Dancin’ in the Streets…a quarterly mixtape

Callin’ out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer’s here and the time is right for dancin’ in the street.
Dancin’ in Chicago (dancin’ in the street)
Down in New Orleans (dancin’ in the street)
[San Francisco]*

All we need is music, sweet music,
There’ll be music everywhere

– Martha and the Vandellas

Recently, I had the good fortune to travel down to New Orleans with a couple of friends for Jazz Fest. Although there are many songs and styles more intimately connected to NoLa (“House of the Rising Sun” or even the more apropos “City of New Orleans” given my point of origin and very memorable night which I’ll reference further below), this is the one that always comes to mind first because it is the vision of the city I always had: a city pulsing with life and energy such that one was inspired to dance at any given moment, even on the city streets in the plain light of day. (Something that pleases me, given my propensity to shimmy at the slightest provocation.) Despite some intermittent rain and unseasonably chilly weather, I was pleased to find that folks were undeterred by the weather, moving with fervor and relish through muddied fields and muggy air. And the music… it poured forth from every corner as though it too could not be tempered by even the slightest of inclement skies. It was a revelation to a first time visitor, who will surely return anon.

...all the streets are a stage.

in NoLa, all the streets are a stage.

…but this is not a collection of New Orleans inspired songs or the music it nurtured and shared with the world. It serves as inspiration and catalyst for my thoughts about the year to date: a topsy-turvy and unexpected serious of fortunate and curious events. But, such is life isn’t it? And, so I share with you a collection of songs that have been the soundtrack to my trips, excursions, and wanderings for the past couple of months; an admittedly odd combination of artists to share a single “bill” yet for those that follow my musical dalliances, not totally unexpected. Whether it’s Karen O channeling Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”, Bored Nothing’s invocation of Elliott Smith, Waxahatchee’s plaintive wail, Wayne Coyne’s existential ramblings, DJ Koze and Bonobo’s entrancing groves, Kacey Musgraves and Caitlin Rose’s pleasing Americana, it all blends perfectly in my mind and consciousness. I hope it will please you too. And, help you discover something new or reconnect with an old memory or friend, as music so often does for me.

Without further ado, it’s time to drop the proverbial needle on the turntable and listen to dancin’ in the streets – a 2013 quarterly mixtape.

…as always your thoughts and comments are welcome, I like to know you are listening. I encourage you to share with friends and spread the music… because music has a right to be everywhere.

a.a.

* I love you New York but you’re bringing me down… and for my fellow New Orleans travel mates.

...won't you join me for beignet next year?

…won’t you join me for a beignet or three next year?

p.s. for the curious. . . The memorable night occurred eight years ago when Jimmy Buffett played at Wrigley Field soon after the tragic destruction of Hurricane Katrina. As an encore, he sat on the bleachers of Wrigley Field with guitar in hand and did a cover of “The City of New Orleans” to bring our thoughts and prayers to the people in New Orleans. The gesture was even more poignant because it was written by his friend and longtime Cubs fan Steve Goodman, who unfortunately passed many years before. Even for those who don’t care for Mr. Buffett, his music or the culture that surrounds him, it was a touching and moving moment. And, in the fascinating ways of the internet, it is captured below. Enjoy.

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