Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One Last Time

The SoulaBillySwampBoogie Band

Live at BMC, New Orleans

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yes, the camerawork is a bit shaky on this one; I think it must have been an especially windy afternoon in the bar.  Yeah, that's it: it was the wind.

Tomb of the Unknown Slave

I happened upon this monument last Wednesday afternoon while wandering around the Treme neighborhood (officially, Faubourg Treme, which sounds so much cooler, but it probably also sounds pretentious coming from somebody who's not from New Orleans).  While many of the sites and attractions in Treme are referenced in guidebooks and web pages, I've found very few references to this, which is striking given its weight.

Here's the plaque text:
On this October 30, 2004, we, the Faith Community of St. Augustine Catholic Church, dedicate this shrine consisting of grave crosses, chains and shackles to the memory of the nameless, faceless, turfless Africans who met an untimely death in Faubourg Treme. The Tomb of the Unknown Slave is commemorated here in this garden plot of St. Augustine Church, the only parish in the United States whose free people of color bought two outer rows of pews exclusively for slaves to use for worship. This St. Augustine/Treme shrine honors all slaves buried throughout the United States and those slaves in particular who lie beneath the ground of Treme in unmarked, unknown graves. There is no doubt that the campus of St. Augustine Church sits astride the blood, sweat, tears and some of the mortal remains of unknown slaves from Africa and local American Indian slaves who either met with fatal treachery, and were therefore buried quickly and secretly, or were buried hastily and at random because of yellow fever and other plagues. Even now, some Treme locals have childhood memories of salvage/restoration workers unearthing various human bones, sometimes in concentrated areas such as wells. In other words, The Tomb of the Unknown Slave is a constant reminder that we are walking on holy ground. Thus, we cannot consecrate this tomb, because it is already consecrated by many slaves' inglorious deaths bereft of any acknowledgement, dignity or respect, but ultimately glorious by their blood, sweat, tears, faith, prayers and deep worship of our Creator.

Donated by Sylvia Barker of the Danny Barker Estate

The monument is at the St. Augustine Catholic Church, and more info can be found on their website.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


"And there are words, significant words, you do not want to say, words that account for busted-up lives, words that try to fix something ruined that shouldn't be ruined and no one wanted ruined, and that words can't fix anyway."

Richard Ford
I've long enjoyed Ford (he counts Walker Percy as a major influence, to give some idea of his style and deceptively simple stories) but this Wildlife novel seems noteworthy even for Ford.
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

One Last Cell Phone Video from NOLA

I don't remember the name of this brass band from last night, but they were pretty good. They'd set up on a street corner and were playing to a crowd of probaby 50 to perhaps 75, through which they'd occasionally pass their tip box. It worked as a nice musical send-off for me.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

Raleigh Representing!

This morning, I happened upon this flyer posted on a telephone pole along Frenchmen Street here in New Orleans for a show next Tuesday that features Double Negative, one of my fave bands out of the Raleigh, NC, area.

And now it seems that I'm playing for a North Carolina Triangle area trifecta. Just after snapping this show flyer pic, I caught a cab with a driver from NC whose son just got accepted to the NC School of Science and Mathematics, which is only two blocks down the street from my house in Durham.

Pretty wild.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Pics About Buildings and Food

Smoking Time Jazz Band @ The Spotted Cat

Louisiana + BP

Deep down, it really is love.
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Glen David Andrews @ d.b.a.

Two more cell phone videos. The audio is pretty good but the video leaves a bit to be desired. But just listen and you'll get an idea what a great performance this guy and his fantastic band put on.

I found this on his website and have to agree:
"Approximating the power released by a six-pack of hydrogen bombs...
Andrews was searingly, exhaustingly astonishing."
--nola.com jazzfest 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Random Shots of French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny

Creole townhouses, shotgun houses, and so forth. Mostly shot along Decatur, Barracks, and Chartres Streets.
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Ignatius Reilly

"In the shadow under the green visor of the cap, Ignatius J. Reilly's supercilious blue and yellow eyes looked down upon the other people waiting under the clock at the D. H. Holmes department store, studying the crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress."

John Kennedy Toole
A Confederacy of Dunces
1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
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