Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Morning 40 Federation call it quits

Sad news out of New Orleans: celebrated inebriates Morning 40 Federation have announced that this Friday night’s gig at One Eyed Jacks will be their last. I guess the band that brought us such classics as “Dumpster Juice,” “White Powder,” and “Stinky” was never built to last, but for many who heard and saw in them the essence of everything New Orleans, this abrupt ending is quite a heartbreak.

Pour some out for our fallen homies…


Morning 40 Federation calls it quits with farewell show tonight, February 20, at One Eyed Jacks

Posted by Ann Maloney, staff writer, The Times-Picayune February 20, 2009

The glorious, unruly blend of rock, country and the occasional kazoo that is Morning 40 Federation is coming to an end.

The bar-band favorite is calling it quits with a farewell show tonight, Feb. 20, at 10 at One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., although saxophone player Josh Cohen says he will never rule out playing again with his long-time band mates.

"We're not as prolific as it used to be -- that's an understatement," said Cohen of the band, which he and a circle of like-minded Bywater musicians formed more than a decade ago. "It's not like we have animosity toward each other, but it just doesn't feel like the creative spirit is following us around anymore."

The band, which includes Cohen, Ryan Scully, Bailey Smith, Steve Calandra, Mike Andrepont, Dick Hukill and Clarence Slaughter, had already booked the gig at One Eyed Jacks before the members decided to split up.

Cohen said band members, who once reveled in their esprit de corps, writing songs that crackled with inside jokes and odes to drinking, are having trouble even finishing new material. With members not showing up regularly for practices, their sets were becoming rote.

"We have integrity," Cohen said. "When it feels like we've hit our peak, we don't want to be one of those bands that is washed up and just keeps going.

"What's the point," he said. "We could do it for the money, but that's not what we're about.

"It's obviously an emotional time," he said. "It was a very difficult decision to make."

But, he said, the breakup may bring great new music things to the city: "New bands may sprout up or maybe we'll miss it and see it in a new light."

Band members are already involved in side projects, including playing with other bands around town, such as the Happy Talk Band.

In a sense, the breakup feels preordained, Cohen said, citing the "excessive partying" that goes with a band named for a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor, but it still hurts to see it end.

Cohen said band member Scully put it best: "It's like when you have a very old dog that you love very much, but if it's wheezing, got mange and can't walk, it's time to put it down.

"To me, that's where we are."

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