Sunday, May 10, 2015

Rayne, Louisiana: Frog Festival 2015


Geno Delafose and ... Rayne Frog Festival 2015, Rayne, Louisiana

The 2014 Frog Festival was the last to take place in November. I was there. It was cold.

The 2015 festival debuted the new calendar home for the festival - May. Beautiful weather. Rayne has a splendid pavilion for these kinds of events, making it possible to do music rain or shine. There was a wicked good breeze belting through, making things so pleasant for dancers.


Roddie Romero and ... Rayne Frog Festival 2015, Rayne, Louisiana


Festival sensories

While the first band of the day got set up, I had a few moments to soak in the sensory inputs:

Sounds

The acoustic and percussive rhythms of an unfamiliar song caught my ear, and while I listened, it transformed from the unfamiliar to the familiar ... a version I hadn't heard before:




The discordant sounds of ambient conversations jangled around me in a not-unpleasant way.

Whenever I listen to the aggregate of conversational sounds, I remember reading about people whose brains connect two concepts in unusual ways. For example, some "synesthetes" see numbers in colors. In the specific article I read, a synesthetic musician with perfect pitch cannot be in a room with a lot of people because he is unable to dissociate conversation from musical notes, and the cacophony of conversational sounds is too painful for his musician ears. (Here is a positive take on such a situation, however, written by LJ Rich, a woman who is synesthetic and with perfect pitch.)  

In the distance, but coming closer, were the sounds of fire trucks and police car wailings, members of the approaching parade.


Keith Frank and ... Rayne Frog Festival 2015, Rayne, Louisiana


Touch

Those of us who arrived early in the day got the pick of the breeziest spots within the shady pavilion. This day's breeze was an assertive one; it felt damn good when it slid across my face and arms.


Geno Delafose and ... Rayne Frog Festival 2015, Rayne, Louisiana


Smells

Grilled meat, boiled crawfish, warmed sweets, beer, fried foods.


Roddie Romero and ... Rayne Frog Festival 2015, Rayne, Louisiana


False notes

Don Rich is an example of a band leader that has a certain kind of arrogance I loathe in professional musicians. Kanye West has it. So does Cowboy Mouth (whose pouty behavior I saw at Lafayette's first 2015 Downtown Alive. Yecch). These are musicians who like to manipulate their audiences into posturing behaviors (stand up, sit down, repeat after me, sound more excited or I'll pack up and go home), shaming the audiences if they don't comply. Such musicians forget who they are: They are the deliverer of goods and the audience is their customer. It's not the other way around.

So anyway, Don Rich exhorted everyone into standing up (careful to note "if you can") for the purpose of singing along to America the Beautiful. Contrived patriotism for the glory of the musician. Pfft.

If Don Rich were so enamored of patriotism, perhaps he'd have done better to look to his right at the six Confederate flags waving in the breeze at an organizer-sanctioned vendor booth, and asked the vendors to take those flags down. Now, that would have been authentic patriotism!


Keith Frank and ... Rayne Frog Festival 2015, Rayne, Louisiana

Speaking of which. The festival organizers need to vet their vendors more critically. A vendor waving the Confederate flag? What poor taste. The moment these flags were raised is the moment the organizers should have told the vendor to take them down.

Geno Delafose and ... Rayne Frog Festival 2015, Rayne, Louisiana


Dancing

A Lafayette couple originally from Up North showed up, and the wife graciously shared her dancing partner-husband with me. He's one of those partners who are excellent prompters, making me look far more skilled at dancing than I am.


Geno Delafose and ... Rayne Frog Festival 2015, Rayne, Louisiana




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