Posts Tagged ‘ New Orleans ’

Ruby Bridges Tells Her Story

Painting, 1964, Norman Rockwell,  The Problem We All Live With

In 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first Black student at the newly desegregated William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Escorted to her first day of school by federal marshals, she was immortalized

Source: Ruby Bridges Tells Her Story

Carnival of the Grotesque: Kara Walker’s Insistent Resistance in New Orleans | Village Voice

Walker’s installation was freighted with layers of site-specific symbolism — none of it subtle if you knew a bit about local history

Source: Carnival of the Grotesque: Kara Walker’s Insistent Resistance in New Orleans | Village Voice

Wynton Marsalis – Happy Feet Blues

Matuto at The Falcon:: 5/14/15 :: Retrato de um Forró

Tarbox Ramblers – Ashes to Ashes


Hurray for the Riff Raff – St. Roch Blues


Alynda Lee Segarra

Signature Sounds is thrilled to present Hurray For The Riff Raff at The Academy of Music in Northampton, MA on June 5th.

Tickets are available here!

Jonathan Williams on the photography of Clarence John Laughlin

The Jargon Society

* The photograph pictured above is Clarence John Laughlin’s The Mirror of Nothingness gelatin silver print 1957 SFMoMA

~ a favorite book, df

Tremé, the HBO Series / a word pond review

Clarke Peters as Albert "Big Chief" Lambreaux

Melissa Leo as Antoinette "Toni" Bernette

Three Tremes
Three Things We Know / jezebel
Your next box set: Treme, the HBO series on post-Katrina New Orleans / the guardian

I recently watched season one of Tremé on DVD. This is the third television series for writers David Simon (of Baltimore) and Eric Overmyer (of New Orleans). They first collaborated on a masterpiece of a series, Homicide: Life on the Street, followed by the outstanding and by now classic, The Wire. Unlike these, Tremé feels hurried, an evacuation kind of hurried. Hurricane Katrina came and went in the blink of an eye. The aftermath — in human lives lost and broken as well as the great city of New Orleans, taken piecemeal to the sea — continues to this day and hereafter. Tremé is the story of  a post-Katrina New Orleans, of how the people, the land, and their culture struggle still to survive. It’s a natural that music, particularly jazz, and the Blues, welds the community back together. The working class people of Tremé, are defined by their music. It gets them through one more night, one more long afternoon of problems, frustration and despair. It veritably shadows the origins of the Blues.

The characters are real flesh- and blood-like, a cross-section of the Tremé neighborhood. Albert “Big Chief”Lambreaux, a devoted Mardi Gras Indian Chief, played by the fine understated  actor, Clarke Peters, is the most complex character. You can feel him thinking, brooding; and then he acts, as one for many, actions of civil disobedience within the great historical, moral context of Martin Luther King Jr and Mohandas Gandhi. John Goodman, as Creighton Bernette, based on the life of the New Orleans blogger, Ashley Morris, is the Greek chorus voice of the community, unable to resume his teaching and writing career as it was before the hurricane. Unlike his wife, Antoinette “Toni” Bernette, portrayed by the great actress, Melissa Leo, who takes on pro bono work for the sake of her neighbors, Creighton struggles for meaning from his pre-Katrina life as an English Lit professor and author. Unable to write, he blogs his way through voicelessness and helplessness, holding up a mirror for all to see the life of his devastated community. It just isn’t enough — not enough help in not enough time, and he goes under, like the hopes of so many. Then there’s Antoine Batiste, the real glue of the neighborhood. The incomparable Wendell Pierce is the trombonist who lost his car in the hurricane and must rely on soft footin’ it, verbal chits to taxi cab drivers, and  public transit rides to get to gigs and back home to his second wife and baby. He refuses to go down, even when his trombone is stolen and the woman he loves slaps him one more time. It is in this continuous gotta-get-the-next-gig refusal, that he shows us to the dark door, the ways to step through it, the stroke and stroke again through more darkness, of the how and when to breath, even sing. Where would  any of us be without our artists?  ~ yours truly, df

Billie Holiday / Don’t Explain (Live from New Orleans)

NB: If the video should stop at 14 seconds, don’t lose heart, it will resume in less than a  minute.