I don’t go to the wall enough anymore, but that’s a topic for another time. This one’s for William Gay, who died yesterday. I’ve seen many people express shock his passing at the relatively young age of 68, but it should be noted that 68 in Southern author years is a pretty good run, besting a number of his contemporaries. Also, if you ever met Mr. Gay, you were saddened to learn of his passing, but you weren’t necessarily surprised by it. On his best days William rarely looked long for this world.
The city of New Orleans lost an important member of their musical community today with the death of Marva Wright. Her obituary isn’t going to get national (or even regional) headlines, so I wanted to make a point to honor the life of a helluva songstress. Hearing Marva sing was something that once you experienced, you likely never forgot. I know I didn’t. Her voice was HUGE. Growing up singing gospel at the church and at home she didn’t start singing professionally until she started working the Bourbon Street circuit the late 80’s. That’s where my family and I saw her for the first time, and throughout the years it remains a memory we regularly reminisce about. Alex Cook made reference to this song earlier today in commemorating her passing, so a hat tip to him for a worthy selection. Here’s to you, Marva, New Orleans own treasure. Enjoy your stroll in the great hereafter.
Tomorrow night I get to see Mogwai, one of my favorite bands for a number of years, for the first time at Republic in New Orleans. In celebration/preparation I’m compiling a 12 song countdown to the event composed of a number of favorites from their catalog (click track name to listen):
- Superheroes of BMX (4 Satin)
- Tracy (Young Team)
- 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong (Rock Action)
- Friend of the Night (Mr. Beast)
- Scotland’s Shame (The Hawk is Howling)
- Take Me Somewhere (Rock Action)
- Cody (Come On Die Young)
- Killing All the Flies (Happy Songs for Happy People)
- Ratts of the Capital (Happy Songs for Happy People)
- Glasgow Mega-Snake (Mr. Beast)
- New Paths to Helicon 1 (Government Commissions)
- Mogwai Fear Satan (Young Team)
Also found the set list from last night. Hope that we’re treated to something very similar tonight.
I finally succumbed to the ’25 Random Things About You’ whatchamahell that’s wandering around Facebook these days. Since A&W has been starved for content I thought I’d share the wealth. Without further ado: (more…)
I’m slowly working my way back into keeping the digital version of my life more up to date. As you can see, I’ve added my Twitter feed to the right hand column of the site to take care of the small stuff, which will hopefully make A&W seem less static than it has been over the last months (ok, ok, years). Hopefully that will help assuage the guilt of not posting even the smallest of items just to get something of interest up here so that I can actually write a few decent posts. (more…)
It’s been seventy-something days since Gustav and I’ve been looking for the right time and place to pick up the A&W thread. Right now I’m sitting on the back deck in front of the fireplace finishing off the last of the handle of Makers Mark I bought in the days before the storm and am burning, for the first time, wood cut from the tree that landed in the front yard during the storm. So the circle is complete. So mote it be. (more…)
There’s been a lot of waiting and watching on Gustav up to this point. I had told myself I’d know to switch gears to full on ‘hurricane survival mode’ when I started hearing the helicopters coming in. Choppers overhead in Baton Rouge are my enduring memory of Hurricane Katrina. On the Friday before the storm hit I was at Independence Park up on Lobdell which is right next to the State Emergency Response Headquarters, hitting baseballs on one of the fields when the helicopters started coming in, landing a few hundred yards away to shuttle officials into disaster planning meetings. It drove home the fact pretty quickly that something big was going down even though we still didn’t have a clue as to how big that something was going to be. After the storm they were the constant reminder of how bad things were down in New Orleans: for a number of days the only way into and out of the city was by helicopter, all of which were using Baton Rouge as home base. For at least 6 weeks after the storm the sound of rotors cutting the air was a constant companion to life post-Katrina.