Vote for Nine Lives

Yes, we’re all still alive over here — traveling again, and more. Let’s jump back in and talk about some important stuff. First …

Some of you may be familiar with Dan Baum’s excellent book Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans. It traces the true stories of nine New Orleanians from different parts of the city, vastly different circumstances and levels of New Orleans society and culture. Their stories begin 45 years ago with Hurricane Betsy and take them through the disaster of Katrina, the Federal Flood and beyond. It’s excellent, and I recommend it without reservation.

Some of you may also be fans of New Orleans singer and songwriter Paul Sanchez, who’s one of my very favorite musicians. Paul and his wife Shelly lost everything in the flood of nearly five years ago, but after having gone through the heartbreak and difficulties physical, emotional and financial have picked up and carried on with life in an amazing way. Paul’s life and singing are full of joy and love; he’s been making an amazing amount of music in the last five years, and it’s all terrific.

Let’s take a little musical interlude, shall we?

Paul’s been doing some writing with Los Angeles-based writer Colman DeKay over the last few years — they co-wrote the title track of Paul’s album Exit to Mystery Street and several other songs, and now they’re working on a project that’s got me very excited.

Colman and Paul have picked up the rights to adapt Nine Lives into a musical. I’ve heard several of the songs, and they are amazing. Truly amazing.

The first step is to make a CD of the songs, then … “all the way to Broadway,” as Threadhead Records founder Chris Joseph says. Let’s hear a bit more about the project from Chris and Paul:

In order to do this, they’re going to need some money.

Threadhead Records is perhaps the world’s first non-profit, volunteer-run record label. Their sole aim is to raise funding to help get great New Orleans musicians make records and get them out to the people. Threadhead needs our help with this one, folks — it’s a big project.

Fortunately they’re in line for a $50,000 grant from Pepsi’s “Refresh Project,” but in order for them to be eligible for the money, they need our votes! Go to this URL:

Register at the site. Don’t worry about spam — I’ve been participating in this for a while and I haven’t gotten any. Once you’re registered, vote for the Nine Lives Project. The important thing to remember is that once you click “vote for the project” you’ll be redirected to a login screen. Once you register and log in you will be redirected back to the main page, where you HAVE to click, “vote for the project” AGAIN in order for your vote to count. This is really important — a lot of votes went uncounted until people realized this!

It’s getting down to the wire; only the top ten get the cash and Nine Lives has been as low as #15. We’re up to #8 as of today, so we need to keep the momentum rolling.

UPDATE! Dan Baum himself visited the comments section (wow!) and said that you can vote TEN times a day, as long as you let an hour or so go between votes. So vote early and often! Vote now, and tomorrow, and every day until the end of the month. It’s legal! It’s not as if it were a congressional election in St. Bernard Parish or something.

If we’re successful you’ll be rewarded with a monumental work of New Orleans music, telling some great stories with some great songs. One of the things that’s helped people through the last five years in New Orleans is a ton of great music — mo’ music, mo’ betta!

If you’ve been attentding any of Paul’s recent shows you may well have heard versions of some of the songs. You can also preview one of the songs at Paul’s site — scroll through the music player at the bottom of the browser window until you get to one called “Feel Like A Lady,” with vocals by John Boutté (the song is based on the story of JoAnn from the book and captures one of the character’s pivotal scenes beautifully).

Thanks for helping out, y’all.


13 Responses to “Vote for Nine Lives”

  1. Chris Joseph said:

    Aug 23, 10 at 4:13 pm

    Kind words from Chuck. You can also hear two Nine Lives songs for free at:

  2. Susan said:

    Aug 23, 10 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks so much, Chuck, for your support of this project! We’re very excited about this and hope, with everyone’s help, we can be one of the top 10 vote getters and win this thing!

    You can hear both of the songs released so far (and buy the downloads) at

    Thanks again!

    Threadhead Records

  3. Susan said:

    Aug 23, 10 at 4:18 pm

    LOL Evidently Chris and I are BOTH excited!

  4. Colman deKay said:

    Aug 23, 10 at 5:50 pm

    Aw, Chuck, you say the sweetest things!

  5. Chuck said:

    Aug 23, 10 at 5:53 pm

    Y’all are the best. I can’t wait for all of this to happen!

  6. Scott Shalett said:

    Aug 23, 10 at 7:39 pm

    This is great — thanks for spreading the word

  7. Dan Baum said:

    Aug 24, 10 at 6:44 am

    Thank you. Let me add, though, that you can vote TEN TIMES a day, as long as you leave about an hour between votes. Please vote often!

  8. Tiare said:

    Aug 24, 10 at 6:51 am

    Great post on this important topic! i vote daily and hope to see it move up…

    I really love Pauls music too and had the pleasure of both singing along with the rest and have a little chat this summer. I really hope to see this musical become a reality.

    Keep voting folks!

  9. Christy said:

    Aug 24, 10 at 8:43 am

    Thanks so much Chuck! This project means so much to so many people!

  10. Colman deKay said:

    Aug 25, 10 at 1:57 am

    Boy, I wish that what Dan said were true. At least on my computer, a true registered vote only gets through once a day. As per the method you described on Looka!, you have to 1) sign in (or register for the first time) — at which time you hear the Pepsi flush — and THEN 2) vote. The only way you know that your vote’s been counted is when the green flag covers the “vote for this idea” button and stops you from voting again.

    No green flag, NO counted vote. Believe me, I’ve been watching this pretty closely. The system they’ve set up is WAY counter-intuitive and I worry that a lot of attempted votes aren’t getting through.

    Please make sure that after you vote, you get that green flag saying “Yes!” or “Awesome!” or “Hola!” or “You go!” or some such. Otherwise, Pepsi hasn’t heard you.


  11. Chuck said:

    Aug 25, 10 at 10:07 am

    I find their system terribly confusing. I have voted multiple times per day but I can’t tell if it’s even counting or not. It acts as if I’ve logged in for the first time and tells me I have 9 votes left for the day. Then I log in again later, vote and it does the same thing — 9 votes remaining.

  12. Tiare said:

    Aug 25, 10 at 12:05 pm

    Weird..i get that green You go! flag after i vote once..after i log in.

  13. Susan said:

    Oct 02, 10 at 6:40 am

    Just wanted to stop by to thank everyone for voting and tell you that we officially won the grant!! We’re off and RUNNING!!