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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Green Room

I don't know why they are called Green Rooms as they usually are not.  The one at the Louisiana Music Factory is a kind of coral color....like the LifeBoy soap color.  The factory was having a party yesterday
to celebrate the store's 20th Anniversary and the owner had invited lots of musicians to come and perform.
There were drinks and catered food in the Green Room where the musicians waited to go on stage.  They chat (gossip), tune up their instruments and  relax before and after their gig.  As Louisiana music goes, these were some pretty great acts: Kermit Ruffins, John Boutte, Little Freddie King, the Stooges Brass Band, Cyril Neville and the Preservation Hall Band.  It was fun to get to meet some of them and chat.
I am such a lucky girl.  I also got some great pix.

Mardi Gras Day

Every year I march with the Bywater Bone Boys. We are skeletons!
Not just ordinary skeletons, though.  We create new costumes every year to enhance our "bones".
One year I was Bona Lisa, last year I wore a black sequin suit with bones appliqued on top and
this year I was a Storyville Skeleton.  I dressed like one of subjects in Bellocq's turn of the century
photographs of the Storyville ladies.  Appropriate because we march not very far from where the
actual Storyville existed, now gone after the government decided to raze the area to build a project
during the Great Society years.
Anyway, my friends and I go down to the Bywater, not far from the French Quarter, and meet up
at daybreak with other like-minded skeletons.  We have a busy and noisy time waking up the residents
to Mardi Gras morning as we parade around for an hour or so.  After that we repair to Bud Rip's Bar
for refreshments and wait for the St. Ann Parade to come by with their brass marching band.  Then we
all join forces and storm the Marigny and French Quarter.  There is no way to explain how good it feels
to be part of something so special and glorious.  It's like playing dress-up and going back in time to total
innocence.  I can't wait for next year.

All Hail

One of the biggest and grandest of the night parades is Bacchus, which rolls on the Sunday before Mardi Gras.   The floats are beautiful and the bands are plentiful but everyone goes out to see the celebrity guest who is invited to become the King of Bacchus.  It is usually a comedian or movie star and this year they
chose Will Farrell who is in town making a movie.  Well, he was spectacular.  He was like a little child.
He dug into his pile of dubloons and beads and shoveled them up into the sky with a look of joy on his
face.  I have to say, he was the best Bacchus I ever saw.  And, as he him self said "All Hail Me".  What a nut!

The Real Thing

So, there were lots of parades this Mardi Gras, as usual, but the only ones I really ever go to, except for
Mardi Gras Day, are the night parades.  I just love the twinkling lights, shiny glittery costumes and the
magnificent flambeaux.  They go way back in history to a time when the floats could not be seen at
night without the illumination of the flambeaux flames.  They are now a part of the traditional night parades, especially for the older krewes.  The flambeaux not only light the way for the next float but
they also dance around and entertain while balancing a big metal apparatus filled with kerosene and
blasting flames all over the street.  You have to see it to believe it!

Mardi Gras Catch-up

Sometimes it is hard to think of something to blog about and sometimes I am so over whelmed with
all of the things that I am doing that I hardly have time to sleep let along blog.  That is the case this month.
I was busy finishing 35 paintings for my solo show at Jean Bragg Gallery earlier this month.  The show
went well enough even though I was faced with the competition of my own subject matter....Mardi Gras.
A gigantic night parade was going on at the same time as my opening party.  Ironic, huh?
Anyway, the show has been up for a month now and it is almost time to take it down.