Various Artists/A Celebration of New Orleans Music
Various Artists/Our New Orleans
Various Artists/I Believe to My Soul
Dr. John/Sippiana Hericane

Today’s theme is pretty simple: the proceeds from all these CDs go to hurricane relief. Of course, you could accomplish more by just giving your money directly to, say, Habitat for Humanity, but where’s the fun in that? Anytime you can do a small good deed by buying music, I figure you’re ahead of the game.

This being Fat Tuesday and all, I’ve ingested a little too much single-malt scotch to go into any great detail, but these are all loaded with good music. If I had to pick one, it would probably be A Celebration of New Orleans Music, which is seriously — as they like to say down there — fonky, with an upbeat vibe that feels right on this most auspicious of days. In case you didn’t know, February 28, 2006 is not only Mardi Gras Day and the new moon, but also the last day of The Most Dangerous Month of the Year.

I’ve gone on the record many times with my feelings about February, which in my mind just takes up space between New Year’s and spring. But now that it’s over, I’m feeling generous about the second month, which to be honest was not half bad this year. The groundhog notwithstanding, the weather was mostly gorgeous, interspersed with heavy rain that will no doubt make for a spectacular season. My cats are happy and healthy, I made a few bucks this month, and my orchids started blooming a few days ago.

As I write this, the sun is setting over Oaktown. The few clouds remaining from our last rainstorm are glowing sweetly pink and blue. (You can’t have a top-notch sunset without a few clouds; there has to be something to catch the light.) Meanwhile, the Mardi Gras revelry is in full swing in the Crescent City. Some people thought it was weird to have a big party in the midst of all that devastation, but it makes perfect sense to me. When things are really fucked, that’s when you need a good time most of all. So what the hell: Laissez les bon temps etc. etc. We’ll figure everything out tomorrow, I’m sure.