Parka Required

I went to dba on Thursday to see John Cleary, the pianist, doing a solo show. The place was packed, a complete change from Tuesday. I was standing in the back and could not hear the piano clearly because the crowd was talking loudly. The sound guy leaned over and complained about how ridiculous this was-in Japan last month it was like playing a church, also not ideal, but at least you could hear the music. He gave me a roadie pass and told me to go through the stage door. I ended up in the front row, and it was vastly improved. The brass bands don’t seem to have this problem. 

Between sets, I talked with a couple of other fans who were there for the music more than the party, and when talking about the fun stuff in New Orleans, I told the gorilla suit story. One of them said, “Oh, you mean Jerry.” Apparently Jerry is a regular, working the street in the gorilla suit. Characters make the place. 

The headline on the paper this morning was “Do you know where your parka is?” The temperature is forecast to be 49 degrees overnight. I guess if I want to fit in I’ll have to start wearing my arctic gear when it hits 50. I almost thought about turning on the heat.

I did get caught in the cold front passing through on Friday. At least it was a cold rain. It was a good afternoon for computer work. I wrestled with my speaker update, borrowing Susie’s computer, and had about 50% success. It now works about as well as when I started two weeks ago. I will plug away at it before giving up entirely. The old generation of Bluetooth speakers works well, just not enough sound for the room without pairing, and the pairing function isn’t enabled without a software update, and you can’t update without a previous update. I can access my music library through the phone or iPad, but still can’t play new cds. Old people problems.

I walked over to the Green Project for inspiration, and to reacquaint myself with that part of St. Claude. There should be something cool to do with wood shutters or old wood mantle pieces, and they had some interesting marble and ceramic tile. Inspiration has not struck, yet. There was some kind of film project outside Melvin’s involving a literal dumpster fire, police and fire actors, and real police and firefighters. 

It was a cold night on Frenchmen. The Spotted Cat seems like the place to be, but it was so crowded I didn’t even try to get in. The band traveling with Christina Aguilera apparently played a set with the house band late last night, and the rumor had spread. I ended up at Buffa’s Back Room for an excellent set from some guys in their 20s. The trombonist was Miles Lyons, who I had noticed earlier in the week playing with Dinorchestra. I didn’t catch the name of the pianist, another young guy, but his warmup was Thelonius Monk. Lots of chops in the room, and a nice mellow vibe. 

Saturday was a good day in the Big Easy. I walked up to Robert’s for groceries after coffee, and had an excellent oyster po-boy at Bamboula’s. Unfortunately I was between music sets, but it is a great sandwich. 

I was headed for the Convention Center for the Tattoo Convention, and got on the wrong streetcar or stayed on the right one too long. I took an inadvertent tour of the Canal Street line to mid-city. There are worse ways to learn the city. The crowd definitely changed as the tourists thinned out, and there were fewer obvious service industry folks. One woman was carrying a bag that was printed in large letters: “homosexuals are possessed by demons.” I don’t think it was a joke, but it was a sign I was in the wrong neighborhood. I got on the streetcar headed back into town and walked through the Fulton Street to the convention center. It is a kind of faux French Quarter, with a pedestrian mall, buildings with balconies, and some restaurants and venues, all empty on an Saturday afternoon. 

The convention center is huge, and the tattoo convention was in one large room of about ten similar in size. There were dozens of tattoo artists set up in booths, many working on walk-up clients. There was a tattoo contest going on in the back, but it was not staged well. There were lots of trophies but it was hard to see what people were getting awarded for. There were some “tattoo celebrities” signing photos and such, but I did not know them. I did not feel the urge to get a new tat, but it was good to see what people were doing. From what I saw there, the crew at Alaska Ink does great work. I got a number of compliments on Rodney’s work. 

I took a walk back through the French Quarter, ducking into the casino to get out of the wind, It is nicer than I expected, and huge, but the gambling bug didn’t bite. I ran into Courtney and crew at the Chart Room, and had a relaxed evening.

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