The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek

New Podcast Up

The new IMN podcast is up and ready for download.  You can also listen to it on the Flash player at the main site.

I also stumbled across this quick interview with George Porter from a Denver publication.  The interesting parts of this article include the fact that he's still owed quite a bit of royalty money (please pay up - he made a lot of musical careers possible) and that the jam band folks have adopted the Meters and associated music as their own.  On one hand, it's nice to see these acts with large crowds that give them a decent living.  On the other hand, please take a shower before you go to the shows, and stop twirling into me.


New Orleans, Last Night

I can think of no better way to begin a new year than next to my wife during a George Porter, Jr. bass solo. That's extremely fortuitous timing, you know. Couldn't have planned it better if I tried. We ended up at The Howlin' Wolf for an open-bar affair featuring Porter Batiste Stoltz and Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk. By the way, they featured TWO bassists - one heavily effected player filling a rhythm guitar role, and the other playing more traditional slap style. Throw in a few dueling bass solos, and you've got a damn fine show. Tres bien, gentlemen.

The night started with some quality people-watching time, a decent Italian dinner followed by a beverage at the R Bar (which almost became a secondary base of operations during our stay) and a quick trip down Frenchman. Instead of a brass band this time, there was a large metal contraption filled with salvaged percussion instruments and other things that made clanging or clinking sounds when banged. Passers-by were invited to create said banging, clanging and clinking, creating one giant rhythmic cacophony echoing for several blocks around. I joined in for a bit, even though this was treading dangerously close to drum circle territory. I limited my exposure by passing the sticks off at quick, regular intervals, thereby managing to avoid contamination and resorting to the use of patchouli.

It's late and I'm sleepy, so more on the new year later. I just wanted to write this down before I went to sleep. Happy happy, everyone.


New Orleans, First Night

After a rather rough flight, including multiple delays, birds sucked into intake valves, horribly random seat assignments and a pledge never to fly Northwest again, we finally made it to New Orleans. It's much as we remember it, except for the absence of mobile command stations on the medians from last year. Baby steps, I suppose. After a quick meal of thai, coffee at Cafe Du Monde and drinks at the R Bar, we took in some of the music. There was the obligatory street brass band performance, and then we returned to the Maple Leaf for an amazing show from Johnny Vidacovich's trio. George Porter, Jr. wasn't there this time, but the group didn't disappoint at all. Grimy funk in the Maple Leaf was exactly what we needed to get over the flight nightmare.

My wife also wishes to inform the readers of this blog that it was I that cried "Uncle" first this night and not her, upsetting the normal balance of the universe and surely foretelling the end of days.


Second Verse, Same As The First

So we're headed back to New Orleans for the new year this year, and I've been looking ahead at the music calendar for some ideas of things to do while we're there (now that we've gotten some of the tourist stuff out of the way, I look forward to sleeping later and enjoying more of the nightlife).  The funny thing is that some of the big shows we saw down there last year are coming around again.  George Porter and Johnny Vidacovich at the Maple Leaf?  Yep.  Eddie Bo and Snooks Eaglin at Mid-City Rock N' Bowl Check.  Dr. John at House of Blues?  Mais oui, ma cheri.

These shows were good enough to demand a return visit, I'd think.  We were so exhausted that we didn't get to catch the whole thing, so there's certainly more to be heard. And watching George Porter play bass is a revelation. These folks are legends.  Plus, there's a Toadies reunion while we're down there, and I'd like to relive my college radio days.  This is going to be a lot of fun.