Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Sissy Bounce: It’s Official

Remember a couple of months ago when I posted all that stuff about Sissy Bounce? Well, the meme is done blowed up, ’cause Gambit Weekly’s current cover story is about–you guessed it–Sissy Bounce.

Not surprisingly, writer Alison Fensterstock is a much smarter writer than I am, and had enough time and curiosity to really explore the topic. Among the article’s more interesting tidbits is verification of what I’d expected: that straight Bounce rappers aren’t exactly thrilled with all the attention being lavished on the sissies. As rapper Plies recalls from his visit to a New Orleans club this July:

“And the DJ played one of those songs,” he said. “What the f*** is that? Come on, play some Soulja Slim or something, play Dizzy’s “Work Ya Elbows.’ The DJs act like they don’t have any other music to play. It’s nothing against them. It’s just the only thing I hear now in bounce is gay, and it’s something I don’t want my children to hear,” Meana added, although he was careful to note that gangsta rap and his own songs glorifying drug use are also off-limits in his house. “They can listen to the radio version,” he said. “But I hear the same complaint (that bounce is gay) at the barbershop, at the studio, everywhere I go.”

Which is, I guess, a marginally more tolerant response than we’d have gotten five or ten years ago. So: yay, but also, boo.

Regardless of the homophobia Allison exposes, it’s a great piece. And as if that weren’t enough, the equally awesome author (and recently repatriated New Orleanian) Kevin Allman has posted a lengthy Q&A he had with Ms. Fensterstock about the whole experience of researching and writing the article. Among her observations:

[T]he NOLA sissies are less a part of queer culture at large, I think, than they are a part of New Orleans culture. There’s a huge Internet fan base for them. It’s totally possible that Freedia or Katey would have a RuPaul moment. They have that kind of rock star quality. But as Matt Miller, who directed the bounce documentary said, the problem is also with the regional quality of the music – it’s really simple and rough and based a lot on the neighborhood-projects-school call and response. So that might inhibit it translating nationally more than the sissy-ness would. But I hope they do.

Also worthy of excitement: Ya Heard Me, the Bounce documentary she mentions, which features several Sissy Bouncers. More yay for your Wednesday!

New documentary: great stories, little tsoris

Somehow I missed the fact that there’s a new New Orleans documentary on the scene–and it looks fantastic. Centered on the history of the Faubourg Tremé, it’s got great music, great footage, great names attached to it–Brenda Marie Osbey, Leni Sloan, Lolis Eric Elie, and Wynton Marsalis, to name a few–and best of all, it’s celebratory, not mournful. As the website says:

Faubourg Tremé is arguably the oldest black neighborhood in America, the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement in the South and the home of jazz. While the Tremé district was damaged when the levees broke, this is not another Katrina documentary. Every frame is a tribute to what African American communities have contributed even under the most hostile of conditions.

Also, no Chris Rose. Seriously, check it:

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRAILER
Since WordPress sucks for embedding media

(Thanks Xeni and BoingBoing!)

Metairie-ite Discovers The Bywater

I never really know what to blog about when I visit home these days. I want to report on things like an excellent meal at Drago’s or the difficulty of tracking down and affording enough crawfish to be worth firing up the boiler this season, but it just doesn’t seem important enough when people are getting water in their houses all over again.

But then again, life in the city continues, and it’s not all disaster all the time. Right? …right?

Right. I guess. Anyway, I’ve got pics of the Jefferson Parish pumping station safe-houses to share in a post tomorrow or next day. So it ain’t drinking and dancing and biscuits and jelly 24/7, either.

Anyway, last night was a Thursday night. I have a usenet acquaintance who’s been telling me for years that next time I’m in town I need, really requisitely need, to go to Vaughn’s of a Thursday night when Kermit Ruffins is holding court. And when Katrina touched down, one of the laughably out-of-perspective trivial thoughts that crossed my mind–you know what I’m talking about, the less important losses you babble about to distract yourself from the big losses–was, “Damn! I waited too long and now I’ll never get to do that!”

But in fact it is a thing still doable, and my husband and I done did it last night.
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Engineers Without Borders Benefit Tonight

Carrollton Station hosts a benefit for Engineers Without Borders featuring Dash Rip Rock, Susan Cowsill, Motorway, BarStool Logic and my lovely friend, Amanda Walker. Please join us to help international engineers bring healthy drinking water to the people of Nicaragua. $5 (or more, if you wish) at the door. Sunday (11/12), 7pm, 8140 Willow St. (at the end of the tracks) in Carrollton.

Amanda Plays Rabadash Records 25th Anniversary Party

Good Show

I just returned from The Kerry Irish Pub on Decatur where Truckstop Honeymoon is playing. They were hit hard by Katrina and had to move to Kansas where they still reside while they rebuild here in New Orleans. That story can be found here.

In case you are sad, you missed the show tonight, turn that frown upside down and go see them tomorrow at d.b.a. on Frenchmen.

katrina made normal people do strange things.

Like my friend, Tom Henehan. Actually, Tom was a little bit “out there” before. In a good way. Here’s the latest from him:

Tom Henehan
folk / country / blues / dylan / the band / the dead
and other such Old Hippy Shit
All Proven Material ~ No Originals! Cringe-Free Listening Experience Guaranteed

ONE HOUR ONLY!
Monday, July 24, 8 pm
Neutral Ground Coffee House
5110 Daneel (Way Uptown)
No Cover! No Booze! Cheap!!

I’ve been doing this one night a month for a while now, with very few folks showing up. (I didn’t even send out a notice last time ~ my bad!)

I figure somebody ought to drop by sooner or later, if only out of curiosity; I know there are some of you out there who’ve known me for 15-20 years and didn’t even know I owned a musical instrument ~ but I do. In fact, I spent several years of my young life successfully avoiding conventional “day-job” work and unsuccessfully devoting all my waking hours to music.

Now, years later, I figure why not get back into it ~ with no expectations, of course. You only live once, right? After all, I was almost good enough once before; surely I can be almost good enough once again!

Free AND Cringe Free! Only one hour! How can you beat that?

Jazzfest Final Days: Design Parameters Exceeded

Well, Jazzfest is finally over (actually, it was over a few days ago, but let’s not be technical here). I’m writing from recovery, a necessary step after 10 days of debauchery and abuse. K, a mightier soul than I, has gone on to Los Angeles. I believe she has scheduled a high colonic and a meeting with Madonna’s Kabbalah advisor to exorcise the Jazzfest demons.

We made it through the last 2 days, valiantly, though we were a bit unsteady as we teetered down the jetway to our Delta chariot. An evening hangover is **not** pretty. It may also have been the large shrimp bread we inhaled while killing time at the gate. Or perhaps the spinach and artichoke casserole that was ingested on the run out of the fairgrounds. Maybe a leeetle too much dairy product.

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The First Three Days of Jazzfest 2006

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My first day at Jazz Fest started Friday at 5AM with a flight out of DC’s National Airport and ended about 22 hours later when K (no, not that bitch K who everyone here, understandably, is so upset with) and I realized that perhaps we should call it a night after we backed out of a toll booth on the Mississippi River bridge at about 2AM. In front of a po-lice ossifer. That was after a series at least 4 U-turns in which we had endeavored, quite unsuccessfully, to find the approach to the bridge, on the Algiers side of the river.

Algiers has become popular with musicians and other cheap-rent-seeking folks who fled New Orleans after Katrina. However, I don’t think the cheap rent lasted long.

K and I had been lured over the bridge by a chance to see the Campbell Brothers perform with a bunch of local musicians, including Anders Osborne (Warning – music autoplays), a Swedish transplant and slide maestro, and his sousaphone player, Kirk Joseph.
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