Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Flaming Lips intent on setting a record in New Orleans in two hours

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 3:40 PM

The Flaming Lips are on a quest to set the Guinness World Record for the most live performances in a single day. (Previewed here.) The Oklahoma-based psychedelic band has to complete its New Orleans show at the House of Blues by 6:30 p.m to set the record for the most shows in different cities in a 24 hour period. The quest started in Memphis and the band is finishing up in Baton Rouge as I post this.

Here's live coverage.

How have the shows gone thus far? Reports after the break.

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Review: An Alien Home Companion & The Titanic Comedy Hour

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Jack Long wrote and stars in An Alien Home Companion & the Titanic Comedy Hour
  • Jack Long wrote and stars in An Alien Home Companion & the Titanic Comedy Hour

Running With Scissors is presenting its newest work, An Alien Home Companion & The Titanic Comedy Hour!, at the AllWays Lounge and Theatre.

In some ways, the Scissors troupe is like an updated, gender-bending version of The Marx Brothers. If you’re a fan — and I most certainly am — you don’t get your enjoyment from the character portrayed so much as from watching the Brother pretending to be the character — or barely pretending. There’s always a wink to the audience that forms part of the joke. For instance, when Groucho enters as big game hunter Captain Spaulding, the whole idea is ridiculous, but we love it all the more because it’s Groucho.

Scissors also specializes in gross humor. The players make the unacceptable acceptable by their nonchalance. They also often base their scripts on popular movies (in this case, Alien and James Cameron’s Titanic). Comedy Hour boasts the usual poised cast and torrents of obscenities. The audience loved it and I was amused but I also had some reservations.

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Review: Too Big to Fail

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Those of us who only pony up for HBO when Treme is in season can take heart in the fact that the cable network’s often outstanding original movies do come out on DVD and Blu-ray — as long as you’re willing to wait a year or so to see them.

One prime example is the recently issued Too Big to Fail. Based on the best-selling book by New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin (who also co-produced the film), the movie compresses America’s 2008 financial meltdown into 98 dense and harrowing minutes. Director Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential) wisely puts familiar faces in the many key roles, making it far easier to keep track of characters and events. Seasoned actors like William Hurt (Treasury Secretary Paulson), Billy Crudup (Tim Geithner), Paul Giamatti (Ben Bernanke), James Woods (Lehman Bros. CEO Dick Fuld), and Ed Asner (Warren Buffet) clearly relish their juicy roles and revel in the chance to illuminate what Bernanke now calls “the worst financial crisis in the history of the world.” We were 48 hours away from an unstoppable series of catastrophic events that would have left grocery-store shelves empty within weeks. It’s a real-life cautionary tale that very few Americans know, and that is a damn shame. There’s really no excuse now that Too Big to Fail is widely available.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bluth Ipsum

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 8:02 PM

At lunch today, I fired up the NOLA.com iPad app to read about Frank Fradella's court appearance. That story wasn't on the front page, but this one was — click to embiggen:

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"Everybody's laughing, and riding, and cornholing except Buster. ... "

Whaaaa? I thought it was some kind of spam (turned out it wasn't, but dummy text from the sitcom Arrested Development). It had clearly been up there for an hour; the timestamp was 12:39 p.m. and the time on my screenshot was 1:42 p.m. But it was odd, so I sent it out over Gambit's Twitter feed and forgot about it.

Late this afternoon, it got picked up by media reporter Jim Romenesko in a post titled "What's Going On, NOLA.com?" And it got a response from NOLA.com editor James O'Byrne:

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"Approximately 5 or 10 minutes"? Hardly.

It's still on the front page of the site, more than 7 hours after it was posted:

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Work at LeMieux Galleries and the Ogden Museum

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Three Headed Tiger Cursing Heaven by Carrie Ann Baade
  • Three Headed Tiger Cursing Heaven by Carrie Ann Baade

The allure of myths and monsters is eternal. Their presence in folklore and fairytales may have helped people mentally prepare for wars, plagues and storms through the ages. This LeMieux expo is an inventive survey of things monstrous transposed from the artistic imagination. For instance, in Carrie Ann Baade’s Three Headed Tiger Cursing Heaven painting (pictured), a Bengal tiger in Elizabethan attire impersonates a Himalayan deity that somehow seems plausible in spite of itself. More inviting and good humored is Theresa Honeywell’s Jackalope Girl tapestry featuring a busty cowgirl astride the giant antlered jackrabbit of prairie folklore, but Juan Carlos Quintana’s Nurturing the Republic is Key to a Healthy Economy — a painting of a wild-eyed rabbit playing physician to a bedridden ragdoll — is the stuff of childhood nightmares. Elizabeth Chen’s Rorschach, Mirror, Shark — a shark-shaped hanging mobile made of mirror-finished metal segments — suggests a menacing space age leviathan, lending a high-tech aura to this entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking curiosity cabinet of a show.

Prismatic colors and high drama reign supreme at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Here Mark Messersmith’s florid, manic, swamp fantasies hold sway in paintings where city streets are besieged by giant gators and tropical beasts along with raging trucks under skies thick with exotic birds and the dark angels of ancient mythology. Carved wooden filigree and other protruding details make his zany mix of naturalism and kitsch seem to leap out at you. But if Messersmith’s vividly hued fever dreams cause you to reach for Xanax, sanctuary can be found in Alexa Kleinbard’s latter day naturalist fantasies, canvases in which depictions of wild herbs in their native habitat frame idyllic visions of natural landscapes like rococo paintings within paintings. The text panels are helpful, providing lots of useful information explaining which herbs can replace all those expensive prescriptions in your medicine cabinet.

Through June 28
Man, Myth, Monster
LeMieux Galleries, 332 Julia St., 522-5988

Through July 23
Maximalist and Naturalist: paintings by Mark Messersmith
Remedies: oil paintings by Alexa Kleinbard
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., 539-9600

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Le Petit Theatre and Dickie Brennan Group discuss plans for theater and restaurant

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Le Petit Board members Leon Contavesprie, Bryan Batt, board chair Cassie Worley, Dickie Brennan and business partner Steve Pettus at Le Petit Theatre.
  • Le Petit Board members Leon Contavesprie, Bryan Batt, board chair Cassie Worley, Dickie Brennan and business partner Steve Pettus at Le Petit Theatre.

Members of Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre's board of directors and Dickie Brennan & Co. discussed developments at the theater and forthcoming restaurant. The Brennan restaurant group purchased 60 percent of the building in December 2011 for $3 million (details here).

Le Petit vice chair Mike Mitchell addressed the theater's financial situation. The theater paid off its $700,000 mortgage, paid off all vendors and reimbursed ticket buyers from the cancelled season, he said. With the roughly $2 million remaining, the theater will create an endowment and begin work on its 2013 season (schedule after the jump.)

The Brennan group began heavy construction on its side of the building three weeks ago, Dickie Brennan said. The restaurant will be named Tableaux at Le Petit Theatre and is expected to open in late November or early December. The main floor will have a bar and 75 seats for dining. Additional dining space, including private dining rooms will be on the second and third floor. There also will be dining tables in the courtyard shared by the theater and restaurant. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner daily and brunch on Sunday.

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The Wall Street Journal on boudin bragging rights

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Boudin balls.
  • Nsaum75
  • Boudin balls.
Great piece by Timothy W. Martin in The Wall Street Journal about two towns in Cajun country fussing over the title of "Boudin Capital of the World":

In April, Louisiana's state legislature bestowed the coveted mantle of Boudin Capital of the World on Scott, a bustling town of 8,600 on Interstate 10—the busy east-west highway linking Houston and New Orleans. It churns out 1.3 million pounds of the sausage a year. ...

But Scott's new title—which it uses for marketing purposes—has left a bad taste in the mouths of residents of Broussard, 12 miles to the southeast. They insist their town, population 7,600, is the Boudin Capital of the World—a title they say lawmakers gave them in the late 1970s. True, Broussard doesn't hold its annual boudin festival or crown a Boudin king anymore. But townspeople don't see that as a reason for the legislature to snub them.

"For some reason, Scott wants to be the Boudin capital, and they're trying to take our title. Doesn't hardly seem right," says Billy Billeaud, owner of a grocery store in Broussard.

And the comments section is a best-boudin debate.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Public Transit Tuesdays: Tulane

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 11:59 PM

Riding the Tulane bus is like putting in extra hours at work so you can enjoy your vacation: It sucks at the time and you sometimes wonder what you were thinking, but in the end, the reward is worth it...

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Upscale deli planned for Freret Street

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 5:56 PM

All the street and sidewalk construction along Freret Street isn’t the only work underway for this busy Uptown commercial strip. Plans are now taking shape for a new deli and specialty sandwich shop called Wayfare to join the dozen-or-so eateries and bars to have opened here lately.

The deli is a project from the father-and-son team of Ray and Vincent Arnona. They expect Wayfare to open around November at 4510 Freret St., the address that was previously the Freret Street Boxing Gym. The gym recently relocated to Central City, where it now hosts its popular Friday Night Fights events.

While the menu is still a work in progress, Vincent Arnona says Wayfare will borrow from various deli traditions and add some Southern twists. Some prominent features of the plan call for house-made meats, fine cheeses and lots of pickled produce. There will be salads and soups and specialty grocery items. Arnona says that Butcher, the deli attached to Cochon, is the closest local comparison for what his family plans for Wayfare.

“Butcher has definitely been an inspirational example and we feel like we can offer something similar to that style Uptown,” Arnona says.

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Clifton Chenier and a Cajun explosion

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 5:24 PM

In 1985 artist George Rodrigue painted the great musician Clifton Chenier (1925-1987). At the time, Chenier was world-famous, crowned a Grammy Award winner in 1983, and summoned everywhere from San Francisco to Switzerland to share his unique Louisiana sound.

Rodrigue’s timing in painting the portrait honors Chenier not only for his music, but also for his perseverance, as he entertained crowds throughout his struggles with diabetes and kidney disease.

“He inspired me,” says Rodrigue. “Still does. He didn’t curl up and let his disease stop him, even after losing a foot to diabetes. He kept on playing.”

Clifton Chenier, 1985, oil on canvas by George Rodrigue; Collection of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts
  • George Rodrigue
  • Clifton Chenier, 1985, oil on canvas by George Rodrigue; Collection of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts

I asked George Rodrigue if he ever met Clifton Chenier.

“No, but I often passed him on the highway. He traveled from Loreauville to Dallas for gigs, and I’d see his convoy when I traveled the same direction selling my paintings. He pulled a trailer behind his gold 1972 Cadillac Eldorado. Across the sides it said, 'Clifton Chenier: King of Zydeco,' with a big picture of himself wearing a red crown.”

Gold? I asked George, imagining the car.

“They were all gold,” he laughed.

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