It's tough living in the happiest state in the union – it depletes your seritonin and, uh, probably should make you feel guilty for feeling so good all of the time. Anyway, in an effort combat unrestricted happiness, the Lousiana Bucket Brigade has put together this up to the second intearctive map of just how freaking screwed the coast is going to be! "Fishermen of crab, shrimp and fin fish is out of work due to the spill, category: Livelihood Threatened – May 3rd".
Yeah! Enjoy your damned parade-because-it's-nice-out now, jerk!
Whether your home base is uptown near Audubon Park and the beautiful Fly, or by the Treme's Louis Armstrong Park and downtown's Lafayette Square, everyone makes the trip up Esplanade/down Carrolton to escape in the ever-developing City Park.
I am excited to announce the newest addition that has finally opened its gates (with required permit) that has been in the works for months- yes, it's time to say hola to City Bark! Nola's first dog park is finally up and running, along Zachary Taylor drive in the heart of the park, and the local embrace has been so overwhelming that these coveted permits (available for pick up as of this past Wednesday) have already been put on hold until mid-May, as demand is so high. Some of you may be thinking: I don't have a dog, I don't like dogs, I don't even like people who like dogs, so why should I care about City Bark? While I may or may not understand this point of view (i understand this point of view) it is important to realize why this is good news for everyone, with or without an affection for domesticated canines. While this clearly is great news for dog owners, who can unleash their 'wild' animal into the 'wild', and admire as they bask in all their drooling, jumping, defecating grace, the rest of us can finally enjoy safer and cleaner streets and neutral grounds; think of City Bark as Giuliani's fight against crime in the NYC streetz, as Nancy Reagan's War on Drugz in the playground, as the USA's internment camps for the Japanese post P.H.- it's clear-cut-containment policy, which is now once again being applied to man's best friend in New Orleans' own. Let us celebrate this reservoir-dog-haven by throwing a bone to some of music's top doggy-dog delicacies.
Breaking into 2010 with most recent album, Shame, Shame, Dr. Dog impresses old and new fans with brave strides in instruments and sound, yet remain grounded in the familiar homegrown Philly-bred psychedelic rock roots. The intro of 'Where'd All the Time Go' is unrecognizable as classic Dr. Dog finger-pickin', steering more towards the band's psych-electronic tendencies, but this bass-powered track encompasses the innovative moves and Frank McElroy's reliable rhythm guitar , and therefore makes the first 'ruff' of the day. For another psychedelic (but on more sedatives) experience is New Jersey's Real Estate (who have recently migrated to Brooklyn, naturally) with 'Suburban Dogs', a nice tune from these newcomers to the scene, who know how to create super chill surf pop with flare. Next up is an older tune that has stood the test of time, Three Dog Night's well-known 'One', a song I have adored since falling in love with Boca Raton's very own Magic 102.7 FM, by far the best Oldies radio station this country has to offer (supply and demand, people!). These guys, whose band name is inspired by the Dingo, known to keep indigenous Australians warm on especially cold nights in the treacherous outback (when not in the mood to bite/kill), started playing music in 1968, and are still not only recording but playing live gigs to this day. While we're reminiscing, let's dig deeper into the past with this shake, rattle, and roll-inspired Platters tune, 'Bark, Battle, and Ball'. This is actually one of many songs of the 1950's that was inspired by the prototypical 12 bar blues-form rock structure created by Jesse Stone, originally recorded by Big Joe Turner, made famous by Bill Haley & His Comets and later on by Elvis Presley. I can easily see Vince Fontaine letting this rip in the Rydell High School gym, but because he let this one slide, I'm pulling it out for today's third track. Ok, fine, now we'll go wayy, wayyy down (see Office Space hypnotist) to the 1940's with one of the funniest jingles to come from Ol' Blue Eyes': 'Mama Will Bark', a playful duet between Frankie boy and Dagmar (aka Virginia Ruth Egnor), famous Mid-Twentieth Century TV actress and model, who on this vintage TIME magazine cover bears a striking resemblance to Kate Winslet.
Inching closer to the 21st Century but keeping it old school are the two biggest doggs in Hip Hop (aside from DMX's Ruff Rider four-legged entourage), spitting Snoop and serenading Nate, with 'O.G.'. This is a true West Coast Compton cruisin' beat, top down, hood bumpin', Oakley shades, gats, the works. To follow is another track featuring Nate Dogg, along with Mos Def and Pharoah Monch on 'Oh No', one of the very first tracks to hook line and sinker my heart to the game of rap. Pharoah has one of the most lyrically explosive verses of his career, with knockouts like 'I'm Intellectual, pass more essays/ese's than motorcade police parade through east L.A, more beef than delis' and his claim that 'Pharoah and Mos is lyrical osmosis' is proved by Mos's own smarts with one liners like 'The kids better buy my rookie card now, 'cuz after this year the price ain't comin' down'. For more Nate Dogg/'Oh No' check out Craig David's 'Seven Days (Remix)', and for more Snoop, be sure to locate 'Sexual Eruption (Remix feat. Robyn)' both top notch rarities. Speaking of Craig David, England has more recently shipped over Florence and the Machine, a band I have not had much interest in, however after recently happening upon Florence's cover of R&B Mario Winans' 'I Don't Wanna Know' (create hyperlink to video: ) I decided to see what else this band had up their communal sleeve, and aside from some other covers and remixes, I got down with 'The Dog Days are Over' in perfect timing for this week's homage to City Bark. Keeping the female vocals flowing is an old gem from bro-sis-one-two-punch The Fiery Furnaces, with 'My Dog was Lost But Now He's Found', off of Blueberry Boat, pre-Widow City fame. These two have a style that cannot be mimicked, and most don't so much as attempt to re-create the unique sound told through old family stories and other shared childhood memories. Be sure to check out newer tracks "Japanese Slippers' and 'Ex-Guru' as well.
Bringing some growls, so to speak, to today's mix is none other than Sonic Youth with 'Bone'. A fast-paced and drum heavy intro drops into strung out ( a la Greenday's 'Longview') verse sung by Kim Gordon, angsty as ever, opening with the croaked, almost whimpering 'dry as a bone'- HOLA NOLA has touched upon shoe-gaze, nu-gaze, and various genres that have been born and reborn again, and Sonic Youth brings us to the 'No Wave' movement (a satire on the popular New Wave genre of film that was popular in France during the 60's, and took over Hollywood in the '70s, Hola Robert Altman) that influenced music and the arts in New York city beginning in the mid 1970s, creating stepping stones for a DIY state of mind of alternative rock and punk culture of the 1980s. Is this song about dogs? No, but is it called bones, and do dogs love bones? Si, Senor (there's my Spanish kicking in again). So basically, this song is about dogs, imagine that! Speaking of Nu Gaze, we end our doggy paddle with another new band who go by The Radio Dept (important feminist note: Female bassist!). These Swedes first caught my attention with a track called 'David', and have since proven themselves with another hit, premiering last on the list with 'Pet Grief' (title trck off of record), something that City Bark is working hard to eradicate a little more each day (Footnote: 'David' comes chronologically after 'Pet Grief' in the Radio Dept's discography, but is in the opposite order in terms of what Laine Kaplan-Levenson heard first). And because Sweden produces today's most talented muscians, we end in their native tongue:
Du Gamia, Du Fria!
Jad älska hund, och hunden vi är till slut i fängelse!
"Thou ancient, Thou free!" (Swedish National anthem)
They say that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In New Orleans that hammer is a parade and the nail-like problem the the UNO budget cuts. Students and faculty staged a jazz funeral yesterday to mourn the coming loss of teachers, classes, departments, and even birds and happiness. TP brings us the party snaps, but we hope you'll scroll down to the comment section of their coverage for "suicide squeeze"'s observation that: "It wasn't that long ago when college students WORKED their way through school. No wonder this country is going down the tubes!" Tell it squeeeze!
It seems like just yesterday when the city was still fresh with SuperBowl euphoria, and Mardi Gras Madness. Sure, we had to deal with an election, but as long as Nagin was out, everyone was happy.
At the head of the parade, quite literally, we installed Mitch Landrieu, scion of a Louisiana dynasty. Alas, Karnival is over, and so is St. Patty's, so is St. Joseph's. Everyone has sobered up, and remembered those beads are actually worthless.
March 19 is St. Joseph's Day which means more Mardi Gras Indians!
However, apparently, long before, the Crescent City put their own spin on the day, the holiday had something to do with something religious… We think that their was some Saint involved.
(St. Joseph saved the Sicilians from famine by bringing rain; in exchange, the people threw a feast. NOLA's significant Sicilian population bought the the tradition over erecting altars with elaborate food spreads.)
Seeing and (if necessary, eating) at one of the altars is a must-experience. (And, of course, there will be parades!)
A little research on our favorite journalist's part revealed that the check stands to violate the rules governing the group's 501(c)(7) status. Simply, put they are classified as a not-for-profit currently, but takign the gift may push them out of that category, leading to all sorts of tax issues.
Even Yats who opt to forgo the parades for a grillout or a staycation in front of the television can not hep but finding themselves in posession of those iconic plastic beads. So, as the excitement of Carnival subsides, we are left wondering what the hell to do with these things.
The easiest answer is the garbage. The truly unmotivated will let them sit about tangled and forlorn on the floor for months. Conversely, the truly motivated will take their loot to the Salvation Army. However, somewhere between lies the purgatory that is ebay. The online retailer lists thousands of Mardi Gras lots; almost 500 for doubloons alone.
We took a look at the market.
Like Snoop Dog, our mind was on our money; so, doubloons seemed a logical start. The most expensive single doubloon is from the 2003 Krewe de Argus: a George Rodrigue Blue Dog. One side has quite the pretty picture of a blue dog, plus a registration number, and the flipside features the Krewe's logo. Unfortunately, there are zero bids! A 1967 .999 Fine Silver (yeah! like real silver) Knights of Momus had one bid for $65.00 with two days left on the auction. Despite, the shred of hope, the average prices seemed to be much closer to four, five dollars a piece for the rarer items and a nickel or dime for the common coins.
So, we moved on to that Mardi Gras staple: bead. Ebay had over 1500 lots of beads for sale. Most of them were bulk, and offered not with auctions but the "Buy It Now" option. So, cutting to the chase. Highest current bid? Try $18 for a 20 pound bag of beads! It goes downhill from there.
Next year, when you are joking about the absurdity of screaming for worthless pastic trinkets, know that you're not exaggerating… but remember that it's fun!