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Commodore von Keepsie's communique

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While perusing the schedule for this weekend's Broad Ripple Music Fest, you may have come across an entry for a certain Commodore von Keepsie's Magic Playhouse, a showcase presented by Standard Recording Company and Indie Volumes that will feature musical acts, magicians, theater by Know No Stranger, arts and crafts by Handmade Promenade and other assorted hi-jinks.

And you may have asked yourself, "Why, heavens to Betsy, just who is this Commodore von Keepsie fellow? Is he like Greg the Mayor, an unelected Broad Ripplean given an honorary title in recognition of his contributions to the community? Has someone in the Standard or Indie Volumes camp gone and reworked his birth certificate, and if so, why has he chosen such an evidently silly and recherche name? And why am I talking out loud to myself in the middle of this busy intersection?"

Well, we're still no closer to figuring out the Commodore's true identity, but we did receive the following missive from someone identifying himself as Commodore von Keepsie on Tuesday morning. We also noticed that the Commodore is on the Facebook, and we have befriended him, and taken the liberty of lifting his profile picture to illustrate this article.

And before we get to the Commodore, you may be asking who those 21 acts scheduled to perform at the Playhouse might be? Well, they are Dead Beats, The Kemps, Our Imaginary Friends, Vacation Club, Billy Tyles, Accordions, Sleeping Bag, Amo Joy, Neon Love Life, Adam Kuhn, Pravada, CMNDR, Thunderhawk, Caleb Mc Coach, Norman Oak, Christian Taylor, Jascha, Slothpop, Hanz Bronze, The Innate, Vollmar. And all will perform on one of two stages — one inside Connor's Pub, and the other in the street-fair setting in the Pub's parking lot.

Finally, we reprint the communique in full:

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"Pardons and apologies around: I'm afraid I am a tad late in contacting you after receiving the message you wished to speak with me regarding my Magic Playhouse. I find myself still in wonderment of the steam ship, let alone the digital telegraph, but no matter: let it be known I have entered your grand age with my own digital telegraph address! Huzzah!

As you are no doubt aware, I will be visiting your grand city this weekend, the Sixteenth day of October, down town in the Broad Ripple. A stretch, it is to be certain, from my tranquil mother land to your farmland oasis, but I have solid reasoning for making the trek. A word:

As you are no doubt aware, conflict and strife have a propensity to replicate their-selves and enslave the human spirit. Admit, I must, there was once a time when I too fell under the spell of the siren call of power that comes through brute conquest. Using all the resources at my disposal, my wealth and armies and servitude of the commoners, I engaged in warfare, as so many of my stature did at the time. Oh certainly, this was the way of the world at the time, and I, like so many, found many a reasons to justify our unease with our station in life. Proclaimed an invasion to our home lands, we did, and issued a call to arms. I am often ashamed to admit, but it bears my responsibility to admit: when me lady of power and lust came calling, I moved heaven and earth to answer her call, even to the point of manufacturing public sentiment to hold the chalice of public faith while ordering my troops into battle. Bollocks!

As you are no doubt aware, Shoger of Nuvo, this no way to live a life worthy of living. Raw exploitation only serves to strip us of the gentler features of our humanity. Sadly, this was a lesson a long time coming for me. While riding through one of my villages on a cool October evening, taking stock in my accomplishments and surveying my lands, a small child, a girl with the stain of toil caked upon her face, ran in front of my royal steed and stood steadfastly in my path. At first, I was enraged! "Who is this insolent child? How dare she stand in the way of Commodore Von Keepsie!!" I was soon to order her and hers to one of my various dungeons, but just as I turned to give the order for her imprisonment to my loyal generals, I noticed a tear in the child's eye, her lip quivering and her gentle, famished frame of a body shivering in the cool October breeze.

I cannot, good sir, admit with absolute honesty that I fully understand what transpired next: Her eyes locked with mine, this lowly child and I, the Commodore! Then she spoke. And, in the moment, transfixed as I was, when this child spoke, she spoke as a chorus of angels, and asked, simply: "Sir, when may we dance? I want to dance."

So there it was: the moment, a sweet epiphany, when I realized the prevailing way of life was, in a word, wrong. That night I ordered my troops to lay down their arms and instead, converge upon the villages where they built stages, dance halls and breweries. A spirit of celebration spread across my lands. No more was I too plunder and give way to conquest. Instead, I devoted my life and legacy to that of camaraderie and celebration, to finding a common bond between our experiences, and to spread the belief our experiences are all of equal value. Bully! Bully!

In keeping with that spirit, I was asked to come to your city, to host my glorious and magical playhouse for the sole purpose of celebration. When first asked by your Standard and Indie Volumes, skeptical at first, I was. But! To be sure, they have deferred the vision to me and I am very pleased. Of course, we will have dancing and celebration with over 20 of your wonderful bands and merrymakers. I will also open my event to artists and artisans, even a magician! The idea of the Magic Playhouse is to create a visual and tactile experience in addition to the standard audible fare. Of course, I am most displeased that my Magic Playhouse is restricted to those citizens who are 21 years of age and up, but I am told this is an oddity of your state, and, being as devoted to my peaceful ways that I now am, I have agreed to hold back my armies from enacting a forceful change to this simpleminded law.

So I hope to see you attend my Magic Playhouse! I will be there in attendance, surveying my efforts. Please do say hello!"

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