Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I've always enjoyed seeing an artist perform in her or his own hometown. In their own house, even better! Quintron and Miss Pussycat in the ground floor of their home in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, have the Spellcaster Lodge. It's a legit venue with a bar, bathrooms, soundsystem, DJ booth, Quintron's organ set up, and a stage. It had to be repaired after Katrina and Rita, now looking sharper than ever (the rest of the, what looked damaged at this time last year still looks damaged, the cars at least seemed to have been cleared from under the overpasses). Quintron acted on this night as MC, DJ, soundman, performer, and marching band leader (more on that later).

After the Endymion parade ended(which had the likes of Journey and Styx in their current incarnations on floats?!) it was time to head over to the Spellcaster Lodge. The theme of the event was a Maritime Ball. Hearingbone started the night off with their orchestral chamber gloom. Good stuff, not really of the party vibe, but good.

The Overnight Lows then cranked up their garage rumble. Being a cool band from Jackson, MS must, I mean you have that June and Johnny song about your town.

Then it was time for Katy Red! I never thought I'd get to see a New Orleans bounce artist at all, much less in the 9th Ward. An intergender duo preceeded her on stage with some adequate rhymes (made even better once the mic levels were corrected) and then acted as Katy's hype crew.

Katy remained fabulous throughout the brief set. The purse did not leave the forearm. After the first song Quintron had to chime in over the PA and announce that the backing cd was "too dirty" more ways than one. It was too scratched up to play, so Quintron fetched his Katy Red 12" on Take Fo records (pays to play your hometown).

Quintron and Miss Pussycat then performed their set. They focused on songs from the somewhat slept upon, yet great album Swamp Tech. "Shoplifter" is one of the greatest songs ever written, much less the greatest song about shop lifting in downtown New Orleans.

The clock was approaching 3:30am, the mirrored walls were sweaty, the room was packed with non-stop dancing and many seemed eager to gather in the street after the show for the 9th Ward Marching Band's parade to Jackson Square.

So after a four hour show, Quintron's 50 plus membered marching band was going to march in the cold at 4:30am. As the band was lining up the cops nearby didn't bat an eye, though a National Guard hummer did pull a vehicle over up the block (as if one needed a reminder that this part of New Orleans has dealt with things a bit differently over the past year and a half). Then Andre Williams comes outside!

I guess he was sleeping in the house all of this time. He was the Grand Marshall. Last year Peaches was their Grand Marshall and after they marched in the Proteus parade on Lundi Gras night (as they would this year), they played at One Eyed Jack's. So this wasn't really that new of a concept to play a show and march back to back (be it their own concocted route or in a legit Mardi Gras parade which is an honor for those involved)...although even in New Orleans a band lining up at 4:30am did get a few people to ask what the hell was going on as they drove by.

As the snare drummers gelled into a terse rimshot, off they went into the morning, the volume not really cranking up with the rest of the band until they entered the French Quarter. To be sure, certain shenanigans are easier to pull off in certain towns, so that's not really the point here. The point is you should go to New Orleans! There are plenty of things of interest going on now....the street signs are still bent out of shape, but it's not hard to get around.

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