So it seems no one took yesterday's Rising Tide contest question too seriously, as, from what I could tell from my Twitter stream, most everyone had made it a point to watch If God Is Willing & Da Creek Don't Rise on HBO and National Geographic's Witness: Katrina last night. At least, that's what I think it is, since I know there are some Telly Savalas fans out there who'd have guessed that I'd been watching some of The Scalphunters last week. Oh, well...
Anyway, most everyone who was watching HBO and NatGeo seemed to be going through varying degrees of trauma, indignation, and anger, and there was also a great need on the part of some to get the facts out there. Granted, this comes up every year around this time, but, this being a fifth-year anniversary, the misconceptions and outright hate towards Gulf Coast residents who are fighting for their lives here are especially cutting. Witnessing in CNN's New Orleans Rising the reactions of Wendell Pierce to the pushback he got - and probably still gets - when he got involved in trying to help the Pontchartrain Park neighborhood in which he was raised rebuild after the flood makes me realize that we must continue to stand firm against all the anger and the resentment that comes from within as well. Five years after, these are still some mighty hard times.
What is helping me at this time, aside from all the preparations for this year's conference, are some of the occasional bits of life here in the city that can make it worth it when I least expect it - such as listening to WWOZ and getting a wonderful hour of Sarah Quintana's music wafting through my car (news flash to groups like Threadhead and other recording companies 'round the town and the country: SIGN THAT WOMAN UP). It is also good to get some information about what musicians are doing to help recovery efforts, and how much their work has made them activists in their own right....such as when Paul Sanchez spoke of the Air Traffic Control organization's new benefit album Dear New Orleans on 'OZ yesterday. He spoke also of gatherings ATC has held of musicians in the city that address more than just New Orleans' recovery - and one local band in particular was described by Sanchez as being the ATC "house band" at those gatherings.
So...check the contest rules and make sure you've registered and/or donated to Rising Tide - my second $5 question to you Rising Tide contest players is: which band was Paul Sanchez talking about?
Since this post was a little late in being thrown up on my blog today, I'll give y'all 'til 11:30 AM tomorrow to give me your best answer.
And, speaking of activism, Rising Tide is holding a food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank this year. Bring all your canned goods, dried pastas, and other nonperishable foods to the conference on August 28th and help feed the needy in New Orleans and greater Acadiana - which includes those most affected by the BP oil disaster. Get your help and hope on.