Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Weekend in the Big Easy

So, as Kendall pointed out, its been a bit quiet around here the past couple days. Well, one of those reasons is I spent the weekend in New Orleans. Sorry to take off and leave ya hanging, but i don't regret it. It was a fantastic time. I had a great time wandering both Bourbon St. and the rest of the French Quarter. One of the things I noticed is they've come a long ways since Katrina. But its definitely obvious there's a long ways to go still. For example, skyscraper hotels in downtown New Orleans still are unoccupied with broken windows and empty rooms. Spraypainted X's still can be seen on houses from where search and rescue crews marked the homes as they searched for any survivers. Water lines can still be seen upwards of 8 feet high on some houses. It blew me away and the the storm was 2 DAMN YEARS AGO!! I mean, I don't think its possible for me to even begin to fathom the devastation that must have occured directly after the storm.

But there's hope. They're slowly rebuilding, which is amazing to see. One of the best things I saw is that Preservation Hall is back open for business. Preservation Hall is one of the oldest and premier jazz clubs in New Orleans. And I was extremely disappointed to hear that it had to close its doors back in 2005. I just read that it reopened its doors back in April of 2006, so this isn't exactly groundbreaking news, but I had no idea it had reopened until I saw it this weekend.

Looks like a dump from the outside, but its definitely one of the cooler spots in New Orleans

Needless to say, it was a pleasant site. I didn't actually get to go to a show there, but fear not, I got to hear plenty of New Orleans jazz and blues while I was there. Its impossible to escape when you visit. It was very comforting to see New Orleans slowly making its way back to some sort of normalcy now almost 2 years later. New Orleans really is a one-of-a-kind city. Its an amazing place and I am glad to see it still surviving.

So, I don't have too much to add, so I'll just add a song or two to finish up my post. Here's a couple of songs that remind me of New Orleans whenever I hear them.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band - When the Saint's Go Marching In: Just bought this and a couple other PH jazz band songs and they're exactly what you expect of a band from New Orleans. This is just a classic song, but its still great to hear. You can buy the Preservation Hall Jazz Band album here.

Dr. John - It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing): The king of New Orleans music. Borrowed this CD from my boss. Its Dr. John performing Duke Ellington songs and whereas I'm not particularly a fan of every song on the album, some are pretty damn good. This is one of the good ones. You can purchase the album here.

Radiohead - Life in a Glass House: This song has a New Orleans march sound to it. It's always reminded me of N'awlins. So I'll post it too. (Buy Radiohead here).



aren said...

Sounds like a sweet trip and definitely some great songs. I don't know about Dr. John being the king of New Orleans music, but that's not a bad song, and I guess DW would know.

Bryan said...

It does sound like a sweet trip..I've been meaning to get down there for a Jazzfest! KGB trip next May??

ryan said...

hmmmmmmmmmmm, that sounds like a pretty good idea. I'll (hopefully) be graduating, but other than that, that would be pretty badass.

Remind us in a couple of months.