Local heroes Quintron and Miss Pussycat will take over the New Orleans Museum of Art this Friday as part of the "Friday NIghts at NOMA" series. The festivities begin with art activities at 5 p.m and continue with a DJ set by Quintron at 5:30 and a demo of his signature invention, the Drum Buddy light-activated analog synthesizer, at 6:30. A screening of the couple's award-winning puppet movie The Mystery in Old Bathbath begins at 7, followed by a Q&A with Miss Pussycat.
Living in New Orleans it’s easy to forget how different this city is from not just the rest of America, but also from the rest of the South. This Ogden Museum show, featuring three ascendant photographers from that curiously alien region known as the Southeast, highlights those differences. Atlantan Laura Noel’s Smoke Break series focuses on the persecuted minority known as cigarette smokers — those harried souls who, once glamorized in movies and pop culture, now find themselves ghettoized into the increasingly rare gulags where they can indulge their habit without censure. Perhaps because Atlanta is such a relatively hustling, or even mechanistic place, many indeed seem furtive, but with an occasional thread of whimsy. The languidly apprehensive looking young woman in Whitney Behind the Restaurant Where She Works (pictured), suggests a service industry functionary with an old-time cinematic inner life, and a sense of the cigarette’s use as a magic wand for creating a veil of mystery. Some of the other subjects look lost in stolen moments of dream time, while some just exhibit the haunted look of transgressors wary of being seen — a far cry from the devil-may-care, Tom Waitsian insouciance of New Orleans street life.
Tennessee-based Joshua Dudley Greer focuses on the landscape, including the human landscape, but his eye is no less ironic. Here the sylvan contours of serene Appalachian foothills can’t conceal modern updates of old-time hillbilly squalor, or quaint hillside communities dwarfed by massive industrial high-tension lines, or bustling truck stops where drivers take time out to barbecue ribs. Ah, the New South!
But the most poetic works here are by Virginian Susan Worsham, whose portraits excel at conveying an elusive quality of presence, that epiphanous mix of mystery and psychic complexity missed by so many social documentary photographers. Her overall output is edgier and more psychological than most of the images seen here suggest, but the poetic subtlety of her vision is refreshing nonetheless.
Through Sept. 22
Seeing Beyond the Ordinary: Photographs by Joshua Dudley Greer, Laura Noel and Susan Worsham
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., (504) 539-9600
2 Amigos Mexican Buffet in Kenner (3826 Williams Blvd., 504-466-4116) is slated to open in mid-September. The buffet's owners, Gene Usner and Roger Bolanos, were managers at Pancho's Mexican Buffet on Veterans Memorial Boulevard, a casualty of Katrina.
When asked about the possibility of offering sopapillas and providing guests with table flags to raise for service — as was the norm at Pancho's — Usner stressed that neither he nor Bolanos owned Pancho's and that they don't necessarily want to be associated with the El Paso, Texas-based chain. The sign outside reading "Gene & Roger from Pancho's" is merely a greeting to locals, letting them know that they, too, are from here.
The next step in achieving a Jazz Fest-esque distinction: musical headliners. While visitors dine on crawfish Monica and the like (no need to ask where the crawfish are from), Better than Ezra will headline, and other local acts include Amanda Shaw, the Creole String Beans, Honey Island Swamp Band, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes and Paul Varisco and the Milestones Band. On Sunday, overhead screens will broadcast the New Orleans Saints matchup against the New England Patriots.
In addition to musical acts, the festival will feature celebrity chef demonstrations, a kids' pavilion, an arts and crafts village and, of course, the necessary libations to accompany a salty menu. Admission is free.
The Seafood Festival was established in 2006 to promote the seafood and tourism industries after Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil disaster. The event has bounced around from year to year, with previous locations at Lafayette Square, Fulton Street and Woldenberg Park.
Lady Antebellum announced 2014 tour dates, including an April 12 show at the New Orleans Arena. The country pop stars released Golden in May. The group has won a host of country music awards, as well as Best Country Album Grammys for 2011's Own the Night and 2010's Need You Now. Tickets for the first tour dates go on sale Sept. 12.
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Voodoo Music & Arts Experience added Kid Rock to its lineup. He joins Pearl Jam, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails and many others in City Park for the three-day event (Nov. 1-3).
Kid Rock released Rebel Soul in November 2012 and has been on tour in support of it in 2013.
More on the Voodoo lineup here.
In other fall festival news, Pondarosa Stomp is Oct. 3-5, with two evening concerts (Oct. 4-5) at Rock ’N' Bowl. Headliners include The Sonics, Chris Clark, Ty Wagner, The Sloths and others.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival is Oct. 18-20 in Lafayette Square. The lineup features Shemekia Copeland, James Cotton, Johnny Lang, Mighty Sam McClain, Mel Waiters, Sonny Landreth, Tommy Malone and others.
The foundation's Treme Creole Gumbo Festival is Nov. 9-10 in Louis Armstrong Park, and performers include Glen David Andrews and John Boutte.
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