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The Soul Rebels Brass Band have leaked a track off their upcoming mixtape and it may be the most NOLA thing ever. The track is a Gyspsyphonic Disko bounce remix of the brass band covering "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk and featuring increasingly omni-present Big Freedia on vocals. I've had the song on repeat all day.
The Soul Rebels have taken to playing the hook from Daft Punk's smash summer hit at concerts and have received a lot of positive feedback. For this track, the iconic New Orleans brass band and bounce artist teamed up with Gypsyphonic Disko (the musical duo formed by DJ Quickie Mart and Galactic's Ben Ellman) to take one of the summer's biggest hits and put it into overdrive. Fans of brass, bounce and just overall happiness in the world will love it.
The Soul Rebels' mix tape is scheduled to be released later this year. If this track is any indication, it will be a must-have for New Orleans music fans just in time for the holidays.
Reenactments of real-life events are nothing new in the world of documentaries, but neither is the controversy that often surrounds films that employ the technique. The manner in which a film presents reenactments is crucial — those that are easily distinguished from real events and represent no hidden agenda on the part of the filmmakers generally get a pass. But a couple of things have changed in recent years. Reenactments have become far more commonplace in documentaries, and sometimes they feature a film’s real-life subject in narrative scenes that recreate moments from that subject’s life. The dangers here are many, and a delicate balance must be established to avoid philosophical quandaries on the nature of truth in documentary film. At what point do reenactments like these become indistinguishable from so-called reality television?
Writer-director Jamie Meltzer’s Informant explores the ever-shifting identity of Brandon Darby, a former left-wing activist and co-founder of Common Ground Relief, an organization that developed in the Lower 9th Ward immediately after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. To the disbelief of his friends and followers, Darby went on to become an FBI informant who was directly responsible for sending two young activists to prison. Even more galling to some, Darby resumed his career as an activist — for the Tea Party. His story is fascinating on a number of levels, and there are many articulate people from Darby’s life in Informant to share their interpretations of key events. Then we have the film’s reenactments, which Darby uses to justify his often-questionable actions. Meltzer has explained widely that these scenes are intended to encourage viewers to question all the facts presented in his film. But Darby’s status as the ultimate unreliable narrator is clear long before he starts presenting mini-movies from his life.
MORE AFTER THE JUMP...
The Saenger Theatre opened its doors today for the first time since Hurricane Katrina closed the Canal Street landmark in 2005. Under new twinkling fiber optic ceiling stars — part of a $52 million renovation — Mayor Mitch Landrieu proclaimed the project a symbol “of resurrection, redemption, resilience, of building the city not back the way she was but the way she should have always been.”
The Saenger was built in 1927 and the team of public-private entities responsible for its renovation, including the Canal Street Development Corporation, Ace Theatrical Group and the City of New Orleans, restored the building to reflect the original, with modern accoutrements like an expanded stage. The inside is complete with the dashing red carpet reminiscent of the original, and everything from the chandeliers to the paint scheme was researched for historical accuracy and constructed to reflect the building’s original interior. “All of the work that you see here is a reincarnation of the original designs and the original paintings,” Landrieu said.
The Saenger will host a slew of Broadway shows, musical, comedic and stage acts, including a grand opening performance by Kristin Chenoweth and the Louisiana Philharmonic Oct. 5. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld performs three shows during this weekend’s soft opening. New Orleans is the third largest producer of Hollywood films, behind New York and Los Angeles, thanks to film credits offered by the state and will have an originating tax credit for Broadway productions as well, Landrieu said, “because, in order for this thing to work, these seats have to be full, and the productions have to be great.”
Broadway Across America President Lauren Reid said “New Orleans will now be a destination for Broadway’s best and brightest.”
Though the opening is one of the most anticipated post-Katrina rebuilding efforts and a linchpin of the Canal Street corridor rehabilitation, Landrieu said “there’s other stuff going on. This is not the only thing that’s happening as you think about what is occurring just in this general space, in these two square miles. You have the VA and UMC hospitals, $2 million coming out of the ground as we speak.”
New Orleans City Council President Jackie Clarkson was in the Saenger for her fifth birthday, before World War II. “Thanks for the memories,” she said. “Many a tale has been woven in this edifice.”
After dozens of stakeholders squeezed behind a gold ribbon for a photo-op, the curtains of the Saenger opened to display its historic SAENGER letters, lighted and floating on the newly revealed stage. “You have this before you today,” Landrieu said. “It’s a gift to the people of the city of New Orleans.”
Rumors have swirled for at least a year about a new local theater that would only show movies the old-fashioned way, on projected film — not the high-res digital formats that have taken over at theaters in New Orleans and across the country. That hasn't happened yet. But it was only a matter of time before existing theaters — in this case, the Prytania Theatre — began celebrating the glories of celluloid. Yesterday the Prytania sent a out a press release for its new Vintage Late Night film series promising "a new movie-going experience...feature films presented on 35mm film!" We're not sure we'd call the practice "new." But this is a trend whose time has definitely come. All screenings take place at 10 p.m. on Sunday nights, and tickets are $10. Here's the schedule:
October 20 — Re-Animator
November 3 — Batman
November 10 — Alien
November 17 — Poltergeist
There will also be a showing of Halloween on October 27 as part of this series, but it will be shown digitally so we left it off the list. A person's got to have standards.
"I am confident in telling you that this weekend: It never rains in Tiger Stadium. Of course, there isn't a football game there. But either way... It will not rain in Tiger Stadium! This weekend actually looks really nice, with high temperatures in the upper 80s and a small chance for showers. In fact, Sunday even looks a little less humid. Could Fall weather really be close to arriving?"
NOLA Fashion Week kicks off its sixth season this Saturday, Sept. 28. There's a lot to be excited about on its roster of runway shows, workshops and shopping events, and I'm especially pumped about Lisa Iacono's new collection, Dreamcar! That exclamation point isn't just to show my excitement, it's part of the logo. See?
If this isn't enough to sell you on Dreamcar, here are a few more compelling points: 1. You will look like Malibu Barbie on a spring break road trip when you wear it. 2. That halter top is made of MONEY PRINT FABRIC. 3. Speaking of money, nothing in the collection costs more than $100. 4. It's locally made right here on the West Bank.
I grilled Lisa about her new collection. Here's what she has to say about it.
New Orleans Bike Advocacy group Bike Easy will be hosting its latest "Bicycle Second Line" on Saturday, October 5th. Riding from Noon until 2 p.m. Bike Easy has also held two-wheeled second lines at Po-Boy Fest and Bayou Boogaloo.
Part of Bike Easy's largest membership drive of the year, the second line is free to all and will feature the Pocket Aces Brass band and an NOPD escort. The eight-mile bike ride starts at Ponchartrain Park and ends with an after party at Gentilly Fest, with two rest stops in between.
Participants are encouraged to sign up with Bike Easy online in advance of the ride or to buy a $15 t-shirt to support Bike Easy. Local businesses are also encourage to sign up as sponsors for the event. More information can be found on Bike Easy's web site and photos of past events can be viewed on their Facebook page.
Formed in 2003, Bike Easy's mission is to "make bicycle riding in New Orleans easy, safe, and fun." Along with second lines and community workshops, the group also advocates for better bicycle safety and provides free bike valet services at local concerts and festivals.
In 2011, New Orleans was named one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the U.S. by the League of American Bicyclists and was named the 43rd-best bicycle city by Cycling Magazine's 2012 Editor's Choice issue. New Orleans is on track to have 80 miles of bike lanes by the end of the year.
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