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.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Two bedroom in Lafayette or two bedroom in Kaplan
Sennond trunk show at kiki
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thursday’s explosion aboard an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico is now under investigation by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
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Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Four hours after inviting supporters to a rally with Sen. Marco Rubio, Bill Cassidy claimed that Mary Landrieu “voted against stopping executive amnesty.”
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
Money from the first and only settlement so far in a Louisiana flood board's lawsuit against dozens of energy companies will be placed in a special account dedicated to coastal restoration.
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The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
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With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
BP is heading to a federal appeals court in its effort to oust the administrator of damage settlement claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.
It was only a few months ago when the LPSB held the school system’s purse strings with a death grip, but oh how board President Hunter Beasley's demeanor seems to be changing with the ouster of Superintendent Pat Cooper.
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