Ch. 12a : From the Big Apple to the Big Easy.

NEW ORLEANS


Xtal Chaos: I like the Hot 8 Brass Band’s sloppy version of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.”

Steve Polier: When I left I told Chad Mo about my vacancy and Jack about Chad Mo. That’s how Chad Mo played with inferno. I still see Chad Mo from time to time here in NOLA.

Chad Mo: Steve actually got me the gig when he found out that I played. When I moved down to NOLA he had a bar over at the Barmuda Triangle. They had an old piano in there & a lot of musicians hung out.

Polier: Getting off tour with Inferno and then going back to running Sweet Water which had its dysfunction on default and always chock-a-block drunken comedy/drama. It seems to make sense that I now live in the asylum New Orleans. The secret here is that the levee walls are not to keep water from drowning the city, but really to keep the wing nuts contained. Actually, a funny note, when the band formed the idea was that we all would move to New Orleans and operate from here. I flat out refused, I had to run Sweet Water, I think it was a pipe dream of Jacks, but now here I am and they aren’t.

Chad Mo: When I came down here with my friend Meredith, I had my clarinet. I met some of the guys from the Morning 40 Federation . We went to this rum factory they were working at which happened to be one of the only rum factories in the country. There were just barrels and kegs everywhere and then trombones and saxophones all around…. i just FELL IN LOVE. i didnt even want to go back to new york. i had it. Back home in NYC it was like i was living in my own graveyard .They break your legs off for your crutches. I was tired of that German looking police encapment that they put across the street from my ‘home’. I was tired of all the NYU students moving in. After seeing all the dancing in the streets in NOLA, it was easy not to go back to New York..

Steve Polier : I grew up in NYC, and I didn’t want to only live and die there. My girl moved to New Orleans and my nasty ex-wife still, at the time, lived in NYC. Sweet Water had run its course and New York was becoming over hyped, over policed, over priced and over populated. New Orleans has its problems for sure, but every place does. I don’t think there are any great places but there sure are some shitty ones. So I moved in 2003 kinda after 911 and before Katrina, good timing, eh?. But this week we will be about sixty to seventy degrees. Yeah, I had a “new” place for five years in one of the most insane places in the world (lots of stories that I won’t go into right now, but damn!) But that place closed about a year ago. The place was called Sugar Park Tavern, incidentally named after that little park off of Kent Avenue next to the Domino sugar plant. 

Franz Nicolay (from Dusted Features) : If you ever get back to New Orleans… Sugar Park is the new joint from Stephe Polier who used to run the legendary Brooklyn punk rock haven Sweetwater Tavern. Sweetwater was the only place whose bartenders were two metal guitarists, a high-end car repairman, and a Slayer fanatic who wrote music exclusively in 18th-century Werckmeister tuning (Anti-Social Music’s Al Giusto). Sugar Park is Sweetwater but open til seven and with pizza. And more circus punks.

Steve Polier: However, my girl and I are working on getting another place open. We closed on the spot last Tuesday, so now its gotta be balls to the walls and if everything works out it should open in about three months or so. It will also be called Sugar Park. I don’t know if we will end up having live shows there, with the NOPD and all, but on the other side of the wall (next door) is a place called “The Spell Caster Lounge”. And at the other end of the block is a place called “Truck Farm”, known for throwing Chaz Fest, both have live shows. But all of our back yards connect soooooo….

Giant Cat: Are you still playing with any bands?

Steve Polier: Yes, I am still playing and I am still with Doc Otis & The Junker Jazz All-stars. Actually we should be recording a CD starting this weekend. On other fronts I have been going to the local community college for shit sake. Because, I will never know if college is a waste of time or not, unless I see for my self.

Chad Mo : Actually, I’ve sat in with them from time to time…

Steve Polier: There are some really good musicians down here. I mean really talented players; usually you can see a good show any night of the week. For instance Stix Da Clown is really good in any of his bands.

Yeah, I know Stumps too, I think they are in some ways related, they may have played in a band together at one time, I can’t be sure. Stix is a bit heavier and bearded, but much the same with clown war paint. ( Stix played in Stricken Hobo and a bunch of other bands). It’s kinda funny with a name like Stix, I always though he should’ve played the drums. So much for what I know.

… Washboard Chaz is also really fucking good and then there is Quintron and Miss Pussy Cat, also top notch performers whom has invented an instrument that kinda is like a theramin they really put on a good show, replete with puppets. They also run The 9th Ward Marching Band. They never disappoint. Oh yeah another good band to check out down here is The Zyderpunks. Also I don’t know if you know Soda Pop, he’s a good friend of mine who’s, last I heard, playing for I think “Morning Star” but they may have changed their name by now, they play iron

Kevin Corzett: In my opinion, touring the last couple of years has been a little more difficult. Y’know, what with the trials and tribulations of touring in the 21st century or whatever. But I feel even 5-10 years ago there was more action of bands getting down to New Orleans or Seattle bands getting over to Boston. I have friends in NOLA , The Zydepunks, who have booked great shows for both Reverend Glasseye & World Inferno. With Inferno, we played a show with them at the Dragon’s Den, which is a sloppy dive bar in New Orleans that is a lot of fun. I’ve been to NOLA a couple of times but that was, um, the most debaucherous…

But its bands like the Zydepunks that act as the emissaries for these individual scenes that got it all connected and got the whole thing happening. But I agree, it seems recently like its internet promoters, like Jordan from Sepiachord, who are getting the word out for a lot of scenes that may or may not have the resources to do so.

Ryan Sane: I went to Rubulad to see The End of the World Circus from New Orleans who the Know Nothings were touring with doing this freakshow afterwards. So I saw this circus at Rubulad and the freakshow….[I] remember just thinking how i excited i was at the thought of just running away with the circus.

Meschiya Lake was the person to come up to me and ask to come with them. She had a van and I had to tell my friend Erica that I was going on tour with the circus.

Steve Polier: Yeah I know Meschiya, I see her on her bike all the time, like yesterday, she lives right around my Neighborhood, Bywater.

Chad Mo : Lately, I’ve just been into playing play trad jazz music, yknow, NOLA style. I’ve been busy w/ different bands in town. I recently just got into’ the directory’ in New Orleans. So if someone needs a musician, I get a call as a hired musician. This is a city people come to that need horn & violin & etc. So the workforce, if youre good – youre going to get those calls.

Geoff Blythe: I remember Chad. I remember that [whiskey] story actually. Say hello for me? I love new orleans. I’ve gone down there a lot in the last couple of years. My elder daughter got married down there. Met a HUGE fan of WIFS at her wedding in NOLA. ( little gary) Gary is indeed the one! Nice kid. Yes it is a small world!

Back to New Orleans. I was going down there a bunch of times to see her & just because I love it anyway. The first time I played New Orleans was with the Bureau actually . And I played & recorded there with Elvis Costello [Punch the Clock lp circa 1983].

Steve Polier: Yeah New Orleans is a strange place and when you get bit the draw to return is pretty powerful stuff. It is only 1326 miles SW of The Death Star and a promised interesting time. Most people think New Orleans is Bourbon Street, but that’s like saying New York is Times Square, it’s just the place to shove the touristas.

Chad Mo: Its been alright. Other than that – a whole new shape & type of people are buying up houses down here but there is a certain ‘ je ne sais quoi’ . i had a really good time over the summer travelling and came back in the winter and its not fun. Now i want to stay in the summer and leave in the winter because I want to stay and hang out with the locals. Its just all changing really fast. No different from LES when Guilliani made those laws , he just cut off the livelihood of all brown skinned people. It just happens. The Katrina situation really forced gentrification. Instead of politicians at work scheming, it was a big natural disaster not something from a comic book like in the Lower East Side.

Steve Polier: Well anyway do think about a visit some time its good for the soul. If ya need any more info, as you can tell I can sure blab. **** It’s a small town down here really.

-Anyways sorry it took so long to reply, usually I’d be right on it. But it’s been the stars and their courses.

Cheers,

Stephen

ps – for more on all this check out online chapter 12e pt II

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