Sunday, March 19, 2006

SxSW, Harry Shearer, Jamie Cullum and more!

Just got done attending SxSW in Austin. Highlights included 1) the taping of Harry Shearer's Le Show that airs today with performances by Lyle Lovett, Henry Butler, John Boutte, and Judith Owen (listen to it at; 2) Jamie Cullum's Verve showcase (Jamie pictured with Henry and John backstage at Le Show); and 3) New Orleans Social Club's set at the Louisiana Day showcase at Town Lake (look for their new CD on Sony in April).

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Kermit Ruffins, Hornets and Lakers

Kermit Ruffins performed a beautiful "America the Beautiful" at the Hornets/Lakers game on Wednesday, March 8th at the New Orleans Arena. It was the first major sporting event in New Orleans since the flooding.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Gordon Parks died today at the age of 93. I had the opportunity to meet this great man when we put together Irvin Mayfield/Gordon Parks, Half Past Autumn Suite CD that is music that was commissioned to honor Mr. Parks. It is music that Irvin wrote that is inspired by Mr. Parks' art. For a story on his life and death click on this link:

Friday, March 03, 2006


I returned from a 6 day trip to New Orleans last night and had certified mail today from the Louisiana Department of Labor. The letter said "Unemployment Taxes. Notice of Intent to Assess", and was a bill for taxes, interest and penalty due for the 3rd quarter of 2005. This letter was sent to my devastated office in New Orleans from Baton Rouge and postmarked on January 27th. It was forwarded to my PO Box in Austin on 2/20/06 and arrived in Austin sometime between 2/24 and 3/2 while I was away.

I called today and found out that they had put a letter out for the mail today that was being sent to the Clerk of Court to place a lien on my home and my business. I fortunately was able to ask them to pull the letter and avoid having the lien placed. I also called my friends at a local newspaper and TV station and told them this story. IT IS OBVIOUSLY TOO EARLY TO BE PLACING LIENS ON PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY LOST SO MUCH. There were tens of thousands of people who lost their small businesses, probably owe some taxes for their employees for the 3rd quarter, and like me also don't have their staff to take care of these sorts of things. As it turns out, the person who used to do this for me, did do it for me after the flooding, but the online system that he usually uses to pay the tax was down, so he paid the other things like Federal and State withholding, but wasn't able to pay state unemployment that we took out of the checks. Someone at the Louisiana Department of Labor needs to be held accountable and so does our Governor for making this premature decision.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Kermit Ruffins profiled on NPR's All Things Considered

Click here for the profile of Kermit Ruffins and two other artists on NPR's All Things Considered that aired on Mardi Gras day, 2/28/06.