Funrock'n has two locations: 1125 Decatur Street & 3109 Magazine
What music do you have to have during Mardi Gras?
I can’t imagine carnival time without hearing “Go To The Mardi Gras” by Professor Longhair. To me it’s the soundtrack of this time of the year . . . the piano intro, the whistle – just gets into your soul. . .it’s like FESS captures everything great about the day in a timeless song. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band does a killer live version on their album Mardi Gras @ Montrose. I also have to give a shout out to Al “Carnival Time” Johnson for his ubiquitous “Carnival Time.” Rounder Records put out a super compilation, “Meet Me At Mardi Gras” that’s pretty much is the soundtrack for Fat Tuesday.
What is your favorite Mardi Gras marching band?
I love, love, love all of the high-school marching bands. It wouldn’t be fair to pick one because those kids work so hard all year to prepare and really . . .it wouldn’t be Mardi Gras parade season without them. I have to say that I’m still crazy for the 9th Ward Marching Band’s version of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” that they introduced after Hurricane Katrina. They practiced so much in the Bywater/Marigny neighborhood that still to this day when I’m driving home to my house on St. Claude I hear it in my head!
What is one of your cant miss Mardi gras tradition?
KREW DU VIEUX IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PARADE because of the amazing job all the subkrewes do to really address current events in our city! And, it PASSES RIGHT IN FRONT OF FUNROCK’N ON DECATUR! I invite everyone to hang out with us this year at the Decatur Street Funrock’n. It is such a good time . . . Of course who doesn’t love Muses . . .all ladies and a night parade and great for kids. I’m looking forward to Zulu this year because one of my best girlfriends, Linda Green The Ya-Ka-Mein Lady is riding. I know it is a dream come true for her. I’m hoping she’ll hand me my first coconut! But now that I think about it – every parade is special and takes so much effort. Mardi Gras just wouldn’t happen without the devotion and investment from all the krewes and riders. As a city, we really owe all these people a special thanks.
What's your Can't Miss Mardi Gras tradition?
A Mardi Gras tradition? Of course, tuning into WWOZ to get in the groove as we get ready to walk with the Krewe of St. Ann. Then a big meet-up for a drink at Pat O’Briens . . . a pass through the Quarter and then Frenchman Street!
What's the story behind Funrock'n?
My business partner, David Gordin, started Funrock’n in 1997 just a few blocks away from WWOZ’s headquarters in the open air market at the Historic French Market. Dave has a knack for finding cool stuff. Over the years we’ve remained true to our mission - sell fun – and it is pretty easy selling fun in what we believe is the most fun city in America – New Orleans – especially at Carnival Time.
What is really exciting about Funrock’n is that we not only get to change our merchandise seasonally – And I mean “NOLA” Seasonally – we’ve managed to carve a niche that appeals to locals and visitors alike. And, since fun is a universal concept it’s just a natural concept to implement . We really do have something for everyone – young, old and everyone in between – sorta like what WWOZ volunteer DJ’s put together every week by way of the play lists – something for all the listeners.
Why is Mardi Gras a particularly fun time for you/the store?
Mardi Gras is an amazing time for sure for New Orleans but in particular the Funrock’n team has a chance to sell makeup, costume accessories, flasks, eyelashes, wigs – all things key for parading and costuming these next few weeks. There probably are not many locals who haven’t picked up something from Funrock’n over the years and have it in their “costume closet.” This year besides the usual goodies we’ve updated our crazy costume tutu’s by TuTu The Nines (yep, made right here in Nola’s 9th Ward) as well as amazing handmade hats and feather headbands by local maven’s Jeanette Meyer (the hatress!!) and Ann and Laura from Little Shop of Fantasy.
What ideas do you have for folks stressing over a last minute Mardi Gras costume?
Stressing over a costume? I suggest a few easy options . . . For all the girls, I say, “when in doubt slap on a mustache and false eyelashes!” You will be shocked (in a good way) how it just might change your life. For the guys (and gals too) a custom made t-shirt by one of our staff created on the spot is also a great way to make an instant costume. And, it’s simple. Just write down what you want and a few minutes later, viola – instant costume. You wouldn’t believe the funny stuff people put on shirts – some of it isn’t fit for the newsletter but perfect for Mardi Gras Day! We also have fedora’s that light up and amazing, fun sunglasses. Since we have a late Fat Tuesday, I’m hoping for warmth and sunshine – the glasses and hat might just be a practical costume.
WWOZ’s business sponsors demonstrate their commitment to 'OZ’s unique, innovative public radio programming. We say "Thank You!" and invite you to learn more about some of the current members of the WWOZ corporate community by clicking on the links below.
|Aetna/Coventry Health Care
Silk Road Collection
New Orleans Healing Center
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
The Historic New Orleans Collection
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
New Orleans Fringe Festival
Liberty Bank Foundation
Committee for a Better New Orleans
Old New Orleans Rum
Harrahs New Orleans
Backroom at Buffa's
The Contemporary Arts Center
Joule Solar Energy
French Quarter Festival
Little Gem Saloon
Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival
Cajun Country Rice
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