crawfish fest 2006

michael arnone's seventeenth annual crawfish fest
june 3 and 4
sussex county fairgrounds
new orleans and louisiana music/food festival


genius of the week

john henry bonham

Describing the style of John Bonham's drumming instantly conjurs up visions of the thunderous power he created. His contributions to rock music were revolutionary, and his talent unmatched and irreplaceable. You can only imagine Jimmy Page's reaction to first seeing him in 1968, ending his search for a new drummer to form a new band, the New Yardbirds (later renamed Led Zeppelin.)

A childhood friend of Robert Plant, they played together in the 'Band of Joy', resulting in local gigs and a few studio demos. At first, Bonham was reluctant to join the well-known guitarist because of a steady gig with Tim Rose. But... the rest of history...
As John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have all stated many times, Led Zeppelin wouldn't have been half as good without him. Along with JPJ, they provided the solid foundation and backbone of the band, which made it all possible. Live performances truly showcased his abilities during the numerous improvised jams throughout every concert and of course his famous "Moby Dick" drum solo; reaching a half-hour in length at times! Immitators are usually left frustrated, since Bonham made it look so easy - not only in his playing but also in the incredible drum sound he acheived. His legendary right foot (on his bass pedal) and lightning-fast triplets were his instant trademark. He later refined his style from the hard skin-bashing approach to a more delicate wrist controlled one - which produced an even more powerful & louder sound with less effort.


senor wences

Senor Wences, was a master ventriloquist who delighted "Ed Sullivan Show'' audiences with his puppet-head-in-a-box, Pedro, and his falsetto-voiced hand-puppet, Johnny.

During the Golden Age of television, the Spanish-born Wences, whose real name was Wenceslao Moreno, bickered and bantered with his puppets while he drank, smoked and juggled.

His character Pedro was a gravel-voiced head in a box, born out of necessity when Mr. Moreno's ventriloquist's dummy was accidentally damaged and only the head was spared. He created Johnny by scrunching up his fist, drawing a mouth where thumb and index finger met and draping a blond wig over the top.

Mr. Moreno would talk to his puppets with his face right in theirs, as if daring the audience to watch his lips, which, of course, never moved. He would stuff a hankie in Johnny's mouth and have the puppet speak with a muffled voice while he himself smoked a cigarette. Then he would give Johnny a drag, and the puppet -- that is, Mr. Moreno's hand -- would somehow emit perfect smoke rings. There were no jokes, just what one writer has described as "bizarre, farcical, Spanish-accented patter."


album of the week

sing me back home
the new orleans social club

Six weeks after Hurricane Katrina, a group of legendary musicians from New Orleans gathered in Austin, TX, to record SING ME BACK HOME. Over seven magical days and nights, THE NEW ORLEANS SOCIAL CLUB was born. The collection features performances by members of The Neville Brothers (Ivan, Cyril and Charles), The Meters (Leo Nocentelli and George Porter, Jr.), Raymond Weber & Henry Butler. They are joined by their friends and neighbors Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Dr. John, Willie Tee, Troy (Trombone Shorty) Andrews, the subdudes, the Mighty Chariots of Fire, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and John Boutté.


best of friends

many thanks to mr. danomyte for informing me of this one:
best of friends: r. buckminster fuller and isamu noguchi
The conceptual basis for the exhibition “Best of Friends” will be to document through text, sculptures, photographs, drawings and models the close friendship and shared values of R. Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi. Each in his own way was dedicated to improving the lot of the common man, to enhancing and encouraging the development of individual initiative and to raising his appreciation and awareness of the role of the individual in society.


genius of the week

jane jacobs

Jane Jacobs, was an American-born Canadian writer and activist. She is best known for The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), a powerful critique of the urban renewal policies of the 1950s in the United States. The book has been credited with reaching beyond planning issues to influence the spirit of the times. "Jacobs came down firmly on the side of spontaneous inventiveness of individuals, as against abstract plans imposed by governments and corporations," wrote Canadian critic Robert Fulford. She was an unlikely intellectual warrior, a theorist who opposed most theories, a teacher with no teaching job and no university degree, a writer who wrote well but infrequently.

Jane Butzner was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to a Jewish family in that overwhelmingly ethnic Catholic city, the daughter of a doctor and a former school teacher and nurse. After graduating from high school, she took an unpaid position as the assistant to the women's page editor at the Scranton Tribune. A year later, in the middle of the Great Depression, she left Scranton for New York City.

During her first several years in the city she held a variety of jobs, working mainly as a stenographer and freelance writer, often writing about working districts in the city. These experiences, she claims, "...gave me more of a notion of what was going on in the city and what business was like, what work was like." While working for the Office of War Information she met an architect named Robert Hyde Jacobs — her future husband.

She studied at Columbia University in the School of General Studies for two years, taking courses in geology, zoology, law, political science, and economics.

Opposing expressways and supporting neighborhoods were common themes in her life. In 1962, she was chairman of the Joint Committee to Stop the Lower Manhattan Expressway, when the downtown expressway plan was killed. She was again involved in stopping the Lower Manhattan Expressway, and was arrested during a demonstration on April 10, 1968. Jacobs opposed Robert Moses, who had already forced through the Cross-Bronx Expressway and other motorways against neighborhood opposition. A PBS documentary series on New York's history devoted a full hour of its fourteen-hour length strictly to the battle between Moses and Jacobs.
urban studies (2004 article in the new yorker)



brooklyn, ny

the admiral likes very much...give them a look see.


album of the week

let's start back with one that really hits:

james brown

1. There It Is (Live)
2. She's The One
3. Since You Been Gone
4. Untitled Instrumental
5. Say It Loud (Say It Live)
6. Can I Get Some Help (Unedited)
7. You Got To Have A Mother For Me
8. Funk Bomb (Instrumental)
9. Baby Here I Come
10. People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul (Remix)
11. I Got Ants In My Pants (And I Want To Dance) (Remix)
12. You've Changed
13. Bodyheat (Alternate Mix)

James Brown's most groundbreaking period, 1968-72 or so, has always been a little under-appreciated and the world is still learning how important his work at that time truly was. Of course, during these years James was almost single-handedly inventing funk, with some of the most relentless and tightest bands the world has ever seen. Even the unreleased outtakes were still extremely influential to large chunks of the music world. This is a remastered reissue of a compilation that was put together in 1988, which in turn collected outtakes from the funk years. Here we can see the building blocks of all funk to come, as later musicians built entire empires on the ideas that James starts here.


mr. wilkins?

much like our friend here above, i have been quite up in the air, and feeling a bit overworked as of late. many projects at once, much to do, buying a co-op, all these things which have fully distracted me from my duties to troll my various inputs and senses for ideas-adventures-ramblings-absurdity that i deem necessary to report to you. i am hoping to overcome this busy phase of my life, and return somewhat to the not so important things that i enjoy so much. let me take a look and see what may be on the way in the year 2105.......


a sighting perhaps?

the admiral will be back soon....i promise!