Alan Lomax in New Orleans, 1982

This afternoon, I received an email that read:

In 1982, famed folklorist Alan Lomax spent considerable time videotaping in New Orleans — musical performances of Indians on the street out of costume, Ernie K-Doe at Mother in Law [Editor’s Note: This is a mistake. The Mother-in-Law Lounge was not actually open in 1982], interviews with residents of the Treme. All sorta good stuff. So if you were looking of video footage to link to when doing stories on anything germaine, or talking about the launch of the second season of HBO’s “Treme” these might be useful.

Since the Lomax videos predate Treme‘s time frame by 20-plus years, their relevance to the show is a little loose, providing a historical backdrop for those who want to get a sense of what the Treme neighborhood has historically been. But even if they’re of marginal utility for Treme fans, they’re valuable documents of Ernie K-Doe (pre-Emperor of the Universe phase), the Dirty Dozen at the Glass House and playing a jazz funeral, Mardi Gras Indians and more. The sound can be hit and miss – I had to crank up the K-Doe footage – and I have philosophical Lomax issues for his role in institutionalizing essentialist notions of the South and soul, but this collection of videotapes is well-worth exploring. See the New Orleans 1982 material here.