Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dependency on this box in the corner of the room here came into sharp focus this
past couple of days. Would it really be so bad if an enforced bout of seemingly dropping
off the face of the earth occurred. Well actually, from my worldview - yes.
Something that needs to be addressed but meanwhile it was pretty traumatic
not to be able to communicate and connect within a heartbeat.

So far so good with the fix. Couple of little hiccups such as the printer/scanner not
operating but I can live with that. Probably. It strikes me that I need to wean
myself off spending so much time on here. Sitting in front of a computer is
something I do day in day out for purposes of eating and what passes for a lifestyle.

Often by this stage in the day my napper is pretty mooshed (steady! - I know what you
blighters up the back of the bus are thinking). Sometimes it's pretty hard to muster
the energy to do anything far less attempt to string several sentences together.
However, there's a duty to fulfil. This is one of those blogs that requires to be
updated at least daily. So while I try to figure what's going on, Mr Duff sent in this
report from Ponderosa Stomp... quite the "Bonanza" of good gear!

Got into town on Saturday Evening and spent the evening and the next day with friends.
Chose to miss out on Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at the House of Blues 'cos I knew
there was going to be plenty music over the coming days...

So Monday was the start of the whole shebang. There are in-stores every hour, all

day at the Louisiana Music Factory. Dropped in to see Henry Gray, Howlin' Wolf's
old pianist. I saw him a few times but this was maybe the best ever, only one slow blues in
a 50 minute set of rockers. He gave the first ever airing to his new song,
the Rock Obama Boogie - the first Obama song I've actually heard and
probably not the last. 15 minutes later, Rockin' Dopsie Jr took to the
stage although the band was so large - 12 members - not all of them would
actually fit on there.

Not everyone likes the generic zydeco sound, and I admit that sometimes it gets
a little samey to me too but Rd Jr is a charismatic and good looking performer
and there was more than enough variation in the sound to keep us interested -
and not one song in the bunch that wasn't a dancer. Hard on the heels of THAT
was Leo Nocentelli, one of my favourite guitarists although a lot of people
I know don't rate him. In a 50 minute set, he managed to play 4 songs.
The first one was new, from his first solo album only just released that day.
Then an extended workout on Cissy Strut, following which Dr John shuffled
through the crowd to join him to sing and play Piano on Hey Pocky Way.
Not bad for a free show in a record store!

That night was Ponderosa Stomp pre-party at One-Eyed Jacks, one of the

coolest venues in one of the greatest towns on the planet. I saw the Cramps
there on my first night ever went in New Orleans and I met a girlfriend there
another time so I have more than a few fond memories. Four bands on the
bill, first up, a German crew called Redondo Beat, I only caught their last
two numbers. Reasonable 6Ts inspired rock but there's a half dozen bands
sound just like them play in my local so I wasn't hugely impressed.
After that the Condo Fucks played. I didn't know them either and when an
acquaintance advised me they were they guys from "that band Yellow Tango"
I was still none the wiser. Turns out they are basically YO LA TENGO doing covers,
mainly NY punk and classic sixties punk covers and very good at it.
Ira had a seriously dirty guitar tuning and when the girl drummer (Georgia)
sang 'With a Girl Like You? Fantastic. I could have lived without two
Richard Hell numbers in a row but that's a minor point.

I went outside for a bit of fresh air and bumped into Miriam Linna

whose band was up next. I've never been a huge fan of the A-Bones
but as an infectious, funny, party band they are hard to match.
(I hope you’ve seen the light Colin) Ira Kaplan sat in with them on piano but
the REAL highlight was when a small figure clambered up on stage causing
Stomp organiser, Dr Ike, to ask, Hey, who's that guy? That guy was only Roy Loney.
Sporting a new and very suave moustache since the last time I saw him.
The band ripped into "Have You Seen My Baby" (appropriately enough for a NOLA show -
it was written by Randy Newman) and he danced like a man possessed.
It looked like that was all we were getting until Ira strapped on a second guitar
and Bruce Bennett kicked off THAT riff. The crowd went wild and Roy the Boy
like he had just written it.

I knew it wasn't likely to get any better but I stuck around despite the jet lag

kicking in to see a rare Royal Pendletons show. They didn't disappoint and
being on their home turf, probably made it make more sense than it had been
on their recent European tour. They are one of the few bands that manage to
remain authentic without being curatorial. And who clearly know and
understand the history of rock and roll as the Toussaint McCall and
Cookie and the Cupcakes covers attest. We thought it was al over when a
clearly inebriated King Louie kicked over the drums but someone set them
up again fairly quickly and they came back to give us their classic "Losing Hand".
Yes, the same one that the Oblivians (soon to hit blighty for the blast off festival)
made, um, famous.

So that was it. I'm off out right now for night 1 of the Ponderosa

Stomp proper. Further updates as I find the time...