Holy Hangover Batman, I was kind of like twitching when I woke up Tuesday morning in my hotel room bed. I think that’s a good thing though, cause it meant I played the game correctly the night before. So I wasn’t mad at myself. I was actually pretty proud of the fact that I remembered to take a couple Advil before I crashed, because that really goes a long way (ed. note: trust).
After wiping the sleep from my eyes and cleaning the grime from my person, I had the un-enviable task of doing some work for my bill-paying job. That meant that Go-rilla had to go out and brave the sunlight all on his lonesome. So while I was back in the hotel twitchin’ and typin’, he was out catching some sights and sounds in the Crescent as well as checkin’ in with the folks over at WWOZ 90.7 FM. You see, we weren’t just traversing this fine country to have a good time for a couple of weeks. We were cleverly disguising a business trip as pleasure, and as such we had a few important hands to shake and names to take. This is because we’re going to be back New Orleans, back real soon.
When we return we’re gonna catch up with all of the new friends we met at spots like WWOZ, Powdered Sugar Presents, the Backbeat Foundation, Tipitinas, the New Orleans Indie Rock Collective (NOIR), and Basin Street Records. All of these folks had us stroll by their offices and took time out to speak to with us. I’m not going to redress what was discussed, because not only is it top secret, but it’s probably pretty boring for an outsider looking in. Basically, all of these places represent great music and great causes and we’re looking to get down on all of that. Since we ourselves represent kind of the same, they all seemed to feel a mutual desire to get the van to New Orleans and get the party going. What that will take is cash money, because gassing up a big bitch like that to go across the country is going to cost about what it does to send a little fucker to a decent university (ed. note: Not a GREAT university like Michigan, you can’t put a price on an education like that)..
So let’s not dwell on the things that are going to happen, but rather on the ones that already did. Because all of these folks tuned us in to some sights and sounds around New Orleans that far bettered the filth that we’d wallowed in the evening prior.
I’d say that one of our finest experiences was taking in a show by Basin Street Records’ recording artist Kermit Ruffins at Bullet’s Sports Bar. A ranch style straight to the business of booze and football sports bar that Mr. Ruffins’ has been blowing his horn in every Tuesday night for something like twenty-years (ed. note: fuckin’a). There’s a whole food truck/stand scene going on the street outside, and the place was packed to the tits with folks that definitely ain’t look like tourists. You’d need a tip to get to this scene, so write this down. Because when you get there you’ll be treated to a fine magic show that’ll make you say “damn, this town is great.” It’s just Ruffins’, his trumpet, and whomever he chooses to invite to share the front of the house with him. That’s all the flash and bang that he needed to blow the roof, doors, floors, walls, and errything else off a that spot.
As for being a tourist, I’m sure we looked hell’a the part running around with big grins on our faces and cameras in our hands. At one point I grabbed what I thought was a flier off of a stack of fliers from one of the front tables. I immediately noticed that it wasn’t a flier, but rather the picture of somebody’s old mama huggin’ Kermit Ruffins. I think they were having a birthday party for the old gert or something. At any rate, a few of those locals, including one of the chicks who had just given Kermit a vocal accompaniment started laughing at me. Whatever, it’s a pretty cool picture of Kermit Ruffins and an old woman, so I kept that shit and I’m gonna put it in the Jam Van. There’s no shame in me, I’ve been laughed at from east coast to far east coast, so I’m certainly not above swiping a picture from a birthday party. Needless to say, I watched the rest of the show from the back.
Afterwards, we grabbed us some grub out front, ate on a stoop with our hands like animals, and breathed in the fact that all of what we were doing and seeing right then felt pretty on point for what we had been hoping to find.
I kind of knew that the night wasn’t, or rather, probably couldn’t get better from there. That’s not to say we weren’t gonna try to get it over the top.
Our next stop was the anniversary show at the Blue Nile. Which proved to be a mess of experimental jazz that Go-rilla was not diggin’. That forced our retreat to other watering holes, we found more music (ed. note: because it’s impossible not to), more libations (ed. note: because it’s impossible not to), and eventually ended up inside of the Harrah’s casino at around three in the morning. Now, I’m not one to gamble at a card table, I get too antsy, make stupid decisions, like drop all of my student loans for the term on black (ed. note: circa law school first year)(ed. note: that’s apparently the hardest year)(ed. note: yeah, red jack-ass). So unless we’re playing high stakes War, I’m usually not in (ed. note: this is subject to change if I sell out for millions)(ed. note: I will sell out before you can spell sell out). Anyways, they didn’t have that game at this casino, so I let Gorilla tend to his wagering, hoping he’d win big and buy me something fancy (ed. note: like Makers), and wandered off on my own to find a seat.
I didn’t really find a “seat” per-se. I did find a nice spot of floor with a suitable wall to rest my back against. I guess one thing led to another and my back left the wall and found its way to that floor. Because I blacked out at some point and was awoken by a poking at my shoulder. There hovered over me were two women who worked for the casino as well as an elderly man.
Woman – “Excuse me sir?”
I brush sleep out of my eyes.
Me – “yeah what?”
Woman – “Sir, you can’t be like that here…”
I came around a bit more and realized that not only had I fallen asleep in the middle of the floor, but I had done so with my hand down my pants. I’m not sure then if that meant that I couldn’t be asleep there or if I couldn’t have my hand down my pants there, or if it was the combination of the two that pushed me over the top, it was definitely one or the other, because all three casino workers made sure that I made my way out of the building immediately. The elderly man did actually fact call me back to come get something that I’d forgotten. It was the bottle of Jack Daniels that had fallen out of my back pocket. He must of thought I really needed it.
At this point in the evening I couldn’t see straight or read signs straight, so it took me about twenty minutes to navigate my way back to the hotel (ed. note: it was all of two blocks, I just kept missing the correct block). There I found slumber.
The following morning I awoke to the exciting news that Gorilla had broken even at the casino, whoopty-do, drinking Sailor Jerry again. We then toodled around the town, attended our various meetings and to-do’s, and wound up at Lafeyette Square Park for Music in the Park with Zydeco and some other local acts.
I can’t be mad at a scene that pops a big stage up in the middle of a park on a Wednesday and invites heads to come out and get funky. I mean, it was just a little night-time concert, but damn, folks came out in force like it was a full on festival. There was even a dose-head in the grass for me to mess with, and I did. I also bought some Powerball tickets (ed. note: no, I did not win the 250 million), had another trunk of the car picnic, and then headed over to the House of Blues to introduce myself to the fellas of Dead Confederate.
They hail from Athens, Georgia, and they all look distinctively southern and scrappy. Their front-man, Hardy Morris, at first seemed kind of reserved, timid, but I learned quickly that this was solely because he was in the middle of grubbing when we first acquainted. When we got to chatting he turned into a damn friendly dude. We shared some whiskey and unmentionables with the band, and then got down to the business of asking some questions. I’m no good at remembering what people say to me, regardless if they’re musicians, teachers, or my mother. However, I do remember one brilliant gem that Hardy provided us with, that I would like to share with y’all in print form (ed. note: because the video’s comin’ y’all). When asked what his advice to the yout’s who want to go into the arts would be, here are the prolific words of wisdom that he provided:
Hardy Morris – “Don’t make shit that sucks.”
Hardy, not only are you a genuinely nice dude and a bad-ass guitarist, but you are also a master of subtle poetry. That statement right there should be echoed through the annuls of time. Kids reading this at home, take serious note of what Hardy said. Next time you’re thinking of making a shitty thizz beat, or an awful home-made rap, or starting a band with a bunch of talentless schmucks, hark back to those words, recalculate your actions, read a fuckin’ book, and maybe go find a new hobby. Because, let me repeat, “DON’T MAKE SHIT THAT SUCKS!”
For that pearl of knowledge we decided to leave Dead Confederate a dirty little gift in their green room. I also decided to try on Hardy’s bucket hat and take a picture in it. He doesn’t need to know that (ed. note: yes, I realize he might now).
We had already checked out of our hotel by this point in time, so we really had no place to be. Not that I wouldn’t have wanted to watch Dead Confederate, I would have, and I’m glad I did. I guess I was in the minority there, because it was a pretty empty room, but the noise they produced filled it up righteously and I certainly dug it. I guess I could go into detail about the cool fuzzy guitars and the somber but loud rock and roll that these good’ole boys make, but I’ll leave that to my v-necked blogging cohorts. What is most important to know about this show whereby Go-rilla and I are concerned is that we were able to finagle ourselves some sleeping arrangements for the night.
You see, there was this chick there taking pictures, and her and Go-rilla started conversing over cameras or some shit like that. I came into the picture a little while later, and my introduction went like this:
Her: Hey nice to meet you.
Me: Same, you got a couch?
Her (way too quickly and too excitedly for having just met my scummy ass): You need a place to crash? Yeah, for sure! You can definitely crash at our place!
I’m not going to comment on the fact that a girl invited us into her home without even considering the negative situations it could invite. Rather, I’ll just take it as a compliment that we are two fine and upstanding young gentlemen who don’t appear smelly or threatening at all (ed. note: I actually agree with that statement, but if I was a chick I probably still would have been creeped out).
At any rate, that is how Go-rilla and I came to wake up on the couches of a house in the middle the Tulane campus. Gorilla rummaged the cabinets for granola bars, I brushed my teeth, chick’s roommate came out and looked us over, decided she didn’t even want to know, and then went back into her room, we dropped some Jam Van shades on the coffee table and then it was time to bid farewell to New Orleans. Our experience there had proved to be just as stank-nasty as our un-showered balls were when hopped back in the wheels and back on the open road. We were off to Austin, Texas, where we’d re-find the boys of Dead Confederate as well as a shit-ton more music, a Perfect Hippie, and FUN FUN FUN (ed. note: Fest).
Links for the Day:
– Post-humous… (via Pitchfork)
– I like that dude is banging a rock on a train track… (via Prefix)