When it comes to New Orleans, everyone knows about Jazz, Blues, and the underground caverns. Forget that last item for the moment, though. When it comes to music, there are only Jazz and Blues in “the Big Easy” (a nickname for the city I never heard spoken once in the years I lived there, except in that stupid movie.) I’d been told that it’s hard for rock bands to make it there, since labels tend to go there only to find non-rock music. That’s why you’re not sick of hearing Dash Rip Rock.
Like most large cities, New Orleans had a thriving “punk” and “new wave” scene back in the day, which I knew absolutely nothing about. I didn’t get into music, local or otherwise, until a bit later.
When I briefly worked as a DJ for KRVS in my college days, I was digging through the music library and came across the album “Sixteen Songs Off a Dead Band’s Chest” by defunct New Orleans rockers The Cold. I remembered hearing about them but hadn’t really heard them (not being smart and cool enough to actually go to “all-ages” shows back then), so I gave it a spin. When I got to the track, “You”, I was floored.
Have you ever been hit with a wave of nostalgia that slams into you like a tsunami? I had heard this song before, all right. It had triggered a rush of feelings that couldn’t possibly be connected to any actual memories, just weird free-floating nostalgia. I’d never experienced that before, though I have since — other songs I know I’m hearing for the first time have produced this weird feeling of longing as though they’re connected to my past in ways they can’t possibly be (specifically, David Gray’s “Babylon” and Freedy Johnston’s “Bad Reputation”.)
I didn’t have a good mp3 of the song until recently (thanks, Andrew!), so here it is. Ring any psychic bells for you?
Here’s the band back in its heyday:
Barbara Menendez apparently used to rock the miniskirt like it’s meant to be rocked. And that guy on the left, does he look familiar? He may, because he’s Vance DeGeneres, brother to Ellen and former correspondent on The Daily Show.
You can find out more about the band at their official website, Three Chord City.
I wish I had seen them in their prime. I am now adding to my list: