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Posts Tagged ‘music’

Ten Songs of 2009

So I had to make my own list, mainly just to organize my music in a way I rarely do: by year. Here are my top ten, in no particular order.

Brackett, WI – Bon Iver
Haunted Hymms – Tim Cohen
Synchronized Swimming – Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned
Woodpecker on the Larch – We Are Jeneric
Moody Tower – The Intelligence
We Stay Out – Smith Westerns
Keep it Hid – Dan Auerbach
Lost at Sea – The Fiery Furnaces
I Had Lost My Mind – Daniel Johnston
Knotty Pine – Dirty Projectors and David Byrne

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Basin Street Blues

Most of you who read this know already but I am moving to New Orleans. The Big Easy. The Crescent City. Birthplace of Jazz. When I think about it I can’t believe it but what does come to my mind is Basin Street Blues. It was one of the first jazz songs I heard when I was younger and it’s informed my mythical image of New Orleans since.

Now the band’s there to greet us
Old friends will meet us
Where all them folks goin to the St. Louis Cemetary meet
Heaven on earth…. they call it Basin Street

I’m tellin’ ya, Basin Street…… is the street
Where all the white and dark folk meet
New Orleans….. land of dreams
you’ll never miss them rice and beans
Way down south in New Orleans

The song was made famous by Louis Armstrong in a 1928 recording. Basin Street itself was a main thoroughfare in Storyville, the world-famous prostitution district of old New Orleans (*since demolished and replaced with a public housing project).

Since 1928 the song has been recorded and re-recorded as a jazz standard. Jazz itself didn’t formally come into being until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At it’s inception into the American music landscape, jazz was mostly played in bars and clubs around Storyville, from where it spread to the rest of New Orleans and then across the world. Nowadays, musicians of all kinds record and remix the song. Here’s a music video put to a Kid Koala version of Basin Street Blues.

Expect more of these kinds of posts in the new year. I’ll be living in, exploring, and learning the history of a new city. There will be pictures, there will be stories.

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