Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Pizza Underground returning to New Orleans

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 4:00 PM

The Pizza Underground performs at Publiq House on Nov. 7 with Har Mar Superstar. - THE PIZZA UNDERGROUND
  • The Pizza Underground performs at Publiq House on Nov. 7 with Har Mar Superstar.

Following two sold-out, people- and pizza-packed nights at Hi-Ho Lounge in March, the pizza-obsessed Velvet Underground tribute band The Pizza Underground will return to New Orleans this fall. The brainchild of, "Hey, what if we did Velvet Undergound songs but instead of heroin and lobotomies they were about pizza?", the band will perform at Freret Street Publiq House on Friday, Nov. 7 with sweaty garage-R&B outfit Har Mar Superstar.

At its shows earlier this year, The Pizza Underground (featuring Macauley Culkin and songs such as "I'm Beginning to Eat the Slice" and "All the Pizza Parties" and "I'm Waiting for the Delivery Man") also bought several hundred slices of Pizza Delicious pizza to hand out to the crowd. Its viralbility (viral-ness? virality?) — likely due to the perfect combo of pizza-loving star power, "funny" food, and lovable band — led to things like this, and in turn, this. At a May gig in the U.K., the band was booed offstage and pelted with beer cans. Undeterred, the band continues a fall tour through December.

Har Mar Superstar — whose previous gigs in New Orleans erupted in forever-shirtless singer Sean Matthew Tillmann crowd surfing and stage-dancing free-for-alls — released his fifth studio LP Bye Bye 17 last year, a funky, dusty-grooved R&B record that follows his irony-dripping disco- and electronic pop-influenced output.

Tickets are $16-18

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Y@ Speak: police academy

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 1:33 PM

The chief has resigned, there's a new patrol on the streets, and New Orleans stands with victims of police brutality. Welcome to Y@ Speak: Police Academy. Meanwhile, #barbefeud continues, Jimmy Graham gets fined and there's a new parody account in town.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Southern Decadence 2014: Events, parties and full schedule

Posted By on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM


Southern Decadence began as a small party and parade among friends in 1972. Next weekend, the annual event will celebrate its 43rd anniversary, complete with multiple street parties, parades, drag shows and fundraisers — all to the tune of this year's official song: "Work Bitch" (by everyone's favorite Louisiana girl, Britney Spears, who has a strangely British accent in this song). 

This year's theme is "Under the Big Top: Welcome to the Gayest Show on Earth," and participants will show it off with the year's official colors: canary yellow, turquoise blue and pearl white. 

Reba Douglas, who performs regularly at the Bourbon Street watering hole Lucky Pierre's, is this year's Grand Marshal. Co-Grand Marshals are Chad Boutte and Aubrey Synclaire. 

Each year, Southern Decadence chooses a non-profit to which it donates proceeds from its various events, and this year it's Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) New Orleans

To kick things off there's a VIP Gala benefitting PFLAG at the House of Blues August 28. There'll be an open vodka bar, hors d'oeuvres, performances and a DJ, not to mention all the glittered shenanigans Southern Decadence is known for (in appropriate, official colors, of course), and about a million different annual events throughout the weekend to keep you dancing, drinking and letting it all hang out.

A full schedule for the weekend is below the jump. And a list of outrageous stories from Decadence past is here, to get you excited. 

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

City Council declares today "Big Freedia" Day

Posted By on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM

  • Big Freedia
The New Orleans City Council recognized intergalactic bounce authority Big Freedia at its Thursday, Aug. 21 meeting, and council members issued a proclamation declaring today "Freddie 'Big Freedia' Ross Day."

In its proclamation, councilmembers pointed to Freedia's new album, the Fuse network reality show Queen of Bounce (recently renewed for its third and fourth seasons), and Freedia's Guinness World Record-setting twerk session.

"(The proclamation) is very special to me, and very close to my heart," Freedia said to the council.

Freedia also announced that he is working on a memoir and "a couple of movies on the line," as well as two movies that began film last year and are scheduled for release in 2015. Freedia also plans to open the Vera Ross Foundation in honor of Freedia's mother who recently died. The foundation will be on Jackson Avenue and offer health resources and a place for artists.

Council president Stacy Head said the proclamation "highlights the talent we’re exporting."

District B councilwoman LaToya Cantrell welcomed Freedia with a “You already know!” a la one of Freedia's catchphrases. Head also offered herself to Freedia's team: "If you need a completely untalented middle-aged lady that just stands there…"

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

City Council to honor Big Freedia; reality series gets renewed for two seasons

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Big Freedia - GIRLIE  ACTION
  • Big Freedia

The New Orleans City Council will recognize bounce performer and reality TV star Big Freedia at its Thursday, Aug. 21 meeting. The Council is recognizing the "M.C., performer, ambassador of bounce music, and star" of Queen of Bounce, the Fuse network reality TV show that is its highest-rated show ever. The series, which recently wrapped its second season, was recently renewed for its third and fourth seasons.

Freedia's first-ever proper full-length studio album Just Be Free was released in June.


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Phillip Phillips to perform at the Mahalia Jackson Theater

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM


To add to the list of reality TV stars-gone-international-superstars headed to New Orleans this fall, The Mahalia Jackson Theater announced today that Phillip Phillips, the Season 11 winner of American Idol, will be performing September 28. 

Tickets ($49.50) go on sale Friday, Aug. 22 and are available through the Saenger Box Office, Ticketmaster or by calling (800) 745-3000.

Phillips is best known for the folk-pop hit "Home," released as a single in 2012 and followed by the album The World From the Side of the Moon. He's toured with Matchbox 20 and John Mayer, but strikes out on his own this time around.

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Screaming Females, Caddywhompus and others performing at 2014 Community Records Block Party

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Screaming Females - DON GIOVANNI RECORDS
  • Screaming Females

New Jersey punk and power-pop band Screaming Females — led by guitar-shredding frontwoman Melissa Paternoster — headlines Community Records' annual Block Party music festival, held this October at the Carver Theater (2101 Orleans Ave.). The local record collective co-hosts the festival with WTUL-FM (with hosting duties and drag performances by Madonnathan).

Other performers at the all-day festival include New Orleans guitar-and-drum duo Caddywhompus, and local punk rock outfits Donovan Wolfington, All People, Heat Dust, New Lands and Pears, with more than a dozen punk, ska, metal and other artists, including Pujol, Hard Girls, La Armada, Underground Railroad to Candyland, Stuck Lucky, Sirens, Designer, Matt Wixson's Flying Circus, Sundog, Treasure Fleet, World's Strongest Man, Station Cases, The Far East, Cement Matters, Sandworm, Boyfriend Material and Sequels.

Artist Skylar Fein — whose work often melds pop and punk culture with street and political art, famously in his Youth Manifesto exhibit at New Orleans Museum of Art —  designed the fest's poster. There also is food from Mid City Pizza and Vegan Steve, with coffee from Hey! Cafe.

Screaming Females' latest album is the Steve Albini-produced Ugly (Don Giovanni Records), the band's fifth. The band followed with this year's Live at the Hideout (also produced by Albini), capturing the band's frenetic live show at the Chicago venue.

Block Party is from noon to midnight Saturday, Oct. 25. The event is open to all ages. Tickets $17 in advance, $20 at the door.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Out now: new releases from Dr. John, Benjamin Booker

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Benjamin Bookerfeatured in this week's Gambit cover story — arrived in New Orleans two years ago, and his self-titled debut album for ATO Records is out today, Aug. 19. 

Benjamin Booker is Booker's discovery of the blues and gospel (via WWOZ) filtered through a post-adolescent punk brain. Lo-fi demos of chugging blues numbers gave Booker a chance to flex his newly discovered gift of a voice, a smoke-rattled, throaty, note-sensitive whisper-growl not unlike that of blues greats before him. With his first record, those songs come to life as hot-blooded, organ-driven rock 'n' roll demons, though his quiet, folk and gospel-influenced arrangements show an incredible restraint and patience unique for an untested (but already road-weary) new artist.

Standout mid-album track (and current single) "Have You Seen My Son" pummels forward with a Chuck Berry rhythm while Booker sings about his dissolve "all the way from Florida down to New Orleans."

"It's still the most representative song of what I want to do," Booker told Gambit, "that mixture of punk and gospel and R&B and all these things I grew up listening to."

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Watch: Esquire's Best Bars in America does Bourbon Street

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 12:13 PM

New Orleans comic Sean Patton, right, co-hosts Best Bars in America with Jay Larson. - ESQUIRE
  • New Orleans comic Sean Patton, right, co-hosts Best Bars in America with Jay Larson.

Comedians Sean Patton and Jay Larson — co-hosts of Esquire's bar-hopping travel program Best Bars in America — stop in New Orleans for its latest episode airing this week. Hometown hero Patton escorts Larson to Bacchanal, Parasol's, the Mother-in-Law Lounge, Cane & Table, Broussard's, Erin Rose, Arnaud's French 75 and Snake & Jake's. In this Gambit exclusive clip, watch them tour Bourbon Street (with local comic Andrew Polk). "Bourbon Street done, mistakes relived, fun had," Patton declares, hand grenade in tow.

The full episode airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday on the Esquire Network. 

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Y@ Speak: rallying cry

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 3:38 PM

New Orleans has been gripped by the events in #Ferguson, and in this week's Y@ Speak, we look at some of the voices and downtown rallies and demonstrations in response. Meanwhile, the Saints apparently raptured themselves after doing that ice bucket challenge.

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