Is this thing on?/It’s *on*.

2009 December 22
by Don Hammack

Yeah, been a little since I last posted. Nanowrimo halted what little posting I’d been doing here, then I quit on Nanowrimo not far into it. On to bigger and better things, I guess.

(And I won’t talk about the Saints, yet. Saturday’s still a little too painful, and the worry’s kicked in overdrive.)

It’s that time of year to start thinking about the most important event of the year: Jazz Fest. The schedule came out last week and here’s who I will be planning to see:

Weekend One, or the short list

This is the short list just because when I marked up the schedules, there are fewer bands I want to see. There is one of my Jazz Fest favorites, probably a must-see, but I’ll have to see how the individual days play out across the two weekends. (There are fewer TBAs than usual, so this list oughta stand up pretty well.) The bands:

  • My Morning Jacket: Never seen them and haven’t really heard a lot of their stuff, but what I’ve heard I’ve liked a lot. If was actually still buying (or stealing) music, they’d be a band I’d want to see.
  • Darius Rucker: I know, I know, he’s playing country now. And I don’t have a lot of use for modern country these days. But I saw Hootie and Blowfish back at the Music Farm in Charleston, S.C., back before they went huge, so it would be interesting to hear him now. He’s an act that if there’s nobody else I want to see that day will probably get skipped. No offense, Hootie.
  • The Black Crowes: Never seen them and always wanted to, even moreso if Luther Dickinson’s playing with them.
  • George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic: C’mon, you’re kidding. You need an explanation?
  • Cowboy Mouth: A Jazz Fest staple, like crawfish bread. Although I’ll admit that if there’s nobody else playing that day, I won’t make a special trip to see them. (Speaking of crawfish bread, this list is a pretty good one for must-have foods.)
  • New Orleans Klezmer All Stars: One of my favorite Jazz Fest bands. In fact, I’ve never seen them play anywhere else. They usually play at the Fais Do-Do stage. I love klezmer music, especially that trill clarinet, and these guys are outstanding and funky. That’s right, funky Jew music.

That’s it for the main folks I’d like to see. There are others on the big, long list, such as Tab Benoit, but he’s a guy who gets circled quickly on a day I’m going but doesn’t bring me out by himself.

Weekend Two, or book time in NOLA this weekend if you want to see me for sure

Lots more acts I’d like to see playing the second weekend:

  • Pearl Jam: I’ll admit, I haven’t bought any of their stuff in a long time. I’ve never seen them live, but I’ll be sure to be there to see them. I mean, it’s Pearl Jam, and they’ll be worth what I’m sure will be an uber-crowded day.
  • Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers: Yep, Steve Martin playing at Jazz Fest. Any other banjo player and I’m sure he’d be at Fais Do-Do. Steve Martin will probably get a little bigger stage.
  • Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue: Super talented, super energetic, super young. Go see him and get your face blown off.
  • Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers: It won’t have the same intimacy as when he plays his Thursday night gig at Vaughan’s in the Bywater, but Kermit’s awesome.
  • New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra: So eclectic as to not even have their own Web site, these guys play old-timey jazz and ragtime bands. Oh yeah, and there’s a theramin player.
  • J.Monque’D Blues Band: Yeah, he doesn’t have a site, either. But a more unique bluesman you won’t find.

Others I’ll be circling quickly on my cubes: Sonny Landreth, Eric Lindell, CoCo Robicheaux & the Swamp Monsters, Driskill Mountain Boys.

Who are you gonna see?

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