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Shake That Thing

April 18, 2010

I wasn’t sure if this deserved it’s own post, but the more I thought about it I think it is important, because it speaks to the Simon team’s attention to detail.

Below is actual video of the first second line after the Flood, January 15, 2006. There is one tiny detail buried in this shaky video that shows up in the Treme version as well. Hell, I didn’t even notice that detail on Treme until the second watch, so we are talking small details. Second line maven Lisa Palumbo got it right away when I put this up on Facebook as a challenge, but I’ll leave the rest of you to figure it out. It’s only there for a fraction of a second while the camera cuts and swings so you better be watching close.

I’ll post the answer in a day or so because I want everyone who says “this or that isn’t authentic” to remember just how committed to authenticity Simon is, and he’ll only move off that dime for the story. It is an amazing detail because if I give you the time cue it’s so fast you’ll probably miss it the first time because you’re watching the clock, but someone on the Simon team got it.

  1. April 18, 2010 7:10 am

    A certain yaller blogger took a picture of it…

    Street signs

  2. April 18, 2010 7:54 am

    Close but no cigar.

    Mark Folse Toulouse Street — Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans “You got to be a spirit! You can’t be no ghost.” –Rastaman the Griot

  3. April 18, 2010 10:18 am

    Hmmm. That was my guess too.

  4. April 18, 2010 11:31 am

    You’re both almost right. There’s only one I saw in the original video.

  5. April 18, 2010 11:48 am

    You talking about the street signs? The only one I remember seeing in the show was Pleasure.

  6. April 18, 2010 12:10 pm

    This is going to make me crazy.

  7. April 18, 2010 12:52 pm

    I think I may know, although I’d have to watch Treme again. Are we saying?

  8. Lisa permalink
    April 18, 2010 1:58 pm

    huh…that was going to be my guess too….curious to see the correct answer!

  9. April 18, 2010 2:03 pm

    You’re all almost right. It was specifically the Pleasure Street sign that appears very briefly at 2:17. I didn’t see any others in the original.

  10. jeffrey permalink
    April 18, 2010 2:19 pm

    I was just talking about the street signs a few days ago in this thread

    Here’s the whole Flickr set.

    I’ll have to upload my video at some point. The thing, though is that it turns out this wasn’t even the “first second line after the storm” I thought it was the other day but when I went back through the Yellow archives I found this from December 2005. The pictures in that post are screwed up for some mystical cell phone related reason but they render properly if you click on them.

  11. April 18, 2010 2:20 pm

    I recall hearing that when the fellas are coming out the door of the bar to start the parade, they say “always for pleasure” as an added detail – a reference to a documentary made about the second lines, the title of which was itself a reference to what some of those folks would say when coming out the door:

  12. jeffrey permalink
    April 18, 2010 2:31 pm

    During that December parade, people were chanting “Fuck Bush”

  13. doctorj permalink
    April 18, 2010 3:52 pm

    Can some one clear something up for me? I thought the first second line was the one where people had the ReNew Orleans shirts on and it ended in a shooting. I remember being so joyful at the return of a piece of New Orleans culture and then heart broken again hearing it ended with the curse of the city that was before Katrina. When was that second line?

  14. April 18, 2010 4:44 pm

    Ok, I thought the sign they had in the first episode was Desire, not Pleasure.

  15. jeffrey permalink
    April 18, 2010 4:50 pm


    You’re thinking of the All Star second line parade on Jan 15 2006 which is the same one we have here in the video and in the Flickr photos I just linked to.

    From a Katy Reckdahl piece on Second Line parading permits:

    NOPD Superintendent Warren Riley increased the fees shortly after the All-Star Second Line Parade, hosted by the task force and 32 social aid and pleasure clubs. Hundreds of social aid and pleasure club members and three brass bands returned home for the January 15 parade, which wound through traditionally black downtown neighborhoods. (One Uptown NOPD captain refused to let the parade pass through his district and so the parade had to scrap plans to also march through Uptown.) Club members wearing ReNew Orleans t-shirts dedicated the parade to returning residents’ needs, including housing, jobs, and health insurance.

    After the parade was over, club members socializing in front of the Zulu Club on Broad Street and Orleans Avenue got word that a shooting nearby had wounded three people. Bystanders say that the shooting was prompted by a pre-Katrina grudge about a jacket.

    And yet, as I’ve been saying, there was a parade Uptown in December that seems to have fallen through the memory hole.

  16. samjasper permalink
    April 18, 2010 4:52 pm

    Pleasure Street sign. I noticed it the second time through watching Treme and I’d seen this video. I was thinking some poor prop guy was sent out to find that sign, or make one. That’s gotta be it. And hell yeah, THAT is detail.

  17. April 18, 2010 5:18 pm

    Sam: I was thinking they had to have made that sign. And still think it was Desire in the show and not Pleasure.

    Around October 15th 2005, I remember a jazz funeral for Katrina & Rita with a second line, but that was through the Quarter and with very few musicians. Not a real SA&PC second line through the back of town with 500+ people. Only remember because NPR (the N stands for Nattering) covered it with fotos.

  18. doctorj permalink
    April 18, 2010 5:48 pm

    Thank you Jeffrey! I was beginning to doubt my memory. It was a very important moment to me even though I have never been to a second line. I just wanted my New Orleans back, and this was an important step towards that. Again, thank you for putting my doubts to rest.

  19. jacquesrideau permalink
    April 18, 2010 6:36 pm

    Amiri Baraka!

  20. rickngentilly permalink
    April 18, 2010 7:27 pm

    the intersection of pleasure, and new orleans is by my house. i think that’s why i noticed it on the first viewing.

  21. April 18, 2010 7:47 pm

    There was a Black Men of Labor second line on November 26, 2005. I believed, at the time, that it was the first post-Katrina second line but I could have been wrong. I wrote about it and just checked my notes to be sure of the date. It appeared in When the Levees Broke, if I remember correctly. (Spike Lee was definitely there armed with cameras but I can’t recall for sure if it made it into the documentary.) I was the real thing and was scheduled for September 4, 2005 but was delayed by the storm. My wife took great pics:

  22. April 18, 2010 7:53 pm

    No, on my third watch through I jotted down a note for Pleasure Street, as it seemed perfect. And then I said the video going through Red Cotton’s stuff.

    Mark Folse Toulouse Street — Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans “You got to be a spirit! You can’t be no ghost.” –Rastaman the Griot

  23. April 18, 2010 10:53 pm

    We participated in a wonderful second line in the Treme that started and ended at Backstreet on November 1, 2005. The route took us alongside Armstrong Park, onto Rampart and a block deep into the Quarter. Leroy Jones and the band were dressed to the nines, too. It was the most soul stirring second line I ever attended. It went into the evening and I took a few pictures that are currently posted on my site (Apple orphaned the online .mac web system and I haven’t updated those pages in a long time). It was All Soul’s Day and I’m assuming that was the reason. It wasn’t a very big crowd, probably around 100 or so. Freddie Lonzo, Woody P, Shannon Powell are some of the musicians I recognize. We stopped at Little People’s Place. And Mr. Ramsey had an amazing suit featuring Katrina-related headlines and articles.

    The first really big second line, Jan 15, was the one depicted in the show. I wish they’d have used more street signs because Humanity and Desire, in particular, stuck out for me. I also have pics of that on my personal site.

  24. April 19, 2010 5:36 am

    I am guessing if they has your or Jeffrey’s stills there might have been more signs, but you get the feeling watching both they studied the video closely.

  25. kmcorby permalink
    April 20, 2010 7:11 pm

    Many photographers took photos of the street signs in the All Star second line. I was particularly struck by the sign for Humanity Street. Oh the humanity. And yes, including that does represent an obsessive attention to detail. Good for Simon!

  26. April 21, 2010 6:35 am I noticed that in the show too, and it’s a tribute to the show that they didn’t make a big deal about it.

  27. Cynthia permalink
    May 27, 2010 2:07 pm

    This all star second line was not the first one after Katrina. There were parades in the fall of 2005. In fact, Spike Lee got footage of those parades in his film. Joe Stern, of the Original Prince of Wales, was one of the main organizers of the first parades after the storm.

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