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

August 16, 2014 - 11:51 a.m.

Surrounded by Sexy

My life might be in shambles but my readership has exploded. Halfway through the month Wise Madness has more hits in August than in 6 of the previous 12 months. Thank you My Gentle Readers for being My Gentle Readers.

Yesterday I had a Chick doubleheader. Sharon Goldman and Carolann Solebello. As they are Chicks should I say doubleyolker?

First I went up to American Folk Art Museum Free Music Fridays to see Sharon. It's been to long since I've been there. Lara books a great series. She's also a great musician in her own right. She also has my favorite mnemonic for remembering her name. I had a lot of trouble remembering it at first which is unusual for someone with an unusual name. Can you guess the obvious association for me? Dr. Zhivago. I never read it or saw the movie but I learned the theme song, Lara's Theme (Somewhere I Love) on the accordion. So I see her face I now hear the music and remember her name. I also see Julie Christie and Omar Sharif in the poster pic for the movie.

Lara introducing Sharon

It's also been too long since I've seen Sharon. Her parents live just a few blocks from the museum so I got to meet them. they sat right behind me. I of course sat upfront. Sharon is a deceptive songwriter. her manner is sensitive singer/songwriter and if you dont pay attention you might think she's a generic cute chick with guitar. Her songs don't leap out at you. But if you pay attention you get rewarded with their depth. She has something to say and she says it with nuance.

Lara obviously respects her talent. Look how she's labeled.

You'll notice that Sharon is wearing a hoodie. It was cool, in the upper sixties and damp. I had gone out earlier in the day when it was warmer and forgot to bring a long-sleeved shirt with me. I was wearing a t-shirt. I was cold. That meant that I didn't stay for the other two performers because I wanted to go home and get a shirt and my windbreaker before I went out for the evening. The timing was touch and go. I walked down to Columbus Circle and took the to the . I got back to my apartment, grabbed shirt and my WfUV windbreaker, and headed out to Two Moon in Park Slope. I thought the timing would be tight but it wasn't I made great connections, the to the and got there half an hour early. That's good as I wanted to socialize. It wasn't just Carolann. The series is co-hosted by Wool & Grant. Actually I think technically it's just Bev hosting but Ina May is always there performing with her. Nobody really hosts this is as informal as it gets. They always have one guest and this month it was Joe Iadanza. This was a big deal as Joe has been taking time off from music to do nothing. Well not really but I think that's a fun way of describing running a meditation studio. I love Joe and miss both his music and him so I had to be there.

A few friends were in the audience, Fred who started going to it before I did, and David who I am pretty sure I introduced to it. I found out that he's become a regular. By chance I've been missing it for a while.

I was debating whether or not to tell this story but I am letting art make the final decision over prudence. It's a story about someone that didn't like Joe's music. I was at a show, not Joe performing, and talking to a random stranger as I am wont to do. Joe somehow came up and said random stranger said, "He doesn't realize that his music is just not up to the level of A, B, and C." Those are filling in for the names of acts. The thing is that A, B, and C were totally generic acts with absolutely nothing to say. They might have craftsmanship but no art. I didn't argue but thought this was perfect. The random stranger got everything exactly wrong. He's like a character from a logic problem that always lies. His saying that Joe wasn't good was a testament to how good he is. If you want a musically hallmark card that won't make you think at all you won't like Joe. If you want thoughtful lyrics delivered with tremendous energy you will.

Joe was the novelty and I thought the most about what I was going to write about him. Add to that, that I'm an idiot. This was one of the best Wool & Grant sets I've seen and I wanted to talk about one of their songs. It would help if I remembered which song or what I wanted to say. Something weird happened to their pictures. The photos I took of just one o them all came out blurry. In the pics of the two of them, only one of them was in focus. So what I did was crop two of them with the one that was in focus. I particularly like the one of Ina May. How can you look at this pic and not want to be her friend?

Ina May

I didn't do Bev justice. None of the ones where her smile shines came out well.

I see Carolann the most often both on and off stage so I write and photograph her the most. There have been years where she's the performer I saw the most often. What's fun about this series is that this is where she performs the songs she never performs. She feels free to take a risk of forgetting lyrics. She did. And here it comes off as part of the fun. It has the feel of being backstage. I have said before the music I hear backstage prepping for the show is often the best. The world needs to see more of Carolann.


I love an evening where I saw five performers that I think of by their first names. Joe is the only one that even needs for you to know who I mean. I do know enough other Joe's for it not to be sufficient.

Joe said he was surrounded by sexy

It takes talent on the photographer's part to miss Bev's smile.

Joe did a song that followed naturally from one that Carolann sang. But Wool & Grant had done a song in between. I called it a "delayed segue." Fred thought that and "Surrounded by Sexy" were both good band names to fit into the tribute band joke template: _________ is the name of my _____________ tribute band. We couldn't figure out what bands were being tributed, I am leaving that open to My Gentle Readers. Leave a comment on Facebook with your answer. If you aren't my FB friend leave it here. I'll post the best ones.

It never got cold, it was warmer than when I left the folk art museum and I didn't need the windbreaker. So since it was nice and Fred had plenty of time to make his train we walked up to Atlantic Terminal. When I lived in Fort Greene I always walked there, I never took the train. Fred got on the LIRR and I caught the home.

Notice I never mentioned dinner. I just had a cashew butter sandwich when I got home. Yes Trader Joe's now has awesome cashew butter and it's relatively cheap. I'm officially addicted after a single sandwich. As I can't eat whole nuts it's the only way I get cashew flavor. I want pistachio butter.

When I went in the kitchen I found that I had left my skillet in there. Somebody else had used it. They ruined it the first time. The non-stick surface is all scratched up. I share this house with barbarians. Now I have to buy a new skillet. The other one belonged to the landlady but it was for my exclusive use. I am not going to make her buy me a new one. I'll get a good one for myself. I told her that she has to tell everyone else in the house that I they use it, not ruin it, just use it, they have to buy me a new one. That should stop them from using it.

As for my mental state I'd adjusting. I'm back to feeling anxious about my lack of a love life. I never adjust to that but I'm used to it. It reminds me of something from The Right Stuff. Chuck Yeager heard a pilot bragging about how he got out of a spin. As the world's greatest test pilot Chuck had been in situations where the plane was just tumbling and he tried to get the plane into a spin because he knew he could get out of that.

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 August 16, 2014
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