Hot Club of New Orleans


April 08, 2006

StandUpNola raised approximately $3,000 for The United Way Friday night at a comedy benefit headlined by Marc Maron. I grew up watching Maron's neurotic musings on Comedy Central, so I was psyched to have him as a guest in New Orleans. Maron describes himself as a "miserbale fuck," but more importantly, he's got a sharp wit. He's got a silent confidence while talking, like Jackie Chan in "Rumble in the Bronx." Chan doesn't show off his skills by attacking first. He tries to be diplomatic, but the thugs raid his uncle's store, anyhow. So, he just kicks all their asses and participates in some choreographed awesomeness.

Maron wasn't planning on ripping a drunk woman to shreds on Friday night, but he did what needed to be done. The woman made a loud comment about how she didn't understand Maron, so he honed in on her and went to town. He protected himself. Same way with talking to him in person. Maron's got those blades sheathed behind his eyes, so it's obvious from the beginning that you don't want to get into a heated discussion with the guy, especially if you're the sensitive type, which I am.

On Saturday, Bill Dykes, Tricia Mercaldi, and I took Marc to Frankie and Johnny's for lunch, and then we took him on the now obligatory disaster tour. That never gets easier because, living Uptown, it's so easy to forgot how bad things are elsewhere in the city. It was sobering in a good way. We're working so hard to make sure the rest of the country, especially Washington, doesn't forget about us, but we can't forget about ourselves. I need to make the drive out to Lakeview or the lower ninth or St. Bernard a weekly excursion. I want to be able to use that sadness and anger. I don't wanna become complacent.

After Cuvee's(go there!) gave the group a free, magnificent meal, we went to Frenchman to expose Marc to some cool local music. Hot Club of New Orleans was playing, and even though the whole idea of jazz in New Orleans is very and maybe too obvious to me, the Hot Club is always tight and fun. They are a faithful and passionate representation of gypsy and traditional jazz. As Marc said, "It's like a time warp." The fact that the Hot Club could get people dancing without a drummer is awesome. That takes skill. It's pretty interesting that in traditional jazz the guitraist is more of a rhythm master than a melody leader.

So, the bassist and guitarist were cool, but violinist Matt Rhody and clarinetist Chris Cole were the focus. Cole will get his day in the sun as the best clarinetist in New Orleans. Tim Laughlin is great, but Cole is the next generation. Cole plays the clarinet like a sax. He kills it with power and measured grace.

There was a mating dance that continued throughout Hot Club's three sets. A heavy-footed woman and a skinny, tall dude danced the night away, though not very well. Still, they were having fun and enjoying each other's company, but something went wrong. The wingman didn't pick up the cockblocker, and all was lost. All that work for nothing.

All you wingmen: stand up for friend's chance at getting laid.
All you cockblockers: don't be bitches just because your friend is getting more attention than you.

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