Stone Sculpture on the Riverbank

“Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins.”
― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

I was walking along the strip of concrete along the top of the Mississippi levee that separates the French Quarter from the vast moisture of the Big Muddy. There was the path, a narrow strip of weedy grass, a band of riparian riprap rock used for erosion control and then the water itself.

I noticed a pile of rock in a peculiar arrangement, down right next to the water. At first I thought someone had simply piled them up, but as I looked closer, it seemed that they would not hold together in that formation by themselves. Gravity would pull them asunder. Someone had gone down there with some industrial adhesive or quick-set epoxy and glued the stones together. It was a sculpture, a work of art.

An Internet search failed to reveal any information about this impromptu pile of granite.

Who knows how long they will hold together under the assault of the elements, but if you want to check – it’s right there near the entrance to Jackson Square.

Riverbank Sculpture, Mississippi River, French Quarter, New Orleans

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Blocks Of Granite Towering Over the City

“Build your house on granite. By granite I mean your nature that you are torturing to death, the love in your child’s body, your wife’s dream of love, your own dream of life when you were sixteen. Exchange your illusions for a bit of truth. Throw out your politicians and diplomats! Take your destiny into your own hands and build your life on rock.

Don’t try to improve on nature. Learn to understand it and protect it. Go to the library instead of the prize fight, go to foreign countries rather than to Coney Island. And first and foremost, think straight, trust the quiet inner voice inside you that tells you what to do. You hold your life in your hands, don’t entrust it to anyone else, least of all to your chosen leaders. BE YOURSELF! Any number of great men have told you that.”
—-Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

Tears Were Warm, And Girls Were Beautiful, Like Dreams

“Even so, there were times I saw freshness and beauty. I could smell the air, and I really loved rock ‘n’ roll. Tears were warm, and girls were beautiful, like dreams. I liked movie theaters, the darkness and intimacy, and I liked the deep, sad summer nights.”
― Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

Monco Poncho and Fans Four Bullets Brewery Richardson, Texas

Monco Poncho and Fans
Four Bullets Brewery
Richardson, Texas

Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Bass Player

“People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.”
― Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

Monco Poncho Four Bullets Brewery Richardson, Texas

Monco Poncho
Four Bullets Brewery
Richardson, Texas

Waiting for the Gig

In front of the Winspear Opera House, Arts District, Dallas, Texas

“Even so, there were times I saw freshness and beauty. I could smell the air, and I really loved rock ‘n’ roll. Tears were warm, and girls were beautiful, like dreams. I liked movie theaters, the darkness and intimacy, and I liked the deep, sad summer nights.”
― Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

set1

“We feared that the music which had given us sustenance was in danger of spiritual starvation. We feared it losing its sense of purpose, we feared it falling into fattened hands, we feared it floundering in a mire of spectacle, finance, and vapid technical complexity. We would call forth in our minds the image of Paul Revere, riding through the American night, petitioning the people to wake up, to take up arms. We too would take up arms, the arms of our generation, the electric guitar and the microphone.”
― Patti Smith, Just Kids

set2

I’ve taken pictures here before and before… and now I’ve done it again and again.

“If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.”
― William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Ducado Vega

During the Deep Ellum Food Truck Festival a band set up along the side, in front of a recording studio. It was Ducado Vega (facebook) and Zenya – winners of the Dallas Observer Music Award for “Best Funk/R&B Act.” They were nice and loud and a lot of fun. Especially when they moved back in time for some classic James Brown funk and some unusual covers (Rolling in the Deep).

Great local music.

Support your local bands. Ducado Vega will be in the Colony this weekend.

The School of Rock

The other day I was down on Flora Street in the Dallas Arts District wandering around, looking at the crowds by the food trucks when I noticed music coming from the direction of the Winspear Opera House. It sounded like some AC/DC – so I meandered in that general direction to find out what was going on.

It was a concert by the kids from the School of Rock and, sure enough they were hammering out some AC/DC. It wasn’t too bad. Of course, if you spend enough time working on one song you can get to play it pretty well, but it is what it is.

I stayed for a while as different groups climbed up on stage and played different classic rock songs. They were all pretty good at what they were doing. The vocals were the weakest part of the performance, but at that age wailing like Robert Plant isn’t the easiest thing to pull off.

It was pretty odd watching the thing. There were so many elements of a middle school band concert – the eager kids taking their turn at a moment in the sun, the smiling parents sitting around, focused on their spawn, their work, and the results of their cash. But it was different too – the hard rock, the skinny little girl playing a bass bigger than she is, the powerful amplifiers. And the enthusiasm was not as nerdy.

The kids were all pretty good – you could hear all of their hard work. But then this one guy gets up there and plays Misirlou – you know the old Dick Dale surf guitar riff that you probably remember from the opening of Pulp Fiction. He tore that thing up. He knew what he was doing around that guitar string.

I didn’t stay around too long – but I did get a kick out of it. The band launched into a Led Zeppelin instrumental… I think it was Moby Dick. The guitars took a rest and a tiny girl perched on the kit took over grinning, waved her sticks in the air, and launched into a long drum solo. The parents went nuts.

Oh, God, not that. I was born in 1957, so I was around for the whole thing. Music is important to me, all the music, a wide diversity. But, if I had my druthers, there is one thing… only one thing that I would have taken away from the decades of rock music… and that is the interminable drum solo. A good portion of my life has been wasted waiting for the things to end and the real music to start up again. I understand that the drum solo has an important purpose – for the rest of the band to go backstage, do a couple of lines and maybe a groupie or three – but that doesn’t mean the payin’ folks out in the crowd have to be subjected to that endless noise.

So, long live rock, teach your children well, but please, lets end the drum solos.

You rocked me all night long.

A rockin’ Misirlou.

A Zeppelin drum solo.