September 14, 2005

I’ve been to New Orleans once in my life. I toured with the band JZ Barrell, through the east coast and the south. We played two shows in New Orleans in one night. One was at the Mermaid Room (?) I think. Later we went to a party at someone’s house which had more indie rock posters than I’d ever seen at a record store. The house and the club are probably under water. We arrived right after Mardi Gras so the city was like a ghost town, in recovery.

That’s the sum of my experience in N.O. Been listening to John Coltrane’s "Alabama" in response to Katrina. It’s described here:

In the early morning of Sunday, September 15, 1963, a gaggle of malcontents planted 12 sticks of dynamite in a window well outside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The dynamite exploded eight hours later killing Denise McNair, 11, and Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins, all 14, in the process galvanizing the Civil Rights Movement. Three months later, on November 18, 1963, John Coltrane stepped up to the microphone in fabled Englewood, NJ studio of one Rudy Van Gelder and over a McCoy Tyner Tremolo, blew his searing and definitive statement on the subject of the bombing— "Alabama." "Alabama" is the single most provocative piece on what is considered one of the most well rounded John Coltrane live recordings, Coltrane Live at Birdland.

I’d put up an mp3 if I could but my former system for putting up mp3s is mysteriously broken. I have a black thumb with technology. I think Castpost would ban me for putting up copyrighted material. Anyway, buy or play Live at Birdland, great record.

I also found this in my brother’s collection of LPs:

Fiddle King

"The Godfather of Cajun music." Makes you realize how much history is there. The place can’t be bulldozed.


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