The cast and crew of the highly honored and anticipated Beasts of the Southern Wild, along with about 150 additional family, friends and fans, celebrated the New Orleans premiere of the locally shot film at the Joy Theater Monday night. If you haven’t read Ken Korman’s in-depth cover story about the movie, what have you been doing?!?!? But seriously, check it out here. Also in attendance at Monday's screening were Treme stars Lance E. Nichols (Larry) and Michiel Huisman (Sonny), and following the premiere the crowd headed over to La Trobe’s on Royal to celebrate the work of everyone involved.
The almost entirely local cast has been traveling the globe picking up awards, and there’s no doubt that we’ll be seeing them on the big screen in many more projects after this one. Dwight Henry, who stars as Wink, the father to Hushpuppy, our heroine, has already signed on for a role in Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave, which began filming in Vacherie this week and co-stars Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti and Michael Fassbender.
The New Orleans Hornets met the press today after last night's NBA draft. Some images of the new class of '12, courtesy of photographer Jonathan Bachman:
Seemingly not satisfied with the musical talent it has already thrusted into the ether (The Daily Beast put together an exhaustive where-are-they-now slideshow of former Idol finalists, and let's just say not all of them took the Kelly Clarkson path), the FOX singing competition is gearing up for its 12 season and rolling into New Orleans for an open-call audition. The auditions are at the New Orleans Arena on Tuesday, July 17, with registration happening all day Sunday, July 15 and Monday, July 16. More info about the auditions is here. Gambit was at the auditions last year and we made a video of some of the (talented) rejects.
Vox & the Hound's Daytrotter session debuted this week. Grab it here. The band recorded its debut LP Courage at The Living Room studios — the album will be released November 30. Check out the track "That Man You Thought Was King" here.
Chinquapin Records released its summer sampler for free download — find tracks from Caddywhompus, Sun Hotel, Glish, High in One Eye, The Rooks and a dozen others, including an unreleased live track from supergroup All People.
Dr. Michael White's Adventures in New Orleans Jazz Part 2 was released this month on Basin Street Records. Grab "I Love You Too Much to Ever Leave You" here.
More after the jump.
The summer movie season reaches its peak next week with the Wednesday, July 4, arrival of New Orleans’ first homemade cinematic masterpiece, Beasts of the Southern Wild (read our recent cover story on the film here). On Tuesday you can feast your eyes on The Amazing Spider-Man, yet another remarkable success from Marvel Studios (look for a full review in next week’s paper). But this weekend’s slate of new movies opening in New Orleans is no slouch, either.
Always-interesting director Steven Soderbergh helms this movie about male strippers, which was inspired by the real-life exploits of its star, Channing Tatum. Wide release.
MORE TRAILERS AFTER THE JUMP...
Last night, The Flaming Lips did indeed break the Guinness World Record for most concerts performed in 24 hours in different cities, and they did it to the exuberant, confetti-bursting joy of At War with the Mystics track "Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (With All Your Power)" at the House of Blues in New Orleans. Then they received their award — and continued to perform, playing The Soft Bulletin's "Race for the Prize."
The entire covers-filled 24-hour nonstop tour was streamed live via the O Music Awards, which thankfully kept several performances on its website. Below, watch some of the highlights, including the record-breaking performance of "Yeah Yeah Yeah":
O Music Awards
Times-Picayune employees who have been invited to join the newly formed NOLA Media Group have until Friday to file their paperwork with T-P vice president David Francis. Tonight, Gambit has confirmed that several of the reporters that the paper hoped to retain will not be continuing with the new company.
• Sources say award-winning investigative reporter David Hammer has accepted a job at WWL-TV. (Disclosure: WWL-TV regularly features Gambit reporters on its morning newscasts, and Gambit political editor Clancy DuBos contributes political analysis and commentaries on the station.) Hammer did not return a call from Gambit. Reached tonight, WWL-TV news director Bill Siegel had no comment, but did not deny the story. Hammer's hire is expected to be announced within the next week.
• Several sources have confirmed to Gambit that health care and political reporter Bill Barrow, who often reports on the Louisiana legislature while it's in session, has accepted a job at the Associated Press' Atlanta bureau. Barrow had no comment tonight.
I owe Ray Nagin an apology. All this time I’ve been saying how clueless and feckless the former mayor is. Little did I know that was all an act. Turns out he’s as sharp as Frank Fradella and Greg Meffert.
While I’m apologizing to Nagin, I should also thank U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and the Justice Department for finally letting us all know just how cunning Nagin really is. I’m sure Nagin will want to thank them as well, considering how his reputation as a moron was, um, etched in stone until now.
For some reason, Nagin was silent this week when the feds disclosed, via a bill of information and plea deal, that he and Fradella masterminded a scheme to channel millions of federally funded city contracts to Fradella’s companies in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash to Nagin and tons of granite to Stone Age LLC, the Nagin family countertop company.
And to think, we all thought Nagin was some dumbass who didn’t even know who was paying for his trips to Hawaii and Jamaica. I gotta admit, he had me fooled. Guess all those cable TV shows he hosted before he ran for office sharpened his acting skills — and hanging around with high-flying Mensa types like Meffert and Fradella convinced him of the wisdom of keeping his own genius under wraps.
Another well-kept secret was Nagin’s virtuosity as a businessman. True, he sold himself to voters as just that when he ran for mayor in 2002, but Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath seemed to give the lie to that. Well, now we know he was just proving his chops as a master of understatement, hiding his moneymaking wizardry behind a carefully crafted façade of insouciant narcissism and smug incompetence.
Man, this guy is good.
Following a successful 25 years in business, Johnny White's Sports Bar (720 Bourbon St., 524-4909; www.johnnywhitesneverclosed.com), famous for staying open during Hurricane Katrina, is closing—in true New Orleans fashion, no less.
From their bakery in the Faubourg Marigny, iconic Hubig’s Pies turn up on grocery shelves, in racks at hardware stores and even on restaurant dessert lists (try the twice-fried example at the walk-up Bayou Hot Wings).
More recently, they’ve also been turning up in pints of ice cream in grocery freezers. Savory Simon, the portly mascot of Hubig’s Pies, even rides shotgun on the label.
Hubig’s Apple Pie is one of the latest raft of new flavors from New Orleans Ice Cream Co., a five-year-old local company that is evidently out to convert any conceivable sweet New Orleans flavor into an ice cream.
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Also performing will be Mark Bingham and Anna Pardenik. - David Symons
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