Country Rap: The Gulf States (Louisiana)

Jazz Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now (Alan Lomax, 1990, 58 mins.)

Alan Lomax's Jazz Parades explores the cathartic Sunday jazz parade of social clubs like King Zulu, the Young Olympians and the White Eagles in New Orleans. An overview of the jazz scene takes form in the convergence of "the Uptown Blacks with the Downtown Creoles" and in interviews with the participants, who open the door for understanding the ritual aspect of "turning loose" the dead, celebrating Mardi Gras and sublimating violence by dancing in the streets. Their heroes (Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Buddy Bolden, Johnny Dodds, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Kid Ory, Manuel Perez and John Robichaux) started out in the red light district, where the madames became the first patrons of jazz. While Lomax’s strong narration tends to “explain away” blues voices as historically and socially determined, his ethno-musicological approach pays of at times, for example with the crosscuts between African ceremony and Jazz parades to make their common links clear.

8:00 pm

The Carter

Dir. Adam Bhala Lough, 2009, 80 mins.

“The Carter is a documentary about Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. aka Lil' Wayne. It is an intoxicating, cinematic journey into the thoughts and world of an extremely complicated man whose creative force is something to behold. He never stops recording, and his work is his own: unfiltered, uncensored, raw, and powerful. Director Adam Bhala Lough captures remarkably candid moments, such as Lil' Wayne recounting his first sexual experience, as well as him talking openly about his drug habits. Following him all over the country and to Amsterdam, Lough mixes fly-on-the-wall footage of Lil' Wayne in his hotel room and on his bus with artfully composed concert footage. The result is a shockingly intimate portrait of one of the most inspired (and eccentric) musicians embodying New Orleans’ rich, complex cultural traditions today, capturing the imagination of mainstream America through his work.”

Country Rap: The Gulf States (Mississippi)

The Land Where Blues Began

Dir. John M. Bishop, Alan Lomax, Worth W. Long, 1979, 58 mins.

“A self-described ‘song-hunter,’ the folklorist Alan Lomax traveled the Mississippi Delta in the 1930s and 40s, sometimes in the company of black folklorists like John W. Work III, armed with primitive recording equipment and a keen love of the Delta's music heritage. In the late 1970s Lomax returned with filmmaker John Bishop and black folklorist Worth Long and made the film The Land Where the Blues Began. Shot on video tape, the film is narrated by Lomax and includes remarkable performances and stories by J.T. Tucker, William S. Hart, Bill Gordon, Belton Sutherland, Reverend Caeser Smith, James Hall, Johnny Brooks, Clyde Maxwell, Bud Spires, Jack Owens, Beatrice Maxwell, Walter Brown, Wilbert Puckett, and Othar Turner.”

Dirty States of America

Dir. FLX, 2004, 95 mins

Dirty States is the most thorough documentation of Southern hip-hop rap in all its regional variation and cultural offshoots. This history is told through interviews with practically every notable southern rapper at a pivotal time when hip-hop form the South began to upstage the East and West coast versions in popularity and market value. While “keeping it real” in its even representation of gun-talk, booty shaking and obscenity in the Dirty, poignant and conscious voices emerge in the film, particularly those of David Banner and Killer Mike.