Wednesday, May 2, 2012
After all of the hype and accolades, Festival International de Louisiane lived up to and even surpassed it all during its whirlwind tour of downtown Lafayette last week. A great mix of music, art, food and merchandise, as well as absolutely the grandest weather one could ask for, made the 26th annual event one for the record books.
For those who may have missed it, on opening night, Kristi Cornell was named the Festival Volunteer of the Year. Cornell, probably the most optimistic person you’d ever hope to meet, earned the honor after 18 years of quietly going about her duties as a volunteer in her calm manner and a ready smile.
In fact, quiet is such a trait of Cornell’s that she downplayed the honor and didn’t even want to talk about it with us. She’s that kind of person. She’s doing what she wants to do. What she loves to do. You can see it in her eyes and sense it in her spirit. That’s Kristi Cornell. Congrats to you.
Here’s a look back at Festival International:
As the Pine Leaf Boys were tearing it up on stage at Scene Chevron Heritage, there was no room for anyone to dance where people usually do — in front of the band. Seems like tired people plopped their chairs right up near the barricades to sit down and watch a Cajun band perform. To sit down and watch a rockin’ out Cajun band can be sacrilegious in some circles and krewes. Little heads up here, ya’ll. That’s not a violin, it’s a fiddle. Scene Chevron Heritage ain’t Carnegie Hall, or even the Heymann Performing Arts Center — it’s a Festival International stage. Let your hair down and put your chairs up, or, if you’re tired, as some of us get to be, maybe scoot back a little so the folks can dance.
Kumpa’nia, a choreographed percussion ensemble from Quebec, was decked out in red (on Friday, anyway) and executed its shows with wit, rhythm and humor.
Beats Antiques. In a word: Wow. Wow. Wow. OK, that’s three words, but you get the point.
Pedrito Martinez Group displayed surprising sound considering the lack of a brass section usually accompanying music from Cuba.
Gary Clark Jr. showed that American rock is alive and well.
Khaira Arby and her lovely voice lived up to all expectations. A Festival treat to be sure.
Chico Trujillo did what it does best and with tons of energy, fun and zest.
Lindigo brought back the sounds, memories and energy of Festivals past.
Question: Why the hell would anyone bring a puppy, dog or any pet for that matter to Festival? Please people, for dog’s sake, leave the animal at home.
Michael Juan Nunez & the American Electric were just that — electric. You could run on the power and vibe the band exuded throughout the rest of the day.
FIGHTs — Total Indie pop combined with youthful exuberance that came across just as it was billed. Shades of Givers?
Over at Scene Chevy des Jeunes, Naybor’s Basement showed us that the future of rock is in good hands, at least when it’s in the hands of young Louisiana musicians. In addition, Emma May’s personal songs, that certain stage presence and her sense of deprecating humor should keep her going for years to come in the singer/songwriter realm.
Texas Tornados smooth and polished Tex-Mex and flawless at that.
A little suggestion for Scene Malibu Fais Do Do. It wouldn’t hurt to put orange plastic fencing around those cement stops in the parking lot like they do on ski runs where there’s a rock or some other obstruction that could be hazardous to one’s health. It would be especially beneficial in the dark when navigating around crowds of people, strollers and chairs. The fencing doesn’t have to take up space, just basically the width and length of the cement parking-thing/hazard and about 3 feet high. It needs to be done.
Canailles — Unpretentious, energetic, fun, original, organic and delightful. A Festival favorite by multiple accounts.
|Brother Dege Photo by Robin May
After another dose of Canailles in the early Sunday afternoon sun and only a hint of the Bayou Teche’s LA 31 Route de Rock, I had to literally chill out for a couple of hours and deal with getting back my long-lost Festival legs.
Rusted Root was basically what one expects from an American band with an ear on the pulse of world music. A great way to close out Festival. Too bad it has a hang-up about photographers shooting in the pit after the first three songs. Hey, this is a Festival, not a gig.
Business organizations opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to job losses and higher prices for goods and services.
An attempt to repeal a six-year-old law that permits public school science teachers to use material outside a classroom's adopted textbook has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
New York Times poll shows Obama, Jindal have identical approval and disapproval ratings in the state.
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Lisa Boudreaux come and get your goodies.
OK, so they’re bentgrass, the type used on golf course greens. But grass is grass.
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The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday, despite opponents who argued it would shut down the storefront lenders.
A measure to allow the state to implement its own, less stringent plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions unanimously passed the Senate.
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A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
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It’s on, y’all. Fest fIND, our annual Festival International de Louisiana reader contest, is now accepting photo submissions.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
Fashion and music make great bedfellows
Producers, manufacturers, restaurants and chefs host roundtable and tasting
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
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Don't forget: our annual Festival International contest begins Thursday! Win. Cool. Stuff.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.