Woof! This day has just about defeated me in terms of the amount of time and creative energy that remains, but I've got a pretty good streak going here and I don't want to break it now, so here we go.
For as long as I can remember, I've loved brass. Growing up as I did in the '80s — and now living in the 2020s — this means that the vast majority of the music available to me via the Top 40 (and whatever the hell has arisen, Cthulhu-like, from the depths to take its place) has tended to strike me as extremely brass-deficient. The saddest thing of all is that I'm pretty sure I acquired my appreciation for a good horn section via Chicago, and that would have had to happen through Chicago 16 or Chicago 17, otherwise known as the first two of the band's albums that found their horn section locked out of the studio by David Foster.
I have spent my life thirsty for good brass, is what I'm saying. This eventually led me to develop a love of New Orleans music that continues to abide today; while I'm nowhere near the NOLA connoisseur that someone like the human persistent bathtub ring known as Dave Lifton might be, my attention is persistently piqued by anything involving a tight pocket and some horns.
The issue with this is that a large number of New Orleans-flavored albums tend to recycle the same standards, and while I can respect this, sometimes I'm in the mood to hear a bunch of brassy shit I haven't already heard in different forms before — and while I may not need to hear yet another cover of "Stagger Lee," well, "Stagger Lee" is still a better song than a lot of the stuff that a lot of newer artists can come up with on their best day. All of which is to say that when I wake up in the mood to hear something energetic and funky that's backed by an ace horn section, finding just the right record can take a lot of digging.
Today, my itch was scratched by Lapeitah, the 2016 album from trombonist Corey Henry. You may not know him by name (I didn't), but Henry's been around — he was a member of the Rebirth Brass Band and Galactic, and played with the Treme Brass Band when he was just a teenager. Solid bona fides, and Lapeitah is a very effective advertisement for Henry's gifts; on the whole, I'd say this is more consistently enjoyable (and more warmly produced) than, say, your average Trombone Shorty record. My least favorite cut is the cover of "If 6 Was 9" featuring Corey Glover on lead vocals, and even that isn't bad. I happily had the album running on repeat throughout the day, and now I gift "Keep Steppin" to you:
Watching: Moonlighting S5 E6, "In 'n' Outlaws." According to IMDb, this was actually the 11th episode of the season, so I'm not sure why Hulu's serving it up as E6, but whatever — it's an Agnes 'n' Herbert episode, which means I would have aggressively skipped it when it aired either way. In 2024, I find nothing wrong with this; neither Agnes nor Herbert are reduced to the cartoons they so often were earlier in Moonlighting's run, and the dual storylines are woven together pretty nicely. Burt's sweating bullets over his upcoming family reunion, which Agnes has to miss because she's on jury duty, where she's sparked a 12 Angry Men-style hubbub by refusing to cast a "guilty" vote with everyone else. David and Maddie are barely in this one — they appear briefly in the beginning, and again in the middle as part of an absurdly over-the-top dream sequence — but the episode really doesn't suffer for their absence. On behalf of '80s me, I would like to apologize to Allyce Beasley and Curtis Armstrong for my churlish behavior.
Reading: More than halfway through William Diehl's Thai Horse. Our hero has just stopped the awesomely named Joe Lung from killing him during a thwarted invasion at the palatial home of the equally awesomely named China Cohen. I'm not eating this up the way I did when I first read it in 1990, but it's still generally effective, and generally a lot of fun.
Around the Bend: Reminder that tomorrow's Cultural Consumption will be the last free post of the week! Friday will bring another New Music Friday, with the first Great Gross-Off in many many years following on Saturday. If you're reading this and you aren't a paid subscriber yet, hop on board!