Dia de los Muertes gets a lot of respect here in the U.S. Perhaps that's because Hallmark hasn't sinked their cheap teeth into the holiday... Yet. Or perhaps it's because the day is grounded in a Latin American celebration of remembrance of those who've passed, instead of a party atmosphere of getting girls to dress like hoochies and drink like drunks.
Dia de los Muertes, which has its roots in ofrendas, or shrines made in honor of the dead, is being celebrated, not yesterday, November 1, but tonight in Fort Lauderdale's FAT Village. Locals will take the time to create shrines of their own, a skeleton procession will march, and bands will perform.
Curran was 35-years-old when cancer took him just a few weeks ago. He
played a type of music that geeks might call jump blues, but he really
was in a category of his own. He melded blues, punk, garage, and
rockabilly into a hybrid of ass-kicking rock 'n' roll, and wasn't one bit
afraid to cite an influence others might think uncool.
Angus Young/B.B. King cocktail. Curran recorded five solo albums in
addition to residencies with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Ronnie Dawson, and Kim Lenz. Anyone that saw him play live won't soon forget him.
4. Adam Yauch
have guessed he was also in his 30s, he was a Beastie Boy for that long. Yauch made it to 47 before succumbing to cancer.
white rappers in the '80s couldn't have been easy. And street cred was a
little bit tougher to come by in New York. As simple as it would have
been to sell a few rap albums and be a footnote in the rap craze history book, the Beastie Boys hit their high water mark for me in 1994
with their single "Sabotage."
3. Hubert Sumlin
guitarists is remembered, in a modern context, for shilling dick pills. But that is Hubert Sumlin's guitar riff that you have stuck in your
head everytime you see an ad for Cialis. The song is called "Smokestack
Lightning" by Howlin' Wolf, released on the Chess label in 1956. Sumlin
played for Wolf his whole career and was still playing live up to his
death at age 80.
2. Levon Helm
I'm beginning to think Day of the Dead would have a lot fewer
remembrances if it weren't for cancer. Cancer took Levon Helm at the
age of 71. After fighting back from losing his voice to throat cancer in
the late '90s, he managed to tour up until the disease finally won out
earlier this year.
multi-instrumentalist folk albums, to his time on the big screen, Helm
was hard not to love. He made you feel that everyone from the south
must be as big hearted and as well spoken as him. I've always been
touched by "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," and Helm's emotional
presentation. But watch him do it again from The Last Waltz. If you
don't have goose bumps, something's wrong with you.
1. Etta James
'50s and 60's, who would have guess that the hardest living among them
would be a woman? And that she would have outlived all the men?
Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Little Walter... none of them
could keep up with the hard drinking and heroin use of Etta James. She
came to Chess in 1960 and managed to produce a debut album covering
blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel, and soul. While her most famous
song was only a minor blip on the charts at the time of its release, "At
Last" has endured to be its own ofrenda to the beauty of James' amazing
We also want to take special notice of the local losses 2012 brought us: Big Poppa E, Brett Tanner, Dan Hosker, and Bobby "Load" Johnston.
Remember those who've passed away at the Day of the Dead Celebration in FAT Village Arts District, Flagler Arts and Theater Village, at 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2. Processional line up begins at 5:45 p.m. at Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art (open from 4 to 6 p.m.). The celebration offices are at 504 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale. A mariachi band will lead the procession north on Andrews Ave. to NW 5 St., ending in the heart of FAT Village. The event is free.