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

October 20, 2013 - 11:49 a.m.

Rant and Roar

I went to sleep way too late last night. I knew that meant missing much of John Platt's Sunday Breakfast that starts at 8 AM. I woke up and went back to sleep without checking the time. I love John but need my sleep. Finally I was fully awake and fresh and woke up and figured I'd check out the end of the show. It was 8 AM. The show started as soon as I turned it on. I'm usually very good about judging the time when I wake up. Clearly that's not always true.

Shortly after awaking I heard the shower Nazi complaining that somebody spent half an hour in the shower! I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one whose bathroom time she monitors. Good thing I have my own bathroom now.

Yesterday I went to Court House Concerts aka Gene & Isabel's House to see Raina Rose and Rebecca Loebe. I felt bad how late I got there, about 2:55 for a 3:30 show. By tradition I get to their house an hour before doors open for house concerts. This is totally a home game for me. One of my out of town friends told me that house concerts where he or she live are different than ones here. It's more of a concert venue and not friends getting together to hear music. There are some like that here too but not Court House Concerts. If they weren't already my friends going to their house would have made them my friends as happened with Greg & Louis and Brenda & George. It helps to make it a pot luck, it gets the people socializing. I felt bad that I didn't make my chocolate chip French toast bread pudding. It's so hard when I don't have my own place or a car. But it's part of who I am. I like people looking forward to my cooking.

They did something special with the seating this time. When Shea Stadium was torn down they sold seats from it. Gene & Isabel have a pair. They put them right up front so I could sit in one! I told them I'd shout out "Let's Go Mets" but I was good. You don't get that at a concert venue.

I just saw Rebecca a week ago but that didnt' stop me from wanting to see her again. In fact I'm seeing her and Raina on Monday night at Rockwood Music Hall. These aren't good performers they are great ones. Instead of writing my usual rhapsodic prose I'm going to rant. I have had this building up for a while.

They had a huge problem getting an audience for the show. As it was the audience was small. Why? I hear a lot of live music. I've literally been to thousands of concerts. When I say this was one of the best shows you could see I'm not talking out of ignorance. This was better than most shows people pay big bucks for yet we couldn't get 40 people to come out on a Saturday evening or afternoon? And I the reason is that people do things because other people do things. A performer or a concert series or venue gets hot not necessarily because it's better but because people want to do what "everybody" says is good. That's why we have fads. That's why there are one hit wonders. Something gets some attention than everyone jumps on the bandwagon.

I'm not saying that's all that is is. One of the things about the Blue shows is it makes me appreciate what an amazing songwriter that Joni Mitchell is. She's a huge start and yes she really is better than just about anybody. The same goes for Dylan or Paul Simon and many others. But the same is not true of so many other big stars. And so many people that labor in obscurity playing hundreds of shows a year to small audience are better than 95% of what you hear on the radio or see at major venues.

Raina and Becca are particularly good examples as unlike so many others that I love they work in popular genres and are easily accessible. You don't have to learn to appreciate their music. If they got a write-up in Rolling Stone saying they were the next big things people would be lining up to see them.

There is a band that I saw a few times in shows with others and not one person said, "These guys are great! They are the standout." In fact it was just the opposite. Then they got some attention and everyone says how great they are. It shows how people's perceptions are altered by what others say.

I'm sure that I'm not immune but it's at a different level. It's about the small group of people whose opinion I value but even then I'll say, "What you're nuts?
These guys are nothing special." OK I'll think that. I'll say something much nicer. But what I will do is give someone a more attentive listen if they are recommended by someone on the short list. That's big part of NERFA. You can't hear everyone so you ask around about who you shouldn't miss. That's how I found Barnaby Bright and Ariana Gillis. But on the other hand Bobtown and Round Mountain blew me out of the water when I had no expectations. NOBODY can tell you who is good. Not even me. But if I tell you that somebody is not to be missed you should check them out, and not just on YouTube. Well at least that doesnt work for me. I have to see someone live. YouTube can never hold my attention enough. But I know it does worth for others.

In any event I'm telling you now to NOT MISS Pesky J. Nixon next month at Court House Concerts. The show is on November 17, pot luck at 2 AM and music at 3. Their album Red Ducks was my favorite last year. They are special. Maybe you won't like them, but you can be assured that they aren't just doing what everybody else is doing. They are following their own music and doing so with passion. And there are no better hosts than Gene and Isabel. In fact I'll make you a promise. If 25 people or more attend I'll make my chocolate chip French toast bread pudding and bring the really good maple syrup. And if there are requests I'll make one with bacon!

And I want to see you at 10 PM on Monday at Rockwood to see Rebecca and Raina!

Oh I took pictures. I should show you some.



Becca's Astronomical Leggings


So my eyes did the glowing things again. I believe. I keep thinking of the Beethoven quote " When I open my eyes I must sigh, for what I see is contrary to my religion, and I must despise the world which does not know that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." And I must despise a world that doesn't know what music and house concerts are great. Don't let me despise the world. Come out and hear music that doesn't have corporate sponsorship, Music that the press isn't heralding. Music that doesn't get played on the radio outside of boutique shows like John Platt,. Maybe music that doesn't even get that. Listen to music because it is good in and of itself. Don't follow leaders watch the parking meters.

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 October 20, 2013
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