Hello, friends! Rob here.
I think I'm still dehydrated from Jazz Fest. I set a personal record for most gigs. The Revivalists set a personal record for most people onstage at one time, with thirteen. I managed to play music with every member of Naughty Professor despite not actually playing music with Naughty Professor. Space & Harmony played the official afterparty for The Revivalists' big Saenger throwdown, which is something that has appealed to me ever since seeing Rob Mercurio and Stanton Moore walk across the street from the Fillmore in San Fransisco after a sold-out Galactic show to play at the legendary Benny's Boom Boom Room with a bunch of local talent. Cape-less superhero Steve Gleason said we had the best song of Jazz Fest(!!!). Our semi-secret show as Boyfriend's backing band got pretty weird (good weird). I played the whole set in a silk bathrobe and a thong. Boyfriend may or may not have pantomimed smelling my dick during a cover of Riskay's timeless, tortured, romantic ballad, "Smell Yo Dick."
I'd like to thank the organizers of this year's festival for using static clings for the parking passes that we had to stick onto the inside of our windshields instead of old-fashioned adhesive stickers. Those adhesive passes are hell and a half to get off of a vehicle. Our old sprinter has one from like 2013 because they just DO NOT come off. Thanks for not doing that to us. You guys are the real heroes.
Immediately following Jazz Fest, we flew out to Los Angeles for the BMI Pop Awards, which honored the top fifty BMI-administered songs of the first half of the year. It was weird to see "Wish I Knew You" lumped in such ubiquitous megahits "Despacito," "Scars To Your Beautiful," and "Shape of You." Mark Ronson was the guest of honor that night, receiving the coveted BMI Champion Award. He delivered a brief address and performed a medley of some of his most well-known compositions alongside some very talented musicians (holy crap dude check out Yebba). Several Mardis Gras (that is the plural) ago, I started playing a lifetime game where I drink every time I hear "Uptown Funk-" one sip for the recorded version, the remainder of my beverage for a live performance. I was delighted at the opportunity to slam a whole gin & tonic from the open bar while watching Ronson himself perform an excerpt from his (and Bruno Mars') immortal party anthem.
Anyway, I wanted to get this out last week, but about twenty hours after I got back from LA, I was already on my way back out to Mexico City to do some straight-up vacation. If you're wondering how my trip went, skip to about the 1:30:00 mark in this video and keep your eye on the left side of the screen:
That's my wife and me (in our bitchin' souvenir headbands) cheering for fifty-eight-year-old lucha legend Negro Casas after a stunning victory over Soberano Jr. during what will likely endure as the single most "this is not my beautiful house" moment of my entire life. What happened was, some of the folks on our trip had previously made friends with an exceedingly hospitable local named Miguel, who was kind enough to invite our whole crew along for some or all of his weekend-long birthday celebration, which included a lucha libre match on Friday. My wife and I and our friend Jon ended up in front-row seats, which meant that our faces we were all over the Mexican telecast. If you want to get a decent idea of what the match was like (and see a few more seconds of my grateful, bewildered applause), start at 45 minutes, 30 seconds and keep watching until a little past the 47-minute mark.
On a personal note (because lord knows this blog could use a few more of those), my wife and I are rounding the corner on our first year of marriage. My favorite thing about not having been married for very long is giving newlyweds (even-newly-er-weds?) really obvious, condescending advice on how to keep a marriage going like I'm some wizened old veteran: "you see, marriage is a partnership. You're a team. You've got to communicate. That means not just talking, but also listening. You have to compromise." I do great at parties.
Really, it's been pretty rad so far. Highlights include having all but mastered the art of opening bottles with my wedding ring (it's like having a super power!) and remora-ing onto my wife's corporate health plan, which is so actually-good-and-not-totally-useless that one time when I was at an urgent care in Denver the receptionist told me, "wow, you have good insurance." The only low point I can think of- aside from that time in January when New Orleans was literally colder than Anchorage, AK (I looked it up at the time) and every pipe in the city burst and all of the plumbers were on back-order and I had to sneak into the gym at her office to shower for the rest of the week- was when my wife was watching Amazon's gritty detective series Bosch and the titular character had the same ringtone as I do. It was agonizing. I'm pretty sure like forty percent of that show is just Detective Bosch walking slowly across the room to answer his cell phone.
Okay, so, this laurel/yanny thing. Or the dress thing. Or even the dang cilantro thing. Every time we discover another one of these weirdly specific sensory phenomena, we are presented with an opportunity to reflect on the nature of perception. Maybe some experiences are more subjective than we care to admit. Maybe, sometimes, there is no right or wrong answer. What if people- mortal, fallible animals with limited sensory faculties and minuscule individual perspectives- are just doing the best we can to understand the world around us using the rudimentary tools at our disposal? What does it say about us that instead of doing any of that, we invariably just split into teams and start throwing food at each other?
The friends whose thing I'm plugging today are Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Ben Ellman!
Washington is a beloved New Orleans mainstay and a perennial front-runner for Straight-Up Coolest Guy Around, and Ellman, as some of you probably know, is one of my personal heroes and one of our favorite producers. They teamed up to create Walter's latest record, My Future Is My Past, a beautiful, intimate collection that pairs well with those afternoons when it's too hot to do anything but laze on your porch with a cold drink and watch the world get older. Beautiful, guys.