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Redneck Riviera May 29, 2007

Posted by The Typist in New Orelans.
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Yes, I know that’s Alabama and I’m in Destin, Florida. Still:

• In the south there are people with the accents we associate with Blance du Bois and the characters of Designing Women. They must all go to the beach in the Carolinas.

• Why does a man with a confederate flag tatooed on his back have a woman so tan she couldn’t pass the paper bag test?

• Why is all the crab at The Crab Shack overlooking the Gulf of Mexico Alaskan and Dungeness?

Really, I have no right to complain or to condescend, In spite of the building down the beach which looks barely boarded up since Ivan in 2004, it’s lovely to sit on my balcony staring at the moon’s track on the water nad listening to the constant rumble of the surf. I have b een away from the sea too long.

— posted via Blackberry

Its after the end of the world May 26, 2007

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Debrisville, Flood, flooding, Hurricane Katrina, Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, Sun Ra, Toulouse Street.
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It’s after the end of the world.
Don’t you know that yet?

— Sun Ra

Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue May 26, 2007

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Debrisville, Jazz, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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I forget what this weekend is about: some sort of compulsory festivity organized by the central government. They don’t care about us. Why should we care about them? Build me a fucking levee, pay my neighbors what you owe them and maybe I’ll care again. Until then…

Join us instead for the Virtual Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue.

A Poem for New Orleans May 16, 2007

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Everette Maddox, Mid-City, New Orleans, NOLA, Poetry.
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By Everette Maddox. I’ve been looking around and nobody in town seems to carry his work.

for Bob Woolf

Now I don’t care about hum-drum
order any more than
you do. I sympathize
with Huck Finn’s taste for
the mixed up. This is no
tight ship. I wouldn’t
want my moments run off on an
assembly line like toy ducks. That’s
not the point: it’s been
raining possums for a month. And now,
when I’m absolutely up to my neck in
a whole bathtub of concerns, you
walk in unannounced, wearing
an ETERNITY sweat-shirt and leading some
kind of out-of-date dog on a leash, and
shake my slippery hand and tell me
“Just normal, thanks.” Well, no
thanks. I’ve had enough. I’m going to
pull myself up over the side, and get
all the way out of my mind.

Oh, the kids are going to see the Beatles movie May 12, 2007

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.

I just watched my daughter’s NOCCA dance recital video, the second half of which is a fabulous Beatles-based jazz/broadway number with a soundtrack from the new George Martin Beatles remix album. The last number is Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

This led me to reflecting about the times I grew up in, when our parents innocently dropped us off at I think the (now condemed) Lowe’s State to see “a Beatles movie”. We were, what, maybe eleven at the time?

Wow. This was definitely not A Hard Day’s Night or the Beatles cartoons. (Remember those?)

One upside of my daughter’s immersion in the Beatles over the last several months is a big leap in her continuingly improving taste in music. It’s rather nice to hear the Beatles ringing out from her bedroom than some of the other stuff she has listened to over the years.

And she seemed genuinely shocked when I pointed out that the title bore some relation to another famous LSD.

Hope You’re Coming Back (to New Orleans) May 6, 2007

Posted by The Typist in Debrisville, Jazz, Jazz Vipers, New Orleans, NOLA, Rebirth, Toulouse Street.

New Orleans Jazz Viper’s saxaphonist and signature gravel-GARGLING Joe Braun says it all, better than every one of the 100,000 words I’ve blogged out about coming home, in this excerpt of their performance at, um, a large local festival with strict recording rules that I won’t mention.

You can hear the entire song here, and on their home page is photo of them in their open (as in free–tip well and buy a CD) shows at the Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street in the Marigny.

These guys are the real deal, Heirs to the great trad jazz tradition of New Orleans. My wife was anxious to see Pete Fountain marching on Mardi Gras for fear next year might be too late. Well, you may not find jazz on Bourbon Street any longer (last I checked the Famous Door was a karaoke bar; don’t get me started), but the music lives for an enthusiastic audience.

If you’re coming to visit, get thee to the Cat on Friday night around 10:00 for a taste of the New Orleans that was and the one that lives on today.

P.S. — I tried to get a good close up of the bass player all of the women in the audience were oohing over, but I was sitting at a bad angle. Sorry, ladies.

Jazz Festival Parade May 6, 2007

Posted by The Typist in Jazz, Jazz Fest, New Orleans, NOLA, Rebirth, Toulouse Street.
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It’s a crappy camera video, but since I stumbled into my first Jazz Fest parade in twenty years, I had to capture what I could of Valley of the Silent Men and New Generation Social Aid and Pleasure Club with the Pin-Stripe Brass Band. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the next generation at their father’s and grandfather’s feet learning the moves with their very own pint-sized walking sticks. Seeing those kids following the tradition was one of the highlights of my Jazz Fest.

Our culture will only die of America chooses to kill it. If they let New Orleans die, they will be remembered not as the enemy of the Taliban, but as another in the same league as the demolishers of the giant Buddhas of Bamyan.

Enjoy the parade. I recommend a glass of ice cold red tea over the tepid Miller Ligh every swills at Jazz fest (or better yet, a throwback to my days at the other end of the Mississippi River, the Leineikugel’s Sunset Wheat over by the Jazz Tent where the music is fine and the crowds and lines are manageable.

Gangbe’ Brass Band of Benin (West Africa) May 5, 2007

Posted by The Typist in African Music, Dancing Bear, Jazz, Jazz Fest, New Orleans, NOLA, Rebirth, Toulouse Street.
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While the big crowds were Festering with the Allman Brother Band, featuring I presume Cher’s ex, I caught the Gangbe’ Brass Band of Benin at Congo Square at Sunday’s (May 5 2007) Jazz Fest. These guys are fantastic, combining traditional African rythems and melodies with European brass instruments. They are a glimpse into how jazz was borne of African roots and European instruments here in New Orleans over a century ago.

I immediately ran off to the music tent to buy a CD, but the hopeless Border’s clerk said they couldn’t find any to order to the half-dozen of us all standing in line to ask the same question. That’s odd, as Amazon seems to have both of their import releases in stock. If they’re going to have a music tent at Jazz Fest, it should be run by people who at least make an effort to stock the performers instead of filling an entire rack with the Allman Brothers and another with Rod Stewart.

Anyway, here’s as much of one song as my camera could capture. If this taste whets your appetite, or you were among those who caught them at Jazz Fest or Tipitina’s during Fest, then hie thee over to Amazon and scoop up one of their CDs like this one.. I did.

No flurries, mate May 5, 2007

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Debrisville, Flood, flooding, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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While I’ve left behind the land of the blizzard (and my least favorite weather phenomena, snirt), I have to remember how to live in the land of flood.

After wading out of Fort Apache the Bank through calf-deep water, it was smooth sailing home down Orleans Avenue as I circled around the gaping manholes which had blown their covers in the peak of the storm. (Hint: when enough water come out of the main storm drains to blow off the man hole covers, it’s probably too late to move your car to the neutral ground).

Some parts of New Orleans got more rain this afternoon than parts of North Dakota get in a year. The reward for such weather (although its not a requirement) is The Golden Light, that peculiar illumination at sunset that turns the entire world into a transcendent landscape painting by Rembrandt . I don’t think I ever saw this particular quality of light anywhere else in my twenty years away.

Googling golden light turns up attempts by painters and photographers to capture it, but it is for me an indelible New Orleans experience; like Noah’s promise it is a heavenly reminder that after the storm one can walk down a tree shaded by oaks and studded with flowering trees for a drink and dinner, music after.

So, no flurries, mate. Toss a couple of Barbies on the grill and hand me another oil can Foster’s Ale. After the flood, it’s a glorious Friday dusk on Toulouse Street.