· still breathing

of all the things i could have been posting about the last few weeks if my life hadn’t been such a timesink (such as the rest of the new orleans chronicles, day by day; my trip to new york and getting comped into the phish show at radio city music hall by one of those friend-of-friend chains; my brother’s job in Central Park; and other things i can’t think of – by the way, anyone really interested in any of these things, particularly stuff i’ve already written like the new orleans journal entries, just send me email and i’ll send it to you personally, when i get a moment free), the last thing i’d like to be posting about is losing my fucking wallet!

it’s bad enough that i lost my cell phone a few weeks ago. the nice consultants i’m consulting with replaced it for me reasonably quickly. but is this how i react to stress? throwing off important material talismans? Is that why I kept smashing my watches till I took the hint and stopped wearing one (to the eternal consternation of B of whom I’m eternally asking the time, though she often isn’t wearing a watch and in fact lost her swatch in new orleans). point is, i just don’t have time for this crap. canceling credit cards, getting new parking pass, replacing driver’s license? fuck the money. that’s not the point. i care more about my BART card than the fungible cash. oh for the days when upstanding crooks took the green and dropped your wallet in the nearest mailbox. It’s a huge pain in the ass, especially when you consider that I’m going to Chicago on thursday for BEA and then a day or so after I get back I’m going to Boston to be trained on a monster content management system, getting back just in time (barely) for B’s b’day. Since i know she never reads this, I can tell you here if you keep a secret that I’m looking for one of those breakfast-in-bed trays. she deserves it.

built for comfort

· still breathing

Finally starting to unwind… it only took three or four days of extra sleep and fried seafood to do it. Here’s my take on the second day of the Fest:


Large frozen cafe au lait


Frozen water

Patina earrings for B with Germaine Bazzle’s scatting carrying over from the Jazz tent

E) Indian fry bead

Mrs. Wheat’s crawfish pie

B) Softshell crab po’boy

S) Crawfish tail po’boy

S) Shrimp remoulade

Banda Blanca of Honduras (with two booty dancers to keep all the men in the audience paying strict attention to the stage)

Louisiana Heritage tent (Viator family showing their violins)

Virgin Megatent (B buys the Viators’ last album, I buy a David Lindley record I’ve been looking for for ages – it has “Brother John” and “Rock it with I” on it)

Grandstand to cool off in the AC and look for one of Steve and Elizabeth’s friends working in the Brazilian pavilion

B) Spring rolls

S&E) Vermicelli

Carlos Maba & Pife Muderno of Brazil @ Fais Do Do stage

I passed Wardel Quezergue Orchestra (an Afro-Cuban style big band – very hot) @ the Congo Square stage on my way to get

Fried sweet potatoes (disappointing, soggy and greasy, so two strikes no against Jeanminette’s food stand) &

Crawfish Monica, large (great as always, but small would have been more than adequate – except B helped me finish it off)

Pife Muderno quotes Ravel’s Bolero on flutes in their encore number

Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings plays at least three Robert Johnson songs (Rocks in the Roadway? that’s not the title but something like that, Terraplane Blues which absolutely tears the place up, and 32/20 Blues) – he’s a big hit with the crowd, which has a tad too many drunken dust dancers and off-beat tambourinists for my liking, but a cupped hand at each ear does wonders. Bonnie Raitt comes out and does the “I’m not worthy” bow. Let’s see, what else, he plays “Down in Mississippi with Legends of the Blues” about touring with John Lee Hooker in 1982 (he has since produced JLH’s album(s?)) on 12-string National steel guitar. Encores with Willie Dixon’s “Built for Comfort, Not for Speed” a little more mellow.

We move to the rickety House of Blues grandstand and wait for Derek Trucks Band to come on. Only problem is a cigar smoker in front of us (and I cut my knuckle on the end of a metal pipe strut). Somewhere in her we bought two more bottles of water and 1 sweetened rosemint tea. Later I get to see an altercation between a drunken college-guy type and a feisty young woman who hits back and then taunts the fellow all down the strip)

Derek’s first tune is jazzy with a bass solo – can’t just call them a blues-rock outfit, then

Ain’t That Lovin’ You

then two, three, four tunes I don’t know? then

Afro Blue (cool, taken fast)

then a song, then band intros, then

Amazing Grace, with an extended guitar intro and then a reggae arrangement

then an encore I don’t recognize that trends into Love Light as we’re heading out of the place.

On the way out, we couldn’t resists catching the last few tunes of

Zawinul Syndicate in the jazz tent

something you got

· still breathing

Strange, my Mac says it’s 8:43, the clocks here in New Orleans say it’s 10:40, and this diaryland entry form says it’s 9:19:10? whassup widat?

Report from Jazz Fest:


Drove to Fest with convertible top up.

Large unsweetened rosemint tea


Soft-shell crab po’boy

B) Mrs. Wheat’s crawfish pie that turns out to be a meat pie by mistake

Bonerama trombone band

Wild Magnolias (“meet the boys on the battlefront/the Wild Magnolias gonna stomp some rump”)

Native American exhibits in th grandstand, Brazilian band playing a cha-cha (everyone dancing), decided against oysters on the half shell, sat in the a.c. for a while cooling off while Ernie Andrews was interviewed about growing up in Philadelphia with Charlie Mingus and Dexter Gordon but he wasn’t really talking into the mic, so we went to Economy Hall and heard the end of Dr. Jaz from New Zealand (playing “Saints” of course).

B) Lemonade (too sweet)

B) Crawfish pie (tart style, lots of crawfish but gummy dough)

No popcorn shrimp again!!

Fried turkey po’boy (so so)

Gatemouth Brown at the Ray Ban (Acura) stage, OK but not will mic’d and very hot – the usual fat/frat/cigar scene (though thankfully the cigar fad seems to have peaked last year), so we went back to Economy Hall and caught the end of

Lionel Ferbos and the Palm Court Jazz Band (hokay)

Small unsweetened mandarin orange tea

B) Small unsweetened rosemint tea

Dukes of Dixieland with hilarious loud self-gossipper and her confiterix, their shrill voices interlacing with the clarinet and trombone, all about how her boyfriend won’t divorce his invalid wife

Henry Butler on the Fox stage, we lounging in the shade. Not Snook Eaglin on guitar but someone pretty good playing a blues/rock fusion: Something You Got (which I know from James Booker but not sure who wrote it), then a tune with the line from Goodnight Irene ’bout “six months ain’t no sentence/one year ain’t no time/they got boy down there in Angola/doin’ one year to 99”

Why do old guys not lock the portolet doors so they say occupied? remoinds us of Steve two nights ago laughing about Grandpa Simpson saying “this elevator only goes to the basement and someone made an awful mess down there!” Henry Butler does Voodoo Man from his new record… then something I don’t recognize, then Tipitina.

We go to the Jazz Tent and get seats for Chick Corea and Gary Burton. I go looking for Steve and Elizabeth and don’t find them but do come back with a

Shrimp/oyster (half and half) po’boy instead (so so, nothing compared with the soft-shell crab). Corea plays

Love Castle (from the ’70s, plucking the strings in the piano at first)

Native Sense (? can’t read my handwriting, from their last duet record)

Monk’s Dream

Sophisticated Lady (Ellington)

No Mystery (originally for piano and marimba, also ’70s)

Budd Powell

audience gives them a standing O

encore: Armando’s Rhumba

impossible to top that, we decide to duck out early (after one more rosemint tea each – I have mine honey-sweetened this time) to the strains of the Allman brothers.

kind of suits you

· still breathing

sax drifting up through my loose wind-rattly window from down on the street. somehow brings me back to standing in harry kwan’s today, with loosely stitched together suitings pinned and flattened and tucked and readjusted. felt like i was going back in time. not that i have that many occasions to wear a suit, but i’ve wanted one custom-made for a long time.

key in lock

· still breathing

Key in lock, baby. Key in lock. Keystonery afoot. Cornerstonehengeosity. “A child could do it! A child could do it!” A little of this, a little of that. Snail trails have direction. Follow your nose. Body Language 201: Conversation. Stop trying to make sense when it falls off the log. “A delay makes its own gravy.” I can’t be the only one who digs getting lost. Familiar landmarks trigger autopilot. I know this one. It ain’t never gonna end. Hup one, hut two. Strike!

Shake it off like the remnants of a dream down the drain faster than hair let go from the scalp. Let the troll under the bridge have a go at it. He’s good at these word games. You’d know that if you ever had him to tea. (Without closing the blinds first.) Agamemnon knew what I’m talking about. Aga Khan. Elian: I lean, alien!