Saturday, January 2, 2010
The Spirit of Christmeastermass Wins Out Over Two Feet of Snow (Give or Take a Porn Star's Willie)
This year's Christmeastermass was only for the hardcore true believers of The Religion of No Religion. The day before, Baltimore was met with gusty winds and 12 or 14 hours of straight snow. Grown men and women wept while children sledded over their prone forms. Sunday, the day of the show/gathering, the sun was out bright and strong at 8:30. Ask not how I know!!! My very own eyes pried open at such hour. It was then I discovered that cats and dogs indeed spoke human words while we are not conscious. But what they say is not fit for conversation among even the most syph-ridden pirates!
All our honored performers boldly made it through the challenging weather except for the normally god-like John Dierker who is getting on in years and was not able to resist the thought of an afternoon spent snowed inside sipping hot toddies and spinning old Bing Crosby 78s. We are sure he eventually put on some form of unforgettable performance, it was just not for our eyes.
As usual, this day of the year is the best time to catch flinty spirit master Higgs. He is always very relaxed, loving what his fellow performers are putting down and contemplating what this magic forest called The Bible means by "baby" and by "Jesus".
My nephew Sir Softserve of the gilded lizard fingers, kept me on edge until the last minute and I had thought he was no longer of the Faith. Somehow he appeared during the opening Higgs set and towering near him was a giantess with long tangled vanilla roots. She weighed but one stone and when turned sideways you could see clear through to the back wall of Normal's where the giant painting of Liberace done by Bob Hieronymous still shimmers as if the oils had just been daubed that morning.
A question heard often that day was "Are these eggrolls vegetarian?" I still do not know the answer.
Daniel and his musical guests were all attuned to a vibration of goodwill and equal quest, but I have to say that perhaps Dr. Susan Alcorn blasted the largest hole through the public consciousness that snowy Sunday afternoon. She started out on her splendid pedal steel machine in an almost Hawaiian mode, very soft, almost tentative, and then little tufts of booster rockets kept almost imperceptibly taking her to higher and higher lofts of abstraction until she somehow mysteriously and heart breakingly came around/into a version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". I don't think it was just me that heard the deep yearning, joy, nostalgia, pain, loss and redemption dripping from that song dealing with the ambiguous idea of "holiday".
Throughout Herr Asa's set I kept noticing the monstrous Metal of Early Man effects pedal, kind of GI Joe from the '60s kelly green that he was using. It turns out to be an actual Soviet Union guitar effects pedal for that extra alien crunch. I also couldn't help but notice his winking and enchantment with the glowing sprite Amanda in the front row, one of the two humans known as "Baltimore's Goodwill Ambassadors".
What a day! Followed by feverish packing and heading off for The Deep South to meet the Woman Who Birthed The Love of My Life (and to also hit some record stores and Waffle Houses). I will miss Professor Higgs as he wanders across the globe in his hippy van enchanting youngsters with his Indian influenced gnostic trickster songs. Many's the day he drove out the lurking gloom of a grifter or psychic vampire from the hallowed halls of Normal's.