SuperDee's House

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...


Blogger Andrew J said...

Sickest Tune Ever!

5:19 PM  
Blogger Andrew J said...

Angel Nemali=Sickest Ever...

5:20 PM  

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