With Mardi Gras approaching, it's worth exploring a few of the similarities between San Francisco and New Orleans. Both cities are defined by the water that surrounds them, both suffer the occasional real estate reset from natural disasters (our prices drop after major earthquakes, theirs after floods), and both cities enjoy a long tradition of public celebration and weirdness. And while San Francisco might not have many elaborately-built Indian costumes or secret societies making floats, we can still have a good time on Fat Tuesday at the Mardi Gras Parade. It's held in true "second line" style, where the band forms the first line and the revelers follow behind, and features some of the best funk this side of the Mississippi. Brass Mafia has players who have worked with everyone from Lyrics Born to Carlos Santana, the North Beach Brass Band takes the traditional brass sound and electrifies it, while Brass Band Mission and Fillmore Wax are favorites both in and out of their respective neighborhoods.