How refreshing to have a second line in Austin. I don’t visit my former home New Orleans as often as I’d like. We walked, they made music. We would cross the street en masse. The large crowd only getting halfway through the crosswalk before the light would turn green. Yuppies in fancy cars fuming that we were blocking their green light. Fuckin’ yuppies. I realized then people don’t use that word anymore. Minor Mishap Marching band would play, then the Brazilian percussionists. A wave of music sloshing back and forth between the styles. Tidal tunes. We would stop at certain spots, form an amoebic semi-circle and dance. My favorite was when they played Do What You Wanna, a very NOLA song by Kermit Ruffins if my memory serves me. We made our way around to venue 3TEN where the second line started. Dozens of musicians packed on the waist-high stage. We danced some more, everything bathed in multi-colored light. Blues and purples. Can’t beat brass. So much fun. Cute girl holding the Minor Mishap flag too.
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to get through this thing called life..” started the event. Over 100 souls gathered. We sang Prince, Starman – Bowie, Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen, artists we lost in 2016. Costumes abounded, Christmasy devils, fairies, turtles and whatchamacallits. Lanterns of all makes, un-shapes and non-sizes. Minor Mishap Marching Band led the parade. After the singing came the brass. The throaty tubas, the bellowing trombones, the trill of trumpets all in attendance. The gentle melodic wheezing of an elusive accordion. Some walked, some danced, some pranced and skipped. We made our way around the band, with them, sometimes in front of them. There were so many they spread out amongst the mobile crowd. Here and there one would stop to let their brass speak to us. We stopped, we walked, we stopped some more. The whole conglomerate of musicians a huge badass amoeba of talent. Extending here, ebbing there. Advancing. A group reminiscient of the brass bands of New Orleans. Though these dames and gents put a singular Austiny flavor in their craft no doubt. Some sounds at some turns even seem to nod to the Romani. An orchestra of dance. A procession of wind and arm powered sound. This is how many of us Austinites chose to welcome in the winter.