Both literally and figuratively

In an online discussion about the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, an African-American friend of mine who grew up in north Louisiana wrote the following:

I remember the park across from my house being segregated. I remember walking out of our house as a child and seeing a sign in the park that said, Colored Area. When I go home to day, the sign is gone but the metal post upon which it rested is still there.

Here is an NPR story with several recorded versions of th song.

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

Last night, I had the pleasure of playing with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra directed by Irvin Mayfield in State College, PA. I’m not a regular member of the group, but I usually end up doing something with them every 6 months or so. This gives me an interesting perspective to watch the group’s development.

The band has always swung very hard and had great soloists, but over my last couple of stints with the band, I have really noticed how the depth of both the material and the performances has increased. Much of the music is very roots/tradition based, but there are times when the stuff gets pretty out as well. There is an honestness and an organic balance to the group’s performances. Some of this is due to Irvin’s vision and leadership, and a lot of it is due to the fact that the band’s featured players are all super bad. Last night featured great performances from Ed Petersen, Evan Christopher, Herlin Riley…the whole band is slammin’.

If you get a chance to hear the NOJO, don’t miss it.

Boing Boing: MPAA rips off freeware author

I had been off of blogging the DRM/copyright stuff for a while, and here is the second one in a row. The story is ok, but Cory’s accompanying rant is very good.

Boing Boing: MPAA rips off freeware author

Even the MPAA and its member companies can’t avoid violating copyright. The MPAA’s own CEO personally ripped off Kirby Dick, pirating his film “This Film is Not Yet Rated” using the MPAA’s duplicating facilities. The studios regularly hose writers, painters, composers and performers, nicking their creative labor without compensation, and sneeringly invite them to sue if they don’t like it. Even the web-development departments get in on the act.

Is it any wonder that everyone with a computer is practically guaranteed to be a copyright criminal?

A little freaky…not encouraging

It is Monday night, a week and a day before Mardi Gras. New Orleans is well into Carnival season, and there were parades this past weekend. This should be the busy time. I played at dba on Frenchmen St tonight with Jonathan Freilich.

The scene at dba (on nights when more overtly creative stuff is happening) is usually a dozen or more music fans who are there to hear the band, and a decent size bar crowd who are there for a cool hang. Tonight the street was dead and much of the bar crowd was absent. The music fans were there, the tip jar was full, the club paid the band as agreed, and we all left with the money we expected to leave with, BUT it felt weird. Empty. Dead. As I packed up my gear, then walked to my car, I could easily imagine a scene a year or two out that looked like a ghost town. Empty buildings; a few brave lonely wanderers; a shell of what used to be. I hope that imaginary scene is the surfacing of my fears more than a premonition.

Brazillian Food in Fat City

My good friend Ray Moore is a connoisseur of all things Brazillian, and the other night he took me and John Worthington to this fabulous little Brazillian restaurant in the Fat City area of Metairie. As I recall, the sign just says Luncheonette, and it is definitely aimed at the local Brazillian community. You have to ask for a menu in English. We didn’t, Ray just translated.

I had beef steak with onions that was served over rice and beans with fried bananas, and a breaded fried eggplant that was called an empanada, but was different from an empanada you might get in a Mexican restaurant. It was all slammin’. For dessert we had something that translated as sweet rice, which was very good, and huge. There was so much of it, I couldn’t finish it.