Your Carnival season may have started on January 6, or last night at the Krewe di Vieux parade - but I've got to say that mine kicked off with a bang about ten minutes ago when Lil Wayne, after what people thought was the end of his solo Grammy performance, pointed over at a grand piano and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, Allen Toussaint."
I like to think Hollygrove's two most famous sons gave each other a knowing wink before Allen whipped into the unmistakable first toodles of "Go To The Mardi Gras," the Dirty Dozen Brass Band busted out from backstage, Terence Blanchard took the lead on his trumpet and a gaggle of fly girls strutted out with hankies and umbrellas. (OK, it would have been nice to see some Lady Buck Jumpers instead of the four Pussycat Doll-looking dancers they had, but they did fine.) The Dirty Dozen strutted down the runway and Weezy danced up and down the stage alone, toasting randomly ("New Orleans! What, what") and generally looking happier and more comfortable than I've seen him appear at an awards show all year. Then he won Best Rap Album.
It's Carnival time!