As soon as the quitting time horn sounded on Friday afternoon to signal the end of a long work week, I slid down the neck of my brontosaurus and made my way home, stopping along the way at the Greek bakery for an éclair and at the liquor store for a six-pack of Clausthaler. The Mrs. had abandoned me for dinner and I couldn’t remember if we had any Mac n Cheese so I decided to add a spinach pie to my tab at the bakery. Man cannot subsist on éclairs and beer alone. I took my booty to my deck, where I enjoyed the cool summer evening and read an interesting article about Zappos, inspiring me to promptly order a couple pair of shoes. You really can’t go wrong with a black pump or strappy sandal. But I digress.
Saturday brought The Folk and Roots Festival to a park just down the street. You might expect to see a plethora of Joan Baez clones and a handful of rutabaga purveyors. However the organizers put together a pretty eclectic lineup, and several of the acts scheduled for the main stage on Saturday caught my eye. The weather couldn’t have been any better unless Mother Nature herself stopped by to give me a backrub, so I grabbed a couple beach towels, stuffed the Mrs. in my backpack and walked down to the park to catch the 4 pm set by Cedric Watson and the Bijou Creole.
I spent a lot of time in New Orleans after Katrina and have mixed feelings about the town. There’s more culture down there than a yogurt factory, but at the same time it seems a majority of visitors are more impressed by being able to stumble down the middle of Bourbon Street with a drink in their hand, oblivious to the transformation from French Quarter to ballpark restroom. When I visit, I try to get out early in the evening to get some dyn-o-mite food and catch some local music. It’s where I discovered Beth Patterson and also enjoyed numerous zydeco bands. So I jumped at the chance when Cedric brought some of that sound to Chicago.
There is no happier music in the world than zydeco. Period. I’m a grumpy mother-effer, but when I’m listening to zydeco I start farting butterflies and reciting 17th century sonnets. I dance with the homeless and buy ice cream cones for random children. It’s powerful stuff and Cedric Watson brings it like a juiced batter with the wind blowing out of the park. After he finished I bought some watermelon in lemonade while the Mrs. watched our spot.
Next up was the Caleb Klauder Country Band. Caleb brought a mostly classic country sound, I guess. I don’t know the difference between country and western so I really don’t know what I’m talking about. There were some drums, a standup bass, some guitar picking and some fiddling and probably some whittling but I wasn’t close enough to tell for sure. I found it pleasant enough, but the Mrs. seemed a little bored so went for a walk and happened to catch a show from the infamous PuppetBike. PuppetBike is a puppet theater built on the back of a bicycle, which rides around the city and puts on shows at seemingly random locations. It gets rave reviews and the Mrs. claims that it lived up to it’s hype.
I took a career assessment test several years ago when I was changing careers and it reported that my ideal job is puppeteer. Seriously. So maybe it’s best I missed the show or else I might have been tempted to hijack the bike and set off on a new career.
Now that I’ve wildly digressed again, I’ll wrap this up for today and be back to report on my newest crush in Part II. As Lou Reed says, “I love you, Suzanne.”