Tag Archives: New Orleans

Goodbye Blue Monday (Brooklyn, New York)

By Steve Trimboli

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Thought and Memory on our sidewalk, MAKE MUSIC NEW YORK 2010


this past monday afternoon had a three-hour open window in my day and if you know me, you know exactly what i did with that time.
hint-hint.

i’ve been engulfed in the gulf. i can’t stop watching ongoing developments just as i couldn’t stop watching those jets fly into those buildings back then.
i call it “trainwreck mystification.”

the week it happened, sixty-five-plus days ago, i told a friend that this was going to be bigger than the twin towers because it will play out to be mass murder on a decades-long scale by white guys with a smart logo and thousand-dollar suits who speak our language – sorry scared white guys, it’s a bunch of your own this time and i’m wondering how you’ll justify this horror, but i know you’ll have no problem – and if anyone thinks human loss is more precious than the things around us, think again.
murder (or manslaughter) is a crime, whether driven by political ideology, greed or contempt.
humanity’s sense of entitlement knows no bounds.
that’s at the core of religion, but that’s just an opinion.
i have plenty.
three thousand people died on september 11th and thousands more will have gotten their lives shortened by their selflessness for pitching in and caring about what happened.
there’s a lot of wheezing going on around NYC as a result of that day.
in the gulf, miraculously, only eleven people died on the Deepwater Horizon on april 20th, which was horrible because of the arrogance of that corporation – but the overwhelming promise of long-term tragedy will, over time, eclipse the trade center numbers.
if i owned a farm, i’d bet it.
which brings to mind…. april 20th…. isn’t that hitler’s birthday? you mean there’s no white-trash supremacists out there toasting or trying to secure a link between the black president’s agenda, the führer’s dreams for the schwarzcommanders as spoken of in pynchon’s “gravity’s rainbow“….. (or was that “V”)?
if you let them sit side by side on a shelf in your own mind for thirty-odd years, it becomes one big book.
everything becomes one-big-book.
maybe it’s time to revisit those titles again so i could drop pynchon’s name with focused certainty.
….or would hitler’s birthday cause tea party conservative confusion – whether to bury the president or praise him……

but i digress.
i was somewhere about crime and punishment (or the lack thereof).
i was somewhere, skirting the oily shores of corporate crime, moral hazard and the first meeting i had with that grifting lizard who looks like omar sharif and sounds like eduardo ciannelli, in months and months, who, this day, had in tow the suit of ayn rand, the author of the biggest, longest-running comedy on mars, “atlas shrugged,” the book written by the lizard who made a meal and suit out of ayn rand when she signed the hollywood deal for “the fountainhead,” got a big check and was gobbled up – literally – in 1955.
the lizard who wore ayn rand wrote “atlas shrugged,” in addition to being hilarious on their planet, was taken as gospel by many faithful on earth, spurring a movement that would be co-opted, corrupted, conned, fattened and devoured by the lizards who live life no differently from ginger rogers, who once told me this;
“a girl’s gotta eat.”
that lizard guy (the one who sounds like eduardo ciannelli and looks like omar sharif) told me last year that they’re still getting tremendous mileage (or tonnage….i think it was tonnage) out of “atlas shrugged” and the humans who buy into it.
he then made a point of telling me, “wait till that angelina jolie plays dagny taggart – it’s gonna be a feeding-frenzy in lizard-land, you betcha,”
…..but i’ve drifted way off base.

the point being, humanity means as much to that lizard guy (you know the one i’m talking about) as a can of starkist tuna means to you. speaking of tuna, you might notice a spike in tuna futures soon, what with the big Oops down there.
i wonder if there are tuna futures. i wonder if tuna HAS a future.
probably as much of a future as we have.
p.s. – i don’t think we have a future, or at least, i don’t think humanity deserves one.

if this is your first visit here, it’s all about the food chain.
if you still don’t know what i’m talking about, google “the grifting lizards from mars,” or hit these two links;
hi-dee hi-dee ho addresses more of what i’m talking about, but ken lay; martian lizard is the genesis of this balderdash.
there are mountains of hubbub between then and now.

i’m writing this to be offered in a friend’s blog about “the underground” (whatever that means these days) and by virtue of the fact that goodbye blue monday is remote enough to maintain such underground-ness for five-plus years (more or less).
for us, mainstream could signal failure.
why travel way out here for the same shit you can get at your local pub?
i’d prefer to fail doing something….”other than.”
goodbye blue monday is “other than.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

i won’t write much about this place because i am genetically disposed to automatically having it become a pitch for money, performance gear, kitchen equipment and just as recent as today, a free or really cheap car.
there, i did it.
i also can’t help grinning at the term “underground” because as i write this i am preparing to post it onto an open source information clusterfuck of word and imagery, not that “underground” isn’t valid.
i just tend to think that the whereabouts of osama bin-laden is “underground.”
and subway systems are “underground.”
besides, how “underground” are you once you’ve made it into Vogue Italia? (we made it last october)

i was interviewed by an documentarian a couple of weeks back.
at one point she asked me if i was an original-equipment new yorker;
if i was born and raised here – and when i replied “yes,” my plumage sprouted wondrous colors and rays of light sparkled and glimmered on and around me in the afternoon sun.
“there’s plenty of us,” i said.
i explained that i didn’t ride up the empire state building’s elevator until 1984 when i was thirty (laughing uproariously with a headful of acid) – but i DID have lunch on the 82nd floor of the unfinished, un-windowed twin towers when i worked at 90 west street in 1974 when i was twenty.
do you know what i’m saying?
that was being a new yorker, i guess, back then.
….and as our interview went on, she asked me about my experience with the music and art scene in NYC.
so as not to offer spoiler alerts, i’ll say that i’ve been part of the bar and club scene that stretches from the late 60’s, through disco, punk and whatever else that is or was up to now and because i believed i had/have an artistic bent, i did “art” and continue to do so, though i have no documentation other than the things i’ve done and continue to do.

i never read “on the road”, but i imagine it had to do with being young, indestructible (seemingly, until otherwise proven), eternal (ditto), rebellious (double-ditto), passionate (ditto squared) and maybe self-centered (“pi” times ditto to the third power).
my “road” book was “fear and loathing in las vegas” and more accurately for me, “screaming bloodily down the highway of oblivion,” the title (that i just made up) of my own book that no one wants but is available in fits and starts on my blog and at myspace.com/scrapbar.

……so the conversation with the documentarians went on, centering on why i did what i did in bushwick and my answer was “i just did,” and quickly added that there’s no place where anyone can “begin” anymore.
i took them to the backyard and showed them “the other stage” where we do acoustic, electronic and experimental music and films.

i told them that here at goodbye blue monday there is no 22-year-old numbnut passing judgement on anyone’s musical statement or artistic direction when they ask to perform.
that we simply say “yes.”
….that my only hope is performers show they care by inviting a few friends to support the house.
i understand the limitations of nyc venues. i’m not knocking them.
they can’t do what we do anymore and haven’t been able to in decades. that they have to shuffle bands in and out, get door-counts and charges, and even steal a percentage of people’s merch and more.
new york city can’t afford to be creative unless you’re connected with a group of swells or have dad’s black american express card tattooed to your bank account, and even then the deck is generally stacked by PR and shmoozer’s professionale.
this isn’t an indictment, it’s just the way it is.
the village voice voted us the best place for new music and performance in 2007. six months later i was in their offices, arguing.
i asked them why they didn’t ever list the shows we did here on their calendar – ever – and was told that “editorial” didn’t believe anyone who played here “mattered.”
i explained that i even ADVERTISED with them.
it didn’t matter.
there was a new issue of the voice laying open on a table in front of us and my eyes were drawn to an ad for a show sponsored by “the fillmore at irving plaza (whatever the fuck THAT means) and the village voice.”
there was a list of six musical acts slated for this show. i pointed at the ad and said, “what? i have to have names like these to get a rise out of those douchebags in editorial?”
and the person i was arguing with looked down and said, “well… yes.”
and i pointed at three of these names and stated with strong certainty that these bands all played on my stage over a year ago.
“so what we’re saying here is once it matters to you, it matters. it doesn’t matter that they may have cut their teeth in my stage, you shit!”
i stopped advertising with them.
and that’s what the music scene is in new york city.
last week, three years later, i was informed that village voice editorial has decided to list us in their calendar.
this was followed by a pitch to start advertising with them.
whatever…..
don’t eat the brown acid – it’s really little pebbles of ka-ka.

in 1985, allen ginsberg walked down into a bar i was building at 116 macdougal street and asked me “do you know where you are?” and before i could offer my wiseass reply, he excitedly told me the history of the place, it being the original “village gaslight.”
he told me about dave van ronk and careers started from bob dylan to bill cosby and loads of other stuff.
it excited him to pour his past out and lay it on the same floor i was currently using to spray six-foot flourescent light tubes with day-glo blue krylon paint.
i would later learn that “cafe wha” – across the street – ran an open stage every day with booked acts at night and everyone worked “the hat.”
was this in my mind when i began out here in bushwick?
i don’t think so.
i’m not very good on “plans” and maybe that’s not a good thing, but no one i knew was running their businesses with slide rules and graph paper when i was a kid, though i admit i wasn’t looking.
me and math never got along, anyway.
i told the documentarians that now is more punk than ever, that the gradual dissolution of the recording industry as i knew it was a good thing and that i never lived in a time of such startling creativity.
i also qualified this by saying that it’s just an opinion by “a musically-challenged writer with a short attention-span who did way too much of whatever he could get his hands on for far too long a time.”
that would be me.

i prefer to talk about near and dead-death experiences, my extraordinary friend’s rendezvous with my late, sainted-irish mother whom she never knew till they chatted briefly on the corner of Eternity boulevard and Hallelujah avenue;
….the “gulf-coast oil window” and when it will despoil the beach where me, maxx (my dog), the giant tire i befriended some years ago and those lizard people i keep mentioning meet on an almost weekly basis and where i can get a clean shot at “the eighth-electro-plasma-ocean of the ninth dimension” where i mingle with the comings and goings of everyone who ever came or went, who matter and anti-matter and who i hold, will hold or ever held in my electronic sputterings near, dear and otherwise to me.

instead of this, i can tell you about our booking policies, backline list and cheese you with goodbye blue monday’s history, but if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s on the website/blog.

see this thing just below here?

nuclear missiles used to be mounted on these things as they waiting and waited for something to happen.
i live my life waiting for something to happen.
it always does.

Location In Brooklyn

Goodbye Blue Monday
1087 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11221-3013

(718) 453-6343
www.goodbye-blue-monday.com

Bands Featured

Thought and Memory
www.myspace.com/thoughtandmemorymusic


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New Orleans, Louisiana

The Big Sleazy in My Eye

By Robin Attwood

Photos by Horatio Baltz

From within the garden party sang merry voices and calls of joy between people young and bright, with music in their blood. The table was smeared in melted ice, and a spilt bowl of hummus and salad drooped off one edge. Beneath it, Sula the dog awaited hungrily with soppy smacking chops. Joey was singing a song from beneath the yard’s green umbrella: “Beer and whiskey and wild, wild women!”. He reeked of pot and floated nakedly over his guitar, while Badonna handed out parting gifts labeled A Hallmark Moment. This was the going away party for a few friends and myself on our way to New York and then on to Europe.

The spinning flies finally left our saucy plates, as Sarah placed scented tea candles around the outside living room. The scene was lit with white Christmas lights hanging from the branches of trees, illuminating all from the dining table to the large green umbrella over Joey. Every forehead was sweating great beads of salt in the humidity. This day it had been 104 degrees and typically the humidity lingered at 90 percet. My pal Ryan was losing his mind, his eyes spinning, nonsense rambling, mumbling in a guttural tone to himself, yet engaging others in a somewhat sensible conversation on his side of the wooden bench we sat at.

He finally got a job again, now working for Emeril’s chef company uptown, and in so doing had to break up a dog fight during his interview. And for one reason or another he decided to get wasted immediately afterwards. When I swung by his place earlier in the day to drop off my suitcase full of books and instruments, he wasn’t in his usual garb of tattered clothes, a shirt with a transgender on a cross labeled Jesus, or his three year old gray converse. No, today Ryan wore a white chef’s smock and black satin pants and a wide grinning smile that stretched to his shoulders, as if he were the Sheik of Araby. It was an hour or two after this that I met up with him at the garden party in the upper ninth ward – he was still just as creepy and grinning wildly like before… my friend Ryan.

A few weeks ago, Ryan and a fellow I met a number of years before, who was visiting New Orleans on his way up to Georgia, were asked to paint a mural on either side of a van. It was a long white box van, shiny and asking for detail. I never saw the finished pictures, so Ryan gave Chris, the owner, a call to come over to the France street house and show it to us. Ryan and I waited in the lamp lit street across from a red brick apartment complex filled with crack heads and screaming children. But tonight, most were quiet on the block of France and Urquart Street, which can make a person’s skin crawl, pinch up like a cat’s back, and make you aware of every slight noise in every direction for miles and miles of the sprawling New Orleans Ghetto. Eventually a small grey Ford came tumbling over the block’s pot holes, and I recognized Chris’ genuine smile and tall approach of innocence. There was a girl beside him smoking a cigarette, puffing on the tedious bit of tobacco left before the butt. She eyed James and I up and down as if we were to be hung…. And then, she cracked a witty grin introducing herself as Laura from New Jersey. I could tell she had an East Coast accent with a large hook nose and a Sinatra like face. Laura was classic and I needed to find out if she had anything to do with Chris.

Turned out Chris had misunderstood Ryan’s message about bringing his white van with the mural on it. Ryan was not stoked, as he put it himself. We walked back inside the garden pushing open the wooden fence of the property, entering through the back and tip toeing over my friend’s garden beds. I handed out the rest of our Schlitz from the freezer and popped the cork of my wine bottle, sharing it with some others cross legged on a plank of wood near the house. Not long after, Ryan stood up proposing we leave to the St. Roch Tavern and pillage a few pitchers, and in doing so, get as fucked up as possible, continuing our evening romping about the neighborhood dives.

The St. Roch Tavern lies in the 8th ward neighborhood, one block away from Music Street and two blocks away from Arts Street, resting comely on the corner of Mirais and St. Roch Avenue. It’s fun enough. Some nights there are special deals on drinks, like Cheap Pitcher Night, or on Saturday it is bounce night, when DJ Rusty Lazer plays New Orleans’ favorite hot jams. I prefer the local Abita Turbo Dog to all the rest on tap, which is mostly piss beer in a cup. All of the young punks, weirdos, travelers passing through town, and other creative folk come here. It’s probably one of the better known dives for travelers to come to in the country. It’s the real thing! Fights break out all the time, you’ll see scores of gambling tables in the wintertime, and outside across the street there is an art gallery open from time to time. Not the place you want to go if you’re avoiding the scene, but on the nights when you’re up to it, the St. Roch Tavern can be a great way to begin the evening. To your right in the front is a small seating area devoted to the St. Roch Café, which is more or less a restaurant serving typical bar food like burritos, hot dogs, nachos and cheese fries. Towards the back is a small square stage with a carpet on top of it. All types of music can be heard here. Anything from a shitty old time band to a local soul group, or some mix of circus and performance art with an Eastern European flare. Also in the back is a pool table, janky, but it’s got all its balls unlike the old hang out, The John.

Before there was St. Roch Tavern there was a crusty dive at the bottom of the Frenchman Street strip called The John. It used to be the spot, until the management replaced the pool table in back with a ping pong table. It was also the place to find your guy you’d been waiting on around the corner. But all has changed. However, The John is still known for its stiff drinks, smoky red lit atmosphere and toilet bowl shaped seats. The bartenders use Mason jars filled near to the brim, no kidding, with alcohol and just the top of the drink is touched by mixer. I do have to warn you about the John. My friend has developed two ulcers in the past year from drinking their whiskey sours. You can find this smoky oasis on the corner of Frenchman and Burgundy Street just outside the French Quarter.

Ryan really wanted to find some pot for the tumbling evening ensuing, and sure enough after we hit the tavern I bought some from a friend of mine at Mimi’s in the Marigny. Before all this and two pitchers of dark Abita, watching the punks, the crust lords and neon lights glow to a dark and doomy jukebox – a mix of metal and Motown – I talked my friend Carrie, who had been sitting at the bar, into driving back to her place so I could pick up some aderall. Carrie used to study at Oberland in Ohio and ended up becoming the largest scammer of aderall there. She made a wicked living off of it. She is full jewish and knows how to handle money and people well – her honesty is a useful tool. I bought a few orange pills from her and so did Laura. Ryan was out of his mind as he and I began crushing the orange pills into powder, and then railing it up our noses with a twisted dollar that had been laying on the living room table. Laura was going to save hers and stand back, as Chris smiled his beaming happiness all over the night, and Carrie waited for us with beautiful drooping eyelids and a bright full mouth among a head full of black curls. After this we left soon, dropping Carrie back off at the tavern. I gave her a big smooch yelling goodbye, and then someone brought up the idea of paying a visit to the bar Mimi’s.

Jessy Carolina, New Orleans


Mimi’s is a great neighborhood red-lit dive with a pool table and dartboard downstairs, a gourmet restaurant upstairs and a haunted floor of wood you can stomp and shake a leg on. Once we got there I bought Laura a Highlife, fairly cheap for how cheap it is and how cheap this town really is: two dollars plus tip. I remembered it was a Monday, and that my friend’s brass band was playing upstairs. Every Monday before Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns play, my buddy Peter and a girl Miya teach swing dance lessons in lieu of Meschiya’s band at ten o’clock. The Little Big Horns are a revolving group of great musicians, with great senses of humor, that spin in and out of many other traditional jazz bands in town. Playing everywhere from Frenchman Street to Bourbon Street, these musicians work hard around town every night to spread an age of American music well forgotten into the 21st century.

The four of us walked upstairs and found a table, and then sat down to polish off our cold drinks. We got there right in time to catch the last song of the second set. As the Big Horns dismantled I walked up to my friend Steve, who plays a steady washboard, and asked him where I could get some pot. His slicked back hair and bristly black moustache glistened in the dim lamp near us towards the back window. While Steve motioned us outside and down the stair well, I noticed he had a cuff of tattoos wrapped around both his ankles above a pair of cream colored Dixie stomping shoes. Outside we passed around a one hitter and talked percussion history with our buddy Christopher Sax. We’re all stoners, us musicians, and the rhythm only gets worse the more we’re unable to pay attention to time and space – or anything. But all in all, nothing beats a joint and the writhing groove of splash and brass, with Meschiya’s voice of melting butter in the crackle of her ageless microphone.

We listened to their last set, and before Steve left I asked what he was doing after the show. He said going back to smoke at his place, which turned out to be the childhood home of a great jazz composer by the name of Jelly Roll Morton. By the time the group had finished their pints, Steve and Chris Sax had already left. But I had been to the Jelly Roll house in January, with a blues musician and a minstrel and a house full of swing dancers, so I remembered very well how to get there. It was in the ghetto, of course, of the seventh ward. Down Frenchman Street, past St. Claude Avenue, almost to North Claiborne Street, Jelly Roll’s home has been preserved in its red brick painted ambiance on the corner of two streets crossing. The four of us walked in, and I saw tattered brass instruments tacked onto the walls, old posters of dance nights from Los Angeles to Istanbul, 78 RPM records glorified in frame and a number of worn through washboards hanging by the stairwell in the back of the Shotgun home. Steve and I got into it about washboard players, seeing as I am one myself, and started poking videos to play online on his glistening bright laptop. While passing around weed, weed and more weed.

By this time, night was beginning to crawl into morning and the others we’d come with wanted to go home. Chris and Laura dropped Ryan and I off in the Marigny outside his house on Spain and Chartres Street. As barges pushed silently the world’s industry along the river, seagulls flew over head and a train sang along the tracks in the distance between the Marigny and ninth ward, awakening the beginning of another day at the port along the Mississippi.

Ryan and I were talking completely incoherent to each other now, sitting in his living room contemplating the last orange pill, and then decided it was my last night in town and we had better do it all for satisfaction’s sake. Ryan’s house is a two room shotgun of wood floor and decorated walls covered with his charcoal and oil pastel paintings. A number of his photographs taken in New York and Georgia hung on the wall in strange display. The faces and actions of old friends hung like psychedelic trips captured and put up for show. It was just another evening gone wry with beer in our belly and a number of joints to the head. We were lucky Ryan’s girlfriend decided to spend the evening uptown so we had the place to ourselves. Although we railed that one last aderall, I passed out shortly after, as Ryan described something silly to me in his mumbles.

There are many beautiful sights to this city and all its neighborhoods, hung in deep vine and sooty dampness, cobblestone paths and lamp lit buildings, but there is a reality as well, one in which the passing tourists from around the world never gets to see. When you’re all fucked up from Bourbon Street, and all you know about this city is what you saw in the French Quarter and what you heard from the historic buggy rides – it is nothing like what this town is actually like. Bourbon Street, the heralded walk of booze, strippers and shitty Zydeco music, is incredibly expensive. Along Bourbon many of the clubs sell what are called Hurricanes and Grenades, which are essentially bright neon colored mugs of alcohol and toxins whose soul purpose is to make money and waste away people’s vacation stays in the Quarter. Families, I do not recommend bringing your children down Bourbon Street. It is a horrible place full of idiots and sour mornings.

I do have to say, living down here is joy, perilous joy, inspiring and lots of work. Neighborhoods are rough, the bars are full of drunk punks and interesting artists, but something haunts this city. As if in the humid air there breathes both life and death. I would say that a fine line exists sharper in this city than anywhere else. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina still lingers about like a weed that can’t be pulled, and the history of this city’s poverty cries out so loud it breaks a person just to visit.

When I awoke later that day, it was ten o’clock or so. I found Ryan sitting up in the corner of his bed stroking his two cats, shaking slightly kind of frantic with a look of wild space in his dry eyes. I guess he hadn’t gotten any sleep and was waiting on his girlfriend to come home and take care of him. I nodded, understanding what a fucked up evening we had had and left through the front door, unlocked my bike along side the neighbor’s fence, and left. New Orleans is such a seedy place and a reality with no rules but to party. At this hour of the morning there is a real innocence to the Big Sleazy, as if the night before had never happened, or was now just another wounded bout of lust.

Locations in New Orleans

St. Roch Tavern
1200 Saint Roch Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117-8305

(504) 945-0194‎
Google Maps

The John
2040 Burgundy Street
New Orleans, LA‎

(504) 942-7159
Google Maps

Mimi’s
2601 Royal Street
New Orleans

(504) 872-9868
http://www.myspace.com/mimisinthemarigny

Music Featured

DJ Rusty Lazer
http://www.rustylazer.com

Meschiya Lake
http://www.myspace.com/meschiyalake

The Little Big Horns