Every year on Mardi Gras day, my good friend Bob Compton tells me, “Just think. . . everywhere else its just a fucking Tuesday.” From the traditions of Congo Square and the Mardi Gras Indians, to the second lines and their sounds that fill the streets New Orleans is my muse, my soulmate, my mother and my whore. As unrepentant as it is forgiving, this is a city of a mystical nature.
Here at The Word I will be trying to seek out those who have had a hand in shaping the great culture of our city and document their journeys through the city. To really try and document those who have defined our city, and how it has defined them. I’ll be posting photos, opinions on the music industry, show listings, interviews, videos, and whatever else perks my interest. I always love to discover new music, and would love to hear from anyone who has something new and interesting.
On the downside I feel that even our great Crescent City can sometimes fall into a pattern of repition and glorification of the past, while neglecting the future. How many recordings of Cissy Strut do bands here need to record before we realize that one song doesn’t define us. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve probably listened to the classic Meters tune a few thousand times, but like anything else, over indulging will just make what was once special, just another mundane part of the day.
Specifically I remember being at a very respected music club in the city and the bartender was complaining to some customers about how the band from the previous night was just more of that “heady New York Jazz.” The band he was talking about was Khris Royal’s Dark Matter. I’ll put a disclaimer here stating that I really believe this band is on the cutting edge and is the kind of inspiration I think this city needs. Anyways back to the New York Jazz comment, how can a group of musicians born, bred, and schooled in New Orleans, who consider it there home, and are the next generation of musicians in this city make anything other than New Orleans Music? New Orleans is unique, if your a musician and from any other city and you go out and sit in with a band, people just say “oh thats how that cat plays,” now when your from New Orleans and you sit in the comment changes just a bit to, “man thats how cats in New Orleans Play,” Look around and see how many musicians from our great city who have become famous, and realize that New Orleans is never far from their heart, their playing, and usually their marketing scheme.
I as a musician, promoter, an lover of all music see this time see the present as a time for real music lovers, musicians, and those involved in the business can reclaim music from the establishment and purge it of all the materialistic cookie cutter crap that has infected the soul of the average listener. Its a scary time, where venues have forgotten their roots, musicians play the same played out sets time and time again, and your average listener can’t even recognize music that’s truly special.
In a time where there’s a Bieber on every corner, and Glee at every bend, its getting harder and harder to find what is true and special, and what is just complete bullshit.
I invite everyone who reads this to do their part and start speaking about what we can do to help protect some of the greatest music on earth, and to foster a new generation of musicians who can carry the torch farther. Change starts here at home, and if everyone starts at home in no time we can organize a second line to shake things up.
Leave a comment about what you’re listening to or what great music is coming up. Please feel free to send me ideas of people to talk to, music to see, or your take on the scene. I’d like to have some more voices talking about the scene. Now is a time for interaction and I want to hear what you think.
It is my hope that people will realize we are at a crossroads and that we can take the reins, we just need to speak out. It’s up to us to raise it from the ashes with a new face and a new vibe.
Now Go Out and Make it Funky!