For those not in the know, what is generally called a 40 in The States is a 40-ounce malt liquor beverage with high alcohol content. They are usually very inexpensive and consumed for their potency rather than their flavor. 40s are available in nearly all convenience and grocery stores in New Orleans and can be consumed on the street any time of day if concealed by a brown paper bag. The idea of drinking one first thing in the morning represents a lifestyle on the fringe of society.
Morning 40 Federation is a New Orleans band, which plays an eclectic blend of funk, jazz, and punk. Their music often exemplifies the drinking and bar culture of the city. They cite Tom Waits as a major influence. After a decade together and a handful of CDs to their credit, they performed their farewell show on February 20, 2009, at One Eyed Jacks in the French Quarter. Although they are officially disbanded and haven’t recorded any new music, Morning 40 Federation has played several reunion shows in the last two years. Their numerous loyal fans never cease to pack the venue. Their most recent reunion show on April 30, 2011, at One Eyed Jacks is the subject of my short film.
My concept for these photographs was not to simply document the band, but also to capture the stage atmosphere. While Morning 40 Federation is an extremely lively band in concert (I dare anyone to try not moving), it was the still life of the stage that continued to catch my eye. I hope the juxtaposition of the band shots with the stage still life will convey both the moments of the band live and then the stage abandoned until when and if the next reunion show returns.
Kristin Fouquet is a photographer and writer from New Orleans. You are invited to visit Kristin’s virtual home, Le Salon.