The Ritual Madness That is Mardi Gras at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, February 24, 2012 12:39pm | Post a Comment
Fat Tuesday at AmoebaFrom Pan’s lips to our ears, these words of Cajun sacramental blessing ring out through the eons of celebration here at the big easy Amoeba Music, here in the City that Public Transport Forgot. Once again, winter with its cares and sub-70 temps has crept away on little cat feet, Spring has sprung, and as the great mudball we call Terra hurtles in its gyre towards the sun, we mark the turning of the season with a grand fais do-do that is suitable to the season. Before the ashes of Wednesday mark thy brow, toodle thyself down to the great creaking music emporium where the pagans await thee, ready to robe mask and bead thee, wanting only to draw thee into their voodoo jamboree of horns, floats, gumbo and confetti, shiny green gold and purple mylar waving in the southland breeze. Lose thyself in epic indulgence before the self-denial of Lent, followed of course by the rebirth of Bacchus X. Dionysus Ludo, who shall lead us prancing sun-roasted into Summer! It’s Mardi Gras at Amoeba -- ritual madness awaits!
Fat Tuesday at Amoeba
Said weary mylar was resurrected as always from the depths of the Amoeba warehouse, and let shine once more. The Amoeba parish was coated in the sacred colours of purple gold and green, bedecked with more layers of party store finery than a muffuletta sandwitch or an etouffe. We immersed ourselves in the funky backwater sounds of Dr. John, Professor Longhair, the Wild Tchoupitoulas, Preservation Hall, the Meters, Fats Domino, and Lee Dorsey. We lashed ourselves with the fennel rod, donned the goatskin, drank the day’s wine and prepared ourselves for rejoicing!

The great morn a-dawned with a vast glow of good spirits, chocolate candy and plastic beads, energizing and revitalizing our own huckster & tramp-ridden stretch of the Sunset wilderness. Music was beamed forth, favors, dubloons and lagniappes were strewn careless of the cost. Not the Crescent City itself could compare to our own bal masque. Well hey let’s not get carried away or anything...but the store did look rather fine.

Fat Tuesday at AmoebaAt midday, the celebrations got underway...we set up our first-ever Amoeba photo booth, and encouraged the young’uns to get up there onstage, put on a mask and get behind the drum kit for a festive photo op. A few young picayunes did rise to the occasion, but the camera lens was mostly hogged by Amoebites mugging for yuks. Krawfish Kara wrangled folks on and off the stage, with the mighty help of Hurricane Heather, and maskers were imaged by the photographically inclined Jambalaya Jess. This one guy kept getting in every picture...

No parade is possible without yummy foodstuffs for fortifying sustenance, and this year we were blessed with the tastiest feast ever! Voodoo Vivian and Laissez Le Bon Temp Lindsay of the Komeme Vegan Krewe served up a celestial Cajun potlach of rapturous rice & blissful beans, supernal salad dressed a la Goddesse with croutons, and for dessert, snickerdoodle cookies nothing short of ambrosius. Dee lish! Most fortified we were indeed. 

As Fortuna would have it, our usual DJ, Humble B., was called away to perform the noble office of fatherhood. His wife’s sudden trip to the delivery room prevented him from working his magick upon the decks in person, but serendipity provided us with a recording of one of his past feats of N’Awlins vinyl legerdemain, which we were able to proffer upon the sound system to comparable effect. The happy child borne upon Carnival day shall surely bear the name of Jean-Baptiste, and the sobriquet of “the Ragin’ Cajun”! If I were to be consulted in the matter that is. 

Envy then the joy of lady and gent who did look upon the FLOATS trundled forth by the Amoebiyon usual the recent mortified, lifeless and extinct from the sphere of Euterpe were represented in resplendent glory. This year, those towering sisters of soulful psaltery WHITNEY HOUSTON and MISS ETTA JAMES did duty for all those great musicians who have passed on into the great beyond from the Big Easy of our third stone from the sun. La Houston rolled forth in white tulle and flowers, while Ms. Jamesetta played it cool in green satin. As Longfellow so truly noted: There is no death, what seems so is transition / this life of mortal breath is but a suburb of the life Elysian!

Fat Tuesday at Amoeba

There was also a floating Aquarius, a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end, a psychotronic yellow skull, a mischievious harlequin all in motley and a pair of tikis from the South Seas. All were carried forth!

Not later than this did the Amoeba Irregular Pirogue Quartet begin sounding the brass from the Amoeba Stage... the Krazy Kajun Kim Pryor, Kokomo Kody, Professor Paul Vasquez, and Tchoupitoulas Thom did make a joyful noise! To say nothing of the fiery ratatat of drum corp capitan King Cake Chris Hi-Rise Hathwell.

Fat Tuesday at Amoeba

King of Mardi Gras at AmoebaAt the appointed time, with a blast from Gabriel’s horn, the King of Mardi Gras, the Sun King, El Rexus Terry Smith of the Smith Dynasty, the Golden Monarch of Gentle Rejoicing, did stride down the stairs, followed of course by his retinue of glad maskers and jesters. A great shout went up, and all did follow him. Flambeaux and floats, freaks and metairie Indians, all romped and sported in his train! King Terry led us around the room, around the store and finally out onto the streets of Alta Californicia. We strode down Cahuenga, along DeLongpre and back up Ivar before we did weary. Nor did we weary before we rode the day down, stomped it into oblivion, picked it back up and stomped it some more. Bayou Billy Calhoun and Gris-Gris Gabby showered us with confetti, beads and trinkets as we burned down the Vieux Carre.

At last it was done... the great day of rebirth deceased, the transformation undone, the hour of Lent struck. Whitney and Etta stood silent upon the stage, we took off our masks and robes and became ordinary Amoebites once more. Refreshed with the blood of ancient tradition, the year licked its lips and rolled on, carrying us forward into adventures yet unsought. Mo betta? Fo true!

Mardi Gras Parade at Amoeba

Mardi Gras Parade at Amoeba

Fat Tuesday at Amoeba

Fat Tuesday at Amoeba

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