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 06, 2014 - 1:23 p.m.

On Your Radar Hits the Road

Last night I went to the special Port Washington edition of John Platt's On Your Radar at the Landmark on Main Street. I do the social media for the series so I always get comped but for this how I had a plus one. I appreciate it but it often gives me anxiety. I always find it hard to find someone to go with me. After asking 1,534 people with no success I got a text from Erika, one of the very first people I asked telling me she might be able to make it! She could! See everyone in the world doesnt hate me. She can at least stand me enough that it's worth sitting with me to see a great show. Not like Lori not LORi who just hates me.

It is not easy for me to get to the Landmarked. When I lived in Bayside and had a car it was a short drive. I knew the secret scenic shortcut. The problem is that the LIRR goes to Port Washington but it's the one line that doesn't go through Jamaica and every train from Brooklyn does. So I have to first get to Penn Station then take the train to the end of the line. Erika sort of lives on the way and got on the train in Woodside. Cell phones are great. I was able to not only tell her that I was in the first car but in which row I found us seats. It was a three across and there was someone on the aisle seat and I surreptitiously took a picture of him, It was a selfie where I was just on the edge of the pic, and he was centered.

As I said before I love taking train trips and I especially love train trips with friends. When we got to Port Washington it was about a ten minute walk to the Landmark. According to Google Maps it's 9 minutes and 0.4 miles. Not a bad estimate on my part. We got there early and I picked up the tickets and talk to the other people waiting to get in. What a shock, I knew almost all of them. Most were the usual suspects but one was Eden who used to always sit with me at On Your Radar at the Living Room but who haven't seen in years. I found out her walk scheduled changed. The one bad thing about coming out on the railroad like that and getting there later was that we didn't get to eat with any of my friends Finn McCool's across the street. That's where Fred, Lori, Rona, Bob, and John ate. they all saw each other.

We finally went into the auditorium. Erika and I sat on the left side, which is what I expected, that where the WFUV seats usually are. john was a few rows in front of us, Lori a few behind us, and Eden next to us.

The lineup was Brother Sun, Amy Speace, and Martyn Joseph

Martyn was the only one new to me. I had heard good things about him and kept just missing him when played at Falcon Ridge. I kept running into him at the festival but didn't know who he was. Finally I asked, who is that guy that looks like Iain Campbell Smith? And was told it was Martyn. It must be a Celt thing. Martyn is from Wales.

I had heard good things about Martyn. As I watched him perform I could see why. What I can't see is why I don't love him. He fits all the things I like. He tells story Sungs. he isn't all me me me. He doesn't drone. His Sungs are energetic. In fact they are rock not folk. He covers Springsteen and that's his style. I think his natural habitat is with a band and electric guitar. If you told me he was your favorite musician I could see why. But somehow he didn't engage me. I'll give him another shot. It might have just been me.

Amy was up next. I've known Amy the longest. I first saw her 11 years ago. "Amy reminded me of Carey. That was clinched when it came out that in High School she was in the Latin Club and the Band."

The second time we saw her was at a house concert at Carey and Neal's. So we became friends very quickly. Then she was good. Now she's one of the very best. When she lived in Hoboken I'd see her all the time, I marched all the shows. Then she abandoned civilization for Nashville where she can't get good bagels or moo shu. She still makes great music.

Last night was the first time I saw her play piano. John Fullbright talked her into it.

Pat Wictor joined her for a Sung.

Amy swooned and asked Pat if he were married during the Sung. Pat's wife Ellen was sitting across the aisle and a row back of us. During the intermission I introduced her to Erika. Ellen's a librarian and Erika is studying to become one. Ellen knows one of Erika's profs. It's a very small world.

Brother Sun is also a home game. I've known Pat for ages though I actually met Greg first, at the very first Sussquahanna Music and Arts Festival. I just realized that I first saw two of last night's performer's with Carey. She was at SMAF too. And that's where I met Pat but that was years later. He lives in Brooklyn so I saw him often and we became friends. I know Joe from when he played the Budgiedome very late one Falcon Ridge night.

One day Pat comes up to me and is all excited about the new band he's in, that was Brother Sun. I've seen them many times and this was perhaps the best. If they had done "Fox News" it would have been. They didn't do any funny songs. I think it's for Passover. huh? They didn't want to leaven the show with humor. I unfortunately couldn't get any pics of them performing. Someone from the theater made me stop as I took their picture. I could have probably explained that was taking them in my official capacity as On Your Radar's social media guy but that would have been disruptive. I did get this.

I was disappointed with the audience. Not much singing along. I can't NOT sing alone with "Love is the Water." For a finale Amy and Martyn came out and the ensemble sang "Goodnight Irene." That's about as great a song as has every been written. It' simple. It's beautiful. And it says as much about what it means to be human being as anything ever written. They asked people to sing along but they only one I heard was Erika. I couldnt record them last night but this version will do.

After the show Erika and I had a train to catch so we had to make a quick getaway. I think in all these years the first time I didn't talk to Amy at a show. It's probably my first time not talking to Brother Sun either.

Our timing was great. We made the last train back to New York with about five minutes to spare. I think it left at 11:40. Erika got off in Woodside and it was just a few subway stops home I went into Penn Station, walked over to Herald Square and caught a . I didn't wait to long for that but when I got to Atlantic Terminal it said 25 minutes to the next . I was tempted to take a cab but I didn't. I didn't get home to 1:50. It took nearly two and a half hours to get back. That's what it took me to get home from Philly when I had a car.

Wow it's late. I have to eat breakfast. I'm trying an experiment, scramble style matzoh brei. I'll let you know how it goes.

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 06, 2014
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