A few days ago, the New Orleans Jazz Fest schedule came out. I will have a WWOZ Brass Pass, so if all goes well, I’ll be at the Fairgrounds for all seven days. The lineup looks great. And as usual, it presents some tough choices. For instance:
Tomorrow’s Rock ’n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon passes my front porch, right around the 7-mile split. For all competitors, I offer the good wishes of Lord Birkenhead in Chariots of Fire: “Good luck to you all.” And I offer something that Lord Birkenhead could not: this bit of musical inspiration by Howlin’ Wolf.
Is 9.89 gigaherz the optimal frequency at which to scan kidney bean crops in order to obtain ground-based multi-temporal, multi-angle and co-polarized scatterometer X-band data?
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has announced its day-by-day musical lineup for this year’s fest. We won’t have specific acts at specific stages at specific times yet, so we can’t do too much planning now. Depending on various variables, here are some folks I may try to see (and a handful I won’t):
- Friday, April 29: Robert Plant, Jeff Beck, Keb’ Mo’, Tab Benoit, George Porter Jr., John Mooney, Los Hombres Calientes, Joe Krown Trio, Willie Tee, Shades of Praise, Morning Star Mass Choir, Voices of Peter Claver.
- Saturday, April 30: Robert Cray, Jeremy Davenport, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Terrance Simien, Sunpie Barnes & the Louisiana Sunspots, Shannon McNally, Wayne Toups, J. Monque’D. No, thank you: Bon Jovi.
- Sunday, May 1: John Mellencamp, Dr. John, Arlo Guthrie, Zachary Richard, Anders Osborne, Tommy Sancton, Jeremy Lyons. No, thank you: Kenny G. I don’t know; I may have to check this out: Tom Jones.
- Thursday, May 5: Lucinda Williams, Amanda Shaw, James Booker piano tribute, Little Freddie King, Spencer Bohren. No, thank you: Cyndi Lauper.
- Friday, May 6: Willie Nelson, Gregg Allman Blues Band, Kermit Ruffins, Edie Brickell, Eric Lindell, Bonerama.
- Saturday, May 7: Jimmy Buffett, Trombone Shorty, Allen Toussaint, Bobby Blue Bland, Marcia Ball, Aaron Neville’s Gospel Experience, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, BeauSoleil, Voice of the Wetlands Allstars, Dr. Michael White, D.L. Menard.
- Sunday, May 8: Neville Brothers, Robert Randolph, Radiators’ farewell, Sonny Landreth, Henry Butler, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Bobby Lounge. No, thanks: Kid Rock.
Every Monday and Wednesday of this month, I’ve been reporting to Criminal District Court here in New Orleans for jury duty. While I haven’t been picked yet, sitting in the courtroom or the jury box for voir dire has been educational. When the whole thing is over and my comments can’t be tied to any particular case, I may post something about what the lawyers did right and did wrong—from the potential jurors’ perspective. Meanwhile, I have these two observations:
First, it appears that our still relatively new D.A., Leon Cannizzaro, is pushing more cases to jury trial. The last time I had jury duty at Criminal District Court (about 4 years ago), most days I never was called from the juror lounge to a courtroom. This time, I’ve gotten into the courtroom and into the jury box all but one day. So from this admittedly narrow perspective, it seems that more cases are going to trial under this D.A. compared to his predecessor.
Second, while lawyers should not be immune from jury duty, we really should get CLE credit for it. Whatever kind of law you practice, you get a refresher in criminal law and procedure. And perhaps more importantly, you observe the lawyers’ work from the jurors’ perspective. That education is probably far more valuable than any lecture or PowerPoint presentation you sit through.
Forty years ago today, a man born with half of a right foot, nicknamed “Stumpy” by his teammates, kicked the longest field goal in NFL history. Until last February, it was the greatest moment in Saints history. Here is the kick itself:
And here is Jim Henderson’s retrospective, featuring a now 63-year-old Tom Dempsey:
Happy anniversary, Tom. And thanks.
Today is a great day to be in New Orleans. The sun is shining, the humidity is low, and the Blues & BBQ Fest is happening downtown in Lafayette Square. Price of admission for the B&BBQ Fest: $0.00. The program includes Corey Harris, one of my favorite blues artists. Here’s Corey doing a Skip James tune, Special Rider Blues:
The closing act is Taj Majal. I don’t know whether Corey will sit in on Taj’s set or vice-versa. In any event, here they are doing their version of the Mississippi Sheiks’ classic, Sitting on Top of the World.
My favorite band, the North Mississippi Allstars, performs Soldier. Why is this spiritual? Well, watch the video and you’ll see and hear. The song is from their album Hernando. If you’re wondering whether you need this album, the answer is: if you’re reading this blog — yes.
I remember the Sept. 10, 1990 Monday Night Football game, when the 49ers, then defending Super Bowl champs, came to New Orleans, got physically beaten up by the Dome Patrol, yet pulled out the win by a last-second field goal. Final score: 49ers 13, Saints 12. I watched on TV, and felt dejected for the rest of the week.
I don’t know why it took me so long to add Moose Denied to the blogroll. If you follow the Saints, that’s where you’ll find your most insightful and most entertaining analysis. Jim Henderson is almost as good—and that’s high praise for Henderson.