Monday, April 30, 2012

Lester Bangs vs.

Lester Bangs vs. Lou Reed

Cheap Trick, Dream Police
Wild Flag, Wild Flag
The Raincoats, Odyshape
Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Press Color
Pipilloti Rist, Soundtracks
The Human Leauge, Reproduction

Lester Bangs blew this taco stand 30 years ago today. I don't know if I would put him as my favorite music critic, but he's one of my favorite writers - one of the writers that made me want to do this thing. His review of Astral Weeks sent me bolting out of my chair to buy a Van Morrison record, something you would have never convinced me I might do.

Lester Bangs Vs. Bryan Ferry

The mighty Donald Miller, guitarist for Borbetomagus and the Death Posture and the guy I know that knows and has known everybody related this story on Facebook, which I relate further with his kind permission.
I remember painfully well. We were good friends -- he was an auxiliary member of my pre-Borbeto band Sick Dick and the Volkswagens. Best memory: he came, very drunk, after a Birdland reheasal upstairs to sit in with SDVW @ the Ear Inn, the night before I first played with Jim Sauter & Don Dietrich. At the bar after our last set (with him screaming "ANGEL DUST! ANGEL DUST!" into BrianDoherty's ring modulator) he snarled at me "Why haventchoo assed me ta be in tha band fool time?" To which I responded "Why haven't you asked me to be lead guitarist in Birdland?" "HOOOSE yer Guitar Hero, huh?" "Albert Ayler!" Pause..."Yer hired!"
Someone else said Human League's Dare was on the turntable when he died. I know that was the first record I ever played with the express purpose of impressing a girl, ifs\ that means anything. I don't know if writing about records means anything, but it's a thing I love doing and I might never have made the jump to doing it without reading Lester Bangs.

I'm not such a fan that I think everybody should go read Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, but for that ratty few, it is essential. I can't bring myself to that plasticine wonder of Dare, but I did wind myself up to the Dignity of Labour this afternoon, both the song and the state. Cheers!

Lester Bangs vs. the Human League. The humans won.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Seun Kuti bookin' it at JazzFest. He was doing this bit about pot that was something like "Planter... plants grow!" and I walked away thinking the Young Ones. "We sow the seed, nature grows the seed, we reap the seed."

When you were a kid, when you were recounting an incident when you were going fast, did you say you were "bookin'" and accompany it by a waving ringer motion? E.g. "we started bookin' (hand motion) when that dude came after us..."  Anyway, I was bookin' this weekend, literally and figuratively with three book signings.

Stare into the cosmic eye of the JazzFest mango freeze.

The first on Friday at JazzFest, which was fun if maybe not the most traffic a book signing has ever seen. The Beach Boys were off reuniting for the disposable income set camp out before them on the other side of the Fairgrounds, and the Texas Tornados were being about movers at the Fais-Do-Do stage within ear and eye shot, and the good folks at Garden District Books gave me a beer while I manned the table.


Alison Fensterstock gave the book a glowing review in the Times-Picayune (Sunday edition, page D-7 - I could't find it online) so maybe that will drum up the troops for the second JazzFest signing on Saturday, May 5 from 2-3.

Every year I pop into the gospel tent at JazzFest and watch at least one song. I never know who the groups are and they always put on a spectacular show and really just kill it. I mean, it's a cliche to say all that but it's true.

Yesterday, I did a signing at Author's Row at the Jones Creek Library, a congenial affair and I did manage to eke out a sale as I was walking out the door. Each road is laid stone by stone, I believe.


Then, your intrepid author booked out to Deepest Zachary to do a book talk at a meeting of the BMW Motorcycles Owners of Alabama, where I not only ate my and your combined weight in crawfish and cake but also had a nice book talk with some fantastic people and sold a mess of books. Note to self: do more signings at motorcycle rallies. Thanks to Mike Bauman for hosting and to chapter president Don Little for letting me come out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

you'll start crying over it

Laurie Simmons (Lena Dunham's mother), Wakling Gun, 1991. From here.

Tiny Furniture
Radio Moscow, 3 and 3 Quarters
Bas Clas, Big Oak Tree
Hank Williams III, Long Gone Daddy
Junior Kimbrough, You Better Run
Freddie King, Burglar

Crossed paths on campus with a woman chuckling to herself, which is not so rare. Campuses are incubators for notice me people, but she was not the type. Not like the woman on the bus that laughs really loud to herself in a dramatic manner about things in the campus paper. This woman today looked up and said "Oh! Sometimes you have to laugh at the world," then paused to add, "or you'll start crying over it."

Gabriel Dawe, Plexus No. 15,
from LSUMoA's Facebook 
I had to explain "you're innocent when you dream" to my daughter last night, after listening to the song yesterday. Over the weekend, we peeked in on Gabriel Dawe installing his artwork at the LSU Museum of Art. One could say he does string art but more refined. Extremely elaborate. I showed her a picture on Facebook of the near-finished thing and she was stopped short, "Oh! I thought he tore it down." then paused to add, "Oh... that was a dream. I dreamed I was talking to him while he was doing it and it made him mess up, put a bunch of strings on the wrong peg and got all furious and yelled, 'F THIS! IT'S ALL MESSED UP!' and tore it down all mad. I felt bad that I dreamed it."

Hey, girl.

I know there is contention in the world about the monoethnicity and nepotism involved in Lena Dunham's HBO show Girls (sure, injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere, but this is the show you are going to jump on?) but I am a fan. We watched her very precious 2010 movie Tiny Furniture last night and it is pitch-perfect age notice me 24. Do people not like her because she looks like an actual person? From what I can tell, Tiny Furniture and Girls are her with little mediation. And it's funny! What more do you want than life to be funny? Because she lives her dream? Even if it's a dream about not fulfilling her dream? You are innocent when you dream. You have to be, or you'll pause, and then you'll start crying over it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Goose him!

Jack White, from here.

Devendra Banhart, Cripple Crow
Andrew Bird, Break it Yourself
Arthur Russell, World of Echo
T. Rex, A Beard of Stars and The Slider
Jack White, Blunderbuss

Man, a decade ago, I had an unhealthy love of Devendra Banhart. I still think Oh Me Oh My is whatever the word for transparently influenced sui generis is, and Rejoicing in the Hands/Nino Rojo (recording in successive morning and evenings) is a paper lantern of song. I don't think I've listened to Cripple Crow since I wrote this (over) enthusiastic review, which is always a gamble with putting a pin on the cultural timeline. It's a good record, but not quite the classic I painted it to be, something I address in my review of his subsequent largely terrible record Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon . "We wanted him to be The New Weird, and weird he became without the legs to stand tall above that weirdness."

"I Feel Just Like a Child" was stuck in my head this morning, in case you are wondering why I care why I cared about Devendra Banhart. I was starting to wonder.

While I'm taking myself on a date to a revue of what I once thought about things, I stumbled across this one review where I described a Magnetic Fields song as being "like a tape in the jambox of a bored desk worker at the Guggenheim Bilbao on a rainy Tuesday in the off-season." Good one, me.

This wash of a song by Arthur Russell is so beautiful. Whenever I get to the edge with Andrew Bird and likewise pale masters of song, I want to go over that edge with Arthur Russell.

Or just crash into the wall with T. Rex. I've always wondered how T. Rex maintained his/their allure. I love Marc Bolan's quizzical excess, but I'm like that. I just always figure that he had to be a bit much for the tastes of the average mortal. Is there a good book on T. Rex? If I ran the world, I'd do a 33 1/3 book on his best record A Beard of Stars, which no one has heard, Not even Spotify.

A few months back, Jack White held the door open for a friend of mine at a ritzy boot store in Nashville, and now, my former upstairs neighbor Brooke Waggoner is playing all over his new solo record. "Brooke Waggoner’s virtuosic piano is easily the best thing on most tracks, and regularly gives White the sort of goose his usual band mates seldom provide," says the Globe and Mail.  Go on, Brooke! Goose him!

Jack White, "Love Interruption"

Check my math, but I think all this means Jack White and I are total buds now. Third Man Records has probably released a limited edition 7" of this blog post even before I hit the publish button.

Monday, April 23, 2012

go for it

Imagine this billboard size.

Tom Waits, Frank's Wild Years
Los Lobos, Live at the Fillmore
Freddy Fender & Tommy McLain, Slippin' & Slidin'
Doug Sahm's Tex Mex Trip, Groover's Paradise
Johnny Thunders, Hurt Me

If you want to go
where the rainbows end
you'll have to say goodbye
all our dreams come true
baby up ahead
and it's out where your memories lie

- from Tom Waits' "Yesterday is Here"

I gotta say one, two, three more things 
Before I move on
-from Los Lobos' "Good Morning Aztlan"

This would seem a thinly veiled goodbye to the old job, part of a tiptoe-into-an-uncertain future post, but really "Yesterday is Here" was just stuck in my head after walking to dog this morning.  I was singing that line as "If you wanna go where the young people go" which didn't really make sense; young people places are not where old Porpkie Hat McGravel's songs tend to take you.

Image from here
I'm more on Freddy Fender's wavelength anyway. Everything is  groovy, A-OK as they like to say in the crossword. They just like to get vowels together.

My friend Melissa asked me on Facebook whether I knew about when Freddy Fender was arrested in Baton Rouge, and well, I'm thrilled that I've become the guy of whom one might pose such a question. My info was wrong. I thought Jimmie Davis pardoned him but it was Edwin Edwards. Mel's going down to the courthouse to find out. She's an archivist so she'll get it right.  I passed onto her an album of Freddy Fender performing at the Louisiana State Prison at Angola that I picked up for a quarter in a thrift store in Mamou. I've never listened to it, and Eugene Chadbourne hated it, saying "Like the prison it is named after, this album is not worth visiting."

First day on the job, it was pointed out that I was wearing an orange shirt, carrying around my iPad with an orange cover, and drinking from an orange water bottle. Maybe tomorrow I'll just go for it and dress all in pink like Freddy Fender.

Freddy Fender, "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights/Vaya Con Dios"

Edited to add: Johnny Thunders RIP 21 years ago. While he was a monster of a rock guitarist when someone could prop him up against the strings, there is something uniquely vulnerable about his quiet songs.

Johnny Thunders, "Too Much Too Soon"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My new job

iPad photo of "Navy Recruiting Station, Post Office - Butte, Montana" from the library's copy of Robert Frank's The Americans

Bill Janovitz, The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street
Chelsea Wolfe, Apokalypsis
Sunn 0))), Monoliths and Dimensions
Alice Coltrane, Ptah the El Daoud

The Catamites, Ateliers Claus, Bruxelles - 11 February 2012
Lost Bayou Ramblers, Mammoth Waltz
Lonely Lonely Knights, The Stupid Tape
Hurray for the Riff Raff, Look Out Mama

Punch Brothers covering the Cars' "Just What I Needed"
X, Los Angeles
Black Flag, Slip It In
Death, Symbolic
Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paradiso UFO, Absolute Freak Out (Zap Your Mind!)
It's a Beautiful Day, It's a Beautiful Day

Robert Frank, The Americans

The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main St.
The Band, Live at Watkin's Glen

RIP Levon Helm


It's been a busy three days. I'm  reading the 33 1/3 book on Exile on Main Street and listening to the actual album and  flipping through the the library's copy of Robert Frank's The Americans. Frank is the photographer of that album's album cover, which is a photograph of other photographs. It's a heady trio to synthesize, but that's not the busy part.

The busy part is changing jobs, pursuing paperwork, managing the million little internal and external transitions. Kinda like how a flight is a million little corrections, or how walking is the constant prevention from falling. It's a happy takeoff and landing, no fleeing away from anything but striding toward something. My new job title will be the Creative Manager for LSU Student Media, helping steer that fine institution into the open seas of digital media and how future journalists of America will navigate said waters.

I realize I mixed transportation metaphors. It's interesting how personal growth is often described as flight, where professional growth plays out in nautical terms.

I don't talk about my day job much on the blog, but I expect that will change some; converging the writing and programming and media sides of my deal is partly what this job is about, so I'm thankful to have the opportunity to do so.

iPad photo of "Mississippi River, Baton Rouge, Louisiana" from the library's copy of Robert Frank's The Americans

Monday, April 16, 2012

lightbulb clicking on

Paper vs. iPad: Who is the more orange? Maya is all about origami now, a process that will unfold before you in reverse.

Bill Janovitz, The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St.
Black Dice, Mr. ImpossibleGonjasufi + Humansuit "Lawnmower Man" produced by Flying Lotus. 
Tickley Feather, Tickley Feather
Prince Rama, Utopia = No Reason
LA Vampires & Zola Jesus, LA Vampires Meets Zola Jesus
Black Dice, Beaches & Canyons

I bought the Kindle 33 1/3 book on Exile on Main St. for $.99 as part of the other day's Kindle Daily Deal. I also bought the one about Highway 61 Revisited. Scoff at coupon schemes and Amazon if you must - I do - but I did actually pay money for digital content his weekend, even if it wasn't that much money. I don't buy anything but coffee and sandwiches if I can get away with it. Anyhoo, Exile on Main St. is pretty good at 8% of the way in. The first lightbulb clicking on was that the way they recorded "Stray Cat Blues" was inspired by Velvet Underground's "Heroin". You forget that artists live on a timeline and that things overlap outside of history's tidy compartmentalizing.

Taking form.

I took the resident District 12 tribute to go see Hunger Games. We both liked it albeit agreeing that they must have been trying to kill off the tributes with boredom and anxiety for the first hour. Also, I had to wonder if Donald Sutherland believed that children were actually being killed in the arena. Like, did he approach an assistant director and volunteer to kill one himself and a gaffer had to discretely direct his attentions elsewhere as he grumbled "Keifer gets to kill people in his show...". It's grand fun and not at all karmically-risky to speculate on the delusions of the aged.

Compartmentalizing. Also: sunbleached. Origami is winning the battle for orange-ness.

On that note, happy 50th birthday, Ian MacKaye! I interviewed him back in 2008 for the Believer, partially available here. He was a little worn out from doing two phone interviews just before I called, but took a minute to walk around the block and came back like a champ. Music is no joke, people.

Today's whole playlist has been like a spa treatment on the rim of a black hole. Prince Rama will knock yr charkrahs right in line. Single mom lo-fi project Tickley Feather might've made me mist up a little with desperate sweetness. I want all slapdash album covers in the future to look like that in the "Lawnmower Man" video. Zola Jesus is the Internet's imaginary spooky college girlfriend, giving You the Listener a moment of her time. I love the new Black Dice album, Mr. Impossible. I might have once considered their Beaches & Canyons my favorite record. I wrote a long piece about them once at good old outsideleft. I just checked and I'm still listed as music editor and my login still works; I might just have to write something over there soon. I might have done or will do a lot of things in this paragraph. Dance with the one that brung ya.

My friend Bill giving Maya an origami lesson up at Highland Coffees. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Actual boudin progress


Boudin link from the Best Stop in Scott, LA, on the day NPR reported that the tiny burg has been voted "Boudin Capital of the World" while mispronouncing it, putting the emphasis on the second syllable. A minor quibble, really, flattened by the fact that the gossiping clerks were unaware of their new designation and politely unimpressed when I brought it up. I love that Louisiana doesn't care much, because it has stuff like this.


I had a great time talking swamp pop with Johnnie Allan, one of the greats of the genre, which also is a manifestation of Louisiana's curious embrace of its deal. This took place at the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, so much fun I forgot to take pictures or tweet it or anything. It was like living in the real world.


Sales on Louisiana Saturday Night are going well, and progress is forthcoming on Gas Station Boudin. Actual boudin progress. The fries above, looking stunning on a vintage formica counter, are from Dearman's, seller of Baton Rouge's best hamburger, below.


As for the strawberry malt, there is none more pink. I also listened to a bunch of Megadeth so I could later discuss it with dudes.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Drunken Fish's House Special Vegetarian Soup Bowl

It was fun watching my Indian grad students try to use chopsticks. I went for Drunken Fish's House Special Vegetarian Soup Bowl: broccoli, zucchini, egglplants, carrots, napa cabbage, and tofu served with clear noodles. A culinarily and architecturally significant dish possessing a sobriety rendered risky when one plops in too much sriracha, as one might do, if one is, say, showing off for one's grad students or something.  One of them told me that Chinese food made by Indian people is the best and suddenly it did sound like the best idea. She said Bombay to Beijing in Sugarland, TX is her favorite and they eat there when they carpool out that way every month to hit up the cheap Indian supermarkets. All that sounds like a good idea. Better than they deemed "eating with sticks" to be.

Ringo Starr, "It Don't Come Easy" (because it don't)
Bryan Ferry, Let's Stick Together (because we should)
Tindersticks, Falling Down the Mountain (because I am)
Ultravox, Lament (because it seemed like a good idea at the time)
Neneh Cherry & the Thing, "Dream Baby Dream" (because it's what I do)
Eleanor Friedberger, Last Summer (because I love this record like summer vacation)
Be Bop Deluxe, Sunburst Finish (because it, er... is how we will all finish? A flaming solar fireball? A blast of sriracha? I dunno. I'm running out of steam for this.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

swooning in my swivel chair


Ben Marcus, The Flame Alphabet
Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures
The Smiths, Complete

I tried to dart out to go get my haircut at lunch but discovered the entire Smiths catalog is now on Spoitfy and was thus transfixed, swooning in my swivel chair before my little computer speakers. There are among you young'uns and old'uns that scoff, deeming the Smiths to be pussy music or as one friend on Facebook declared "toxic", and maybe. The Smiths make such a case, but, at this moment, kindly and quietly take your dullard's scorn elsewhere before I'm forced to slit a wrist at you. I JUST WANT TO SEE PEOPLE AND I WANT TO SEE LIFE, OKAY??!! (shrieks; runs off)

OK, Strangeways, Here We Come breaks the spell just like it did in 1987. After The Queen is Dead, there was, for me, no new territory across which to sullenly slouch and longingly gaze, at least until Morrissey butched up for Kill Uncle in '92. It was on that album's tour I saw him have a minor tantrum in a gold lamé suit amid piles of tattered gladiolas at the State Palace Theatre in New Orleans and finally knew what it meant to be in the presence of star power.

Of Monsters and Men, My Head Is An Animal
Vincent Gallo, When
Nik Bärtsch's Mobile, Ritual Groove Music
Claus Boesser-Ferrari, Marc Ribot and Fred Frith, How We Became Americans
John Coltrane, Giant Steps
Sonny Landreth, The Road We're On

Still no haircut.

Being and nothingness manifesting in the three states of a lemon pie from Delpit's Chicken Shack


Being and nothingness manifesting in the three states of a lemon pie from Delpit's Chicken Shack.

Monday, April 9, 2012

open the doors on the season

The last of the camellias

J. Roddy Walston and the Business, J. Roddy Walston and the Business

Al Stewart, Modern Times
Barclay James Harvest, Barclay James Harvest
Cynthia Dall, Untitled (RIP)
Spiritualized, Sweet Heart Sweet Light  
(streaming at NPR)

Photo of Cynthia Dall by Victor Gozion, via Drag City 
Poor Cynthia Dall. Her '96 album Untitled remains nothing short of dark revelation, like a storm brewing in your ear without the dull theatrical payoff of a thunderclap. Just brewing and brewing until you look up and the sky's gone black and you are left wondering what to do.


Not her.

ImageI took some New Orleans folks out to Teddy's Juke Joint this Sunday to show them what's what for Louisiana Saturday Night and what its about, and they dug it. Alison mentioned that you have special places like this where the only time you go is to show it to someone else.

The flowers are instigating their spring riot out in the yard, too early, too confused. Global warming's oncoming rear 'round pollen count will kill us all, I'm convinced, that or the crazy mushrooms that can eat plastic.  Humanity will be but a flower fading in the distance, just like this one last cold snap camellia
Imageholding out against all this gorgeous Spring.

 Until our species' eminent demise, things are all aces. The current book is selling well, the next one is seeing reasonable progress. Some new writing gigs. A new job actually, but more about that as the details materialize. Guitar class is going great; its almost like we are playing music. Some people are becoming teenagers in my house, which offers its own interesting seismic shifts but we all seem to be in bloom and the season.

April is poetry month and I always trot this one out because I love it so, and can't think of a less cliched number with which to open the doors on the season, so e.e. cummings, everybody.

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan          whistles

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Twin Killers, Manship Theatre, Baton Rouge 4/7/2012

Wow. Gorgeous and confounding and poetic and challenging and what I want art to do to me. So much going on in this concert - strings + choir + tattooed hippie girls with LED hula hoops + Jessica Ramsey's cathartic, illuminated diary page poetry + dudes rocking out to the max + films - the night was rife with "oh shit, something's happening" convergences. It was like Sufjan Stevens finally having that nervous breakdown, coming out the other side as Iron Man, killing the people he once saved. That there was a packed house for a local band doing something this grand and weird warms my heart.

Plus, I love these guys. They killed (pardon the pun) with their cover of "Dazed and Confused" as well; I hope a video emerged of that one soon that includes head Killer Andrew Martin's dad exploding out of his seat after. I felt the same way.

Here is the little preview piece I did for the show, and a piece I did about them back in November 2010. I know, I know. Get a room, already.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

lunch meeting at Zeeland Street Market

The most psychedelic thing in this post is the peach cobbler sweet ol' Stephanie brought out to us after our lunch meeting at Zeeland Street Market.

Neil Young, On the Beach
Steeleye Span, Now We Are Six and Below the Salt
The Incredible String Band, The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter 

The Incredible String Band, "A very Cellular Song" in all its 13-minute lysergic glory.

Smothered chicken, greens, okra and cornbread. I told Stephanie I was writing a south Louisiana restaurant book just so I could make her the star. And so she'd do things like bring me out bonus deserts to try. I know where my cornbread is buttered.

some flare out

And way out in Seattle,
Young Kurt Cobain
Snuck out to the greenhouse
Put a bullet in his brain
Snakes in the grass beneath our feet
Rain in the clouds above
Some moments last forever
But some flare out with love love love
The Mountain Goats, "Love Love Love"

Photos from days before his death on this day in 1994.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


It's cute how Dave believes we are capable of learning how to make music through education methods.

Hump day, also guitar class night:
Beth McKee, Next to Nowhere and I'm That Way
Johnny Guitar Watson, Ain't That a Bitch
The Bo-Keys, Got To Get Back!
Pretty Purdie, Soul Drums
45 Prince, Crate Combination
Lou Reed, The Bells
Roxy Music, For Your Pleasure

Roxy Music was a hell of a band when you stop and look at them. Bryan Ferry was like a David Byrne that you believe actually had sex with people.

Also I've never really given The Bells its due, but this anachronistic new wave number is speaking to me. What does Lou Reed see in that mirror? Is he in fact our mirror, and looking into one causes a rift in time/space? Or does he see something so real and visceral, something so believable that he instead has to look away at us, who he likely doesn't believe exists? The window is safer to gaze through than is the mirror.

I believe Johnny Guitar Watson has superpowers. Also I believe Johnny Guitar Watson has had sex with more people than David Byrne. And Bryan Ferry and Lou Reed and you and me combined. So much to believe in.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Spotted while walking the dog. Maya's reaction: "WHY WOULD ANYONE THROW THAT OUT?!"

Wissam Boustany, This Invisible World
Thomas Schultz, Christian Wolff: Long Piano

Lou Reed, American Poet
Dr. John, Locked Down
Alabama Shakes, Boys & Girls 
(streaming at NPR)
The Fugs, Greatest Hits

I am not really a flute person when it comes to classical music but Boustany's This Invisible World, a recital of neo-classical to modern flute sonatas by Carl Witt and Paul Hindemith and Jean Sibelius and etc. is a supernova exploding in the sky. I got at least two articles and a book chapter written to it Sunday afternoon despite the momentary agape moments of "that is lovely." I like it so much I even "pinned it." I'm blaring it in my office. I had to turn a flute record down before people complained.

Houtach Khoury's excellently-titled cosmic wonder Mirror of Eternity, dedicated to and performed by Mr. Boustamy is hereby linked because it is not embeddable for some pointless reason; movements 1, 2 and 3.

Spotted this classic in a neighbor's backyard shortly thereafter. I'd park this out front. Of everything.

Ink: this month's Country Roads features my dip into the world of African American blues fiddlers, particularly Butch Cage and Cedric Watson and OffBeat has my profile of blues dynamo Eden Brent, performing at Chickie Wah-Wah in New Orleans on April 14.

Spotted at the Old State Capitol yesterday. The story of Huey P. Long is a true walk on the wild side.

Jerri asked Maya to pull up "Satellite of Love" on YouTube and Maya asked, "Is it by Lau Reed?",  rhyming with "cow." I'm tempted to pronounce it that way from here on out.

Here's a version attributed Morrissey, though it really sounds more like whosit from Psychedleic Furs. Richard Butler.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Taste of Bavaria


With research money burning a hole in my pocket, we set off on the third official trip of the Gas Station Boudin odyssey to take in the rare Louisiana pleasure of German food at Taste of Bavaria. I have mentally been tasting the above plate of food - the Mixed Grill: bites of knockwurst, bratwurst, and frankfurter with German potato salad, red cabbage and sauerkraut - since I first heard of the place years ago. My wife spent some of her childhood in Germany as the daughter of the Air Force and I align myself with any sausage-based culture, so we have a particular fondness for German food and frequently lament that it can be hard to find here.


German food is likely a hard sell here; it's a cuisine of solid foundation and slow textures, in contrast to the sharpness of say, Cajun and creole cuisine or the blunt richness of soul food. Nor is it flashy. It is cabbage and sausage and potatoes in a similarly hued kaleidoscope of richness. It is gravity tempered with beer and cured pork.


Our entrees were good, but truthfully not the thing of legend. I wanted more sausage but when don't I? My eulogist will likely shrug, "He wanted more sausage." at my wake. Jerri's schnitzel was crowded on the plate by some dull roasted potatoes and sliced tomatoes. Maya's potato pancakes were mushy. I'm guessing they we serving beer on Sunday (you never know here) but I didn't see anyone else getting one and felt momentarily like a total alcoholic for wanting one, which is not the feeling a German restaurant should inspire.

It was starting to look like this place wasn't going to make the book. I didn't want to say, "might as well drive a ways more to Middendorf's." as my summation. Plus, the owners have a real problem with cell phones. There are signs everywhere forbidding their use. I hate talking on the phone, but I've never wanted to make a call more in my life. Like do my taxes over the phone in the dining room. I get it, preserve the olde worlde charm, but don't bum me out with your rules, Germans.


We inspected the bakery and this trio was boxed up for Mad Men/The Killing/Game of Thrones tonight. One should counter television's finest cocktail of ennui and fatalism with a phalanx of sweets. But we couldn't wait.


Holy mother of God of Deutschländer desserts! The meringue was perfectly pitched atop a creamy chocolate filling that American confectionery just cannot do. Sweet but not but is but I don't know what anything means anymore. Taste of Bavaria just soared in my rankings.

I am still picturing a basket of Middendorf's bible-page thin catfish on their peer, maybe getting a little sunburnt and then grabbing a box of chocolate meringue tarts on the way back so you can think about them all the way home along the greeny, grainy stretch of Hwy 190 - no amount of logistical expediency can justify spending involuntary time on I-12 - just to kill them off as quick as somebody can make a pot of coffee back home. That might be my dream Louisiana meal.

Sign vs. symbol vs. a discount furniture store