Monday, December 16, 2013
I am from New Orleans, a fact to which i've made reference many times on this blog. That being said, I take great issue with the one dimensional way in which David Simon's "Treme" portrays the musical culture of my hometown. Simon's show falls into the typical bullshit trap that most fiction written about modern New Orleans by outsiders does... it depicts us all as a bunch of shiftless rednecks or general trash with a ridiculous affinity for Dixieland Jazz, a genre that was well past its expiration date the moment the first recording of it was made. Yes, yes, we all know Kid Ory, King Oliver, and Buddy Bolden are from the city... but a huge chunk of us moved past that long ago. Personally, I can't fucking stand "dixieland" or "traditional" New Orleans Jazz. It's terrible. It sounds like 20 guys playing different songs in different tempos with completely different keys at the same time... or to pull one from The Boondocks: "it sounds like a long car accident involving some cats." Personally, my allegiances have always leaned more toward the Metal scene. Yes, believe it or not, New Orleans has quite a good metal scene that has spawned some unique and influential bands. Hell, you could make the argument that without our scene there would be no Sludge Metal, and that Pantera would have remained an awful glam band. Yet none of these outside evangelists and defenders of our city's culture mention so much as an inkling about Eyehategod, Crowbar, Exhorder, Goatwhore, Acid Bath, Opprobrium (formerly Incubus), Floodgate, Soilent Green, and the myriad other metal bands that DONT feature Phil Anselmo and whom call the city home. There's never a mention of the city's past developments in Hardcore music, Hip-Hop, and Alternative rock, No, it's always back to the whorehouses in Storyville and those damn Dixieland bands. I know that in terms of music, the size of the Metal and Rock scenes in New Orleans is no match for Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Los Angeles, and other bloated, urban meccas, but it wouldn't hurt people to actually explore it a little deeper rather than continue the perpetuation of the myth that our music scene has not developed at all since the early 1900s. Thank You.