Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Electric Carnival Jesus

Unique Dancers at the New Roads Mardi Gras parade. Somehow I'd gone this whole season without seeing my favorite independent Baton Rouge dance crew. I was supposed to do a story on them but I could never get in touch with anyone involved; I feared their candle had been snuffed, but fortunately I just had to be in the right place.

Partial Mardi Gras weekend extended soundtrack:
The Yardbirds, The Best of the Yardbirds Vol. 2
Various Artists, Rushmore soundtrack

Rockpile, Seconds of Pleasure
G. Love & Special Sauce, Fixin' To Die
T-Model Ford & GravelRoad, Taledragger

Nick Lowe, Jesus of Cool
Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Punch the Clock
Squeeze, East Side Story
The Records, Paying for the Summer of Love
Shoes, Present Tense/Tongue Twister

It might be heresy to say so, but I'm glad Mardi Gras is over; it was fun but it wore me out and I didn't even chase chickens in Mamou or have Electric Carnival Jesus appear a go-cup in New Orleans. I appreciated the jive-assedness of Southdowns and Spanish Town in Baton Rouge and the truck parades in New Roads, especially in contrast to the major spectacle of the big parades in New Orleans or even in my hometown in Houma. There is something beautifully let's-do-this-anyway about the absense of grandeur. The rain was brutal on MGDay in New Roads and only the they-did-it-just-right-ness of Rockpile's Seconds of Pleasure got us home through the deluge in one-piece. The driver and I agreed that every Nick Lowe album and every Dave Edmunds album has great songs sandwiched in with throwaways (I'm listening to Jesus of Cool right now to test taht theory) but Seconds of Pleasure somehow got them to just do the good parts. Even when it's kinda stupid, it's brilliant.

Rockpile, "A Knife and a Fork"

And wow, I forgot all about The Records and "Starry Eyes". That is how it sounds in my head when I play guitar.

Oh, and I finished House of Prayer No. 2. Mark Richard might be my favorite author now. As a whole, it does not quite have the potency of his collection Charity but in many, many, even most parts, it is up there with the greats and perhaps the only justifiable longform use of 2nd person in existence. You will be all "you" and "you" about everything when you finish, and that kind of firepower needs to be trusted to only the steadiest of hands.

Happy Ash Wednesday to all you papists out there, bless yr dirty little foreheads.

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