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bennett4senate on 02/22/2010 at 01:00PM

Mardi Gras Hangover

I spent last week in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. It was my first time there, but let me tell you, its a magical, musical place.

The young white music hipsters in the old-time jazz bands dress kinda like turn of the century baseball players (at least on stage), play washboards, and can smoke a cigarette for a whole song without changing facial expressions or ashing. One club over, a brother in an all white suit who sings like Stevie invites his uncle on stage - who just so happens to be Meters bassist George Porter Jr. - to join him in covering a Donny Hathaway song. Outside, a Cadillac with 26" rims, painted in stripes like a pack of Lifesavers, is parked in the middle of four lanes of traffic, with a chick in black tights 'walking the dog' on the bumper while the latest track chronicling the Saints' improbable Superbowl victory blares from the stereo. Slightly-too-peppy Christian missionary teen groups put on choreographed hip-hop dances in front of the cathedral, and a child prodigy trombonist is the frontman of a brass-rock jam band that just signed a 5 album deal.

After losing track of how many high school marching bands I had seen in the parades, and about halfway through my daiquiri-to-go (from a place called 'Jazz Daiquiri'), I was rid of any lingering doubts of New Orleans' status as a geyser of awesome musical expression.

The one act that I missed down there was Quintron and Miss Pussycat, the husband and wife duo who have been playing organ, soldering homemade drum machines, puppeteering, and hosting shows from their base of operations at the Spellcaster Lodge for some years now. I did catch their show at the New Orleans Museum of Art, which contains Miss Pussycat's puppets and Quintron's Drum Buddies. Quintron has moved his studio into the museum to record and album over the duration of the show, and surrounded himself with a nice selection of paintings from the museum's storage holdings.

Check out Quintron and Miss Pussycat's broadcast on WFMU from last year, Live from the Spellcaster Lodge on Sound and Safe with DJ Trent, or their 1995 Live WFMU Christmas Eve special right here on the FMA.

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