The only paid job I had while “living” in New Orleans was a one-night gig for a band I’d met earlier that day. For three hours and the promise of sixty dollars I yelled FANCY MUSIC, FANCY DRINKS, COME ON IN LADIES AND GENTLEMEN over and over. At the end of the night after getting stiffed half the pay and charged for drinks, I left the barking industry with a small shred of dignity. I know I was avoiding life by running into the arms of the Crescent City and I have no shame or regret about that. The short time I spent in New Orleans taught me many things about myself and the world but most of all about celebrating the experience of life no matter how hard that can be. The strength of the human spirit is alive and well in New Orleans along with many pieces of my trumpet-loving heart.
Yesterday marked the beginning of Carnival and I am sad to be in California. Carnival in New Orleans is a magical month that drags you into it no matter who you are. The spirit of the city is always alive but never like it is from Twelfth Night until Mardi Gras and for at least a month after. During this time of year, I can’t imagine being anywhere else than crowded behind a barrier, rushing out into the street between floats to hoard parade swag. And yet, here I am in Lodi sorting through pictures and overplaying (if it’s possible) the Mardi Gras playlist I made to get in the spirit of things.
In honor of the season, here’s some of my favorite Mardi Gras-related(ish) music to keep you dancing through the day. Slow down, stay loose!