Lundi Gras is the Day, but Danny Cattan is THE Man!


Let it go! Let it Go! Let it Go!

Let it go! Let it Go! Let it Go!

When the world is coming down on me, I let it go!   –Cowboy Mouth, “Jenny Says”

As Cowboy Mouth rocked my Lundi Gras troubles away, two friends from Rocckus, Megan and Amanda from New York (where their brother Chris had already  returned), appeared out of nowhere dressed in gowns for that night’s Orpheus ball.  When it began to drizzle Amanda pulled out a poncho but Megan had forgotten hers, so I offered my jacket as I opened an umbrella in quiet admiration:  It takes dedication to rock out in the rain in evening-wear.   In return, the sisters offered a red spoon to throw during “Everybody Loves Jill” but I proudly/embarrassedly pulled out one of my own, carried from Jacksonville in hopes that Cowboy Mouth would be playing somewhere.  How about right outside my hotel?!  Thank you guardian Mardi Gras angel!

Rocckus Reunites in the Rain with Red Spoons Ready

Rocckus Reunites in the Rain with Red Spoons Ready

Soon the show came to its typical explosive conclusion with “Jenny Says,” Cowboy Mouth’s one radio hit from the mid-nineties and my introduction to the band several years before I otherwise discovered New Orleans music.  It remains their signature song, played penultimately in concert (pre-Katrina it was the final song, but the storm changed everything) by a band that understands why people continue to attend live shows in the digital age.  During this cleverly crafted bit of pop-catharsis Fred LeBlanc has fans [Read more…]

Up-Lifted At Lundi Gras (Are You WITH ME?!?!)

Monday morning I awoke for the last time in my big, comfy bed in the Hilton with a cold still clawing at my throat thanks to Saturday night’s debauchery; but I at last felt rested and filled with possibility.  Today, after all, was Lundi Gras.


Kings of Rex & Zulu Meet On a Drizzly Mardi Gras (Thus apologies for fuzzy photography!)

Kings of Rex & Zulu Meet On a Drizzly Lundi Gras

For most of its history, the day before Mardi Gras was an off-day filled with scarce activity.  In 1987, however, the King of Rex, Mardi Gras’ oldest Krewe that parades Mardi Gras morning, resumed an old tradition of arriving via boat the day before Mardi Gras.  At the same time, a journalist had stumbled on an obscure term used in a remote neighborhoods and attached it to the festivities.  Thus Lundi Gras (Fat Monday) was born and carnival season took its next quantum leap forward.  The revived arrival now took place at the gigantic Riverwalk Marketplace (what would have seemed science fiction absurdity in the early twentieth century when Rex last arrived via water) and grew into a day of concerts and festivities.  Soon King of Zulu began to meet with the King of Rex upon his arrival, though I’ve yet to stumble upon just how far back this tradition dates.  Zulu, an African-American organization born out of defiance much like the Indians, is the second-oldest marching Krewe, thus making this meeting a mildly reassuring gesture (though only mildly ’cause it feels like just that–a gesture) of racial unity during an event largely dominated by white riders wearing hoods and robed costumes (no one said Mardi Gras can’t be oddly creepy too.)  Of all these robed and hooded parade costumes, Rex’s are the most regal, but their lack of clownishness actually gives them more implied menace, and it doesn’t help that Rex’s lieutenants ride on horseback. [Read more…]