!Viva La Resistencia! y Viva Raul Salinas!

"Jazz Hipster | Pinto | Cockroach Poet | Human Rights Activist | Xicanindio | Elder" that and much much more was Raul Salinas, sadly now departed. I'd add "street fightin' Tzadik" and "lover of the printed word" to that myself.

Now, he's gone and I can't see anyone coming up behind him to take up the banner of truth, human dignity and justice.

Find out about the man at these sites, raulsalinas.com, his wonderful bookstore, and this recent tribute. Along with the passing Clifford Antone and Doug Sahm, Austin has lost one of the strong voices that made us such a great town to live in.

!Viva La Resistencia! y Viva Raul Salinas!"


Box of Wine - Mardis Gras 2008

Hours prior to the parade leaders arrest that evening (and that's a whole other story wild related here,) the Panorama Brass Band works out a litte Ornette Coleman number for the revelers.

Note the trumpet fiddle in the hands of former NO Klezmer All Stars fiddler Rick Perles.


How do get a musician to complain?


Book him for a gig.

No really, I'm just about up to my eyeballs in all these one-time professional musicians complaining about how "I can't make a living anymore, " and "there's nothing but day-job cubicle monkeys by day,rock-stars by night" no talents clogging up the clubs, playing for free to an increasingly unsophisticated crowd of patrons who think of music simply as something you do for fun.

Well boo-hoo.

To quote director Werner Herzog, "do not succumb to the culture of complaint!" Either get a job like everybody else and stop playing for beans, or go out there and eat off the plate that is offered and say thank you very much. Life be funny sometimes, and it's getting nearly comical lately.

Either way, please leave me out of it. Or at least be of good humor. I have a hard enough time remaining positive about our culture's situation as it is, and I just recently made a gun purchase.

Many thanks.


Mardis Gras 2008, Krewe of Tucks, Panorama Brass Pand

So here's my first report from this years Mardis Gras. The first nights parade, Morpheus, was a horror show as it was rained out and then rescheduled to roll after the next nights parades. That meant that there we 4, count 'em 4, whole parades that lined up at 6pm.

To accomodate our commitments to both Krewes, the Panorama band broke into two 6 member band, with your truly on a borrowed tuba. We didn't get to the parade end until nearly 1 am, and the last parade rolled in much later. Absolute chaos reigned, which was ironic as the Krewe of Chaos actually canceled their parade, wussies....

It was night time and a camera was out of the question, which is fine as the Morpheus folks were a supreme let down. Last year, Morpheus had the kickingess floats and best throws and had me wishing we were rolling with them rather than just watching them go by. But this year we rolled just behind the "King" who couldn't be bothered to toss the band a throw, so we had to contend ourselves with Krewe D'Etat throws from the previous roll. The floats were mighty weak, the throws kinda lame and the Krewe members less than neighborly, but that's just one tuba players opinion and as usual he could be completely full of shit.

The next morning brought on a much more happening Carnival experience with my 3rd time rolling with the Krewe of Tucks. Its the whole 12 piece brass orchestra this time and these musicians are among the finest I've ever worked with.

Here's some candid shots from the parade:

A pre-roll jam out, on an Ornette Coleman composition I believe...

The view from behind float #21. Nice folks these Tucks.

The very welcome trumpet of 1st time Carnival marcher Ben Holmes of Brooklyn NY.

Fat man got him a new hat.
The band really wishes he put down the damn tambourine though....

Band leader Ben Schenk and the mid-horn section: yours truly and Don Godwin on tenor, Patty Farrel on alto.

Ben is a characteristically uplifting pose.

Tucks float #22 right behind us broke down and slowed the whole thing down a bit, and the local paper had a moment by moment coverage of that very float. Dig it here.

Tomorrow we roll Babylon in the AM and then Box of Wine Marching Club around 4pm-sh. It's a technical impossibility to play bothy, but we plan on bending time and space to do so. In a first for me, I'll be marching Mardi Gras with my mighty Vega tenor banjo that Vinnie Mondello made for me. More reports then.

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all!!

Fine n' Kline, the real story...

So just for giggles, I have a er, "rudimentary" blues duo act with my pal George Carver. We named it after a famous ladies bag shop in Manhattan, but purposely mis-spelled the name to avoid unpleasantries.

Then George sent me this note about the real Fine and Klein.

Doesn't get more unpleasant than a failed murder plot, but it sure will make good fodder for a blues tune.....