The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek
18Jan/080

The Big Guns

I'm being blown away recently by this CD my wife picked up for me in New Orleans from the Lil Rascals Brass Band, if only because of the audacious take on "For The Love Of Money." That's a hell of a lot to ask of a tuba player, but he manages to pull it off.

I think it's that need of space for breath and stamina that makes it so appealing, though. Each note has to be chosen and executed well, because you've got to take another breath to get ready for the next round. Consequently, you end up with some spare but extremely funky lines for the rest of the horns to play over.

This whole CD doesn't let up - good stuff all around. The place where she got it from (Odyssey Records) doesn't have a web presence, and the band's site seems about ten years out of date. It looks like you can order it from this location, though. The site seems to have better liner notes than the CD, too - I'm just now noticing the Cyril Neville and Kermit Ruffin credits. It's not a new recording by any means, but there you go.

31Dec/071

New Orleans, Fourth Night

The day itself was spent collecting the requisite souvenirs and such from various locations (and wasting some time watching a lackluster Steelers game).  After obtaining the necessary cultural detritus, including a sizable number of snuff bottles (they were on sale), we absconded for pizza and the start of our musical adventures.  Even though there wasn't anything live at One Eyed Jacks, it was still worth the stop to hear a jukebox that featured Betty Davis, Dio, Turbonegro and Funkadelic.  The red velvet wallpaper and black velvet nudes complemented the place well.

From there, we took in some more Kermit Ruffin at the Blue Nile.  Tight funk and jazz band - well worth a second viewing.  While my wife didn't pass out early or anything, there was evidently something in the vodka and tonics that promoted zombification.  Not in a drooling roofie sort of way, but in a clawing, constant-demanding-for-brains sort of way.  You have to be careful with such things in this town, but luckily we managed to escape without incident.

Also, Jennifer thinks she might have run into Keith Urban, in all of his tiny, spa-enhanced glory.  So, there you go.  Thank you for that, Sugar Bowl.

We're trying to decide now what to do with New Year's Eve - Morning 40 Federation at One Eyed Jacks, Dumpstaphunk and Porter/Batiste/Stoltz at Howlin' Wolf's, or the celebration downtown.  Comments? 

29Dec/071

New Orleans, Second Night

The music portion of the night centered around Kermit Ruffin's mix of jazz and R&B, and I picked up kind of a go-go vibe from him - the music never stopped unless it had to, and you just kept segueing as necessary to make sure the dancers never stopped. Great stuff. I'm going to miss having this amount of groove-oriented music available from just wandering around. Wonder what I could do to make this happen in Fountain Square?

Our tourist-y activity of the day was taking in the New Orleans Museum of Art and one of the St. Louis cemeteries. A good friend of ours also showed us the site where Brad Pitt's Make It Right project had erected pink solar-powered tents represented the houses that would be built. Our friend noted that there's more life returning every day, and Common Ground still has a strong presence. There's still a long way to go, but the outrage is spurring some fantastic efforts.