In 2013, I did a fairly exhaustive search for the best local songs to replace Atlanta-based Ying Yang Twins Halftime (Stand Up and Get Crunk) as the Saints’ touchdown song. VIDEO. I offered links to dozens of videos written and performed by local musicians. The ultimate superfans in my estimation, they pour their team spirit into songs and videos that take money and oodles of time to produce. And they do all this with little chance the music will turn a profit.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the playoffs. The Saints players have taken over the soundtrack inside the Superdome. In particular, carpool mates Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara along with Michael Thomas have fallen in love with old New Orleans rap and the crowds in the Dome couldn’t be happier. Apparently, Ingram introduced Kamara to the songs and artists while driving. When the three danced to Choppa’s 2003 local hit Choppa Style, the Superdome went bananas.
The moment went viral nationwide.
It’s been 9 years today since Katrina made landfall on the Gulf’s coast. By the time it reached New Orleans, winds were estimated to have been Category 1 or 2 but then the levees failed and all hell broke loose. And then the world watched on TV as Americans stood on rooftops for days begging for water and worse and worse and worse. The Superdome became a symbol for loss, despair and failures at every level. It only took 4 1/2 years to change the Superdome into a house of triumph and a symbol of rebirth, renewal and rebuilding. The Dome, and all it represents, have become part of this city’s story and what better way to celebrate how far we’ve come than to go to a Saints game with the Rebirth Brass Band kicking things off in Champions Square. Continue reading →
If you’ve read this blog’s ABOUT page, then you know that one reason I moved to New Orleans after 18 years in Los Angeles was to find my mate. “I followed my heart here. My gut told me that everything I was looking for, denying myself while I furthered my career, was right here where I always wanted to be.” I met Andy at the Lost Love Lounge (yes, really) 8 months after moving here and we’ve been slowly walking toward the altar ever since. A few weeks ago, we finally tied the knot – New Orleans-style with everything from DancingMan504 and The Roots of Music to the Pussyfooters and “The Dude” (okay, he’s not New Orleans, but he abides everywhere). Continue reading →
Po-Boys have been a New Orleans staple since their conception in 1929. The submarine-like sandwich was invented by Bennie and Clovis Martin, former streetcar conductors who opened Martin Brothers’ Coffee Stand in the French Market in 1922. During the nationwide transit strikes of 1929, the Martin brothers vowed to feed their former coworkers. When they’d see the strikers coming, they’d say, “Here comes another poor boy” and the Po-Boy was born. Since then, people have been stuffing these sandwiches with everything from fried oysters to Thanksgiving leftovers. Continue reading →
I’ve been searching for a new Saints anthem to replace the Ying Yang Twins Halftime (Stand Up and Get Crunk)since pre-season when it became obvious the rumors were true – getting Crunk is on its way out at the Superdome. I scoured the web for a song as inspirational to fans and the team (and as menacing for the opposition) as Halftime. I wanted the song to be by locals and have horns, Who Dats, a universal dance beat and something to chant. After presenting over a dozen options in my posts Saints Soundtrack and Saints Soundtrack Vol. 2, I have found my very clear winner. Continue reading →
I’ve already spoken about the power going down in the Superdome, but the weekend up to that point ran pretty perfectly. Day 3 of the NFL concert series, we only caught one show – 2012 Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band. More out-of-towers joined in the festivities but the crowd was still mainly the Who Dat Nation sporting black and gold. We knew all the call-backs and when to thrust our fists in the air and shout, “Hey!” and when to find a tissue and wave it for a second line dance. It struck me as ritualistic like church – the church of funk in the house of soul. As such, I wondered if the visiting teams felt as left out or confused as a Buddhist at Mass but they seemed to be having fun in any case. Continue reading →
The good news is that I’ve been very busy. The bad news is that I’ve missed all of my beloved Harvest the Music Wednesdays. Today was the last one and I was thrilled to finally rejoin the music lovers in suits or tie-dye. I ate Cafe Adelaide‘s Shrimp & Cognac & Goat Cheese Grits ($6) and resisted the dipped strawberries, cupcakes and other treats ($2 – $4) from Bittersweet Confections as well as the plentiful Abita Beer. Food and beverage sales at Harvest the Music benefit one of my favorite non-profits, Second Harvest. Every dollar can feed a family of 4 one meal. Continue reading →
I can’t get you all of this stuff, Oprah-style, but every item has links to their site. If you’d like to know more about why each is my favorite, use the search window on the lower right to find photos, videos and stories.
I continue to accumulate favorite things about New Orleans, but here’s my first year favorites in a nutshell. Continue reading →
My favorite charity, my favorite weekly event and my favorite brass band came together as Rebirth Brass Band played Harvest the Music benefitting Second Harvest. I’m not alone in my love for Rebirth, the huge crowd was packed Jazz Fest-style into the small urban park. It was also one of the most wonderful weather days of the year. Between the blues skies, balmy breezes and temperatures in the mid 80’s, it was a perfect storm of comfort and beauty. Continue reading →