Friday, July 18, 2008

Music Of My Mind: Brass Bed

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 10:37 PM

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Lafayette isn’t exactly known as a hotbed for progressive music. For hot-potato zydeco breakdowns, sure; for hot boudin purchased roadside in a grease-stained paper bag, most definitely. Brass Bed has no use for your washboard solos and preconceived notions. Its weapons of choice are a choppy White Album piano and a warbling frontman — the former supported by various six-strings and a wandering pedal steel, the latter by a quartet of doo-woppers that wisely shirked the barbershop in favor of the Blue Moon Saloon. “BBC Midnight Broadcast,” the leadoff song from April’s self-released Midnight Matinee, unfolds like a funeral in time-lapse photography, its reverse-heartbeat kick drum slowed to cardiac-arrest mode while a sweetly orchestrated accompaniment quickly comes and goes. It’s all just a setup for the sunset, however: a streaking, 45-second flash of mournful brass before putting the whole thing to bed.
Brass Bed plays the Circle Bar with Gold & Glass tomorrow, July 19, at 10 p.m. 

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Tales of the Cocktail gets Mancowed

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 10:00 PM

As part of Tales of the Cocktail, national morning-show guy Mancow did his show live from Fulton Street near Harrah's. It's online here, and I've only been able to get through about an hour of it, but the guest lineup wasn't your typical morning-zoo: Julia Reed (Mancow told her he wanted to "get naked" with her and asked her where to buy the best crack cocaine), Ben Gersh from Old New Orleans Rum, and a rather bewildering assortment of chefs who got up at 5:30 am for all of this -- including John Besh, Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, Susan Spicer, and Lazone Randolph.

And, for some reason, by phone: a very sleepy-sounding John Stossel, the luxuriantly moustached host of ABC's 20/20.

Stossel

"We're standing in a square in the middle of New Orleans," Mancow told him, to which Stossel replied "Why?" Mancow and Stossel discussed Bobby Jindal (two thumbs up), then Stossel discussed New Orleans as "a great lab experiment," praised Wal-Mart for all its relief efforts in the aftermath of Katrina, and finished up by pitching his latest important journalistic project, a no-doubt-hardhitting 20/20 exposé called "Sex in America."

I'm an hour into the broadcast and so far they've discussed the city's great food, the number of 500-lb. people in New Orleans, where to find the best prostitutes, and the "trolley car." Now they're drinking moonshine on the air, discussing beignets, and describing the addition of chicory to coffee as "ghetto."

Mancow's good at his job, but I don't think I'll make it to the chefs. Sorry, guys.

You stay classy, John Stossel.

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No Veto Session

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 9:22 PM

There will be no veto override session on Aug. 2. State Senate President Joel Chaisson has already secured written confirmations from 36 of the 38 sitting senators (there’s one vacancy) saying they do not want to reconvene to consider overriding any of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s vetoes. Chaisson got the confirmations just one day after ballots were sent out to legislators.

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The Next Nagin-Council Showdown

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 9:01 PM

The next showdown between Mayor Ray Nagin and the New Orleans City Council is likely to come over the issues of open meetings and the mayor’s power to award professional services contracts without public bids. Nagin is not going to come off looking like a reformer on this one, but I’m not sure if he cares.

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Tales of the Cocktail goes tiki

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 7:49 PM

Baked Alaska

Like so many things in New Orleans, the annual Tales of the Cocktail convention is deeply frivolous on its face, but the subtext is completely serious: thousands of liquor distributors, restaurateurs, bartenders, and cocktail geeks gather to wheel and deal, attend seminars, and drink all night. The amount of press here (national and international) has to gladden the battered heart of the city's tourism bureau ("I can't believe how well the city has come back!" marveled a writer from the Los Angeles Times). There are waits at Galatoire's...in July. And perhaps best of all, no one seems to be talking about l'affaire Tremé; they're too obsessed with weightier matters, like single-batch rums, artisanal gins ("Juniperlooza" was a popular event), and hooking up in the Monteleone's Carousel Bar, which is ground central for cocktail geek groupies.

Below the cut: tales of flaming desserts, gossip from The Times-Picayune, and a "spirited dinner" that ended with naked swimming....

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Goodbye McDonald's, notes from a loco-vore

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 5:44 PM

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THURSDAY

8:45 am: Excited to go to work because of the locally roasted French Market coffee, local sugar and half and half waiting for me.

9:15 am: Discover local half and half smash hit in office, was poached by other fiends and gone in A day. Go to store to buy more. Label it accordingly: “You touch, you die. Except Noah and KPG,” because they have shared their half and half with me previously.

Also thwarted by discovery that Rouse’s now carries world’s best yogurt, Fage, from Greece. Memories of study abroad in Athens overwhelm. Must purchase.

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Sunpie's in the House

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 3:57 PM

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Bruce Sunpie Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots headline a funraising party at Republic tonight (Friday, July 18) to help construct a community center in Bywater. A Shared Initiative is a nonprofit created by the ASI Federal Credit Union and is dedicated to providing affordable housing and community development in the Upper Ninth Ward. The Clifford N. Rosenthal Community Center will be built at 3401 St. Claude Ave. (at Desire Street). As Barnes and his band play zydeco and Creole music, performance painter Frenchy will complete a painting of the group. The finished painting will be auctioned off at the end of the evening. Tickets $20 at the door. Republic NOLA (828 S. Peters St.)

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Blossman Pulls Out of PSC Re-election Bid

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 12:11 AM

Embattled Public Service Commissioner Jay Blossman of St. Tammany Parish has pulled out of his re-election bid, saying he wants to spend more time with his family. Blossman, who was first elected to the PSC 12 years ago, faced a tough re-election fight on the heels of revelations that he used his office stationery to promote a business venture owned by the son of a friend and supporter. Even more recently, he was the subject of a report by WWL-TV’s Lee Zurik for accepting thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Entergy employees — after promising not to accept any utility contributions during his first campaign in 1996.

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