Why are New Orleanians—along with people from all over the world who continue to flock there—so devoted to a place that was, even before the storm, the most corrupt, impoverished and violent corner of America? “Nine Lives” by Dan Baum helps provide an answer.
It’s easy in New Orleans these days to read meaning and purpose into every lyric or song choice—was Sheryl Crow commenting on the housing crisis by covering “Gimme Shelter,” or was she just doing a Stones tune? Also, it’s impossible to take in all the music and all the messages emanating from the Jazz Fest’s 10 stages. Still, a good deal of what I did catch was timely, topical and worth remembering.