NOT SO EASY:
THE STATE OF NEW ORLEANS AND THE NINTH WARD MUSIC
Ninth Ward Marching
New Orleans will never be what it was - the whites have gotten what
they want and the bourgeois blacks have gotten what they want. Unfortunately,
what they wanted to banish from the New Orleans is the very thing
that gave the city it's songs and it's soul. Everything left will
just be a small fragment left behind, or a recreation from someone
who may or may not have experienced it. New Orleans will be staler
now, it will be a living memory, an antique piece of furniture.
Paker: Lot's of Bands are gone (the Detonations, Black
Caar, Liquidrone, the stacks, glorybee and even more are homeless
Henry: In a nutshell New Orleans is fucked for an underground
music scene. Maybe we can rebuild someday but it won't be any time
Twist (November): The soul of our city was wiped out.
Gone. 250+ years of tradition effectively evaporated. There’s
so little that reminds me of the town I love... As far as live music
goes, the scene is a bit fractured and audiences are full of the
unfamiliar faces of relief workers and hippy helpers. It’s
not much like before, but it’s not bad either.
Scurvics: As people make their move to return the scene
regains its vitality. With a few exception most of my favorite venues
are operating again with crowds and sounds. Not every band survived
the flood but many artists did; there is no want for live music.
As my story goes, it wasn’t time for me to return yet permanently.
Soon though, baby, I promise. My lady is a tough dame; it’ll
take more than a pissing on to take her out.
Parker: It's as strong as ever. P acked shows almost
every night here (check out www.liveneworleans.com) and a renewed
sense of vision... The Ninth ward scene developed by itself with
no help from the Local music community's tools. it's had lots of
help and influence by the DIY style of our forefathers in Funk,
Soul, RandB, and even Rap. We don't really need Jazzfest or Offbeat
or Bourbon street, we've got the ponderosa stomp, Vox Magazine,
the Circle Bar, One Eyed Jacks, the Mother-in-Law and each other,
we'll always have that.
Twist (January): New
Orleans today really is the stuff of life. Yesterday was the first
‘second line’ (look it up) I’ve ever been to where
the mood was as peaceful as it was exultant. Where the crowd was
almost evenly black and white. Where the thug mentality and posturing
were noticeably nonexistent. Where people seemed sure that New Orleans
would return and we would be able to effectively police ourselves.
Joyful songs and chants like “We ain’t coming back!
We back!” rang through the freeway underpasses. Children and
old people and everyone in between were singing and three brass
bands were wailing and weed smoking in the streets and all the things
I moved to New Orleans for in the first place. Family. And then
damn if some fools didn’t fuck it up. About 3 blocks before
it ended…“Pop! Pop, pop, pop!” Three people, including
the 18-year-old niece of one of my best friends, shot and headed
for the hospital. Thankfully they’re all ok, mostly. But the
first thing out of people’s mouths was something along the
lines of “I knew this town would never change! I ain’t
never coming back!” Finally, a much-needed dose of the kind
of joy that is only found here. And in the same second, all of it
jeopardized by the kind of rivalry and revenge that residents had
hoped was washed away with the storm... Take it or leave it. This
is our town. And it may be fucked up, but it’s still better
than anywhere else.
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