One of the weird side effects of this whole thing is that most New Orleans musicians are instantly on tour as of now, since that's the only way they can make some money. I sent a snare drum down to Rebirth last week and saw them play up here a few days ago, and we're playing a benefit show with the Stooges in a couple weeks too. Apparently Bill Summers and Davell Crawford played in Minneapolis tonight, etc.
― Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 12 September 2005 02:30 (fourteen years ago) link
New Orleans r'n'b singer Marva Wright and her extended family are now in Maryland. I got sent an e-mail asking for clothes and stuff. The e-mail didn't say where her band is, or if she was gonna do any singing around here.
― Steve K (Steve K), Monday, 12 September 2005 03:12 (fourteen years ago) link
― steve-k, Monday, 12 September 2005 03:58 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 12 September 2005 12:47 (fourteen years ago) link
― steve k, Monday, 12 September 2005 13:34 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 12 September 2005 14:14 (fourteen years ago) link
...with more pictures here:http://babelogue.citypages.com:8080/pscholtes/#a1446
...and more to come. Weird to think that Houston is now the safehouse of this culture. Houston!
Katy Reckdahl also tells the incredible story of her and her husband, brass band veteran "Kid Merv" Campbell, here:http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2005/09/a_survivors_sto.asp#more
Mike from Jack Brass Band is talking about getting the Soul Rebels to play Minneapolis...
― Pete Scholtes, Tuesday, 13 September 2005 00:20 (fourteen years ago) link
― steve k, Tuesday, 13 September 2005 12:16 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 13 September 2005 12:59 (fourteen years ago) link
― don, Tuesday, 13 September 2005 16:15 (fourteen years ago) link
― Pete Scholtes, Tuesday, 13 September 2005 21:57 (fourteen years ago) link
Some upcoming shows that I know about:
-Rebirth Brass Band, tonight at Martyr's (Chicago)-Rebirth Brass Band, Sept. 20th on that big pay-per-view benefit show at Madison Square Garden & Radio City Music Hall-Stooges Brass Band, Sept. 25th at ??? (Boston)-Stooges Brass Band/Youngblood Brass Band/Mama Digdown's Brass Band, Oct. 9th at the King Club (Madison)-Stooges Brass Band/Mama Digdown's Brass Band, Oct. 10th at Fitzgerald's (Chicago)
There should be a lot more dates in the midwest and elsewhere from Rebirth, Hot 8, Stooges, etc.
― Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 16 September 2005 17:42 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 16 September 2005 17:46 (fourteen years ago) link
― strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Friday, 16 September 2005 17:51 (fourteen years ago) link
― strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Friday, 16 September 2005 17:52 (fourteen years ago) link
(do you still check your hotmail address?)
― Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 16 September 2005 17:58 (fourteen years ago) link
― Pete Scholtes, Friday, 16 September 2005 22:55 (fourteen years ago) link
― don, Saturday, 17 September 2005 01:02 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Saturday, 17 September 2005 02:43 (fourteen years ago) link
― Canpass Air (nordicskilla), Monday, 19 September 2005 21:29 (fourteen years ago) link
― Pete Scholtes, Tuesday, 20 September 2005 18:55 (fourteen years ago) link
― Steve Kiviat (Steve K), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 03:11 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 16:44 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 23 September 2005 16:36 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 23 September 2005 19:30 (fourteen years ago) link
"But the musicians from New Orleans - among them the Neville Brothers, the original Meters, Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band - outsang and outfunked most of the better-known stars. The programming was smart: New Orleans musicians had the first and last words, in the form of parade music from the Rebirth Brass Band.
New Orleans music, from jazz to hip-hop (which wasn't represented at the concert), has a distinctive rolling swing that's directly derived from community celebrations. It's deeply connected to Mardi Gras songs (like "Iko Iko" and "Brother John," which the Dixie Cups sang on Tuesday night, and "Hey Pocky Way" performed by the Meters and the Neville Brothers) and brass-band music for funerals and parades.
Famously musical New Orleans neighborhoods like Tremé and the Ninth Ward were hit hard by the flooding; how they will be rebuilt, and who will return, is still an open question and one that worries New Orleans musicians. "Nothing's going to be the same," said Ms. Thomas, the 64-year-old queen of New Orleans rhythm and blues. "But by the same token, what ever is? The main thing is to bring everybody back, because that's the ambience of the city."
But for the moment, it didn't matter that the performers' homes and neighborhoods have been damaged. They were executing the old African-American alchemy of tribulation into joy.
The politics of New Orleans's plight were not entirely sidelined. Bette Midler said, "I could stand up here and talk for hours about ineptitude, stupidity, blame, inequality, global warming, the dangerous destruction of the wetlands, but if I did, what would all those other people have to talk about?" She was loudly booed after mocking President Bush. Former President Bill Clinton, who introduced Mr. Fogerty, received a long ovation.
Cyril Neville, of the Neville Brothers, wore a T-shirt reading, "Ethnic cleansing in New Orleans"; his brother Aaron wore a baseball cap reading, "Evacuee." And when the Meters sang "People Say," their bassist, George Porter Jr., said, "People want to know - do we have a right to live?"
Backstage, Ms. Thomas said that both her house and the club she owns, the Lion's Den, were badly flooded. "We're among the New Orleans easters who lost everything," she said. "But we're gonna be all right." Onstage, backed by Ry Cooder, Lenny Kravitz and Buckwheat Zydeco, she sang a riveting, unsparing version of Bessie Smith's "Backwater Blues": "When it thunders and lightnin' and the wind begins to blow/ There's thousands of people ain't got no place to go."
Aaron Neville joined Simon and Garfunkel for "Bridge Over Troubled Water," and he followed Art Garfunkel's rickety, overwrought verse with one that was tender, idiosyncratic and delicately poised; later, with his brothers, he sang a humbly devout "Amazing Grace." The Meters, who defined New Orleans funk in their own songs and as a studio band, regrouped for one song, then merged with the Neville Brothers (who include Art Neville of the Meters). And Kermit Ruffins, a trumpeter and singer, growled a steamy "St. James Infirmary" with the Dirty Dozen.
Louisiana musicians also propelled strong performances by non-natives. Elvis Costello belted "The Monkey Speaks His Mind" with the Dirty Dozen and the song's writer, Dave Bartholomew, and found the scorn and vitriol in Allen Toussaint's "On Your Way Down," with Mr. Toussaint at the piano. Diana Krall, also with the Dirty Dozen, dug into the Fats Domino hit "I'm Walkin'." And with Buckwheat Zydeco, from Lafayette, on accordion, Mr. Cooder sang another Domino song, "My Girl Josephine," with a knowing rasp.
The longest segments went to the rock stars. Mr. Fogerty......An unexpected consequence of the hurricane is that it has focused attention on New Orleans's music, with all its local quirks and underappreciated genius. Ms. Thomas, for instance, is recording an album while she's in New York. With luck, the sounds of New Orleans will remind the world that rebuilding the Crescent City is not only a commercial project but also a cultural one. "
― steve-k, Saturday, 24 September 2005 17:35 (fourteen years ago) link
Regarding media attention for New Orleans bands--It is sad it Katrina to get attention, but it's also sad it took Katrina to get some New Orleans groups on the road. Some of the press is happening now because some of the groups are touring the U.S. for the first time. The artists also need to get the word out. Somebody needs to set up or update a website for the Lil' Stooges Brass band. Texas Fred Carter, according to an e-mail I got, is booking Lil' Stooges at Chick Hall's, outside D.C., but the show is not yet on the club's website. The band deserves media ink in the nation's capital, but somebody's got to spread the word.
― steve k, Sunday, 25 September 2005 01:47 (fourteen years ago) link
― steve k, Sunday, 25 September 2005 02:12 (fourteen years ago) link
― Steve K (Steve K), Sunday, 25 September 2005 14:39 (fourteen years ago) link
Mantra for New Orleans: 'We Will Swing Again' By DAVID CARR, N.Y. Times
NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 25 - In many American cities, indigenous culture is a bonus amenity, an add-on to the business and civic functions of the metropolis. Here, though, the first and last conversation you have will be about where you went, what you ate, who you heard play. The people who make music, who perform cabaret - and those who pour the whiskey that accompany the shows - are precisely the point here, and they play big for their size. If there is no show, there is no New Orleans.
"We will swing again in that place," Kermit Ruffins said by phone from Houston, where he went when Hurricane Katrina came. Mr. Ruffins is a trumpeter beyond compare, the crowned emperor of the New Orleans sound, who cooks red beans and rice and plays with his band, the Barbecue Swingers, every Thursday down at Vaughn's, in the Bywater section of the upper Ninth Ward. A flashlight aimed at Vaughn's last Thursday night revealed an intact building - and a big mess to go with it. "Could be six months, could be eight, could be a year," Mr. Ruffins said, "but I can't wait to get there and throw the grand reopening party on the new New Orleans. Count on that."
Workers interviewed this week up and down the high-low culture scale echoed Mr. Ruffins's optimism to a person. The message they sent from near and far was the same: This wounded city will heal itself show by show, and gig by gig, because culture - ribald, prissy and everything in between - is the nub around which the whole ball of yarn is wound. New Orleans without zydeco, without jazz, without theater, without nude dancers and orchestra players, is just a swamp town with hot summers, bad schools and a lot of mosquitoes. If this city is to return, it will do so on the backs of the artists who make it a place like nowhere else.
Mark Samuels, the owner of Basin Street Records, said as much. His small New Orleans label is the home to Mr. Ruffins, Los Hombres Calientes and Dr. Michael White. Mr. Samuels spent last week sneaking into the city from his temporary headquarters in Austin, Tex., to grab CD's so his artists would have something to peddle at their shows. Sitting at his brother's house in Metairie outside New Orleans last week, he showed pictures of his house in Lakewood South - a total loss by the looks of it - and shared his hopes and worries about the future.
"You can redo Bourbon Street anywhere in the world," Mr. Samuels said. "All you have to do is let people drink on the street, expose themselves on balconies and open a bunch of T-shirt shops. But New Orleans is a lot more than that. There is nowhere else in the world where you can head out to the Maple Leaf and hear the Rebirth Brass Band. That can't be recreated somewhere else."
Still, many New Orleans artists are now at large, playing for big audiences elsewhere. The Rebirth Brass Band tore the roof off in New York the other night as part of a benefit, and the Olympia Brass Band is setting out on tour from Phoenix. But while the money may be good, the tours will not be successful unless they end in New Orleans, where the rents were cheap and the clubs ample.
Many of those clubs made it through. Tipitina's is fine, for example, and Preservation Hall endures. As for the Rock n' Bowl, where the crash of pins mixed with the twang of a plucked guitar, John Blancher, who owns and runs the place, would like to reopen, but is also looking into some properties in nearby Lafayette. The club on the second floor is fine. But beneath it is mayhem, the result of eight feet of water rolling strikes for a week.
"I expect to reoccupy it," Mr. Blancher said. "From the outside, you would never want to even walk in there, but the inside is fine."
The insides of New Orleans seem great. The soul of the place, now dispersed, continues to thrive. The body is a hurting unit, though.
Dr. Ike - Ira Padnos to those who don't know him - is a medical doctor and a local scenester, the kind of man who embodies New Orleans's glorious, weird vibe. An anesthesiologist who worked through the storm at the Louisiana State University's hospital, he is now performing cultural triage in his role as executive director of the Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau. He won't say this - modesty is a persistent feature of the local milieu - but both his jobs will play a role in putting the paddles on the stilled heart of New Orleans. The Mystic Knights run the Ponderosa Stomp, a roots music festival that runs concurrently with the city's giant Jazzfest - "all killer, no filler" is its advertising cry - and serves as a reminder that much American music started and persists here. Reluctantly, the Knights have decided to move the Stomp to Memphis this year, for a benefit show, which is fine, but it is not New Orleans.
Many of the cities cultural treasures were not flooded, Mr. Padnos said. But for New Orleans to return, he added, "depends on people - the waiters, the musicians, the Indians - who live in the Ninth Ward, the Seventh Ward and Tremé, all of which were hit hard by the flooding. You need those people to come back to drive the city's culture."
It is still unclear what exactly they will be returning to, if they return. For instance, somewhere in the basement of the Orpheum Theater here there are 10 timpani drums floating in the muck and mire. At some point, Jim Atwood, the owner of the drums and a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, will retrieve his equipment - likely ruined - and assess his future. But he is not expecting anything approaching normal anytime soon.
"Normal, when you are talking about New Orleans, is always a relative term," Mr. Atwood said. He and his wife, a flutist in the orchestra, said they have not really come to terms with what happened to the city and what it means for them.
"We have yet to have that conversation out loud," he said. "But when we do, I think it is likely we will conclude that New Orleans is where our home is, and hopefully our jobs as well."
The jobs may be there, but what many culture workers in New Orleans would like is an audience.
"Art here comes up from the streets," said Barbara Motley, who owns Le Chat Noir, a cabaret on St. Charles Avenue left relatively undamaged by the storms. "The city failed a lot of the people who live here and I think they will be slow in coming back, with good reason."
"On the other hand, this is New Orleans," she added, "so I would not be surprised if people decide they need a laugh and a show. We'll see, won't we?"
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
― steve-k, Monday, 26 September 2005 12:12 (fourteen years ago) link
― curmudgeon, Monday, 26 September 2005 12:24 (fourteen years ago) link
Sept 26-27 NYC @ Living Room and BarbesSept 29 Milwaukee, WI @ HighburySept 30 Madison, WI @ Great DaneOct 1 Baraboo, WI @ Tha ShackOct 2 Green Bay, WI @ MalonesOct 4 Iowa City @ Iowa City Yacht ClubOct 5 St. Louis @ Broadway Oyster BarOct 9 Madison, WI @ King Club (w/Digdown and Youngblood Brass Band)Oct 10 Chicago, IL @ Fitzgeralds (w/Mama Digdown's Brass Band)Oct 14 Wash D.C. @ Surf ClubOct 15 Arlington, VA @ festival (??)
If y'all have the means and the interest, any promotion will be greatly appreciated.
― Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 26 September 2005 19:13 (fourteen years ago) link
Anybody with any Philly contacts or ideas for last-minute gigs there?
― steve k, Monday, 26 September 2005 22:24 (fourteen years ago) link
I do not think they have gigs yet for the 12th and 13th. I think they're looking for gigs between Chicago and D.C., such as in Philadelphia.
― steve k, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 14:19 (fourteen years ago) link
― Pete Scholtes, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:31 (fourteen years ago) link
― steve k, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:38 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 22:03 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 22:26 (fourteen years ago) link
― Steve K (Steve K), Thursday, 29 September 2005 03:26 (fourteen years ago) link
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 29 September 2005 13:50 (fourteen years ago) link
― Pete Scholtes, Thursday, 29 September 2005 20:57 (fourteen years ago) link
I don't think the New York shows got much pre-press, but they split the bill with Slavic Soul Party who presumably have their own crowd.
Someone also sent me this bit of complete WTF-ness:
Lil' Stooges Brass Band | New Orleans JazzProductshop NYC — The Lil' Stooges Brass Band are a wonderfully gothic jazzoutfit that hail from New Orleans. These cats sound like they couldperfectly score a Tim Burton film. They're known as one of the hottestoutfits out the big easy.
― Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 29 September 2005 21:37 (fourteen years ago) link
― steve k, Friday, 30 September 2005 10:18 (fourteen years ago) link
So the New York press that missed the earlier shows may now have another shot.
― steve k, Wednesday, 5 October 2005 16:45 (fourteen years ago) link
― strng hlkngtn: what does it mean? (dubplatestyle), Wednesday, 5 October 2005 18:55 (fourteen years ago) link
The Stooges show in Madison was a blast, although they've certainly switched things up on this tour. Sammy, the snare drummer, is out on tour with Trombone Shorty so they got a drumset player (Christmas) in his stead. He just got off tour with Gerald Levert (!) and he's a bad motherfucker. They've also got some electric instruments now, so it's different but good. Can't wait for our shows together this weekend.
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 5 October 2005 19:03 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 5 October 2005 20:17 (fourteen years ago) link
― jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 5 October 2005 20:22 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 5 October 2005 20:25 (fourteen years ago) link
I saw the below listed at the very cool home of the groove audio blog (which is featuring obscure James Booker selections). Not a brass band, but something folks in Southern Cal should check out:
October 20, 21, 22, 23, 2005Katrina Benefit Series featuring Eddie Bo and band, plus specialguests, such as Mickey Champion, atLittle Pedroâ€™s901 E. 1st St. (at Vignes)Los Angeles, CA 90012213-687-3766
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:26 (fourteen years ago) link