SuperDee's House

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Photo by James Harris. More here.

I went down to Georgia this Memorial Day weekend for my first Amberland with Perpetual Groove. These boys have become some of my dearest friends in this music world of ours and I was thrilled to be able to go this year. They invited me to come play violin with them which was such an honor.

While I realized this was going to be a relatively chill and intimate weekend compared to other festivals, I didn't realize how truly special this event is. Amberland is basically a fan appreciation weekend for PGroove and a chance for them to shine without any other distractions. It was so refreshing to be at an event that was focused on one band. It really brought me back to the Limestone/Oswego/Plattsburgh days but on a much smaller level, of course. Today's multi-stage festivals are amazing in their depth and variety but to be around approximately 700 people who all share the love for the same band, a different kind of atmosphere can flourish. Instead of running around catching as much as you can between sets, you are free to hang out, make new friends, make bacon, whatever.

The shows were fantastic and supported by an extremely professional production in both sound and light. Having experienced the sound on stage now, I know how really incredible the equipment really was but nothing can be done without the meticulous work by the band's team - Patrick on monitors, Newt on front sound and Huffer with his amazing light show.

My highlights obviously include when I was on stage playin' in the band - totally a surreal experience. We did "Out Here" on Saturday night and "All This Everything (Part 1)" on Sunday. I also got to do Wilco's "Jesus, etc." with Brock during his solo show on Friday night. Brock's solo sets are really such a treat as he loops his way around a wide variety of mostly cover songs like Paul Simon's "Graceland," Secret Machines' "Alone, Jealous, and Stoned," and the beautiful "Queen Bee" by Taj Mahal. He also did an awesome rendition of the entire Super Mario Brothers theme (beginning, middle and the resolution at the end) as well as the Sopranos theme with guest Tye Munn.

Major major props to Adam's brother, Damien Perry, who sat in multiple times on guitar and totally outstaged me which is more than fine. He was jawdroppingly fun to watch. Check out his band Red Giant. I had a funny moment with him backstage as he was focusing, getting in the moment, and trying to decide what antic he'd do next. "I could try to do a backflip, maybe."

Brock, Matt, Adam and Albert, I love you guys so much! Thanks for an amazing weekend that I will never forget. Lifelong bonds were made this weekend, I know it. PGroove music makes me feel...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

That's Pretty Underground

Most of you may have seen this already but it's worth watching again.

Big Guy, Little Bike, Smaller Dog

Too good not to share... My friend Blake in a photo taken by Zack.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Music: I'm From Barcelona

Springtime is here. The sky is blue and people have emerged from their winter dens to turn their faces to the sun like flowers. What better time to get acquainted with some sunny overproduced pop music? I'm From Barcelona are not actually from Barcelona, they are Swedish. Personally, Barcelona is my dream destination, a trip I'm saving for some extra special time so I can understand the desire to channel the untamed romance of the place. IFB have put out an album called Let Me Introduce My Friends and it just makes me smile. Emanuel Lundgren, whose official credit in the band is "The Principle," has basically invited all of his friends to his house to make noise and sing and voila... you've got magic. The all-inclusive Montreal sound and it's do-it-yourself nature has drifted to Scandinavia, been reinterpreted and been given cute lyrics like "I have built a treehouse / Nobody can see us / it's a you and me house." We all need little reminders from time to time not to be so damn serious all the time, right?

Lighten Up: | |

Sunday, May 20, 2007

RD in NYC Aftermath

Rotary Downs NYC weekend was a blast! The LES got its share of the Downs starting with their set on Thursday at the Mercury where we made new friends with the fine folks of Jupiter One. On Friday, the RD set was simultaneous with the free PBR hour at the Hot Rocks Party at the Delancey which turned up the rowdy vibe. The Brooklyn/NOLA connection grew stronger at the cozy Magnetic Fields on Saturday night. Andy Friedman & The Other Failures had an awesome set after RD and we all had a really fun night.

Here's a clip of "Holiday Home" from Friday night's show:

Holiday Home
This is the first last chance
I'm up on a broken branch
determined to sing like a beheaded king

If there's love in this world
there'll be miracles unfurled
like sails on the sea if you only agreed

It gets cold in the evening
I'm gonna freeze my bones
'til the morning shows

And I'm stoned on believing
you could just pick up the phone
but you leave me alone
in my holiday home

So stoned, frozen alone
up on a tree in the fall away zone
holiday holiday holiday holiday holiday holiday holiday home

RD at The Mercury

Free PBR dude!

The amazing Layla Isis does her bellydance at The Delancey.

Andy Friedman rockin' Magnetic

Thursday, May 17, 2007

RD Live On the Radio

Tune in at 2pm EST (that's 1pm for you folks in the middle, 12pm for those in the mountains and 11am for you slackers in Cali) to hear Rotary Downs live on public radio today!

Go here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rotary Downs Returns to NYC this Week

Fresh off the heels of a successful run of shows during New Orleans' JazzFest - including a high-profile slot at the Fairgrounds - the Big Easy's favorite indie-rock band Rotary Downs makes its return to New York City. This will be their second visit to Gotham City, their first marked by two remarkable shows at the Knitting Factory and Magnetic Fields as well as an appearance on public radio's Studio 360 that was heard around the world.

Rotary Downs is leading the charge in a Post-Katrina rock'n'roll resurgence for New Orleans. In the Fall of 2006, the band released Chained To The Chariot , an album that survived formidable elements and obstacles. Original tapes were rescued from the deluge and evacuated with the band to Lafayette, LA where the album was completed. Chariot is a masterpiece with commentary on many different elements of life in South Louisiana and has quickly become a favorite among fans and critics.

"Emerging fully formed and ready for radio, Chariot's mix of ear-pleasing pop structures with a now to-be-expected experimental bent marks it as New Orleans' best rock record in recent memory." - Gambit Weekly, May 2007

"**** -- 4 Stars!" - Alternative Press Magazine

Join Rotary Downs in NYC this weekend:

Thursday, May 17
Soundcheck WNYC - 2pm on 93.9
Stream it:

Thursday, May 17
Mercury Lounge
with Jupiter One and Autodrone
(RD at 8:30pm!)

Friday, May 18
Hot Rocks Party at The Delancey (RD at 10pm)

Saturday, May 19
Magnetic Field (Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY)
with Andy Friedman & The Other Failures (RD at 9pm)

For more information visit and

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Encouraging OCD

My horoscope from Rob Brezny tells me this week's astrological advice in a quote from Franz Kafka:

"Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly."

I guess I was just slightly ahead of the curve as I just spent 12 days in New Orleans doing just that. But maybe it means I'm supposed to go back really soon...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Blur of 2nd Weekend

Friday evening sky - Lower Garden District

Friday night - Ween at Contemporary Arts Center

Friday late night - Umph at House of Blues

Saturday morning - Rotary Downs on the freakin' fairgrounds

Irma Thomas in the Gospel Tent

Upstairs balcony at Saturn Bar

Rotary Downs - Saturn Bar

Out on St. Claude Street

Mystery Street

Steely Dan, man.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Louisiana Rain

By the time the cab driver took us to the fairgrounds, it was raining too hard to get out so we went to the quarter to get some grub and beers at Acme. Here was a funny moment of a little girl getting helped across the street using a crate as a stepping stone.

French Quarter in the Evening

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Let the Games Begin... Again.

Traditions are an important thing here in New Orleans. The local corner convenience store guy could probably give you a 150 year history of the spot you'd be standing in at that moment. The people take a great pride in the sordid past of their city which is full of colorful characters like pirates, slaves, French soldiers, musical pioneers, and so on. It truly is like no other city in the world.

Back to the future in 2007, we have our own JazzFest traditions that must be upheld. One for me is the Wednesday night show at Tipitina's with Garage A Trois in the hopes of hearing the beautiful melody of "Angel Nemali" that I fell in love with at JazzFest years ago. This quartet has undergone a personnel change and instead of the bass/guitar sounds of Charlie Hunter, joining Skerik, Stanton Moore, and Mike Dillon this time is Marco Benevento = Garage A Benevento.

So what is gone without Charlie? Well, that "Angel Nemali" for one. The mellow island vibe is pretty much gone. They could bust it out again possibly but it just doesn't feel like it's ever around the corner. What we do gain with Marco, though, is pretty outta sight. It seems as though he is pushing the rest of them to take it up one more notch. He's leading the charge much of the time doing his seamless segues from one tune to another. The best little cover bust-out theme was The Zombie's "She's Not There" which made an appearance in the first set and then again in the second set. Skerik started to do some flow about the color of her hair and that the fact that she was not there. It got pretty raucous and then they went into "Gimme Some Lovin." There was a little Bustle bust out with Zep's "What Is and What Should Never Be" which made me miss Joey, Dave and Scotty a little. But it was so great to see this band rock it without even really missing a guitar at any point. Pretty cool shtuff.

Skerik and Marco came out for a lovely piece of music - not sure what it was - but featured the straight up beautiful sax without the phonics. Sometimes it can just make you melt. Maybe that "Angel" will come back someday anyway.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

JazzFest Crystal Ball

On these "daze between" I've had some time to relax and reflect on the first weekend that was and get prepared for the weekend to come. JazzFest is food for your soul. This is what I told a good friend of mine the other day as part of my arsenal of words to convince her to buy the plane ticket to come for second weekend. (She did.) There are many ways to replenish the mind and spirit throughout the year but coming to New Orleans is like doing a cleanse for your soul.

Last weekend was highlighted by spending some wonderful time with Club T.S.R. aka "Three Queens and a King". Musically, the shows sticking out in my mind are the Anders Osborne show at the Rock'n'Bowl [read about that here] and Irma Thomas' set at JazzFest on Sunday. These two epitomized what is going on down here from the heartbreak to the hopefulness. The spirit here is definitely raised from last year but there is still a lot of pain in people's hearts. We met this wonderfully cute man who was parking cars during fest in his brother's yard. He told us that he's returning to NOLA from Texas soon but his eyes glazed over when he remembered the family that lived next door to him for 20+ years. They all drowned. This has always been a city of the macabre with spirits flying every where. It's just that now, the ghosts seem to be walking among us. And dancing! As is the culture down here, we must continue to celebrate life and persevere.

The Skerik watch is going well. He's pretty much playing somewhere every hour for 10 days. You may even catch a set on your way to the bathroom in the morning. I saw him play with Papa Mali's Stone Soul Picnic with about a billion other musicians on Thursday night. Saturday's Maelstrom Trio set was totally weird and spooky and I love the combination of Skerik with the incorrigible Brian Coogan, Simon Lott and Mike Gamble - the Brooklyn/New Orleans Express. All aboard. Last night, I saw a more subdued Skerik perform a duo with the legendary Johnny Vidacovich. Skerik watch continues tonight with the traditional Garage A Trois Benevento show at Tipitina's. "Angel Nemali" here I come...

And then the second weekend is upon us. The new crew arrives tomorrow with fresh excitement to stir it up once again. Looking ahead, we'll be checking out the Chaz Fest tomorrow afternoon > evening with some down home cookin' of both the culinary and musical varieties. JazzFest is different post-Katrina as there used to be a huge number of national acts playing at the big theaters. It's way more localized and intimate now but on Friday, after the fairgrounds, we've got Ween and Umphrey's McGee making their appearances in the Big Easy.

Saturday night's the night as we'll be taking over the Saturn Bar (3067 St. Claude) for the one-two punch of local rock and fusion bands, Rotary Downs and The Other Planets. This FREE show is going to be out of this world (Saturn, to be exact) and it's a good opportunity to see the new sound bubbling out of this city. The late night lineups at Maple Leaf and Chickie Wah Wah look especially good for Saturday night.

Who knows what else may happen?! JazzFest is always chock full of wonderful surprises. I already can't wait until next year. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tipitina's Foundation: Instruments A Comin'

Instruments A Comin' is an annual fundraiser held by the Tipitina's Foundation every Monday after the first weekend of JazzFest. I'm not usually here for this event but this year is different! I went to Tips to check it out and it was RIDICULOUS. Basically, it was about 6 or 7 legendary bands playing back-to-back 40 minute sets from about 6pm to 3am. We walked in just before Jon Cleary's set. Bonnie Raitt came and sat in for a few songs on vocals and guitar and it was extra sick. This was followed by an awesome set by the power group of New Orleans Social Club featuring Ivan Neville, Leo Nocentelli, Henry Butler, Raymond Webber, and the man, George Porter, Jr. Such heavy hitters!

Trombone Shorty's set was the one that really blew the roof off. This band is full of young and cocky prodigies lead by the enigmatic Troy Andrews. They were dressed all sassy and classy in all black and RIPPED a version of "Back in Black" that had me doing air trombone moves. Air bone? They played "Saints Go Marching In" full on with a crowd participation of "Whodat! Whodat! Whodat say they gonna beat them Saints?!" The place was going nuts! This might be my new favorite New Orleans band coming out of this year's JF.

Next up was Rebirth Brass Band who is always a fun time especially when they play fun songs like "Cassanova" - I ain't much on Cassanova, me and Romeo ain't never been friends. They did a great "Shoo fly don't bother me" with a man that looked like he could have written that billion year old song. I'll find his name for you... But man, I would not have wanted to be the band to follow that T-Bone set...

Walter Wolfman Washington closed out the show, as he always does, I believe. He was super soothing and groovy and I loved when he impressively played his guitar with his teeth! Great great great night. If you want to find out more about the work of the Tips Foundation, visit Here's one more pic of a brassy audience member:

It doesn't end here..... Stay tuned....