New Orleans. The name of the city alone evokes an image of a place filled with good food, jazz, black magic women, and the promise of a late night. Every place has light and shade, but New Orleans exists surrounded with it’s own dark atmosphere. I was all too happy to drown in the city’s deep culture and be engulfed by the atmosphere that all of us fell in love with this week.
Our past experience of New Orleans was limited to Bourbon Street, the most shallow part of the entire city. It’s a street overcrowded with white, sexually frustrated tourists spending all of their money on alcohol and overpriced souvenirs to bring back and show their friends in Wisconsin how ‘wild’ and ‘fucked up’ they got in New Orleans. No thank you. We were fortunate to at least find a laid back heavy metal bar off the street called The Dungeon to grab a few drinks and blast Metallica and Thin Lizzy on the jukebox before heading to our show that night.
After our set at Siberia, we met Isidore, one of the workers at the club. Instead of grabbing a cab and heading to Bourbon Street, he was going to personally show us a different and more local side of the city. We piled into his car and from there plunged head first into a New Orleans much more real than we had seen before. My recollection of the night is hazy to say the least.
The walls of the first place I remember being at are a hand painted mural of musicians and entertainers. Old soul music fills the air and mixes with the smoke of our hand-rolled cigarettes. The first drinks of the night taste as sweet as the sounds of Sam Cooke, The Temptations, and Al Greene over the speakers.
We wind down the street and hear Led Zeppelin playing from one of the bars, inviting us in for a few more drinks. After 4am we visit another place that Isidore tells us will definitely be open until the morning. We’re glad it is. Drinks. Substances. We sit outside in the bar’s courtyard; the cold air does little to sober us up. A conversation is struck up with a group of friends, and as the sky begins to lighten, me and Matt decide to go with them to see the sun rise from a better vantage point. Through side streets, across railroad tracks, we reach a point on the edge of the New Orleans levee area called ‘the end of the world.’ Birds glide over the waves caused by huge ships cutting through the waters of the Mississippi. The sun rises, revealing just how massive and beautiful the river is; hinting at the mysteries it holds in its depths. Light and shade. Soak it in. Drown in it.
By the time we get back to the Winnebago it’s 11am.
Thanks to Isidore for being an amazing guide; Alex, Ashleen, and Ashley for showing us where the levee breaks.
Mar 18 Mirror Image Studios – Anaheim, CA
Mar 20 The Bar Deluxe – Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 21 Rojo’s Tavern – Tahoe City, CA
Mar 23 Rotture – Portland, OR
Mar 24 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
Mar 25 Checkerboard Bar – Spokane, WA
Mar 27 Machinery Row – Great Falls, MT
Mar 30 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
Mar 31 Vega – Lincoln, NE
Apr 01 Fubar – St Louis, MO
Apr 02 Cobra Lounge – Chicago, IL
Apr 03 The Ritz – Warren, MI
Apr 04 Annabell’s – Akron, OH
Apr 05 Broadway Joes – Buffalo, NY
Apr 06 Mac’s Mad Art Bar – Syracuse, NY