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21 Essential New Orleans Records for Fat Tuesday

Posted by Amoebite, February 8, 2016 04:01pm | Post a Comment

21 Essentisl New Orleans Records for Fat Tuesday

If you are just dipping your toe into the mighty muddy Mississippi-sludge sounds of New Orleans music, here is a list to get your mojo workin', courtesy of members of the Amoeba family who are lifelong New Orleans music fanatics.

KAREN: The New Orleans sound is that rare gumbo of musical complements: a meaty stew of blues, R&B, jazz, African rhythms, Cuban, French, country Cajun, hip hop and so much more. But what defines New Orleans music? That is the unanswerable question. You can say it's this or it's that — it's the syncopation or the bass or the raw, funky rhythm. But really it's the soul of the music — the undefinable "Get Down" or "Get On Up." This is the music that carries your soul down the block on a second-line funeral procession — and gets your feet dancing in a musky club on Frenchman Street. It is playful. Funky. Deep and swampy. Raw and dirty. Mournful. Plaintive. And everything in between. It isn't defined by a drum beat. Or maybe it is. You've just got to listen for yourself.

Here are my top picks for records you need to own. Essential New Orleans listening, in no particular order. This is my own Dirty Dozen:

the wild tchoupitoulas

The Wild Tchoupitoulas - The Wild Tchoupitoulas

The Legendary Joe Baiza & The Cardovas Live @ Taix 5/1/2007

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 3, 2007 11:48pm | Post a Comment
Joe Baiza is a truly unique guitarist. His guitar playing is a mixture of angular punk rock, free jazz and the funkiness of one who grew up on thousands of R&B albums. His first group, Saccharine Trust, was ahead of their time during their first incarnation. Between the years of 1981 through 1986, Saccharine Trust went from minimalist punk to free jazz and spoken word, confusing most pedestrian punk rockers that wanted to hear hardcore. After Saccharine Trust's demise, Joe Baiza started The Universal Congress Of, a band that further explored his jazz influences. Again, Joe found himself between a rock and a hard place, being too punk for the jazz purists and too jazzy for the alternative rock set. Fortunately for Joe, Universal Congress Of found success in a Europe enthralled in the Acid Jazz movement in the late 80's/ early 90’s.joe baiza

Joe continued to play in Europe for most of the early nineties until some idiotic German racists shattered his hand during a stay in Germany. He returned to Los Angeles to recover while his bandmates all remained in Germany. Joe decided to stay in L.A., starting a few new groups, The Mecolodiacs and Joe Baiza’s Congress Of, as well as reforming Saccharine Trust in 1999, who he still plays with to this day.

On Friday, I went to check out Joe’s latest musical endeavor at Taix Restaurant in Echo Park, The Cardovas. They played an all-Meters cover set, albeit with Baiza’s flavor. Normally, I don’t like the idea of seeing cover bands, but hey, it’s The Meters! And it's Baiza doing it! As I sat there waiting for The Cardovas to play, I couldn’t help but to look around. Taix looked like a punk rock rest home. I saw many people that I barely recognized from the punk scene back in the day because they look so much older. Some, like Nicky (formerly of the band Pop Defect), looked timeless. Nick is drumming in 3 bands, a sign that playing music will keep one looking young.

The Cardovas came on. It was Joe on Guitar, former Universal Congress Of bass player Ralph Gorodetsky on bass, former Claw Hammer/Devo Bob Lee on drums & vocals and local indie jazz icon Dan Clucas on the cornet. They also had an organ player as well who I did not recognize. They did all The Meters' classics, "Sissy Strut," "Look-Ka Py Py," "I Need More Time," "9 to 5," and, of course, "Cardova."