An Elegy For The Lost City by Johnny Goldstein
New Orleans, perhaps the most colorful city of not only Louisiana, but the whole United State. Home of the traditional Jazz, few prominent funk artists, Mardi Gras and Voodoo. For its particular history, NOLA has been the source of inspiration for many people around the world. But even the brightest places on earth has their own dark moments, and in 2005, around four years after the 9/11, The Crescent City was wiped down by the costliest and one of the five deadliest hurricanes the US has ever witnessed. Controversy arise, thousands lost their lives and everything was never going to be the same anymore.
An Elegy For The Lost City by Johnny Goldstein is more than just an audiobook or a spoken word album, it’s in some way a little piece of history. In a format reminiscent of great documentaries like Sonic Highways, the album kicks off with the death of Louis Armstrong and from there on, Goldstein takes us back to both the golden and post-Katrina days along with some classic traditional jazz by some of the most exciting and classic artists and songs of the genre throughout the most of the record with few exceptions here and there, like “The Family Schwartz” encounter where the music changes to rock and roll, more specifically The Beatles, or in “L’air de La Louisianne” with its “bossanova?” twist. Johnny’s storytelling is captivating as well, the way he narrates with its southern accent and peculiar style makes this a fun ride.
Sadly for Johnny boy, while its approach and production style its interesting, eventually it might turn a bit boring for a wider audience out there. At least you enjoy listening to your grandpa or father going through his life and remembering the fun times he had at its youth and early adulthood, you might find this record quite tedious. In a time where everyone’s in a hurry and even the albums that normally lasted around an hour or so now are becoming shorter as years goes by, 370 minutes can wayyyy too much. If the album was turned into a video series split in few chapters, probably it would attract more people. Also its non-linear storyline he tends personally got me dizzy after a while.
In conclusion, at least you are a big fan of NPR or you are really into jazz and NOLA’s history, I highly doubt you will love this. For the rest, look out for this album right away.
by Rafael Jovine