Sunday, February 21, 2010

The parade you DON’T wanna miss - Treme Sidewalk Steppers Sunday @ noon

Posted By on Sun, Feb 21, 2010 at 2:35 AM

The Saints parade is so two weeks ago. You need to stand up and get crunk at tomorrow’s parade: THE TREME SIDEWALK STEPPERS (route below). TSS gets my nomination for best parade of the year. Their noteworthy accomplishments include the having the hypest brass band performances of the second line season, working tailor-made leather suits like no other ghetto superstar can, yawning at awe-struck paraders and throwing them the ‘don’t try this at home’ side-eye while dancing with fairy feet afire and tumbling head first under bridges and over potholes, and finishing off with the most FIYAH! finale in the history of second lines - TSS president Charlie Brown climbing atop the roof of Sydney’s Saloon and shredding his $2,000+ suit with a razor blade, making soft leather raindrops shower over the crowd. Basically they provide more entertainment in one parade than all the music award shows on TV in the month of January. This commendation is well-earned.

You need not take my word for it though - check out these clips of last year’s parade and see for yourself. Seriously, watching these clips make me wanna grab a trumpet and a blunt, hit it and split it with one of the groupies outside the Blue Nile, then run up to the set of David Simon’s HBO show ‘Treme’ and school those extras on how to sing the second line neighborhood anthem: “6th WARD! 7th WARD, 8th WARD, 9th WARD - THAT’S DOWNTOWN!”

Parade route and more vids after the jump:

Continue reading »

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Coming up in Gambit: Post-Super Bowl Mardi Gras Election Edition

Posted By on Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 8:55 PM

BrassRoots

This week in Gambit:

The Roots of Music, founded by Rebirth Brass Band drummer Derrick Tabb, is an afterschool music program for at-risk kids. It's been so successful that the Roots performed in five Mardi Gras parades this year, there's a waiting list of hundreds, and Tabb himself was nominated for one of CNN's Heroes of 2009. But the program only has enough money to last through the end of March. Alex Woodward spent time with Tabb and his young charges to see what might be the future of the Roots of Music ....

Noah Bonaparte Pais interviews Canadian singer/songwriters Tegan and Sara, who wrote much of the material for their new CD, Sainthood, while in New Orleans. They're coming to Tipitina's Feb. 24 ....

• How do you reintegrate into society if you've spent decades wrongly convicted and imprisoned at Angola -- then set free with nothing more than $10, a bus ticket and the clothes you arrived in? David Winkler-Schmit profiles John Thompson, a former death row inmate who was in just that situation and went on to form the group Resurrection After Exoneration ....

Ian McNulty reviews Adolfo Garcia and Joshua Smith's Warehouse District restaurant A Mano ....

Rex Duke™ provides his annual review of Carnival parades ....

• and Gambit's new columnist, Chris Rose, writes about the death of a friend, National Art & Hobby owner John Ward, who was struck by a car while walking home after a Mardi Gras ball.

See you on the newsstand Sunday afternoon, or online here Monday afternoon.

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The maturation of a rookie and the success of a team

Posted By on Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 4:16 AM

Darren Collison is good

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Photograph by Jonathan Bachman

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Coming off a tough home loss to the Utah Jazz two nights ago, the New Orleans Hornets sat three games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. With more than two-thirds of the teams left on their schedules sporting winning records, New Orleans needed to take advantage of a weak Pacers team to keep their playoff hopes alive.

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Led by surging rookie Darren Collison's first career triple-double, the Hornets put on just the effort they needed in their 107-101 win. Contributions came from all over the floor - David West put up 29 points and notched a career-high seven assists, Emeka Okafor had a double-double, all five Hornets starters scored in double figures and 12 points off the bench. The Hornets led by as many as 21 points and, though the Pacers made a late surge in the fourth to bring the game within four, the game was never really in doubt.

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"We made some very good plays, some very good basketball reads," head coach Jeff Bower said. "We did some instinctive things throughout the game that we're really happy with that showed signs of guys making progress."

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Hornets fans would be hard-pressed to remember the last time their team put forth such a complete effort that led to such a dominating win (on the heals of a rough loss against a conference foe, no less). But while the whole team won the game, the highlights had to go to the Hornets' two rookies. Forced into extended minutes because of the injury to Chris Paul, both Thornton and Collison have responded with veteran-like performances. Collison is averaging 17.4 points, 8.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds a game and managing his team (almost) as well as Paul.

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"I was just going out ther and playing and my teammates were just telling me what I needed and being supportive," he said. "My teammates kept telling me that I was close and reiterating that I was close to a triple-double and that I kept stealing their rebounds."

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Talented and humble. But that's what happens when your teammates make you walk around with a Disney princess backpack (Morris Peterson's brilliant idea) and they find ways to keep you grounded even when you're playing out of your mind. When Collison nearly had a triple-double a few games back, it was Paul pointing out how he came up short. This time, Collison's teammates pointed to his eight turnovers.

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So long as the Hornets keep winning and Collison keeps putting up All-Star numbers, the rookie should be able to take everything his teammates say in stride.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Questionland: Question of the day - Have you ever swam in Lake Pontchartrain?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Questionland: Question of the Day

Have you ever swam in Lake Pontchartrain?

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RIP Dale Hawkins

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Goldmine, La.'s Dale Hawkins, swamp rock pioneer and author of rock 'n' roll classic "Susie Q," died last

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mr. Big (Shots) ... who do you think you are?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Lee

There's no easy way to back into this story ... and we don't think you're going to be finding out about it while tooling around other local media ... so we'll quit putzing around and bring the interesting news that New Orleans men have the biggest penises in America ... according to a highly scientific study by the online condom purveyor Condomania:

Condomania tracked 27,000 men in 70 countries and declared New Orleans the BIG winner. Washington, DC came in second, with San Diego, New York City and Phoenix rounding out the top five. As far as the state-wide results, New Hampshire was the dark horse winner with Oregon, New York, Indiana and Arizona following.

Some more big penis facts? Blue states are more likely to have men with guns then red states—coincidence? Also, according to Director of Technology Chris Filkins, 25% of all men need condoms less than five inches (ouch), half are somewhere between five and six inches and the remaining quarter keep the Magnum brand in business with six inches or larger.

Still in doubt? Ask Condomania itself:

Q: Which states & cities have the biggest and smallest penises? And why in the world does Condomania know this???

A: That's a good question. New Orleans now has another reason to call itself "The Big Easy." The home of this year's Super Bowl champs has taken the top spot in Condomania's ranking of U.S. cities by penis size! Bring on Mardi Gras and let the good times roll!

What say you, Gambiteers? Is this true in your experience?

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Questionland question of the day: Is it possible...

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Is it possible to take pictures from the top of the New Orleans World Trade Center Building? I'm not talking about shooting through a glass, is there like a terrace on top of it

I wanted to do some photography of Canal St. at twilight from the World Trade bld, is there a platform, terrace on th every top of the blgd or a balcony anywhere up there where you can shoot without having a glass window in front of you? Thanks!

If you are a New Orleans expert, answer Pompo WhoDat Bresciani's question on Questionland.

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Mauberret Withdraws from Assessor Runoff

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Second District Assessor Claude Mauberret has withdrawn from the March 6 runoff to become New Orleans’ first citywide assessor, saying “the numbers are just not there” and that he wanted to avoid a racially polarized runoff against Second District Assessor Erroll Williams. Mauberret’s withdrawal automatically results in Williams’ election. Williams, who is black, has served as the Third District assessor since the mid-1980s. Mauberret, who is white, has represented the Second District for almost 16 years.

Williams finished first in the Feb. 6 primary with 45 percent of the vote, followed by Mauberret with 25.5 percent of the vote. Mauberret narrowly beat out deputy Sixth District Assessor Janis Lemle, who carried the “reform” mantle in that race and garnered 24.5 percent of the vote.

“Since [the Feb. 6 primary], I have spent many hours reviewing precinct returns with my advisors and key supporters in an effort to chart a winning strategy,” Mauberret said in a statement. “After much deliberation, I have concluded that it would be in the best interests of my friends, my supporters, my family and my city not to contest the runoff. I do this with mixed feelings.

“Assessor Erroll Williams has been a friend and colleague throughout my public career, and I did not look forward to a bruising campaign against someone for whom I have a great deal of personal and professional regard. Although my supporters encouraged me to soldier on, the reality is that the numbers are just not there for me to justify asking my family, my friends and my supporters to put forth the kind of effort required to win. In addition, despite the friendship that Erroll and I share, I fear that others would cast this election in racial terms and try to divide our citizens, who came together in unprecedented fashion on Feb. 6 across racial, geographic, party and socio-economic lines. I love my city too much to let anything threaten this historic time of unity.”

Mauberret carried a plurality of the white vote in the primary, and Williams won a plurality of the African-American vote. Mauberret’s statement echoes sentiments reflected by state Sen. Ed Murray when he withdrew from the mayor’s race in early January. Murray cited potential racial divisions in a runoff against Mitch Landrieu for his decision to drop out of the mayor’s race.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

First Blanque endorsed Batt. Now Guidry's firing back.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 11:31 PM

Not 24 hours after Mardi Gras ended, the City Council District A race got heaty when the Jay Batt camp sent out an announcement saying third-place finisher Virginia Blanque had endorsed Batt for the runoff. Now Batt's opponent, Susan Guidry, is firing back with a little vinegar of her own. In a statement provided by her spokesman, Matt Larson, Guidry says of the endorsement:

"I am shocked given that Virginia Blanque's campaign message -- like mine -- was that Jay Batt represents the politics of the past and that we can't effect change by recycling a politician we previously voted out of office.

"I agree with what Ms. Blanque said during the campaign that we need 'a new direction in District A' and 'a break from politics as usual' (Virginia Blanque campaign material). Jay Batt doesn't represent a new direction. This endorsement reeks of political deal making.

"This is eerily similar to what happened 4 years ago, when Sal Palmisano said before the primary election that he would not support Batt and then changed his tune after Batt hired him as a 'paid consultant' in the runoff. It didn't fool the public then, and I don't think it will now."

There's no District A forum scheduled yet, but there's sure to be one or two between now and the runoff Mar. 6. We'll keep you posted.

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Ray Nagin interviewed in the new issue of Essence: "There's been a concerted effort to minimize my accomplishments"

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Essence's Michele Norris has an "Exit Interview" with Hizzoner C. Ray Nagin in the March issue of the magazine. It's brief, but a little doozy it is:

ESSENCE: People in New Orleans are bothered by a sense of corruption hovering over the city. With both the police and technology departments currently under federal investigation, why haven't you done more to combat these problems?

NAGIN: There was no corruption under my watch. I've only had one instance where there was a mention about anything corrupt, and that was an indictment, not a conviction, where a former employee may have improperly used a credit card. But if you're talking about the previous administration's indictments, that happened before I got here.

Many more quotable quotes in the interview (including "There's been a concerted effort to minimize my accomplishments"). Pick up the March issue of Essence for the whole thing, or check the magazine's Web site in a week or so (not sure if they'll be posting it online).

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