Citywide sunburn and a long, satisfied sigh: Jazzfest '07

So, Jazzfest is over, leaving behind a citywide sunburn and a deep, but satisfied, fatigue. This year was weird for a few reasons, one of them being that a larger proportion of out of town visitors was comprised of people who lived here pre-Katrina, so it was a bittersweet reminder of the days when you could still take population density for granted.
The other major weirdness factor came thanks to a flash flood last Friday that tied up traffic on both banks of the Mississippi River, ruined several hundred cars and reminded me and everyone else (how many of these reminders will we need??) of the inevitability of evacuation this summer. We got a pass last year, and I will admit that I have since embraced the denial required for living below sea level. But every time I see a seagull fly overhead, I am reminded that even if I can't see the shore or swim in it, I live on it and I'd better get ready for when it tries to up and swallow us whole again.

I'd better buy lots of bottled water.

A few of the finer moments of THE Jazzfest (no one around here says just 'jazzfest' - it's earned the article):

*Seeing Ludacris and Lucinda Williams on the same day (where else could that happen?).

*Meeting the father of one of the Pine Leaf Boys from Lafayette while we were both in line for the port-a-john, and as we were standing in the middle of the Fairgrounds on a sunny day with music blaring and 60,000 people happily milling around, he asked me in a voice filled with doubt, "Do you think New Orleans is ever going to recover?"
"I don't know," I told him, "but things sure feel pretty promising today."

*Not finding a friend in the Gospel Tent but knowing she was there for Irma Thomas' unbelievable tribute to Mahalia Jackson. Seeing someone like Thomas, whose utter fabulousness is matched by so much genuine humility, moved just about everyone under that tent to tears.

*Recognizing that at each stage at least 10-15 percent of the crowd bears an eerie likeness to the people performing, so when you scan the crowd you immediately know who came to Jazzfest for this show. I found this phenomenon to be most entertaining at Ludacris, most annoying at Joss Stone, and most disturbing at Dr. John.
Of course, when my friend Charlotte and I went to see Lucinda Williams at the House of Blues -- she wearing a trucker hat and me in my cowboy boots -- I had to crack up, as clearly Lucinda was "our" show.

May 10, 2007 12:14 PM | | Comments (0)


Leave a comment


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Culture Gulf published on May 10, 2007 12:14 PM.

The Hoopla Loop: Doing the "virtual" shuffle was the previous entry in this blog.

Web 2.0: Bringing back the "Not because we ought to, but just because we can" ethos of Web.1.0 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads

AJ Arts Blog Ads

Now you can reach the most discerning arts blog readers on the internet. Target individual blogs or topics in the ArtsJournal ad network.

Advertise Here

AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
Rebuilding Gulf Culture after Katrina
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Stage Write
Elizabeth Zimmer on time-based art forms

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.