Monday, February 15, 2010

NolaFunky A/V Lagniappe

Well, it's way past time for more Carnival tunage up in here. TheHOTG webcastis streaming music of the season 24/7 through Mardi Gras Day, too. So, hit that anytime for more fun. But, right here, right now, I'm posting a track each from the Wild Magnolias and the Wild Tchoupitoulas for our holiday festivities; and, in between, we'll have intense, live Mardi Gras Indian-influenced funkitude from Professor Longhair, plus a pretty obscure seasonal groove offering that owes an obvious debt to Fess. So, prepare to loose that Who Dat! booty. It's Mardi Gras comin', y'all.

American Routes ~ Second Lines and Black Pots: American Routes Live in Louisiana

February 10th, 2010 ~ Come stir the pot with American Routes as we bring you a sampling of great live music from our home state: Louisiana. First we'll stop by the soon to be legendary BlackPot Festival in Lafayette for some new flavors of Cajun and Creole tunes, as well as some old favorites by special guests. Then we'll walk through the streets of New Orleans with the Prince of Wales Social Aid and Pleasure Club during their annual second line parade.

Groovescapes: "The OG Vol. 6: The Rebirth Brass Band"

Rebirth Brass BandS
uffice it to say that the city of New Orleans is caught up in an unprecedented state of merriment. Tuesday, an estimated 800,000 people showed up at the Saints’ Super Bowl parade – a glorious occasion, if I might say so myself. Now, what can only be predicted to be the largest Mardi Gras celebration in history is just about to kick off. In keeping with the spirit of the season – and the brass band theme – I’ve got an OG lined up for today that’s sure set the weekend off right. My subject for this week’s column is Crescent City favorite, the Rebrith Brass Band.

MP3: Rebirth Brass Band – When the Saints Go Marching In / Who Dat

MP3: Rebirth Brass Band – My Song

“If you’re in here you’ve got to be willing to work,” he said. “One slip of the tongue, that’s one less person. One slip of the hand, that’s one less person. We need everybody.”

In the cramped band room of the West Bank charter school, that “everybody” is more than 100 students strong. It includes novices who only recently picked up an instrument and students with so much musical experience their horns feel like extensions of their hands.

Such large, ambitious marching bands have become a relative anomaly in a city famous for its second-lines, brass bands and musical luminaries, however. More than four years after Hurricane Katrina, band leaders say they are fighting to ensure the tradition thrives in a dramatically altered public school landscape.

The decline of that tradition, they fear, would mark the loss of an activity — a passion — that, over the decades, has kept scores of the city’s teenagers connected to school. The best band directors realize that strong marching bands can bolster strong academic programs in the long run, particularly if the music and academic classes are well integrated. And in some cases, “if you keep an instrument in a kid’s hand, it will keep a kid from picking up a gun,” said Elijah Brimmer, a longtime band director in the city.

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