Tuesday, October 6, 2009

monkeys, accordions, "traditional"

Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers - Check it Out, Lock it In, Crank it Up! (listen) Yes! Among a spate of lyricists restricted to telling you how zydeco they are, Beau Jocque is a mad poet. He runs Junior Wells' blues classic "She Wants to Sell My Monkey" (written by Hudson Whitaker) through the zydeco Cuisinart, peppers it with screams and grunts until you can picture Beau shaking his head "She wants to sell my monkey" obliviously in front of a trailer in which said monkey has gone insane and is destroying the place. Witness the transformative power of crazy men with accordions.

Chris Ardoin & Double Clutchin' - Gon' Be Jus Fine (listen) Baton Rougean Chris Ardoin is not possessed of Beau Jocques' rabid frenzy of Beau Jocque; his take on this record is closer to traditional Cajun music. One of the interesting things in all this research is the different meanings of the word "traditional" - the general meaning seems to be the "traditional" music/dancing/carrying on we do here is better than what they (differentiated by race, community, church, language, parish lines, etc...) do over there, communal stylistic rivalries resembling those among high school football teams in the same district.

Ardoin is smart though; standing on tradition with one foot and stepping out with the other. Check out the iconographically hip-hop tableau on the cover of his V.I.P. album.

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