Saturday, March 27, 2010

2 Second Line Parades Tomorrow - Revolution SA&PC and Uptown Mardi Gras Indians

Posted By on Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 6:17 PM

THE REVOLUTION SOCIAL AID & PLEASURE CLUB PARADE - 1-5pm

THEME: “PUT EM TO REST”

Start: Louis Armstrong Park (Rampart Street) Going up North Rampart to Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. (Ashe Cultural Arts Center)

Stop: 1714 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. (20 min. stop) Up O.C. Haley Blvd to Phillip St. Right onto Phillip to Simon Bolivar St.

Stop: 1618 Simon Bolivar (Dumaine Street Gang) Down Simon Bolivar to Martin Luther King Blvd. Turn left on M.L. King Blvd.

Stop 2607 M. L. King Bvld. (Mom's House) Down M.L. King Blvd. to Magnolia St. U-Turn on Magnolia St. to M.L. King Blvd. Up M.L. King Blvd. to Simon Bolivar. Right turn on Simon Bolivar up to LaSalle St. Up LaSalle St. to Louisiana Ave. Left turn on Louisiana.

Stop: Louisiana & Carondelet St. (Old & New Styles Fellas) Up to Chippewa St.

Stop: Louisiana & Chippewa St. Up Louisiana to Tchoupitoulas. Right turn on Tchoupitoulas St. Up Tchoupitoulas to 3801 Tchoupitoulas St.

Disband: Rock Bottom Lounge

THE MARDI GRAS INDIAN COUNCIL PRESENTS INDIAN SUNDAY PARADE SUNDAY, MARCH 28, 2010 – 1 P.M.

The parade starts at Washington Avenue and LaSalle Street and ends at Taylor Park – Washington Avenue and Derbigny St. There will be activities – music, games, food – starting at 11am at Taylor Park starting at 11 a.m. and also following the parade.

Check out more second line parade videos on my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/BigRedCotton. You can contact me directly (not with no BS though…) at bigredcotton@gmail.com.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

"Wicked" at the Mahalia Jackson Theater

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 3:59 AM

The Broadway Across America tours that come to New Orleans vary wildly in quality, but Wicked (at the Mahalia Jackson Theater through Apr. 11) has what they all should have: an accessible, poppy score, plenty of in-jokes, some superlative stagecraft and, of course, flying monkeys.

Based on the Gregory Maguire novel, Wicked is a reimagining of The Wizard of Oz through the eyes of the good and bad witches – in their days as conjuring schoolgirls and long before Dorothy showed up. Here, Glinda the Good Witch is an insipid but popular cheerleader type; Ephalba (the Wicked Witch) is a smart, misunderstood outcast with green skin, a girl in the shadow of her prettier sister, who nonetheless moons after the most handsome boy in school ... in other words, the perfect stand-in for any insecure high school sophomore. (“We can't all travel by bubble,” she snaps at Glinda.)

Standby Merideth Kaye Clark turned out to be a Broadway-ready Ephalba (the many teen girls in the matinee audience went crazy for her), while the equally good Chandra Lee Schwartz was a legally-blonde Glinda. (As the school's headmistress, Randy Danson was a dead ringer for New Orleans' own Becky Allen.)

The rest of the ensemble ranged from good to very good, but Wicked is carried on the shoulders of its witches – and even with a nearly three-hour running time, when Clark and Schwartz were singing, spellcasting and soaring, the show soared with them. Most seats for the three-week run are gone, but $25 rush tickets are sold by lottery at the theater two-and-a-half hours before every performance. It's worth the chance.

(Wicked was originally scheduled as part of the 2005-2006 Broadway Across America series, which was eliminated after Hurricane Katrina; the other high-profile show from that lost season, The Lion King, will be coming to the Mahalia Jackson Theater in late 2011 or early 2012.)

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

TONIGHT: Mondo Drag

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:47 PM

Mondo Drag's debut LP New Rituals (Alive Records) takes us somewhere familiar and classic. With swirling Hammond organ and layers upon layers of mammoth, down-tuned guitars, the band drives fire-breathing, slow-burning jams combining the earthy, raw garage of the 13th Floor Elevators, the motorik headtrips of CAN, and decadent southern metal.

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The Iowa psychedelic monster (featuring Daytrotter artist Johnnie Cluney on drums and vocals) concludes its two-night venture to New Orleans. Last night the band crammed into the back room of Uptown's Hey! Cafe, engulfed in the psychedlic haze of spinning lava lamp lights bouncing from a mirror to the ceiling. Tonight they bring the doom to Saturn Bar (at 10 p.m.) for an appropriately heavy evening with War Amps (New Orleans) and Bad Assets (California). Admission is $6.

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Missed out on "Wicked" tickets?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Although tickets to the three-week run of Wicked at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre (801 N. Rampart St.) are sold out, there's an opportunity to score some pretty terrific seats — and for less than you might have paid for them.

Seemingly taking cues from the Gershwin Theater in New York, where Wicked fans line up on weekends to try and win front-row tickets to the perpetually sold out show, the theater is holding a limited number of $25 orchestra seat tickets to give away in a lottery. The drawing will happen two and a half hours before each performance at the box office (the schedule is below), and the winners must have cash on hand to pay for the tickets. There's a limit of two tickets per person.

The theater recommends to those participating in the lottery to pay the $10 fee to park on site. They'll stamp your hand and if you don't win, you can get that fee refunded by showing the stamp and turning in your parking ticket.

The performance schedule is after the jump.

Continue reading »

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DuBos Praises Nagin

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Gambit’s Clancy DuBos thanking Mayor Nagin? And in a press release from the Mayor’s Office of Communications, no less?

In an unlikely year that’s seen pigs fly, hell freeze over and America join the commies, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the mayor’s spinners dug deep for this one:

“All of [sic] just said, ‘Yes, thank you, Mr. Mayor,’” said Clancy DuBos, editor of Gambit Weekly. “That was his defining moment right after Katrina because he expressed very bluntly the frustrations of everybody -- black, white, Democratic, Republican -- all New Orleanians who were fed up with the lack of federal response.”

It’s taken from a CNN profile on Nagin and is part of the network’s series "Revealed," which the press release reminds us is, “a program that gets under the skin of the world’s brilliant thinkers, creative champions and inspirational leaders.”

Not that many would disagree with DuBos’s assessment of Nagin’s “Now get off your asses and do something” September 2005 radio interview calling for federal aid for our drowning city.

But that was 2005, and the DuBos quote seems a little stale for cherry picking. While the mayor’s press office isn’t Fox News, the press release needs a little balance. How about DuBos’s take on the end of Nagin’s term?

“What measure of relief he’s feeling pales in comparison to the relief that the citizens are feeling.”

That’s better. Now we can focus on the important stuff.

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This man knows how to draw a crowd

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 3:13 AM

Photograph by Jonathan Bachman

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Bron Bron

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The New Orleans Hornets have averaged 14,945 fans a game this season and that's likely an inflated number considering how season ticket holders are counted whether they show up or not. Wednesday night against the Cavaliers, however, they got the Lebron boost and sold out every seat in the house as Cleveland beat the Hornets 105-92.

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The Hornets want to remain focused on the present. Head coach Jeff Bower has said time and again that he intends to coach his team through the season as if they still had a shot at the playoffs (mathematically, they do, but being 10 games out at this point in the season makes it all but impossible) but even then he can't escape the fact that his hands are tied. Chris Paul is still not 100%, many Hornets players are entering the last year of their contracts and rookies Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton are still developing.

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The fact is that the Hornets' present isn't all that appealing. Sure, this is a team that's shown it can play among and even beat the best in the league (as they did on Monday against the Mavericks), but they can't do it with any consistency and they have a startling ability to let close games slip away in a matter of moments (against Cleveland they went from being down four to down 16 in just over four minutes in the third quarter)..

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New Orleans' future is mired with uncertainty with this franchise but that's no reason to be pessimistic. Collison and Thornton combined for 37 points and David West - who could or could not be a part of the Hornets future, depending on who you ask - added 20 points and 10 rebounds. And while New Orleans, as a team, seemed to fall apart in the second half, the fact is that they didn't really deserve to keep the game as close as it was in the first two quarters.

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Lebron James scored 38 points, Antawn Jamison notched a double-double and Delonte West added 15 point off the bench for Cleveland. Many times Paul found himself covering James because his team didn't have much in the way of defensive options. Playing a small lineup for much of the game, the Hornets are "still experimenting" in Bower's words and you get the sense that, even though this team says it's focused on the now, they're taking some time to step back and look at the grand scheme.

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Right now, the Hornets' grand scheme involves taking a hard look at what players will help them in the future. Surely Collison and Thornton make up a core of players along with Paul, Okafor and West. But with an excess of young guards and a dearth of front-line depth, trade rumors will abound. Right now it's clear that the Hornets are too inconsistent to consider themselves playoffs threats. Injuries have played a party but more often than not New Orleans has just failed to find the right mix of energy, talent and desire to pull off wins consistently. As much as Bower may deny it, the Hornets brass is paying attention to who's going to be with this team moving forward.

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That may mean the Hornets will continue to get outclassed by superior teams in front fans that packed the house to see an opposing player, but it could also point to brighter times ahead. Surely, Hornets fans can't wait for next season to start.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tonight: Barbara Ehrenreich at Tulane

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Times are tough. The economic recession continues, our cars are trying to kill us, absolutely no one wants to pay for news content online and, according to conservatives, the apocalypse is imminent. But Barbara Ehrenreich thinks subscribing to the think-happy-thoughts mentality promoted by The Secret and noted positive thinkers such as Oprah or Joe Osteen isn't going to make it all better.

The pop sociologist's most recent book Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America is a takedown of this mentality. While it might seem easy to dismiss Ehrenreich as a curmudgeon, her beef is justifiable: after a breast cancer diagnosis, the author's search for information and support turned up a relentlessly positive "pink ribbon culture" that views negative disposition — not cancer — as the real illness. Ehrenreich follows this positive thinking trend through its roots in economics, politics, religion and history.

Ehrenreich is the author of nearly 20 books including Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, her undercover examination of America's working poor. The book takes down another ubiquitous smiley face — that of Walmart, where she works in one chapter as the blouse-folding "Barb."

The Newcomb College Institute hosts the author tonight at Tulane's Lavin-Bernick Center at 7:30 p.m. You've been warned that this might not be a feel-good lecture.

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Mayor Nagin talks to CNN

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 2:48 PM

... and surely New Orleans will be talking about Mayor Nagin talking to CNN. An excerpt:

CNN: The ratings show that people are frustrated with you, how does that make you and your colleagues feel?

RN: We feel it's unfair, but we know the truth and how far we've come. We have this kind of idealism that at some point people are going to understand what we've been doing, it's almost like an underground movement. We've been working underground to make sure that this city can fully recover with the hope that at some point people will recognize the good work that we have done.

CNN: How often do you wonder how different would your tenure have been had it not been for Katrina?

RN: I don't think about that a lot. To be honest, I don't really have time to do that, I spend every day, every moment, thinking about how to get this recovery moving faster, better and how to rebuild this city.

His first priority upon leaving office, Hizzoner tells CNN, is a "long vacation," because "the Katrina experience was just something that I need a break for."

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(Belated) Scenes from the Treme Sidewalk Steppers and VIP Ladies and Kids Parades

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 3:48 AM

Sunday before last, you may have wondered why your mouth broke into a spontaneous smile for no apparent reason. Well, there was a gloriously wonderful reason. The VIP kids were rolling Uptown, tearing up the streets with little leprechaun feet. In an effort to offset our collective suffering due to the massive traffic snarls taking place all over the city, our future civic leaders jumped in to help speed up the pace on The Great Dig Project which was recently initiated by one of their peers, juvenile behavior’s favorite spokesperson Mayor Nagin. Even though his tenure’s last cry for negative attention proves what we’ve come to know: ‘All f*&^ked up roads lead to the big bald chocolate child’, the VIP children nonetheless generously lent their technical assistance to Boh Brothers in the form of fancy footwork, drop it like its hot jackhammer moves, and a massive crowd steamroll for several hours. It’s highly unlikely they’ll be compensated for all their hard work though since they’re not on the approved list of contractors that line the malicious little toddler’s pockets with our tax dollars (aren't you excited about the upcoming citywide celebration when he finally storms back to his playpen in Dallas? 40 more days!) So the next time you see one of these beloved little public servants doing the damn thing for the love of New Orleans, make sure you give em a big POTUS-FLOTUS fist bump and tell em “My blood pressure and car axle both thank you.”

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TONIGHT: A Sunny Day in Glasgow & Vivian Girls

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:46 PM

But not at the same venue, of course. Would've been too easy. Instead, AllWays Lounge hosts Philadelphia's A Sunny Day in Glasgow at 10:30 p.m., while Circle Bar hosts Brooklyn's Vivian Girls at 10 p.m.

This is Sunny Day's second trip to New Orleans (and the second to AllWays, where the band played in November 2009). Vivian Girls is here for the first time, though, but not alone — the trio brought the UK's Wetdog and Vermont's Happy Birthday, who just released a fun garage-pop debut on Sub Pop this month.

It's heads or tails, really. For a $5 admission, there is Sunny Day, who dropped one of the finest albums of last year, shot a pretty but super-twee video in New Orleans, and also performs with Rusty Lazer, fresh from South by Southwest. For $8, there are cute girl-group garage groups (and a recent Sub Pop signee).

The headliners, side-by-side (video-by-video?):

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