Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"To be honest, I don’t even know if we’re supposed to be in here."

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 5:15 PM

On Friday, Creative Alliance of New Orleans’ startup arts and education colony Studio at Colton will officially disband, with no definitive word on its future plans. Closing the studio this week are two events that couldn’t be more fitting: a dedication ceremony (5 p.m. tomorrow) honoring the students and artists that collaborated on the Colton vestibule mural, a 13-panel project undertaken by Xavier Community Arts Program, Bottletree Productions, Young Aspirations/Young Artists, G. W. Carver High School and the New York 2 New Orleans Coalition; and the Cripple Creek Theatre Company's final two performances of Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth (8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; read Gambit's review here). Gambit sat down with Cripple Creek co-founder and director Andy Vaught during dress rehearsals to discuss the show, the company and the uncertain fate of Colton artists.

Give us a brief history of the Cripple Creek world.

We started out at 3 Ring Circus' (The Big Top Gallery) for the first two shows (in 2006). Our third show was in a public park (Washington Square). That was a fun one. Then we found Convergence (Center For the Arts) on Magazine (Street). They were just starting out too. We were in what is now the Swan River Yoga Studio for Waiting for Lefty. Then they moved upstairs, above the Jewel Grocery. When I first came down here, I had looked at St. Mark’s (Community Center). Those balconies — it’s just an amazing space. Inked a year deal with them, where we would pay them $10,000 for four shows. We wound up subletting one of those slots to ArtSpot (Productions) and MondoBizarro to do Flight. Then we did a show above the Jewel Gallery. That’s when the AC blew out. It was an attic production. I’m fine with [the heat] at this point. We’re going to give out free lemonade at the show.

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Inside the Hubig's Pie factory

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 4:41 PM

We've gotten lots of response and reaction from this week's cover story, "The Value of Pie" -- a look inside the Hubig's Pies bakery, which hasn't changed its business model in decades (and that seems to suit New Orleanians just fine).

Writer Katie Van Syckle teamed up with director Bob Weisz to make a video to accompany the story, and it's wonderful. Enjoy.

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The upcoming Saints' season just got a little more boring

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 4:44 AM

bye bye

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Yup, it's official.

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Now we're just waiting on the press release that explains why this is news.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Talibanned

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 7:49 PM

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Monday morning news dump

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 2:31 PM

• The city and Six Flags Over New Orleans a Decaying Mad-Max Structure Just Off the I-10 in New Orleans East are back in court today ...

• The AP analyzes the chances of Sen. David Vitter's keeping his seat in 2010. Money quote:

Gene Ulm, a Republican consultant who does polling for Vitter, said voters are in no mood to hear attacks about Vitter's personal life. Instead, Ulm said, the election will be largely about Democrats' handling of the economy.

"We know that midterm elections are a referendum on the party in power," Ulm said. "When you have an economic environment like this ... if it doesn't have to do with people's economic worries and hardships, it's just immaterial."

It seems like just yesterday that the candidate himself was saying ""I don't believe there's any issue that's more important than this one." Of course, he wasn't talking about the economy, or Katrina recovery, but same-sex marriage ...

• Perhaps speaking of -- the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee releases its list of Louisiana GOPers who may be vulnerable in the next election ...

A new survey about who stayed and who left during Hurricane Katrina, and the psychology behind those decisions ...

• JetBlue has $69 one-way fares to New York. Now if you could just find a $69 hotel room.

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Southern Rep announces 2009-2010 season

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 2:02 PM

This morning, Southern Repertory Theatre announced the lineup for its upcoming season, and it's a challenging and ambitious one -- from the one-man tour de force I Am My Own Wife to the local premiere of the Tony-winning musical Grey Gardens. Particularly exciting is the Southern Rep New Play Bacchanal, a January festival celebrating and premiering new work, workshops and readings, from the polished to the punk and provocative. Full lineup under the jump:

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tomorrow's cover today: Coming up in the Gambit

Posted By on Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 5:29 AM

Pie!

Katie Van Syckle goes inside the world of Hubig's Pies and finds a business model that hasn't changed much in half a century. Also:

Clancy DuBos on the upcoming, history-making race for Orleans Parish assessor ...

Will Coviello interviews Terence Blanchard about his new CD, Choices ....

• It's Satchmo SummerFest time again. Briana Prevost reviews Louis Armstrong's role as an American cultural ambassador ...

Jeremy Alford on Gov. Bobby Jindal's reemergence on the national scene -- as the point man against President Obama's health-care plan ...

• ... and it's your last chance to vote in Gambit's Best of New Orleans 2009. Why not take a minute and do it online?

See you on the newsstand.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

eGreens

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 9:18 PM

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Friday afternoon news dump

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 8:29 PM

• Hot off the press-release presses:

The New Orleans City Council will hold a Special Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 28th at 2 p.m. in the Council Chamber, City Hall.

The Council will consider Ordinances relative to the acquisition of the Chevron Building, located at 935 Gravier Street, as the site for a new City Hall, as well as any other matters that may properly come before the Council.

These Ordinances are to be considered in a Special Council Meeting as a result of their deferral at yesterday's regular Council meeting.

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Cynthia Sylvain-Lear made a presentation yesterday on the Administration's position regarding the need for a new City Hall, improvements needed at the current City Hall, and a comparative analysis of the current City Hall and the Chevron Building.

• The Lutheran youth in town are having a rally tonight at the Louisiana Superdome, and will dispatch volunteers tomorrow on buses, ferrying 12,000 volunteers around the city to work on more than 200 projects. Meanwhile, their moms found our earlier "Welcome to the city!" blogpost and have been leaving sweet messages. Thanks, Lutheran Moms!

• Author E. Lynn Harris died this morning at 54. He was a favorite among New Orleans readers and the first writer to conduct a signing at the Afro-American Book Stop when it reopened last December. Essence magazine has a tribute, along with reminiscences of Harris by other writers.

• The director of the new indie film New Orleans, Mon Amour, Michael Almereyda, gives an interview to IndieWire. Sounds interesting ... and the star is the amazing Elisabeth Moss, who plays Peggy on our favorite show, Mad Men.

Christopher Tidmore says State Rep. Juan LaFonta is going to challenge U.S. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao for the 2nd Congressional seat when reelection time rolls around in 2010.

Last: Go to jail in Iberia Parish, be prepared to be pretty in pink:

It's a punishment Warden Frank Ellis says he learned was very effective since they implemented the pink jumpsuits 8 months ago.

Now, they're painting the lockdown pod to match the inmate uniforms.

Warden Ellis" "a color means something, when they are put in pink, it's demeaning to them, they feel they lost their manhood they've lost control and we are now in control." ...

"It would really disturb me to wear pink and go to court in pink. It's not easy wearing pink" said one inmate we spoke to.

For the warden, the change to pink has meant a change to a prettier attitude.

Another inmate explains: "If it was Abercrombie and I wasn't here it wouldn't matter, but due to the fact, it's a pink jumpsuit and you are in jail, you have to uphold some manly levels."

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For New Orleans rockists, it's R.E.M. or REM

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 7:00 PM

I like to envision New Orleans rock venues as a somnambulant clan of Rip Van Winkles: lifting their heavy lids every so often, stretching their limbs, booking a series of teasing tours and summarily nodding off for another 100-year (or 10-month) slumber.

Consider the Parish, House of Blues’ underachieving kid brother, which had been next to comatose for much of 2009 before bolting upright this week with a startling outburst — Le Tigre offshoot Men last night, Black Keys’ prodigy Jessica Lea Mayfield tonight and Diet Eminem rapper Cage on Sunday — only to fall over again like a deadwood redwood. (Next thing of incident at the Parish: a Sept. 6 visit by the Eminemless D12, distant second in the Dirty Dozen band hierarchy.) Or the Howlin' Wolf, which hosted packed houses for late-2008 concerts by Fleet Foxes and Of Montreal and has been sleepwalking through banal funk and bloviated punk ever since. Republic's semiannual awakenings can be timed on a clock, but its flurry of mid-2008 activity, including the Black Angels, the Whigs, Okkervil River and the Walkmen, has yet to be seen in 2009; its fall schedule is TBA and the “What You Missed” section begins and ends with Juvenile in February and Ghostland Observatory in April. (Quoth Office Space: “I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob.”)

The sleeping-giant theme continues at Tipitina’s, which hasn’t so much been inactive as it’s been having the same dream every night for years. (It’s fuzzy, Doc, but it has something to do with Jazz Fest circa 1991 …) Once or twice per calendar the storied club interrupts its regularly scheduled programming for something Quint Davis has never heard of: Death Cab for Cutie in 2004, Yo La Tengo in ’07, Wilco in ’02 and ’08 (OK, even Quint knows Wilco now) and Girl Talk in ’09. And yet, recent news of Tip's booking Phoenix (author of the odds-on single-of-the-year "1901," video above), Andrew Bird and St. Vincent for two shows the first week of October still hit like a night terror.

Glossy French cosmopolitan pop, UFO-whistled chamber folk and avant-garde guitar-shredded falsettos, all in the span of 72 hours? Somebody pinch me.

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