Thursday, January 28, 2010

Root Root Root

This is my favorite era Clifton. Headband Clifton. Arguably at the height of his powers, with one of his best bands. Buckwheat Dural on Hammond organ; Lil Buck Sinegal on guitar; Robert St. Julien on drums; Cleveland Chenier on rubboard; and the great John Hart on sax. Not sure who's on bass. I love this song because it's so laid back, in no hurry, and just builds and builds each time around. That's how I'm gonna do this weekend too. Next weekend will be one for the ages, so, now is the time to chill. Endweek now starts.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oops We Did It Again

Alison Bath, wrote this story for the Shreveport Times, citing information released by D.C. based Death Penalty Information Center, that states eight men have been found innocent of the crimes that put them on Louisiana's death row. All were exonerated before they were put to death and ultimately freed from prison. Eight oopsies, my bad, almost killed an innocent man, you can pick up your parting gift on your way out.
But rest easy citizens, Louisiana is merely tied for fifth on this list. Florida leads the pack (of dogs?) with 23 death row exonerations. In the case of the eight men exonerated, removed from Louisiana's death row and freed, most occurred after 1997. Some were freed because more sophisticated DNA testing was able to exclude them from the crime.
So, you think we didn't execute any innocent folks prior to 1997? Really?
It's a very interesting article read it all here.

Photo by Vincent J. Brown

Sunday, January 24, 2010

ZOMG!!! Saints In The Super Bowl!

I'm exhausted. Fought off a couple of heart attacks. Tried, in vain, to curtail my cursing. Almost vomited once. But we're in baby!! Next stop Miami, and Lil Archie. No sleep anytime soon.

Photo by Suss-Man

Win, Lose, Or Draw

I'm opting for a philosophical approach to today's NFC Championship game. This is different than anything this franchise has experienced in it's history. A new benchmark. Yes, they played in the conference championship game in '06, but that was in Chicago, this is at the Dome, one of the most unique stadiums in the world, that also served as shelter of last resort to thousands trying to escape the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. Indeed, the Dome itself barely survived the storm, and some even called for it's demolition in the immediate aftermath. But much like the City, and the team, the Dome was repaired and now is hosting, arguably it's biggest event ever.

There are only a handful of bright spots in the history of the Saints. And even those were not all that bright. Billy Kilmer and Danny Abramowitz? Both great Saints, but both also widely considered overachievers. The type of players that are regarded as "gutsy" or "scrappy". Archie "if they could've ever put a team around him" Manning? Yeah, well, they didn't. As a result, his achievement was mostly measured by his mere survival behind some of the worst offensive lines ever assembled in professional football. Love Saint Archie, but there is no hardware in his area code.

For a long time, the only positive league record we owned outright belonged not to a quarterback or other play making superstar. No, our record belonged to a kicker, the great, Tom Dempsey. And it was only for one kick....his 63 yarder. Kids in my neighborhood got a lot of mileage out of boasting about that kick. It's only as an adult that I realized one matter how great it was, is not something to hang an entire franchise on. Not really boast worthy.

Some years later, we got Coach Jim Mora who brought with him one of the best defensive units in NFL history...and also one of the most conservative, inept offensives...ever. Teams couldn't score on us, and we couldn't score on them. Still, it was a pretty awesome team, and we were building a bit of legendary status when Mora squandered most of it away with one idiotic phrase: "diddly poo". If you don't score points and win games, you can't say stupid things like "diddly poo". Nobody remembers tackles and low scores, but they remember "diddly poo".

So, here we are, our second conference game appearance in four years. Not exactly legendary, but it's a start. Should we win today, it will be historic. If we win again in two weeks, don't even bother going to work for a while. New Orleans will be on permanent "snow day" status until further notice. Regardless of today's outcome, this is the best team ever assembled by this franchise. This is something to enjoy and remember....and maybe boast about. Yeah, this team is definitely boast worthy.

Photo by eiratansey

Friday, January 22, 2010

"That'll Be One Jelly Omelet, And I Prefer To Dine Unshod"

The following was submitted by Bill Vermillion. We'd like to invite all our readers to contribute essays like this one, that capture a moment of old school Lafayette, that could have only happened here, in our wonderful, unique hometown.

Snack's was a 24-hour restaurant located at Four Corners (the intersection of University and Cameron Streets), Lafayette, LA. They had an extensive menu, including a jelly omelet ( I think they used grape jelly). One night Robert Savoy and I stopped in there, I can't remember where we'd been, though it sounds nice to say we were coming from Jay's Lounge in Cankton, after seeing Marcia Ball or Clifton Chenier. We were sitting at the counter shoveling down our omelets or whatever, when in walks this guy, maybe late 20's, mid-30's, big late seventies-early eighties glasses, grinning, inebriated, and barefoot. The waitress behind the counter tells him "You can't come in here without shoes!" He leaves. We continue eating. The door opens. There's the guy, huge grin on his face, with his feet wrapped in newspapers. "Get out before I call the police!" our waitress yells, while Robert and I bust a gut laughing. He left.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

March On

Why this song, by this guy, on this weekend? Do you really have to ask? It's good to be a Saints fan....finally! Get in line, and follow the man and his horn to the Superdome. National Conference Championship weekend is now!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And She's The "Good" One

So, let's see, we got Mary, Bobby, and the "Whore Monger". Which one do you think is against The Clean Air Act regulation of greenhouse gases? Answer: All of them. Brad Johnson wrote this article for Think From the article:

Landrieu, like Louisiana’s Republican governor Bobby Jindal and Senator David Vitter, has pledged allegiance to the pollution interests who have given her over $1.5 million instead of her own people. Last month, Jindal “filed objections with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson” over the proposed climate rules, claiming the standards would have “profound negative economic impacts on the state of Louisiana.” In September, Vitter submitted an amendment to block funding for centers that study and prepare for the impacts of climate change.Landrieu’s actions are quite simply morally indefensible. The Mississippi Delta is under extraordinary threat from global warming, as seas rise and storms intensify. According to a recent analysis published in Nature, “an additional 2 degrees of global warming” — to which our business as usual commits the planet — would cause “6 to 9 meters (20 to 30 feet) of long-term sea level rise,” which would “permanently submerge New Orleans and other parts of southern Louisiana".

More here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Help For Haiti

Sonny Landreth and Buckwheat Zydeco top a line up of area musicians performing a benefit concert this Saturday from 2-8 p.m. at Saturday at Parc International, in support of relief efforts in Haiti. All proceeds from the event will be shared by the American Red Cross, the United Way, the Southern Development Foundation, the Art Creation Foundation for Children and Doctors Without Borders to support recovery and relief work. Other artists on the bill include: the Givers, Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie, Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole, BélO and Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars.
More here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Burrowing Owls...

Burrowing Owls are primarily owls of prairie dog towns. In the winter, they migrate south and look for flat fields with some sort of burrow or debris heap they can take shelter in. These owls are somewhat diurnal, especially on overcast days.

I recall the first time I saw a Burrowing Owl. I was walking levees on my uncle's farm near Kaplan when a small pale brown bird flew out of a little concrete culvert. It flew low to the ground, pulled up on a clod a few yards away, and started to bob up and down and swivel its head back and forth. I was amazed to find one of these birds (that I'd only ever seen on nature shows) in the rice country of SW LA. Over the years, I found that coverts on levees in dry fields were good places to look for these owls. I recall finding 2 or 3 in such settings in the winter of 1979 alone.

Story continues here....

Paul Conover has pursued the hobby of bird watching for many years and is well versed on the various types of birds seen here in Southwest Louisiana.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Come On 3:30.....Get Here Already!

Many thanks to my neighbor Wade for passing along this awesome Saints tribute song by Nick Lick and The Hickies. I was laughing along just fine, and then some of the pictures kinda choked me up. I mean, who can see that historic Tom Dempsey kick and not get a little misty eyed? Leave me alone, I've been following this team since I was 5 years old. Plus, they signed Deuce yesterday. Have you no heart man? No feelings? Who Dat I say! Yes....Who Dat indeed!

After While Crocodile

As most of you probably know by now, the great songwriter Bobby Charles passed away Thursday night. It's so difficult to walk the line between true respect for the man's work and maudlin, sycophantic, hype. That's one reason I didn't do a post on this right away. The other reason is because I didn't want it to be true. Just didn't want him to be gone. He was one of my big heroes, somebody I looked up to as a shining example of what someone from right here where I live could accomplish. Indeed, he exceeded all my dreams. Wrote national hit songs; counted Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, The Band among his friends and fans, Fats Domino and Dr. John too. Are you kidding me?

Look what passes for great around here now. At a time when you can't swing a dead cat without hitting another fiddle or accordion virtuoso, I'm wondering where the next Bobby Charles is going to come from. The type of artist that makes you feel more human, more part of the human experience, through his music. Anybody can learn to play an instrument. Get on Youtube, learn some scales...that's easy. But soulfulness can't be taught. The courage it takes to lay your soul bare for all to see doesn't come easily, or without a price. Bobby Charles didn't even play an instrument, and yet he sold more records and made more of a cultural impact worldwide than anyone around here can ever hope for. Go tell that to the corporate shills at Guitar Center and watch them blanch. And, because he had the class not to endlessly self-promote (something that was disdained just a few years ago, and now is essentially required of artists) he is relatively unknown. The man let his work speak for itself. Imagine that.

I was fortunate to meet him once. Dickie Landry (another under-appreciated talent from here) introduced me to him. It was a pretty awkward exchange. I told him how big a fan I was, and that our band was covering a few of his songs. He shook my hand and thanked me. Neither one of us made eye contact. It was weird, but it meant the world to me. Still does.

There are several nice articles written about Bobby Charles' passing. Keith Spera wrote this one for the Times Picayune. Most of the same info ran here in the New York Times as well. Larry Benicewice has this great biography here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hey! Not The Face!

Tina Marcias of The Advertiser wrote this bizarre story of 2 separate incidents of 'teacher mayhem'. First up, Michael Rinberger, 31, at Northside High is being investigated for abusing a student....with his shoe. Apparently, while trying to quiet the kids, Rinberger removed his shoe and was waving it in the air. Unfortunately, he hit a 16 year old in the face injuring and possibly breaking his nose. Across town at Lafayette Middle, a male teacher allegedly got so upset at his class that he pushed a student over a desk and fractured his leg. Our running totals thus far: two angry teachers, a broken leg, possibly a broken nose, and one arrest. Sounds crazy, but Lafayette Police Sgt. Mark Francis explained the Rinberger incident this way: "He was frustrated with a previous class making noise, and he wasn't feeling well when the next class came in. They were noisy," So, if a class before you was misbehaving....that equals a broken nose for you. I get that.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Aww What? Dat's A Cigarette Bandit Podnuh

Move over Bikini Bandits (but don't forget to pop in once in a while), there's a new bandit in town. Lafayette police issued a press release this afternoon detailing their search for the so called "cigarette bandit". The bandit is charged with stealing "well over $5oo dollars" of cigarettes at 6 area convenient stores. Modus Operandi: Suspect approaches the sales counter and requests a carton of cigarettes. When the carton is placed onto the counter, the suspect grabs the cigarettes and runs out of the store. Wow, that's some clever banditing. Then, suspect gets into a dark pick up truck and flees! Who would think to flee? Ahh the criminal mind. Anyway, this is a real story, and the cops want anyone with information to call 232-TIPS. I'm just guessing, but suspect may also have a husky cough and stale breath. That should narrow it down.

Photo by Lisa Brewster

Big Like Space. You Could Even Say Galactic!

OK, I suppose it would be bad form to write a bunch of words about a song that says so much without using any. Killer funky jam by a killer funky band. Playoffs Saturday! Which is a smack dab in the middle of the weekend....and that!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Helping LARC

Radio station KQIS 102.1 is promoting a fund drive Friday, January 15, for LARC (Lafayette Association of Retarded Citizens) to help them recoup income lost due to inclement weather during Noel Acadien au Village! Acadian Village was forced to close seven of the 20 nights of the event. This was a major set back, as funds derived from the event account for 30 percent of LARC's annual budget. Click here to donate, or here for more information about LARC.

Just A Man And His Uniform...And Some Badges..Sirens..Yikes

What is it with guys impersonating cops around here? This is the third such story I've encountered since starting the blog last May. Let's look at the reported facts in the case shall we? Cody Patrick Theriot, 27, of New Iberia, arrested wearing tactical-style pants and a red and silver reflective “K-9 Search and Rescue Team” jacket. Deputies also discovered he was in possession of two official law enforcement badges, a semi-automatic handgun, riot baton, handcuffs, a police scanner and a K-9 tracking harness. Also, his vehicle was equipped with several decals commonly found on law enforcement units along with operable red and blue lights, an audible siren and a law enforcement push-style bumper. Theriot is not a commissioned officer with any law enforcement agency. That's quite an investment in pretend world. He even had it narrowed down to the K-9 squad. How exciting for him.

Read the A.P. story here.

Photo by Brett L

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bundle Up!

If you absolutely HAVE to go out in this ridiculously cold weather, you better bundle up....and lately I've really been into scarves so that's my bundle of choice. It's been a while, but today's Fashion Find are these awesome scarves from local Lafayette artist SunshineyRain. First up: this super cute, sooo soft, crocheted pink scarf. This scarf is made of natural spun bamboo, looks super warm, and for only 14 bucks, is quite a bargain.

Our 2nd scarf is totally different and also really cool. This one is made of denim and what I love about this awesome scarf is it has a very retro vibe and is WASHABLE. In fact, it gets better the more you wash it. Very cool.

-jill :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I Do Declare...I Need Mah Mama!

Celebrity-redneck millionaire, and Louisiana ex-pat, Britney Spears, has found herself back in the headlines. We hadn't heard much from Ms. Spears lately, other than some complaints from angry fans in Australia that Brittney had lip-synced (gasp..imagine!) portions of a performance back in November. Here's a Rolling Stone article concerning that fiasco.
But now, Britney's got Man problems. Lawd! This article says that Britney done split up with Jason Trawick....who? I know y'all! Now, if I was her, I wouldn't go anywhere near someone with a name that close to trainwreck. Anyway, Brit was so distraught, she had her mother dispatched from Louisiana to comfort her. Fer real doe. Or should that be fer real dough? Whatever, it had Louisiana in the link so now it's in the Meaux. Enjoy.

Photo by loveyousave

Friday, January 8, 2010

Somebody Should Make Me These

I got grits on the brain again. And our main man, Curt Guillory, knows how to do grits right. You see, you put shrimp and cheese in the grits. It sounds easy, but Curt has some pointers:
The two most common mistakes that are made when preparing this dish are overcooking the shrimp, and allowing the grits to clump together. Grits should not hold their shape when spooned on a plate, however they should not be runny either. Grits should be thick enough to be eaten with a fork, but not a mass of starch that has to be cut to be eaten. The shrimp should be moist, tender, and flavorful when properly cooked. Using excellent quality shrimp and proper sautéing technique is key to this dish’s success.
Check out his full recipe and many food articles here.

Photo by gastroadventures

6:32 p.m.

The state of Louisiana executed a man yesterday. While most of were preparing for the onset of the "Arctic blast", and settling in to watch the BCS Championship game, Gerald Bordelon was put to death at 6:32 p.m. I realize I'm way out of my depths discussing a case and an issue such as this, so I'll tread lightly. Bordelon's victim was his 12 year old step daughter. He had also been imprisoned three times for abducting and raping women. Clearly, he was a disturbed person. I have my own opinions about the merits of the death penalty. It doesn't work as a deterrent, and I feel it lessens us as a society. Still, if it happens in the name of our State, it should at least be noted here. Everything about this story is sad.

Read more here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


A friend once told me a story about playing trumpet through out his Jr. high and high school years. He was pretty good, and so were the other trumpet players from his school. But every year they would go to state competition, and waiting there for them, was this guy....Wynton Marsalis. It's like placing second to A. J. Foyt at the Indy 500. If you have to lose, it might as well be to the best. Freezing weekend begins after this video.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Acadian Cultural Center Top Stop

Lafayette's Acadian Cultural Center tops this list of the top 5 "great stops" between Dallas and New Orleans on From the article:
Located in Lafayette, LA, the Acadian Cultural Center is one of three sites dedicated to preserving and explaining Acadian culture. The Acadians in Louisiana (now called Cajuns) are decedents of French colonists who settled in Canada, only to be forced south during the Great Expulsion as a result of the French And Indian War. About 300 Acadians were forcefully deported to Louisiana (then controlled by Spain), and many more followed suit in later years. All of these influences combine to create a unique blend of culture, food, music and language amid the bayous of Louisiana.The center is actually part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, a series of six sites that offer an incredible glimpse into history, culture and nature. At this site, you can take educational bayou rides and learn of the rich history of the region.
The next "great stop" is the Arna Bontemps African American Museum, located in Alexandria. The museum is the birthplace of Arna Wendell Bontemps, an influential American poet, author, librarian and one of the leading authorities and members of the Harlem Renaissance. I wasn't familiar with the work of Mr. Bontemps, and found it interesting that he was born in CenLa.
The rest of the "great stops" are in Shreveport and Texas, and I don't particularly care about those places.
Read on, if you must, here.

Grinder Arts Expo Saturday @ NiteTown

Visit the Grinder blog for full details and ongoing updates about the show, but we've included the basics here for your convenience:

• Grinder is Saturday, January 9th, 2010 from 3pm to 8pm (Same night as Art Walk)
• The venue is NiteTown, located at 524 Jefferson Street in downtown Lafayette, LA
• Vendor setup begins at 2pm and tear down must be complete by 8:30pm
• Table fees are $15 for a half and $25 for a whole
• Table rules and guidelines are outlined on the downloadable PDF linked above
• The cover at the door for attendees remains $5
• Must be 18 to enter, no exceptions
• To accommodate our vendors who invest lots of money and time into their work, Grinder remains a non-smoking event.
• In order to achieve our vision for the event, we do reserve the right to reject any and all exhibitor registrations without justification.
If you are exhibiting work at Grinder for the first time, you MUST provide JPGs or a website with your work for approval.

Any questions? Please email Matt Hernandez at

And if you're interested in being involved with the arts community a bit more, please have a look at our new online community called

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Shine Baby Shine

The Solar Energy lecture that was canceled in November is rescheduled for next Tuesday, the 12th of January. The Lecture will be given by Stephen Shelton, Director of the Louisiana CleanTech Network. Please join us at the Lafayette Economic Development Authority from 1:30 to 2:30 pm or from 6:00 to 7:00 pm to learn about this exciting technology. LEDA is located at 211 E. Devalcourt St., Lafayette, 70506. For more information about the Acadiana Alternative Energy Committee and power point presentations from the previous lectures, visit our website:

I Get Jokes

Textbook example of a parent being his kid's "friend" and not her parent: COVINGTON, La. -- A Louisiana father and his 12-year-old daughter were arrested for an alleged practical joke that startled motorists on an interstate highway: The father allegedly drove his pickup truck with the girl sitting in the passenger seat - bound and gagged with duct tape.

More here

Photo by Foxtongue

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Listen Up Youngins!

I know it will shock and amaze some of you when I say this, but I have found some wisdom, indeed, some actual wise folks, live and are born ......outside of Louisiana. Like you, my first inclination is to repel the aliens with a stick of some sort. However, with the skyrocketing price of sticks these days, I've opted to begin listening to the outsiders instead. Sure enough, one such wise dude is Danny Barnes, musician extraordinaire, and blogger. He recently posted his thoughts on how to make a living playing music. He breaks it down to where even I could understand. And, from my limited experience, he gets it exactly right. With so many musicians here in Acadiana I thought it would be a good link to share. Plus, it gives me an excuse to post a a video of Mr. Barnes plying his trade. From the article:
if you don't have the music where you want it art-wise, you might want to go work on that, this article isn't going to help you much either. you will be better off by practicing and studying and working on your music instead. you will need to get the art pretty close to where you want it, before you should worry about making much of a living out of it.

Read more here.