Not a Mardi Gras goes by uncelebrated at Amoeba Music SF, where locals of all ages gather to party, parade and laissez les bons temps rouler! This year's Fat Tuesday festivities included a low-country cooking, swamp-tastic feast of jambalaya, spicy salad and cornbread to die for provided by San Francisco's famous Cajun Pacific restaurant; traditional Mardi Gras King Cake procured especially for the fête; a parade and costume contest featuring a whole mess of masquerading merry-makers from the Boys & Girls Club dressed in their best Mardi Gras flair; very "Big Easy" 'centric DJ sets by the incomparable DJ Shona's Dad and DJ Vinnie spinning from Dixieland to Zydeco and all sounds in between; and last, but not least, at the helm of it all was Amoeba's Mardi Gras 2009 master of ceremonies and parade marshal Queen Crab Cake.
Mardi Gras always seems to land on one of those crisp yet gloriously sunny days between the usual February rains that distinguish the "Northern California winter months" from the rest of the year and this year was, thankfully, no different from those of the past in spite of the conflicting, wet-blanket weather predictions. Not that a little rain would have made that much of a difference, I imagine. Seeing the amount of enthusiasm that swells the celebratory cup to the point of overflowing during Amoeba's Mardi Gras party each year is but one joy of many shared by both those who came to join the fun and those who find themselves suddenly caught in the revelry. For all the soulful sounds, sizzling rhythms, sugar and spices, sequins and feathers, and the traffic-stopping dance moves of DJ Shona's Dad (a kindred spirit) and the general gaiety, it cannot be said that Amoeba Music SF doesn't do Fat Tuesday any which way but vraiment bien.