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September 4, 2003 11:31 AM   Subscribe

The Encyclopedia of Cajun Culture features everything from Acadiana to Zydeco. Two of the more interesting entries I've found are the Un-Cajun Committee and the unknown to me genre of Swamp Pop
posted by Ufez Jones (15 comments total)
Great resource Ufez Jones! I can't wait to explore that link more later today - it's a new one to me and on quick scan, it looks great.
Just thought I would stop by to give a plug to the site of one of our own resources on LA music and cultures - Chuq's wonderful Gumbo Pages have a lot of good musical links, and some terrific recipes too.
Laissez les bon temps roulez!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:49 AM on September 4, 2003

Heh. Swamp Pop is the best. I got me lots of that stuff. Johnnie Allan's "Let's Go Get Drunk," is one of the best drinkin' songs ever, and Van Broussard, Vin Bruce, and Cleveland Crochet (of the masterpice of muddy stomp "Sugar Bee") ain't far behind. I love modern, poppy music that still retains regional and international character. For a similar but somewhate weirder example of ethno-american-regional pop fusion, check out this Texan Polka comp(much cooler than it sounds.

Nice post, brotha ufez.
posted by jonmc at 11:53 AM on September 4, 2003

Check out Lafayette's Festival International de Louisiane. I live a couple hours away in a part of Texas highly informed by cajun culture and families, and I really thought I knew something about creole and cajun roots music, but this festival absolutely blew me away.
posted by pomegranate at 11:57 AM on September 4, 2003

Oh, and if you wanna listen to some bluesy swamp pop on line, head on over to the The Rajun' Cajun. Lots of down-home commentary and announcements about broken rice threshers for sale...
posted by pomegranate at 12:06 PM on September 4, 2003

Heh. Swamp Pop is the best. I got me lots of that stuff.

I swear, I'm trying to be surprised. But you know, worth a shot, eh?

And thanks for the links, mjjj and pomegranate (who appears to have a veritable MeFi monopoly on Beaumont. again, unsurprising.)
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:17 PM on September 4, 2003

Oh, great. Make me homesick.

The "cultural Cajun" entry is kinda nice -- and explains some things about my family that I never quite understood...
posted by KF at 1:12 PM on September 4, 2003

Fortunately the encyclopedia documents that Justin Wilson, of the title reference and cooking show fame, wasn't Cajun.
posted by turbodog at 1:42 PM on September 4, 2003

Thanks for the plug, Madam JJJ!

Re "un-Cajun": I haven't heard that actual term before, but there's a big movement to make people aware that there are lots of black Creoles (many still French-speaking, at least amongst the older generation) that make up the population of Southwest Louisiana. There are also objections to referring to that area as "Cajun Country" (perhaps "Cajun and Creole Country" instead") and "Acadiana." Rather than think of this only as an activist/Nation of Islam kind of thing, quite simply a lot of black Creoles feel left out; they're just as much a part of that culture as the Cajuns are.

For swamp pop, check out some of the titles available on Jin and Swallow Records; the "Swamp Gold" compilations are a great place to start, and there are 7 of them so far. There's also a swamp pop "supergroup" called Lil' Band O' Gold, featuring Cajun music star Steve Riley, swamp pop legend Warren Storm and Lafayette guitarist CC Adcock. Their album is out on Shanachie, and if you're an member you can download it.

Re "cultural Cajun": Slide guitarist has a great term for that -- he was born in Mississippi but moved to Lafayette when he was little and became a "native stepson." New Orleans does that too -- a few years there and you begin to pick up an accent and some excess weight, and think that our strange local traditions are the most normal thing in the world (I still can't believe you can't have a drink on the sidewalk anywhere else in this country ... sheesh).
posted by chuq at 1:52 PM on September 4, 2003

Great post.

This leads me to believe that next year, we really need to have a MeFiGras meetup.
posted by ColdChef at 2:15 PM on September 4, 2003

Sounds like home in here. Do we really have that many MeFites from Acadiana? (Born & bred in Abbeville, me...)
posted by shecky57 at 6:14 PM on September 4, 2003

Hey, that's Rod Bernard's kid's site! Nice.
posted by shecky57 at 6:17 PM on September 4, 2003

My mother is from Ville Platte, me merely Baton Rouge. And Tuesday is my bertday.
posted by turbodog at 8:01 PM on September 4, 2003

I'm from Lake Charles, which isn't quite cajun country, but does mean I know a little something about. (And ahh, the food...)

I have ancestry from Abbeville-- my great-grandfather settled there after coming here from Sicily. (Why anyone would pick Abbeville is still a little beyond me, but there you go, it happened...)
posted by nath at 3:41 AM on September 5, 2003

A good band that makes reference to Swamp Pop (although they always refer to Swamp there a difference?) is Those Legendary Shackshakers. Just saw them in concert in Champaign last weekend...they know how to RAWK!! (even if they are a tad bit off...)
posted by byort at 7:04 AM on September 5, 2003

Born & bred in Abbeville ... Ville Platte ... Lake Charles ...

I'm from New Orleans, which isn't anywhere near Acadiana, and was booed by a beer-swilling crowd in Basile at the Louisiana Swine Festival for saying so. However, when my vocalizing ended up with me in a tie for the championship of the 2001 Swine Festival's Hog Squealing Contest, the crowd cheered and I became a local hero for the next several hours (at least).

(Um, it's a long story...)

Oh, hey, speaking of Ville Platte, isn't The Pig Stand just the best place ever? That barbecued pork chop I had last time I was there made me think I had died and gone to (hog) heaven.

Fortunately the encyclopedia documents that Justin Wilson, of the title reference and cooking show fame, wasn't Cajun.

And among all my relatives and friends (and complete strangers, for that matter) throughout southwest Louisiana, I've never once heard anyone actually say "I garontee."
posted by chuq at 11:23 PM on September 7, 2003

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