Jazz Fest began under auspicious momentum – it started with Meow that led to an explanation, then to another Meow to ameliorate a hot topic, and well, by the third Meow – I was wondering why I was even bothering to respond to anyone. Pick up P and walked into the Fairgrounds with all the full expectation that music heals the soul, satisfies the soul, and just makes you happy. And it did. The weekend moved from Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, to Bob Dylan, to Irvin Mayfield to BeauSoleil, to Kim Prevost and Bill Solley, to Hugh Masekela, to John Mooney, to Sonny Landreth, to Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello, and Bruce Springsteen and the Meters and well, Sunpie in a garage, need I say more.
Highlights were walking to the Fest the first day and stopping by the LaLa when I saw a bunch of guys sitting on the porch, turns out they were there to do the a/c but one of them had written on the plywood covers for the window – “Gone to the Fairgrounds, Joe” and I thought about when I evacuate and put those boards up and they will still say “Gone to the Fairgrounds, Joe” – Saturday the walk to the Fest was great – I stopped at N and the Snake and then went by L’s to pick up A – and when I arrived I was hit head on with Master W – who I spent the afternoon with hanging out and listening to music and eating Cuban “medianoche” sandwich and then sitting under a tree and eating ice cream. Very nice. Favorite line out of him was when I said “do you want some water” and he said “bottled wata, one dolla” just like the hawkers outside the fence – or when he said “you smell so good” and I wanted to tell him how smell very much matters in humans. Very underrated.
Later caught up with L and C and G and then again with A and watched Hugh Masekela and met so many others – John who pinned the dollar to me first – and then Jeremy whose birthday was Friday – and he pinned another dollar – a tradition to pin dollars to your shirt on your birthday – of course I was stretching a little since mine is not until Tuesday. Then to TC’s to meet up with K&K with G and P and K said, I just learned about you and S – so sorry. And across the street was the old N house that looks better actually than any house they have been in since – in some weird way.
Hung out on G’s porch watching the spill out from the fairgrounds and M stopped and struck up a conversation – she is in North Carolina – just before Katrina she was trying to get a regional theater started and had all her ducks in a row – when suddenly blow up – she vowed to come back because there is no place as this. G said this is the most interesting place in the world right now. She agreed. I agreed. We all felt it was good to be here.
That night went to Liuzza’s again and then to Cooter Brown’s after showers and then to the Maple Leaf for a revisit of Johnny Sketch where we were positioned between the AARP group and the debutantes on X – bizarre confrontations but we just enjoyed the music.
Sunday morning at T&M’s brunch and M did an ice sculpture of a Fleur de Lys and T welped up and then we all went down with her – as N and I were making our way around the table getting the alligator sauce piquante and the shrimp remoulade – someone said Moss Man wasn’t at Jazz Fest anymore and N said what happened to Moss Man and a woman said – he died – and we all said oh that is so sad and she said – straight faced – Moss Man was a schizophrenic – and I, with food in my mouth, spit it out and had to duck into the stairwell because I was laughing so hard and N, who maintained her composure into the stairwell let it out and we both were doubled over.
I pinned another dollar to my blouse and again was surprised how many people came to pin dollars for my birthday. A tradition. Love it. L said asked how I liked Sonny Landreth and I said all right, not crazy about it – and he said that someone said after Jimmy Hendricks, Sonny Landreth was the bomb – and I was like, huh. Not for me.
When I got to the Meters – L told me to sit down – she kept one eye on me and one on C who was wearing a globe on his head and who I met up with doing the sacrificial watermelon dance – and then R came over and knelt down and said I am a licensed foot massager and you have to take your boots off and let me give you a foot massage – he then pulled out a tin of shea butter and proceeded to give me the deepest most wonderful foot massage while the Meters played “they all asked for you” and J pinned a $10 bill on my shirt – very nice. L looked at me and said when you are ready to get serious let me know. And I just said pishaw.
I have had two foot massages in the past five months from complete strangers – I have to say for someone who loves foot massages as much as I do – it surely is a sign that this is the right place.
A turned me onto a song by Devendra Bunhart – called Chinese Children – that I bought but sadly the IPOD died yesterday. So now IPOD must be my birthday present to myself. Sigh. I bought another bubble wand and was enjoying myself and a little boy came up with his small bubble bottle and blew a tiny bubble at me – and I waved the giant butterfly wand that I had and made bubbles go everywhere and P asked “how old are you” and I said pishaw and then this guy who kept coming back and forth and back and forth finally said do you know why bubbles are round and lo and behold I knew I knew him and it was J who cancelled our lunch when I was trying to recruit him for a source and suddenly he was like – call, reschedule – and I was like right.
N and I sat in the Mercedes for a long time by the dumpsters talking about all things this evening – my favorite line from her was “you’re too much to be anything but” – and finally she made her way home with her back tire flat and me with my weary self.
Good JF – very good. Hard to believe the city that care forgot, that the world forgot, can pull off a three day weekend of music that rivals anything anyone has ever heard. And supply delicious food like stuffed mirliton and pecan catfish, crawfish bread, medianoches, etc.