My many musician friends and I are a little hard on the New Orleans music scene sometimes. How it's kind of like a museum, not original as back when jazz was invented. Essentially were just spoiled. But also its true that some local music press and festival promoters who try and put New Orleans into a small but marketable box, end up shunning truly original new music that, though not jazz/blues/funk/zydeco, still smells a lot like New Orleans. Well settle for equality! And we will do the work to get there! And then OffBeat gives their Best Rock Act award to Theresa Andersson, whose new album has more in common with chamber music than rock. Sigh.
By the way, Theresa Andersson is officially good. She was always tolerable. Almost always. I say this having not yet seen the clip of her on Conan last night. But days before, I was teaching little public school kids to write record reviews (to be published in Gambit, soon) and we listened to Theresa Anderssons Hummingbird, Go! twice, back to back, and I dont know if the kids liked it, but I was totally impressed. Though not rocking at all, its beautiful and original, layered and sorta psychedelic. Before hearing it Id assumed she was getting more credit from New Orleans music press than she deserved, given their sometimes-questionable idea of creativity. Im also friends with not less than seven musicians who use that same loop pedal as the basis for their music; that pedals invention created a whole genre of music, which no less than Mr. Quintron himself told me he hates, at least a year before Theresa rocked Conan. I suspected that many in Theresa Anderssons previous fanbase had never seen that pedal, and so were responding as if Andersson were bringing them fire for the first time. But Hummingbird Go! is totally fresh and great, and I hope everyone takes note: her new music is more special now because it sounds like New Orleans without sounding like old New Orleans music.
Also by the way, a New Orleanian, who makes the most New Orleans sounding music in existence, is about to maybe win more Grammys than Michael Jackson did for Thriller. Well see if hes around as long as Louis Armstrong, Ive heard so many times now, from the same people who said rap was a tuneless fad, right before rap swallowed the whole universe. Anyway, why arent we acting like New Orleans is about to win the Super Bowl?
But the real point of this futurist rant was to invite you all to check out, tonight, Feb. 6th, a photography opening by Dan Fox, an editor and writer for AntiGravity magazine, New Orleans alternative music publication. Some of the shows photos first ran in AG: mostly shots of New Orleans musicians whose art cant be labeled with one word, and others who dont sacrifice originality for anything. Also a puppet. And my goat Chauncey Gardener, too, I hear. Plus the gallery is run in part by Zack Smith, drummer for Rotary Downs. So come down and support modern New Orleans music:
Dan Fox Photo Show
The art might suck; but the food will rock!
The Canary Gallery, 329 Julia Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Friday, February 6, 2009
Yes. Photos of people we love in this crazy music community of ours. Featured artists / performers / cultural treasures include: Lil Doogie, DJ Soul Sister, Ray Bong & Chauncey, Bernard One Man Machine Pearce, Stephen Fontenot of Humidity Skate Shop, Isidore Justin Grisoli (of the Red Beards, Big Baby, etc.), Ballzack, Nobu, King Louie, Suplecs and Imagine the Band.