. She usually plays with a band but she can hold a crowd with just Steve on guitar too. . She premiered a new instrumental that I loved.
After the first round the performers joined in with each other.
This is my favorite picture of the night.
After the show Deni drove, Steve, Richard, and I back to the City. That was a fun ride. We had some interesting conversation. We crossed the George Washington Bridge and Richard and I took the train downtown. That would have been a lot easier if the train was running express. It ran local to 59th street. That's about 500 local stops. Then I had to switch to the to the to the shuttle bus as it was Saturday by the time I got home and the subway stopped at Franklin. It was almost 2 AM when I got home. But you know what? It was worth it.
Now it's after 1 AM. I have to make breakfast. Oh wait, You want to know what I'm eating. Matzoh brei.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
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