Showing posts with label Cajun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cajun. Show all posts

Friday, July 14, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: Wired in

I was wired in, but then I shorted out.

Such is the life of your Mighty Favog as he continues with this enterprise we call . . . we call . . . we call . . . (looks at picture) 3 Chords & the Truth.

I know we play a whole lot of exemplary music on . . . on . . . on . . . (looks at picture) 3 Chords & the Truth this week, but I would have to look at the playlist to tell you what it is. On the bright side, I do not know why I came into this room, either.

Belle the Dog informs me that I came into this room to post this episode of the . . . the . . . the . . . (Belle whispers "Rig Row") the Big Show. Alrighty then. I shall do that.

Do what?

Oh, yeah. That.

Say goodnight, Gracie. Goodnight, Gracie.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Friday, June 30, 2023

3 Chords & the Truth: Keeping score

I took me out to the ballgame. I took me out to the crowd.

I did not buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack (substitute Fritos walking taco, hamburgers and a brat here) but, ultimately, I did have to come back.

To the Big Show. You knew that I would.

STILL, the College World Series here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska was maybe the greatest that's ever been -- 11 days of outstanding contests, including the best baseball game I have ever witnessed. That would be the 11-inning pitchers' duel between my alma mater, LSU, and Wake Forest . . . that ended in the bottom of the 11th with a two-run homer to give the Tigers a crucial victory on their way to the national championship.

LSU's seventh national championship in baseball.

We, of course, will pay tribute to that in this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth. Is this Heaven? No, but it ain't half bad.

There also will be, during the show, the usual complement of mind-blowing musical moments, with a healthy smattering of "Can he DO that?" Yes. Yes, I can. It's my program.

Well, that's about it for the preshow promotin' and explainin'. Just one more thing to add, though.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Saturday, October 02, 2021

3 Chords & the Truth: Still going

The world doesn't stop, and neither does the Big Show.

The latter is a good thing.

As to the former . . . well, at least you have 3 Chords & the Truth. And that's all I have to say about that.

Honestly, y'all. What the hell is there to say anymore? Just this: Listen to the Big Show. It's good.

Apart from that, I got nothin' these days. I will enter random characters here to full out the post: 

Wo;ijf;od oaifj;oiaefgj lmcklksfmo;wjf .ksvlnk,bfkjdf ';akf;ln lksrgfjhlkewfes;l. Urjo;jfij kfejhfkh ks oisejfeoii jfoijf pgkper qwihwo mlkjg ;osiefj ldldj oe aoiuoijc ldodnm kju d,dkd jdmdjdudb dhdiw ofod. Ejiehgieyn ieiufn q oefu wrejt fiur wihewojwpo -- iluherg kdfsisudh ayfd wkchs ruitivdij uaugd qwertyuiop. 

-- 30 --

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Shots in the dark

This edition of the Big Show comes at the end of a week that began with seven shots in the back.

Then it saw two protesters shot dead in the middle of the night by a teenage vigilante, then had a hurricane and Nuremberg for Dummies -- because the other mayhem wasn't enough to satisfy fate.
I need a drink, and you need the music. Because the crazy never, ever ends.

Otis! Take us away! (And if you want to know what that's all about, listen to the show.)

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The Queen of Soul is dead.

Long live the Queen of Soul . . . Aretha Franklin. May her memory be eternal.

Thursday's horrible news came at the end of a typically horrible week in this country, and this episode of 3 Chords & the Truth is dropping onto the platter a few hours late. You see, I procrastinated.

I imagine you want to know why.

Dunno. Maybe it has something to do with the news not being real -- being "fake" in today's banal terminology -- if I just don't do this tribute edition of the Big Show.

That, of course, is as silly as any of the silliness we're surrounded by these days. The sad news, sadly, is not "fake."

The proof is in the headlines. And the proof likewise is in this week's program. Dammit.

Long live the queen.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pure Nebraska. Straight, no chaser.

In south Louisiana, where I was born and raised, you have Cajun music at Fred's in Mamou on Saturday mornings.

In way-rural eastern Nebraska -- by way of a couple of gravel county roads and a winding dirt one, if you're coming from the nearby metropolis of Brainard  (population 330) -- there's a polka band at the Loma Tavern on Sunday evenings.

You don't stumble across Loma, an unincorporated hilltop village of 30 souls, a handful of houses, a church, an empty hardware store . . . and the Loma Tavern. No, you have to look hard for Loma.

Ever see the 1990s cult movie, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar with Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo? The fictional Snydersville, the middle-of-nowhere burg where they get stranded, is really Loma. And the bar is the Loma Tavern, which used to be the Bar-M Corral.

If you didn't know that before you find your way to the Loma Tavern, you'll know it before you leave.

Anyway,  in this stretch of Nebraska -- Butler County, like many stretches of Nebraska -- you have two kinds of people: Czechs and more Czechs . . . though I did see someone who copped to being German. And on this seasonable spring evening in Little Bohemia, 13-year-old accordionist Addie Hejl (pronounce Heil) was fronting the band for the first time. Then again, she's only been playing for a year.

Sounds like she's been playing for 20 but, no, just a year.

BEING FROM bayou country and having been force-fed a Saturday-night diet of Lawrence Welk during my formative years, I am not unfamiliar with accordions. Or -- thanks again to Mr. Welk -- polka music.

But polka is a Midwestern thing. In eastern Nebraska, polka music on small-town radio stations every Sunday afternoon is akin to Cajun music on small-town Louisiana radio stations every Saturday morning. I think, truth be told, that the DNA of folks on the Czech and German plains of this state has developed a polka mutation, much as my swamp-Gallic DNA has the extra Jolie Blonde chromosome.

The shared trait of the two mutations is the accordion. That and little roadhouses in the middle of nowhere that, on warm and lazy weekend evenings, become the center of the musical universe. Ask Addie Hejl, who still is eight years shy of being able to knock back a legal cold one.

When I was still eight years shy of being able to knock back a legal cold one, I, too, found myself in a few centers of the musical universe in parts of southeastern Louisiana more familiar to bullfrogs and bream than actual people.

A few of them, to tell you the truth, made the Loma Tavern look like the Cocoanut Grove. One in Whitehall -- in deepest, darkest Livingston Parish -- had a drop ceiling . . . with the bottoms of beer cases substituting for tiles.

I REMEMBER sitting at a table drinking my Coca-Cola as my parents and my aunt and uncle sat and drank their beers. It was a quiet Sunday evening -- not much going on except for another 45 dropping on the jukebox.

It was Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Knock Three Times."
Hey girl what ya doin' down there
Dancin' alone every night while I live right above you
I can hear your music playin'
I can feel your body swayin'
One floor below me you don't even know me
I love you . . .

Oh my darling,
Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me
Twice on the pipe if the answer is no
Oh my sweetness,
Means you'll meet me in the hallway
Twice on the pipe means you ain't gonna show
AT THIS, Aunt Ceil looked up at the ceiling.

At the cardboard beer-case bottoms that were the ceiling. At the Budweiser and Schlitz and Dixie and Falstaff and Miller High-Life "ceiling tiles."

"Knock three times on that ceiling, and the damn thing'll fall on you," she deadpanned.

I don't think Coca-Cola blew out of my nose, but it had to have been close. That may have been when I decided that Aunt Ceil was -- by far -- the funniest person in Daddy's German-Dutch-Irish family.

I THOUGHT of these things as I stood in the back of a century-old country bar in Nebraska listening to a teenage accordion wunderkind and a couple of guys a generation and two older playing polka music -- things half a country and a lifetime ago made present here and now by musical ties that bind.

As I looked across the tavern, through the dancing couples and toward the band, I saw something else entirely. I saw Mama and Daddy, alive again and younger than myself, two-stepping across the dance floor to a country band in Killian, La. I saw a time when a little honky-tonk between river and swamp seemed like a big thing to a kid.

To me.

The thought of trying to explain to strangers why a 50-something man was crying in the back of a little bar in Loma, Neb., kept the tears -- and humiliation -- at bay.

Maybe geezers like myself could be forgiven for thinking that, maybe, 13-year-old girls instead should aspire to play in a Runaways tribute band. Call it the Queens of Noise.

It's just that those accordions will get you every time.

Every. Damn. Time.

Friday, April 29, 2016

3 Chords & the Truth: Boogity boogity shoop

This week's edition of the Big Show is all about the stomp.

And the waltz.

And the mope-itty mope, mope-itty mope mope mope.

Well, yeah, we also have some boom boom-ba-booms and some sha-na-nas on 3 Chords & the Truth as well this go around, but you probably already figured that was coming. It's a diverse and eclectic cornucopia, I tells ya!

So pull up a chair. Take your shoes off. And enjoy what's about to caress your eardrums.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pearls among the online swine

The Internet is a land of treasures and trash. Mostly trash, it seems, most of the time.

Slutty trash. Angry trash. Snarky trash. More angry trash. More snarky, angry trash.

Seems to me that living life online as we do today can be like eating Gummy Bears for breakfast, lunch and supper -- it might be rather satisfying at the time, but. . . .

WELL, this ain't that. Pete Seeger's mid-'60s, low-budget show, taped in glorious black and white at a little UHF station in New York, is a treasure lurking amid the trash. It's meat and potatoes in a Gummy Bear online world.

How can it possibly get any better than sitting around the kitchen table with Johnny Cash and June Carter, swapping stories and playing music? How can it possibly get any better than sitting in the living room with Revon Reed, keeper of Louisiana's Cajun culture and the French language when the odds were stacked against it amid a tide of assimilation at les mains des americains just as Seeger was a keeper of American culture amid a rising tide of materialism and superficiality.

And not only that. Irony also comes a' callin' in the meeting of Messrs. Reed and Seeger.

YOU SEE, one of the saviors of Cajun culture in south Louisiana was, by profession, an English and chemistry teacher. Cajun music and his weekly radio show from Fred's Lounge in Mamou, those were his hobbies. The keeper of what was most authentically American, meanwhile, was blacklisted for years for allegedly being "un-American."

Uh huh.

Eventually,  the forces of "Americanism" left Pete Seeger alone after growing bored by red-baiting. Eventually, they moved on to more fertile fields . . . like doing their part to f*** up the Internet.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Simply '70s: Avant le Food Network

I am so old, I remember when cooking shows were fun.

You see, you little whippersnappers, back in the prehistory of the 1970s -- when we had no Internets and had to push AMC Pacers uphill both ways to get to and from school -- cooking programs were on regular television and actually were about cooking, more or less, as opposed to whatever the hell the Food Network is about. Gastronomic pornography?

Me, I don't know.

BACK THEN, Justin Wilson ruled the public-TV airwaves in Louisiana -- and across the country -- teaching folks how to cook like a good Cajun, with a funny story or three thrown in as lagniappe. And the best part was that I actually knew (or knew of) some of the people in his tall tales.

Which made them just plausible enough to be hilarious.

I remember that ol' Zhoo-STAHN would measure salt or whatever into his hand and then throw it in the pot. Then, just to show off, he'd measure some more into his hand, grab a measuring spoon, and fill it exactly with what lay in his palm.

To this day, more than three decades later, I do the same thing.
And when my Yankee wife yells at me, I take a measuring spoon. . . .

Sunday, July 10, 2011

'You know Boots, cher? B-O-O-T-H-S'

Take a vehicle full of Cajuns in south Louisiana. Add beer. Season with a dash of camcorder. Add some more beer.

Then, cher, to pass you a good time, press the OnStar button.

Watch hilarity ensue.

These people were messin' with the OnStar man. I, however, know people who would do this for true with the OnStar man.

I mean, dem OnStar man got him a satemalite and all dat stuff. He damn well oughta be able to fine Barry an' dem's truck pullin' dem pop 'em up camper.

Dat's why you pay cash money for dat satemalite ting every mont.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lâche pas la tomate, mon nèg

May, June, July . . . well that took long enough.

The first tomato of the season, that is. Yeah, it looks like it's going to be another one of those too-cool years where the tomatoes make late and get ripe later.

That's how it went last year, and when we finally started to get a bunch of ripe tomatoes, the blight hit. Wiped out most everyone's crop hereabouts.

This year, we've had precious few really scorching-hot, perfect tomato weather days, but it looks like we're getting a decent number of fruit on the vines. So far, too, it looks like the blight is being held at bay.

(Yes, it's extremely difficult to type with your fingers crossed. Knock on wood. And where's my damned rabbit's foot?)

On the other hand, the jalapeños seem to be doing fine. I've already picked a small mess of them. A couple of those went into a bottle of red wine vinegar to make hot sauce for the mustard greens in the bunny-proof wheelbarrow bed.

Ah reckon that's about it for the Revolution 21 farm report. I'm your Mighty Favog reporting.

P.S.: The headline? A pun probably understood only in Quebec or south Louisiana, based on "Lâche pas la patate," or "Don't drop the potato," which is a colloquialism for "Hang in there."

And no, "mon nèg" has no racial connotation whatsoever here -- it's a Cajun term of endearment.
For what it's worth.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sunset on Louisiane

When I was young and full of dreams,
My whole life in front of me.
But things are not always the way they seem,
Some things will always change.

My papa’d been a trapper living hand to mouth,
But when I made shop foreman, I had it all figured out,
I thanked God each and every day
When the industry came to town.

Sunset on Louisianne,
The sun going down on the promised land,
I’ve given you everything I can,
I’ve got nothing left to lose.

Married a girl from Pauché Briide,
Raised a family of Cajun kids,
Nobody did no better than we did,
But things can always change.

My sister lost her baby premature,
And my papa got the sickness that got no cure,
And what they told us about it at the plant,
We could not be sure.

Sunset on Louisianne,
The sun going down on the promised land,
I’ve given you everything I can,
I’ve got nothing left to lose.

Smokestacks burning on the river,
From New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
How can I go on believing
When the won’t tell me the truth.

I take my grand son fishing down at Camanida Bay,
I hope some of this beauty will last,
But, lord, it’s changing so damn fast,
Each and every day.

I love the river and I love the swamp,
The snowy egret and the old bull frog,
But they’re harder to find one and all
Since the industry came to town.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

On dem first day of Christmas. . . .

I think there's pretty much two things you deserve when you die.

First, you ought not die alone. Second, if the newspaper does a story about your passing, the least it can do is try to get the facts straight.

SADLY, a broadcasting professor from my days at the Louisiana State journalism school -- now the Manship School of Mass Communication -- came up empty on both counts when he left this world Thursday.

That someone would have no close family left is awful, but largely uncontrollable. But for someone as accomplished as Jules d'Hemecourt -- he was a professor, a past print and television newsman, and a lawyer, too -- that the local paper couldn't get some basic facts straight seems somehow fundamentally unjust.

When reading his obit from The Advocate in Baton Rouge, note that the name of the novelty record he made as "Tee Jules" really is "The Cajun 12 Days of Christmas." Note also that d'Hemecourt was a TV news director in Alexandria and Baton Rouge, not just an anchorman.

IF I CAN REMEMBER THAT, surely someone at the Baton Rouge paper could have:

Jules d’Hemecourt IV, a retired LSU journalism professor and the voice behind “The 12 Cajun Days of Christmas,” has died, friends confirmed Monday. He was 64.

Jim Engster, general manager of Louisiana Network and d’Hemecourt’s co-worker for several years, said d’Hemecourt died Thursday, one day after being hospitalized from a brief illness.

Engster said funeral arrangements were pending for d’Hemecourt, a native of New Orleans who had no immediate family members.

Engster said doctors summoned him to the hospital shortly before d’Hemecourt passed away.

“It was somewhat ironic that a man who influenced thousands of students through the years … had very few family members, and no one really knew he was deathly ill,” Engster said.

D’Hemecourt was a decorated journalist whose career spanned TV, print and radio news, as well as law.

According to biographical information provided by LSU, d’Hemecourt served as news director of WJBO-AM before working in the early 1970s as a TV news anchor for KALB in Alexandria and WRBT, now WVLA, in Baton Rouge.
I KNEW OF Jules d'Hemecourt long before I enrolled at LSU in the fall of 1979. I first heard the name in the early 1970s, when I read an article in TV Guide, I think it was, about this hotshot small-town news director at Channel 5 in Alexandria. And soon enough, he was running the brand-new news department at Baton Rouge's relatively new Channel 33, WRBT.

Soon, being a little media freak, I was catching "33 News" whenever I could. One, I was a sucker for an underdog newscast going against the old-timers, Channels 2 and 9.

Two, I liked Jules' style.

Part of that style was an alter ego who occasionally popped out on 45 RPM novelty records. "Tee Jules" (colloquial French for "Little Jules") was the impish Cajun kid within who came out with local classics like "The Cajun 12 Days of Christmas" and "The Cajun Night Before Christmas."

In the two degrees of separation that is my hometown, the musical director and arranger was my junior-high band director, Lance Chauvin.

WHEN I HEARD of d'Hemecourt's death the other day, I remembered that I had, as a 12-year-old kid, recorded Tee Jules' "Cajun 12 Days of Christmas" from a holiday newscast on WRBT. I think it must have been Christmas 1973. Maybe 1974.

You can listen to it here, though I must say that the quality isn't the greatest, given that TV audio wasn't the greatest back then (and neither were portable tape recorders) . . . and that the reel-to-reel tape is over 34 years old.

Still, what comes through loud and clear, across the years, is how charming local TV could be.

What else comes across is that broadcast news used to be so much better written. Listen to d'Hemecourt's intro to "The Cajun 12 Days." It's . . . it's . . . literate. Sort of literary, even. And it may represent the last time the phrase "to wit" ever was used on a local TV news show.

Rest in peace, Tee Jules. And God bless you, Dr. d'Hemecourt.

UPDATE: From the comments, an object lesson for every newspaper or web-site obit writer -- when you don't get it straight, the deceased don't get their due . . . and the survivors can be hurt.

There wasn't much The Advocate did get straight in its story on Jules d'Hemecourt's death -- and life. And now a relative writes to set the record straight:
They also got the fact wrong about Jules not having any living family. I am Julia d'Hemecourt, daughter of John d'Hemecourt. Jules was our cousin. My family (my parents, brothers and sister) reconnected with him when my siblings and cousins (also d'Hemecourt's and Jules's relatives) started taking his classes at LSU. He was a part of our holiday celebrations, and we visited him every time we went up to Baton Rouge. He would call a few times a month and tell my mom, who he loved, jokes (usually Boudreaux and Thibodeaux ones). We loved him, and we miss him.