Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If the Big Easy doesn't want its musicians. . . .

Some people think Omaha is dull.

Unlike places like, oh . . . New Orleans.

But while the City That Care Forgot has been making news by trying to roll up the sidewalks -- at least for street musicians -- by 8, here's what I found Sunday night in boring ol' Omaha's Old Market. The top shot was taken at 8:31 p.m.

THIS WAS at 8:44 p.m. . . . on a really slow night for Old Market buskers.

AND THIS was at 8:52.

In New Orleans, this would be nearly an hour past "music curfew."

THERE IS a term for this kind of thing in a city that lives (and dies) by tourism and music. I think it's "nuts."

In fact, it might be the craziest damn thing you hear this year.

Now if New Orleans
-- prone to occasional hissy fits in which it bites the musical hand that feeds it . . . probably some sort of subconscious rebellion against having "always depended on the kindness of strangers" -- doesn't appreciate its wealth of musical talent, we'd be happy to take some of it off the Big Easy's hands.

They could play on Old Market street corners (
or, for that matter, in up-and-coming NoDo) until, say, 11 without getting busted. And I'm guessing they could do pretty good business, especially on weekends.

In fact, I'm thinking the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau ought to bring New Orleans' most-harassed group, the To Be Continued Brass Band, up here this fall to lead a jazz funeral for Rosenblatt Stadium after the Omaha Central-Creighton Prep football game there -- one of its last events. Just second line all the way up 10th Street from the old ballpark to the new place in NoDo.

And get
ESPN to cover it for SportsCenter.

I'm seeing,
in my mind's eye, a weekend "celebration of life" for Rosenblatt and a "welcome your baby" shower for TD Ameritrade Park. Then, To Be Continued could play a Saturday-evening show in the Omaha Chamber of Commerce courtyard at 13th and Howard streets.

Go ahead. Pass the hat.

Because Omaha is that kind of town.

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