An NPR blogger was so impressed with The Blue Moon Saloon and its mainstay of young Cajun bands, he ponders whether the South Louisiana trend of younger Cajun musicians could take off in other parts of the country.
Geoffrey Himes writes in NPR’s “A Blog Supreme” that the emergence of bands like the Pine Leaf Boys, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Feufollet and the Red Stick Ramblers has sparked a revival in Cajun music that’s spread to a younger generation of locals looking for live music:
This Jazz Fest appearance was just an example of what happens at Lafayette’s Blue Moon Saloon every weekend. On the tavern’s half-covered back porch, young Cajun bands play for crowds dominated by twentysomethings going out to drink and dance on a Saturday night — not Baby Boomers looking for exotic culture and aerobic exercise.
As a result, Cajun music has shaken off its museum dust and returned to its origins as social music. It’s become more muscular to keep its young audience on the dance floor, and has embraced new songwriting and modern influences to keep those kids coming back. It’s a culture that’s no longer just preserving its past, but also redefining its present.
While backstage at Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Himes asked Wilson Savoy, son of Cajun icons Marc and Ann Savoy, his thoughts on the potential for these young Cajun bands to join other genres of string bands in attracting much larger audiences across state lines. Savoy says the Cajun French dialect and the accordion are two reasons why the local scene could be less appealing to outsiders, but also adds that the accordion is one instrument that draws dancers to the floor at out-of-state venues:
Young people in Lafayette are used to hearing Cajun French; many of them even make a point of speaking it the way kids in other cities use rap slang — as a way to separate themselves from mainstream culture. But kids in other cities can find it a barrier.
“If you kick off a song with fiddle, the dancers hang back to see what’s going to happen,” he says. “But once the accordion jumps in, the dancers are right there. And that’s as true in Austin or North Carolina as it is in Lafayette. When we play in places like that, we find an audience that’s attuned to any music that comes out of a distinctive culture. Even if they didn’t grow up in that culture, they can tell if the music is real or fake.”
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AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
JUN 29 This bizarre story from the Advocate on the shooting of a Baton Rouge television personality reads like the script of a soap opera - but not a good one. The allegations against him include sexual abuse of children, including the alleged shooter, and a sham immigration marriage involving his own daughter. The other side? He was a chaplin for the Sheriff's Office in Baton Rouge and preached in a local church.
AUG 29 Here's a story from CBS News about a killer amoeba found in the water system of St. John the Baptist Parish. The story made all three networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) as well as Fox "News," although they have not yet found out how it is Obama's fault. Seriously, the good news is that so far officials know of no one sickened by the water.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 Blogger Bob Mann comments here upon Governor Bobby Jindal's federal lawsuit about Common Core. Mann calls it a "thinly veiled campaign document" and that might be the nicest thing he says in this post. Most troubling for Jindal and his aspirations, Mann has unearthed what Bobby said just a few years ago when he first decided to shove Common Core down our throats.
AUG 29 Blogger Tom Aswell has several developments here related to the so-called Edmonson amendment. The most entertaining one is possibly Tom's acknowledgement that a State Police official is (allegedly) calling the bloggers covering the story some colorful names. Listen up, cowboy: You really think two veterans like Tom Aswell and CB Forgotston care if you call them idiots?
AUG 29 Gotta love those journalists who write something with the enthusiasm that implies they're the first one to figure something out. Mostly, they're not. This is one of those times; the post on Slate Magazine says that Bobby Jindal's Common Core lawsuit is a political stunt. Well - Duh.
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
AUG 28 As the controversy surrounding the Office of Group Benefits intensifies, blogger Tom Aswell gives us some background on the current problems. The OGB, which handles health insurance for current and retired state employees, is deep in the red since it was privatized by Jindal, and Aswell gives us the skinny: this great plan was designed by ALEC. The company handling it? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana - a longtime member of ALEC.
AUG 28 Blogger CB Forgotston has a concept for a new reality show: the wives of the "Dork Dynasty." That's the name that some troopers have given to State Police Commander Mike Edmonson and his inner circle. The ladies CB has picked for his cast are not just housewives, however, and the connections here are pretty interesting.
AUG 28 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the strife in Ferguson in this post, and articulating what many people down south are saying. There's a fairy tale about how there's tons of racism in the South, but it's all hunky dory up North. (Really? Look again.)
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