Wednesday, April 28, 2010

NOLA finale

There's a great line in Henry Miller's "Sexus" or "Plexus" (one of those), where he comments on standing in an open field in high Summer, his experience being his thoughts on how he'll write about it and that this in an of itself alienated him from actually experiencing the enviroment per se - rather than the artistic process he'd apply to it. As soon as I read that I promised myself to avoid living life that way, at a remove or too. And yet...

I was watching episode 2 of "Treme," there's a neat scene where you've got a pair of street musicians (most likely transplants to NOLA) playing for some Midwestern kids who were in town with their church group participating in a rebuilding project. The male musician starts giving the kids a hard time for suddenly becoming interested in NOLA only post-Katrina -- rather ungraciously (we'd gone back a couple months after the flood and all the natives we ran into were nothing but gracious and thrilled that visitors were already starting to come back). And when they request an "authentic" song, he really gets snarky - says he'll play "When The Saints Go Marching In," demanding $20 for condescending to play it. And suddenly I flash back to being at Louisiana Music Factory, asking for "funk" and turning my nose up at the Galactic CD offered. Galactic ARE from NOLA, are respectful of the traditions of the music that they're playing and funky white guys just ARE accepted as part of the overall musical community once they've paid their dues. So, mea culpa.

In fact, I spent 2 days digging thru boxes of CDs in the basement (the overflow collection) searching for my Mystical CDs and found those, a Dirty Dozen Brass Band collection and a Galactic CD and the diversity and excellence of all this stuff shook me summarily out of my neat little NOLA funk and Cajun music rut. OY, do I feel silly!

I also went on a mini buying spree and found a Kermit Ruffins collection put out by Putamaya for $1.75 (OY!) and a double Professor Longhair collection for $13 -- something around 40 tracks. While I do prefer digging around actual stores (Positively Records in Levittown is my very favorite followed by Princeton Record Exchange), sometimes it just is cheaper and more expedient to use Amazon esp. for somewhat odd selections (i.e. used Kermit Ruffins CDs).

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