April 2007

Jazz Fest 2007

This weekend, I attended all three days of The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Dad was good enough to give me the day off of work to go. He dropped me off at the Fairgrounds on his way to work at about ten this morning, about an hour before the games opened. I walked past Liuzza’s and down to the Gentilly Street entrance, where a line was already formed of people waiting to get in when the gates opened at eleven.When the gates did open, I walked straight to the Fais Do Do Stage where the Tulane University Jazz Combo. I decided to see them mostly because of the namesake. To put it generously, I wasn’t impressed with their performance. As Tulane’s music program is barely two years old, however, I have no reason to be harsh.I walked ‘next door’ to Congo Square to see Xavier’s Jazz Ensemble, which wasn’t bad but the group was too hard to photograph so I decided to just wander around a while. I did stop briefly to see the Leviticus Gospel Singers.By 12:20 I was at the Music Heritage stage in the grandstands. One of my professors, Kevin Fontenot interviewed some Cajun musicians, Randy Vidrine and Kristi Guillory of the Lafayette Rhythm Devils. I had no prior knowledge of the musicians but the interview was still interesting.After the interview I wandered a bit more, stopping back in the gospel tent where I caught some of Lyle Henderson & Emmanuel. After shooting some pictures, I decided it was time to eat. I decided to start with something familiar. I got some jambalaya and the famous crawfish bread. I walked with food in hand to the jazz tent to eat. Michael Ward was playing. Mr. Ward is a fine talent, although I was really just there for a seat to eat my lunch, which was quite good. The crawfish bread is a favorite at Jazz Fest. I also wanted a seat there for the next act at the Jazz Tent, Astral Project.Astral Project, as I have lauded here previously, is my most favorite local band and I see them whenever I get the chance. Bass player James Singleton was in town for the performance. There was a sizable crowd there, as there has been during the other Astral Project sets at the Festival. As always, they put on a great show. I can’t remember the first some they played, but it wasn’t “Big Shot,” which usually opened their sets. “Cowboy Bill” with the bass solo was a real treat,After they were finished, I wandered around for a little while, seeing some of the Heritage Hall Band and Dr. John.Later on, I claimed a small patch of real estate on the right fringe of the Acura Stage by bridge four. With some space reserved, I walked the track a bit to get something to eat this evening. I walked back with crawfish monica and some white chocolate bread pudding. The crawfish monica is probably the most popular item at Jazz Fest, and it is quite good. If I remember right, I was finished eating before the last act of the opening Friday started, Van Morrison. His was not a name I was familiar with but I didn’t hear anything bad about the guy so I decided to spend the rest of the evening seeing him. He put on a pretty decent show, but I decided to leave early so I wouldn’t have much trouble getting home.I left the fairgrounds not long after six. I didn’t have much trouble getting a cab home. I don’t quite remember what I did later that evening. It probably involved my computer and my TV.Posts on the remaining five days of Jazz Fest are forthcoming, remember any typing all of this is just time-consuming.

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Week of April 23

I was a little busy this week, or at least felt that was, even though I only worked one day this week, Tuesday, which was a normal day of work and class. I took Monday, Wednesday and Thursday off to work on school projects at Tulane’s libraries.On Monday, I basically started the day waiting in line at the recently reopened Camellia Grill, a story which was published in Newspapers nation-wide. I think I can spare a detailed description of this eating establishment and how awesome it is. I only had the pleasure to patronize the diner a few times before Katrina, including meals during Vacation trips when I was younger, but this place was always a favorite of mine and I, like so many others, was very happy to learn it was reopening.The line looked short when I took my place in line at about one in the afternoon. It got a good deal longer as I waited. So far as I could tell, there was a healthy mix of tourists and locals. Being alone allowed me to jump ahead of several people and I only waited about a half hour. Aside from the fresh pain, marble countertop and credit-card-friendly cash register, everything appeared as I remembered it, down to the Mickey Mouse clock high on the wall.After lunch I walked to Jones Hall at Tulane to the Louisiana Special Collections to work on my Louisiana history paper. I was there through the afternoon, reading some books on my topic, the geographical evolution of the city of New Orleans. I got a little writing done but I spent most of my time reading the book, which cannot be checked out. Later that evening I went to IT ethics class that evening, which was standard fare.If I remember right, Tuesday was a normal day. On Wednesday I took the day off again to work on my paper. That day, I had lunch at Vincent’s Italian Cuisine, a little place on St. Charles I’d never been to before, mostly because the place always looks closed, although they had outdoor furniture out on this day. It’s a classy place with decent food. I saw my Mom at a table there, which was quite a coincidence. After lunch I went back to Special Collections where I worked on my paper again. I largely finished it, with the exception of cleanup I performed that evening. After I left Tulane, I went to see The Subdudes at Wednesday at the Square. They put on a good show and I took pictures.I took the day off work on Thursday as well to work on a paper for my IT ethics class, but I really didn’t make any progress. I had my last Colonial Louisiana history class that evening.

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French Quarter Festival 2007

This weekend, I attended all three days of the French Quarter Festival.Friday:I left work early and took the streetcar down to the quarter. I got off on Bourbon Street and wandered around for a while, sampling a number of bands at the several different stages. I eventually made my way to the river front stages and got something to eat. I think I had some jambalaya. While I was eating I listened to the Michael Foster Project.Later on, I walked over to the U.S. Mint to see Amanda Shaw & The Cute Guys. Her name has been dropped in our house on a few occasions but I’d never seen her play so I decided to watch the set. She’s a pretty impressive talent for someone so young. At about 4:30 I arranged a ride home with Dad and he picked my up in front of the Hilton downtown.Later that evening, I was on the computer for a while and I started watching Judgment at Nuremburg, but I only got about a third of the way in before going to bed.Saturday:The weather was more than somewhat disagreeable on Saturday. It was overcast all day and it rained sporadically, especially in the morning and early afternoon. I got up to late to ride downtown with Mom and Dad, who went to the festival this morning. I took my time getting ready and got a cab downtown around noon. I borrowed an umbrella from Andrew, which served me well for a good while.When I got downtown I walked over to Jackson Square, where I presumed my parents were, seeing the Dukes of Dixieland. When I got a call from them after I arrived I figured they spotted me but they were elsewhere, apparently on the way out, leaving because of the rain.I can’t remember much about what I did between the end of the Dukes and two o’clock, although I do remember getting some lunch, a turkey leg just felt like it. I probably heard some of the Pin Stripe Brass Band while I was eating.The main reason I didn’t care about the rain today was because I wanted to see Astral Project. They played on the riverfront at two this afternoon. Although it was raining before they started, the rain stopped when their set began and it didn’t rain again the rest of the day the sun even almost showed itself. My favorite local band never disappoints and they didn’t start today. They always put on a great show with great music. The audience was also treated to one of Johnny’s amusing monologues.After Astral Project’s set, I wandered around the quarter for a couple hours, sampling a number of bands. After wandering around for a couple hours, Mom and Dad picked me up at the Hilton again. Sunday:On Easter Sunday, Dad and I went straight from church out to the Quarter. The weather was much better today. The sun was shining but there was a rather stiff breeze. The main motivation for going out to day was Otra, an awesome local, afro-cuban band that doesn’t play very often. I didn’t want to miss what is a sadly rare opportunity. I think their set had already started when we arrived. As expected, the performance was awesome and quite enjoyable. I’m not a music critic so I don’t have any five dollar words to describe them. I would say, however, their music has a very clean and rich sound to it, like most Cuban music untainted by the pop shit that comes out of America.After Otra, I believe we stayed around the mint and saw some of Ricardo Crespo and Bayou Deville. I would have figured we’d go see Tim Laughlin but we’ll see him at Jazz Fest. We eventually walked over to Jackson Square, where Al Belletto Big Jazz Band was playing. Like just about everyone that plays the FQF, they were pretty decent. I walked around and took a bunch of pictures, none of any particular merit I’d guess.Dad and I then walked back to the mint where Freddy Omar con su Banda played at 5:30. This local band is a reasonably popular latin jazz band. They play Frenchman Street weekly and I’ve seen them at a couple school functions. Although they didn’t have a large stage to play, they drew an impressive crowd, and Freddy Omar is a pretty decent vocalist and he had a strong band behind him. At about 6:30, we made our way back to the car and home. Later that evening, I watched another hour or so of the Nuremburg movie. Before getting to bed I talked to Krystle on the phone for about an hour and a half.

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Cowboy Mouth… and Everything Else Last Week

Another week, more or less, gone by and no posts. It’s a damn shame, I know. A few things have happened since last Tuesday, but not much. There was just work on Wednesday. Thursday’s colonial Louisiana history class seemed to conclude the curriculum as the professor made it to the Louisiana Purchase.After work on Friday, Dad and I went to see Tulane play the first game of the Memphis series. I don’t remember the game well enough for a detailed recap of the game, but I do remember it went badly. By the end of the sixth, it was 10-2. It was cold and we’d seen enough so we left early. The final was 14-5. It was too cold and windy for the Saturday game, which they also lost. I spent Easter Sunday at home with the exception of church. Tulane won the game that day though.There was no class on Monday with Easter break. Tuesday’s cold war history lecture was about country music related to the cold war, which was an interesting diversion from the usual material.I left work a little early on Wednesday. I took the streetcar downtown to go to Wednesday at the Square, a free concert series in Lafayette Square. Dad joined me there later. In addition to the music, there’s also decent food and craft vendors. It’s a great event for people working in the city as it gets going around five. Cowboy Mouth was the main event today. I’ve seen them play before. I’m sure the post detailing the last time I saw them discusses how they put on a great show and how Fred LeBlanc’s ego barely fits on stage. Suffice it to say, it was a very enjoyable set and I think the 9,000 other people there had a good time too. I had my big camera with me and I took some pictures, none of which were outstanding, unfortunately. The concert was good practice though. Looking at the photos told me I should consider setting my auto focus points manually. I was also reminded that Fred moves around very fast.Today was just a quiet day at the office with some dictation for company. I didn’t have class this evening because the professor had a speaking engagement. This evening, I watched one of Hitchcock’s early films, The Lady Vanishes.

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8-3, 16-9: Argument Over

Another late post ands Monday is already a distant memory. I worked in Metairie as usual and went to IT ethics class this evening. I had a case study to discuss this evening. It was mostly about CompuServe Germany getting pounced back in ’97 for hosting kiddie porn on Usenet servers. I can’t immediately recall what the lecture was about.On to Tuesday. After a work day in Mid City in which Dad was out of the office half the time, we went out to Zephyr Field for the ‘rematch’ of Tulane and LSU’s baseball teams. Earlier in the season, Tulane beat LSU in Baton Rouge 8-3.Although a comparatively small crowd was expected, attendance was 9,318, which filled out the park quite nicely. By the fifth inning, however, LSU fans started to leave and the audience thinned out a bit.There was a lot of scoring in this game, which I have no desire to recap, but I’ve included an accompanying news story [ext] to cover the details. Generally speaking, it was a slugfest and nearly a blowout for Tulane. By the end of the third inning, it was 10-0 Tulane. To LSU’s credit, they did mount a bit of a come back to keep the game interesting. They scored three in the fourth and six in the seventh, getting as close as 13-9. Tulane pulled further ahead in the bottom of the eighth with three more runs. The final score was 16-9.Although Tulane made some mistakes, the game was still very entertaining. Tulane got 22 hits. Each started had at least two, including 4 of 6 for Warren McFadden. It’s always sweet to beat LSU and this was no different. It was well after ten when the 3:40 game ended. Dad and I got home around 11.The EF 70-200mm F/4L lens I ordered came in the mail today so I played around with that a bit before bed. It does overwhelm the camera a bit so I’ll be getting the vertical grip.

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Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

This post covers last Thursday through the weekend. This week’s colonial Louisiana history class was about Louisiana’s early economy which shifted from tobacco to cotton and sugar. We finally got our mid-terms back. I got a C, which was what I was expecting.After work on Friday, Dad and I went to the mall before heading out to Zephyr Field. I bought a few items of clothing and went to a camera shop to look for a camera bag. Id didn’t find anything I liked though. While I was there I tried out the EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6 IS lens on my camera, which I had with me. It’s a great piece of glass, surprisingly light, but I don’t have $1,500 burning a hole in my pocket.Tulane played the first game of the series against East Carolina tonight. It was another pitcher’s duel. Sean Morgan played a good game getting ten strikeouts, although he didn’t have his best stuff this evening. Even so, East Carolina was held to six hits and only one run in the second. In the bottom of the forth, Tulane scored two runs on three hits. At the time I wouldn’t have guessed that one run lead would hold out the rest of the game, but it did. The final was 2-1.Saturday’s game was much less of an ordeal. After Carolina scored a leadoff run, Tulane answered with three in the bottom of the third. Tulane scored two more in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh. The final score was 8-2.Tulane didn’t fare so well on Sunday. They managed to get a 7-2 lead but ECU scored six runs in the seventh and three more in the ninth to come back and win. It was rather hard to watch. It was like Tulane was on cruise control after two relatively easy wins against a good, conference team.

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