The 2014 Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con will feature Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Jon Bernthal and Michael Rooker — stars of AMC's The Walking Dead — as well as Robert Englund (aka Freddy Kruger in A Nightmare on Elm Street), Marvel publisher Stan Lee, Terminator's Linda Hamilton, Cheers star John Ratzenberger, Henry Winkler, Dean Cain, Cassandra Peterson (aka Elvira) and Pam Grier, among dozens others at the event celebrating pop culture and comics.
The event is Feb. 7-9 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The three days of events include celebrity Q&A sessions, costume contests, film screenings, dozens of vendors (from vintage toys and rare movies to collectibles, comics and costumes), as well as dozens of comic artists — including Spider-Man and Punisher's Mike Zeck and Hellboy's Mike Mignola, among the more than 50 others.
Show hours are 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9. Single-day tickets are $40-$50, and weekend passes are $75. Tickets are available online.
Interstellar superstar Prince will headline the 20th anniversary edition of the Essence Festival, the annual weekend-long music fest held in New Orleans.
Prince — the multi-platinum, multiple Grammy Award winning and Purple Raining king of shapeshifting and pseudonyms — performed at the festival's 10th anniversary in 2004. In that time he has released several albums and is now performing with 3rdeyegirl, which, after odd teasers and a Twitter account, released the self-aware "Breakfast Can Wait" in October. (The artwork features Dave Chappelle dressed as Prince from his infamous sketch about Charlie Murphy eating pancakes after a basketball game at his house in the early '80s.) (Also, @3RDEYEGIRL disappointed some fans who had high hopes that @princetweetstou was the real Purple One.)
The 2014 Essence Fest is July 2-6 at the Superdome. Weekend passes start at $130.50. Single-day tickets will open closer to the festival.
If you need to grab a beer (or coffee) with a cool uncle or bored niece or nephew, or are looking for shows over the holiday weekend, here's a rundown of some highlights:
Thursday, Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving):
Grammy Award winners Rebirth Brass Band head a Thanksgiving Throwdown at The Howlin' Wolf (907 S. Peters St., 504-529-5844) at 10 p.m. Tickets $15.
Eunice, La. zydeco dude Geno Delafose performs at Rock 'n' Bowl (3000 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-861-1700) at 7 p.m. Tickets $12.
Friday, Nov. 29:
Leaning way heavier on the pop side of pop-punk, scene elders The Robinsons make a sort of homecoming for the holidays and will perform Christmas tunes, with heavier successors The Ghostwood, at Hey! Cafe (504-891-8682, 4332 Magazine St.). Stream The Ghostwood's seven-track, lovelorn punk EP Empty Cosmic Gloom here. Admission $5.
At 10 p.m., perpetual rock 'n' roll frontman persona James Hall is at Circle Bar (1032 St. Charles Ave., 504-588-2616).
Also at 10 p.m., Sweden's blackened-crust lords Agrimonia headline Siberia (2227 St. Claude Ave.), bringing with them massive, 10-minute, scythe-sweeping metal suites. Opening are T.O.A.D. (Take Over And Destroy) from Arizona, New Orleans doom-slayers Sumerian and Houma thrashers Diab. Download Agrimonia's album-opening track "Talion" here.
One Direction, the hyper-platinum warlords of planet tween, embark on a North American tour in 2014 that stops at the Superdome on Sept. 25.
The 2014 Where We Are Tour — sponsored by Nabisco — kicks off in August, and tickets go on sale Dec. 7. Starting Dec. 3, fans can access tickets via Facebook.
The group — whose names resemble those of Dune characters (Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne) or Labour party members (Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson) — released its third album Midnight Memories this week, following the international success of 2012's Take Me Home and 2011's Up All Night, as well as countless awards (most recently best album and best group at the 2013 American Music Awards), a movie in 3D, and few if any controversies involving peeing in buckets or grinding on Robin Thicke. One Direction also will perform on Saturday Night Live on NBC Dec. 7.
Variety reports that The Whole Gritty City, which premiered in the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival in October, will air during a two-hour primetime special on CBS' 48 Hours next year.
48 Hours producer Richard Barber directed the film, which follows three marching bands — O. Perry Walker High School, L.E. Rabouin High School and the Roots of Music — from 2007 to 2010 as they prepare for the Carnival season amidst tragedy and violence in the members' homes and on the streets. Read an interview with Barber and more about the film in Gambit.
Barber began filming after he had worked on an episode of 48 Hours that looked at post-Katrina murders, particularly murders that catalyzed a citywide anti-violence march at City Hall, including those of filmmaker Helen Hill and Dinerral Shavers, a drummer for Hot 8 Brass Band and band director at L.E. Rabouin High School. The film also captures the early stages of the Roots of Music, founded by Rebirth Brass Band drummer Derrick Tabb. The Whole Gritty City not only follows the band directors but Barber also gave handheld cameras to several students to document their lives at home.
It will air 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15., opposite NBC's presentation of the 2014 Olympics.
"Like Odell Beckham Jr. this weekend's weather is all over the place! On Friday we'll have highs near 80 with mostly cloudy skies and a decent chance for scattered showers. That chance goes up on Saturday, as a cold front passes through, making for a wet Saturday. Temperatures will then plummet behind the front, as the wind picks up. Sunday will be partly cloudy, dry, but very cold thanks to a strong north wind. And speaking of Odell, plan on showers in Baton Rouge."
Fantastic! In my neighborhood! Yum.
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