Background on the off-chance you haven't heard about any of this yet, from Kalen Wright on NOLA Femmes:
The following is a letter I sent this evening to elected officials and law enforcement; I’m tired, so it was brief and to the point.
Spray-painted stenciled graffiti advertising a Coca-Cola product in conjunction with the NCAA Men's Final Four event.
Honorable Mayor Landrieu, Councilmembers Palmer and Clarkson, and NOPD 8th District Commander Walls:
The attached photos depict advertising associated with the NCAA Men’s Final Four event for Coca-Cola products — spray-painted on sidewalks and pavement (including flagstones) in the French Quarter and Faubourg Tremé (and perhaps other) neighborhoods in our city. I ask, is this really how we want companies to behave when our city hosts national events?
This all started last night, when Wright took to Twitter to raise awareness that (1) Coca-Cola ads were popping up on French Quarter sidewalks and (2) that is against the law. Note: It is not a violation of the new state law that makes graffiti in the French Quarter a felony. That law only applies if a building or structure's been defaced.
Ben Ellman (Galactic, The New Orleans Klezmer Allstars) returns with DJ Quickie Mart for volume two of Gypsyphonic Disko's party-rocking tour through bounce, hip-hop, klezmer and Balkan music. The DJ crew releases Nola-Phonic Volume Two on April 3, but you download a track featuring bounce empress Big Freedia here. (Stream Volume One here.)
The Village Voice has a killer piece on Dr. John's upcoming Locked Down (out April 3 on Nonesuch), a collaboration with Black Keys wizard Dan Auerbach. Grab the track "Revolution" here, and catch a glimpse of the sessions below:
More goodies after the jump.
I was lucky enough to talk with the folks at the HBO series Treme who are putting on an incredible event Saturday night, the “My Darlin’ New Orleans” fundraiser. Here’s Part II of our conversation. Click here to read yesterday’s post, and come back tomorrow for Part III.
Gambit: Tell Gambit readers about your fundraising efforts so far.
David Simon, Co-Creator/Executive Producer: The first year's auction raised about $90,000 for the non-profits and last year, we topped $100,000. Other individual donations by producers and the production put the total raised so far to about $250,000. We hope to raise even more this year, when in addition to the auction, we are also trying to stage a culinary event for charity as well as a Treme vs. The Wire battle of the bands, featuring two local renowned bands and a couple notable acts from the Washington-Baltimore axis that were featured in The Wire, specifically Galactic and the Stooges Brass Band from New Orleans and jazz-funkmaster Lafayette Gilchrist and his band from Baltimore and the Backyard Band from D.C., one of that city's preeminent go-go outfits.
Congratulations to the Soul Rebels on their first national television appearance!
Lawyers for Jefferson Parish homeowners who successfully sued Louisiana Citizens insurance company after Hurricane Katrina have been fighting several legislative bills that they say attempt to undercut, retroactively, a $95 million judgment rendered against the company for not initiating the post-Katrina claims adjustment process quickly enough.
State law requires property insurers to begin adjusting claims within 30 days. Citizens, which is a state-sponsored property insurer of last resort, failed to meet that deadline in thousands of cases, prompting the suit.
Fred Herman, an attorney for Jefferson Parish homeowners in a class action suit in state court against Citizens, is working with lobbyist Alton Ashy to fight at least three bills in the state Senate and three identical measures in the House. Both men say the bills are designed to undo state Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court rulings against Citizens.
State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon supports the bills and does not deny that they are aimed at undoing the judgment, which he says “places a burden on 95 percent of the other homeowners in the state.” The burden cited by Donelon is an additional assessment on homeowner policies that is levied to keep Citizens afloat in the face of the judgment and other costs.
All three Senate measures have come up for consideration in committee but were delayed in the face of opposition. The House bills have yet to be considered. The three Senate bills at issue are Senate Bills 204 and 358 by Sen. Blade Morrish, R-Jennings, and Senate Bill 311 by Sen. Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte.
On the eve of having a bazillion people in town for the NCAA Final Four, Noah Bonaparte Pais made a stop on the WWL Eyewitness Morning News to talk about some of the other activities in town this weekend: free concerts by KISS, Blondie, the Black Keys and more; the Old Algiers RiverFest; the New Orleans Giant Puppet Festival and more. Check it:
The phrase "net neutrality" has always seemed inadequate as a rallying cry for the struggle to maintain openness and equality on the web—much better to put a face and a name on the issue. The documentary Barbershop Punk does just that by tracking the struggles of barbershop quartet singer Robb Topolski as he fights with Comcast over the right to share public-domain music over the internet. Punk icons Henry Rollins and Ian MacKay and many others chime in on a set of problems that shows no signs of going away.
A free screening of Barbershop Punk will be presented this Friday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the 3rd floor Moot Court Auditorium at the Loyola College of Law, 526 Pine Street in New Orleans. Presented by the New Orleans Film Society, the Loyola Sports & Entertainment Law Society, and the Loyola Intellectual Property Law Society, the screening will be followed by a Q&A led by Andy Mendez, an attorney with Stone Pigman and an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School. A wine and cheese reception will take place after the discussion. The event is free and open to the public.
When J’Anita’s closed its kitchen inside the Rendon Inn recently, J’Anita’s proprietor Craig Giesecke said he was looking for another line of work but did leave the door open that someday the noted – though highly nomadic — bar food operation could return somewhere else. It’s taken just about two months for the next opportunity to walk through that door.
Giesecke and his wife Kimmie have a new plan in place to run the kitchen at the Blind Pelican (1628 Saint Charles Ave., 558-9399), a newly revamped and reopened tavern in the Lower Garden District not far from two of J’Anita’s three previous locations. This doesn’t exactly signal the return of J’Anita’s, though Giesecke plans to serve some of the greatest hits he’s taken on his journey through a succession of tavern kitchens.
“This will not be another version of ‘J'anita's at Someplace,’ but staples like the St. Chuck Duck, the Best Fish Sammich and a few others will certainly be on the menu,” he says. “We'll start with a small menu and work our way into things. At this point, at least, I might be a little more seafoody than in the past. I'll also have the smoker out back, so the pulled pork and house-smoked cheeses will certainly be in the mix. The place also has a pizza oven, so that opens all kinds of possibilities.”
The cast and crew of the HBO series Treme are currently in production for their third season, but they also are working hard to put on a star-studded fundraiser Saturday night at Generations Hall. Treme’s “My Darlin’ New Orleans” gala and auction will support Sweet Home New Orleans, The Roots of Music, and the New Orleans Musicians Clinic and Assistance Foundation. Tickets are $150, and musical entertainment will be provided by Irma Thomas, Little Freddie King and Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns and others. Recently I talked to some of the show’s stars and behind-the-scenes figures about the show, the fundraiser and what they love most about New Orleans.
GAMBIT: When will Season Three start up again?
Nina Noble, Executive Producer: We’ll air in September, but no specific premiere date has been set.
GAMBIT: What’s been your favorite musical number on the show so far?
David Simon, Co-Creator/Executive Producer: Well, we just filmed a little bit of Fats Domino sharing a moment at the piano with Davell Crawford. The dailies from that scene pretty much killed me dead. In previous seasons, I have a special affection for "Drink A Little Poison," which featured collaboration between John Mooney and the Soul Rebels, neither of whom had worked together before or were in any way familiar with each other's music. The sequence came out great nonetheless, surprising the artists a bit, and making the writers and producers feel like high-functioning alchemists.
Wendell Pierce, “Antoine Batiste”: For me, it was when I sang "Ghost of a Chance," a heartbroken lament for the city.
Tough Love: New Orleans will follow the show's usual format, in which "love gurus" Steve Ward and his mother JoAnn dispense brutally honest advice to women with a variety of dating dysfunctions, but this time in New Orleans*, a city the show's website says is "famous for its handsome Southern gentlemen and wild nights out on the town."
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