- It’s been fun, but I am done.
- For Jazz Fest, must work on bilocation
- Sam and Dave: Too good to keep until next Saturday.
- Guitar duet, courtesy of the Allman Brothers
- Life is fragile. And control is an illusion.
- A nature documentary about the honey badger
- How about a slice of π?
- These photos from Japan will take your breath away.
- Mississippi John Hurt
- A thought for Ash Wednesday
- Sunday morning music
- Folks, this is the real blues, close to the roots.
- Skip James, the Bach of the blues
- How placebos work, and what this means
- Bring me my running shoes
After thinking about it for quite a while, I’ve decided that this blog has run its course. Time to put ’er down. I have a lot of little reasons for this decision, but the big one is that my heart just isn’t in it anymore. Aside from my recent little piece about my almost-accident, I haven’t written anything heart-felt in a long time. And if I’m not up to doing that, I don’t see the point of continuing this project. Which is not to say that this project hasn’t been fun or worthwhile. It’s been both. And I’ve managed to sustain this blog for nearly six years—an eternity in this ephemeral medium. And I’ve made many real friends on line, some (but not all) of whom I’ve met in person. I am grateful for those friendships, and I hope to sustain them by following and responding to my friends’ on-line stuff. But as for my own little corner in the blogosphere, well, it’s just time for me to move on. I have been doing the Twitter thing lately. So if you feel inclined, please follow me there @minorwisdom. I promise to do that as long as I feel like it. (In Louisiana, we call that a potestative condition.)
A few days ago, the New Orleans Jazz Fest schedule came out. I will have a WWOZ Brass Pass, so if all goes well, I’ll be at the Fairgrounds for all seven days. The lineup looks great. And as usual, it presents some tough choices. For instance: Friday, April 29: Jeff Beck is on the Acura Stage while Keb’ Mo’ is in the Blues Tent. Since I saw Jeff Beck last year, I’ll probably opt for Keb’ Mo’. Right after that, another dilemma: Robert Plant is on the Acura Stage at the same time that Tab Benoit is in the Blues Tent. I’m leaning toward Robert Plant on that one, only because I’ve seen Tab a number of times but have never seen Robert. Nevertheless, April 29 looks like a good day to camp out in the Blues Tent: the lineup includes the Joe Krown Trio, followed by John Mooney, followed by Keb’ Mo’, followed by Tab Benoit. Saturday, April 30: More difficult choices. J. Monque ’D overlaps with Wayne Toups, who overlaps with the Hot 8 Brass Band, who overlaps with Alvin Youngblood Hart, who overlaps with Jeremy Davenport. I’ll probably clear the deck for Alvin, since I’ve never seen him live. Later in the day, the Blues Tent looks good, with Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots (my favorite zydeco band) followed by Robert Cray. Sunday, May 1: In the early afternoon, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band overlaps with Tommy Sancton. To close out the day, the choices include John Mellencamp, Arlo Guthrie, and (believe it or not) Tom Jones. I’ll probably opt for Mellencamp, though I suspect that Jones’s set will be worth watching, and Arlo (whom I’ve seen before) will make his audience glad that they saw him. Thursday, May 5: This is traditionally a relatively low-key day. But still worth the price of admission. I’ll definitely catch Little Freddie King and Lucinda Williams. The choices for closing out the day include Cyndi Lauper, the Stooges Brass Band, and Spencer Bohren. Right now I’m leaning toward Spencer. Friday, May 6: Choices again become difficult. Guitar Slim Jr. overlaps with Edie Brickell, who overlaps with the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, who overlaps with the Big Al Carson Blues Band, who overlaps with Bonerama, who overlaps with Kermit Ruffins. Whew! Then Big Sam’s Funky Nation overlaps with Eric Lindell. And to close out the day, the choices include Wille Nelson and Gregg Allman. Saturday, May 7: D.L. Menard overlaps with Marcia Ball. Later, Trombone Shorty overlaps with Walter “Wolfman” Washington, who overlaps with Dr. Michael White (currently the world’s premier clarinetist, IMHO), who overlaps with BeauSoleil. To close out the day, the choices include Jimmy Buffett, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and Aaron Neville’s Gospel Experience. Sunday, May 8: A lot of good acts, but for me the choices don’t get difficult until mid-afternoon. Rebirth Brass Band conflicts with Sonny Landreth, who (for practical purposes) overlaps the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. To close out the day (and your entire Jazz Fest), the choices include the Neville Brothers, the Radiators’ farewell, Maze with Frankie Beverly, and Robert Randolph. I’ll probably opt for Robert Randolph, who proves that the pedal steel guitar can be damned funky.
Today I was returning to New Orleans from Lake Charles after a court appearance. I was driving east on I-10 in the right lane just outside of Lake Charles, with cruise control set at the speed limit, 70 m.p.h., when a white sedan in the left lane, parallel to my car, veered into my lane. Though the white sedan didn’t touch my car, my reflexes took over. Before I knew it, I went from the right-side shoulder across the left lane into the grassy median, where my car did a 180-degree spin before stopping. Thankfully, my car (an SUV) did not roll over. I was able to get back onto the highway and continue my return to New Orleans. If my car had crossed the entire median into the westbound lanes, I would be dead. So perhaps from now on, I’m living on borrowed time. Lesson # 1: Life is fragile. In an instant, it can be gone. One additional lesson: When traveling at highway speeds, control is an illusion. At 70 m.p.h., all it took was a gesture from the car next to me to throw me out of control. So pardon me if, from now on, I set my cruise control below the speed limit.
I try to post educational or edifying stuff here. But I don’t recall ever posting a nature documentary. So to fix that omission, here is a 3½ minute item about the honey badger. The narration is especially good.
Today is Π Day, celebrating the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter. To celebrate this great feast, the lass in this video recites π to the 100th digit while balancing 15 books on her head and solving a Rubik’s cube. Geeks everywhere (present company included), still those beating hearts. (Hat tip to Letters in Bottles.)
I thought I saw bad stuff in New Orleans and along the gulf coast after Katrina. But all of that seems dwarfed by these photos of the devastation in Japan. (Hat tip to my cousin-in-law Kent.)
No comment needed. Just watch this. (Hat tip to Andrew Lilly.)
“Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.” Or, as Shel Silverstein put it:
How far it is from gospel to the blues? About one song. Here is Mississippi Fred McDowell.
If you like your blues close to the roots, then you’ll love this: R.L. Burnside doing See My Jumper out in the country.
Tomorrow’s Rock ’n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon passes my front porch, right around the 7-mile split. For all competitors, I offer the good wishes of Lord Birkenhead in Chariots of Fire: “Good luck to you all.” And I offer something that Lord Birkenhead could not: this bit of musical inspiration by Howlin’ Wolf.