Festival Madness

May 10, 2012

In the past month, we've been to the French Quarter Festival, the Baton Rouge Blues Festival/Earth Day (briefly), Lafayette's Festival International, and in the only paying appearance, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Have some questions about who to see live? Theskinnyonbenny family can give you a couple of clues.

At Jazz Fest last week, Mrs. theskinnyonbenny came up with the idea for the Jazz Fest Julep: buy a mint-flavored sno-ball, add smuggled in whiskey. It's actually pretty good. Not as good as a real mint julep, but a long, long bit better than the canned Miller Lite that you can buy at the tents.

A Jazz Fest Julep

The smuggled in whiskey is a piece of cake when you're traveling with a baby. Suff it in a bag covered with bibs and diapers and other random baby shit, then tuck that at the bottom of the stroller, where it's a pain to get to anyway. They didn't even bother checking in there.

The funniest part of that is that Mrs. theskinnyonbenny left a half-drank bottle of Makers Mark in the bottom of the diaper bag, and then left the diaper bag in her mother's car. It will look to her mother like it's in there for the occasional belt while watching the kids at the park. And if she notices it's there, and if she asks about it, I'm totally pretending that it's news to me.

The big act that we caught at Jazz Fest was Florence and the Machine. The family enjoyed the show, but I was -- and I continue to be -- bitter that she didn't do "Kiss with a Fist." It's one thing if Springsteen doesn't get to one of his hits. He has a 30 year library of tunes. Can't get to them all.

I know that "Kiss" isn't in the style of all of her other songs, but it's her best. In fact, part of my rationale for heading away from the Jimmy Buffet stage was that the average Buffet song might be better than the average tune from Flo, but none of his would be as good as "Kiss with a Fist." Listen to it without any preconceived notion about Flo's music, and you'll just think a random punk rock band came up with the perfect punk rock song. I'd post it now, but I'll save that for Music Friday this week.

When we left, Mrs. theskinnyonbenny mentioned that she hoped to find a place to eat on the way back to the car. I replied that she must have been sitting too close to a pot-smoker. No way the small little places near the Fairgrounds would have a table as 100,000 made their way out of the festival at the same time.

So of course, we get to the little Italian place on Esplanade next door to Cafe Degas, and their patio is full of empty tables.

We sat down, and through a gate at the back of their patio, we hear and kind of see a little local brass band cranking out tunes. There seemed to be a lot of people back there enjoying the show, so I took the kids back there while we waited for our food.

The video I made over there is one of my favorites. And it explains better than I ever could why I wouldn't want to live too far from New Orleans. I don't think a scene like this would happen anywhere else.