Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Welcome to Night Vale returns to New Orleans in July 2016

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Cecil Baldwin narrates the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. - LIEZL ESTIPONA
  • Cecil Baldwin narrates the podcast Welcome to Night Vale.

Broadcasting from a fictional desert town as a sort of Lake Wobegon-meets-Twin Peaks community radio show, the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale returns to New Orleans for another installment of its live stage rendering this summer. The show returns to the Civic Theater on July 8 with a new script, "Ghost Stories," the fifth live script since the show's live performances began in 2013.

Night Vale creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor talked to Gambit in 2014 before the show's first New Orleans appearance about its conception (as a show and a place "where every conspiracy theory is true and we just move on with our lives") and its transformation into theater.

Tickets are $23-$28 and go on sale at noon Friday, March 18.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Bruce Campbell, fan films, Captain America and more events at Comic Con

Posted By on Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Cult film star Bruce Campbell appears at the 2016 Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans. - COURTESY WIZARD WORLD
  • Cult film star Bruce Campbell appears at the 2016 Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans.

The 2016 Wizard World Comic Con — the pop culture convention's sixth annual New Orleans pitstop — begins today at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. There's a spread of celebrity guests, from Marvel movie superheroes to Doctor Who and The Walking Dead stars, and the showroom floor is full of trivial, niche pop cultural artifacts, from forgotten comic books and action figures to the latest in steampunk technology.

Then there are the panel discussions, film screenings and costume contests — a few of the highlights from each day are below. Find the full schedule here.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

"Total War Puppets" demilitarize the Mudlark Theater

Posted By on Mon, Jan 4, 2016 at 4:18 PM

Sandy the Slut, one of the Total War Puppets
  • Sandy the Slut, one of the Total War Puppets
In the years I've been acquainted with the woman known as Nyx, she has been not only a very solid poet, artist and anarchist-feminist theorist but an outspoken and unstinting critic of what she perceives as weak or regressive creative endeavors here in New Orleans.

After a sojourn abroad, she and her new collaborator Ben Bornstein are returning to town Jan. 9, 10, 12 and 13 with their project Total War Puppets, in a production at the Mudlark Theatre titled "Fire with Fire."

I spoke to Nyx and Ben about their puppet show, its ideological underpinnings, and what Nyx finds lacking in the New Orleans DIY art scene. One of the most principled and least cowardly New Orleans artists I know is back with a vengeance, and I couldn't be happier about it.

What's the origin of "Total War Puppets?"

I left New Orleans to go to Bread & Puppet in Brattleboro, Vermont for an apprenticeship. I met Ben there and we had more political affinity than I had with most of those people. I'd had the idea for a show about militarism and its connection to my family. A few months later I was working on little scenes, and I had enough to make a show. Ben joined me and we spent a month doing nothing except building the puppet show. We both wrote different scenes and then heavily co-edited them.

BEN: The name of our troupe addresses how a militaristic culture isn't relegated to statist violence like the police. Total War is the current doctrine of war, including citizen non-combatants — Total War throws you into the context of war simply by being alive.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Jazz funeral for Sudan’s Kenneth James Dykes Sr.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 12:52 PM

Sudan member Kenneth Dykes Sr.
  • Sudan member Kenneth Dykes Sr.

Kenneth Dykes Sr.

Sunset: Saturday, September 12, 2015

Last Saturday, the social aid and pleasure club community laid to rest one of its beloved members to rest. Kenneth James Dykes Sr., age 54 and founding member of ‘Sudan’ Social Aid & Pleasure Club, succumbed to cancer Sat., Sept. 12, 2015. His club honored Dykes with a traditional jazz funeral homegoing ceremony.

(videos and more below the jump!)

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Paddlewheeling podcast ends its Mississippi River journey in New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Reid Lustig, Galen Huckins and Brian Benson aboard the paddlewheel boat home to the trio's storytelling podcast The River Signal. - VANCE WALSTRA
  • Reid Lustig, Galen Huckins and Brian Benson aboard the paddlewheel boat home to the trio's storytelling podcast The River Signal.

The Channel Princess is just a few riverbends away from docking in New Orleans, where the 35-foot paddlewheel boat reaches its port of call after a summer-long journey on the Mississippi River.

The Princess — home to Galen Huckins, Brian Benson and Reid Lustig — also is a workshop and recording studio for The River Signal, a traveling storytelling podcast inspired by the trio's adventures and the characters and artists they've met.

The boat was rescued and refurbished after it sunk into Oregon's Willamette River during a snowstorm in 2012. The group hauled it on a trailer 2,000 miles across country and set off from Minnesota in June. The four-month journey comes to an end next week. The trio had several ideas for the trip but ultimately created a magical realism-inspired serialized radio drama using music and the Mississippi.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Interview: CHRISTEENE comes to Siberia Aug. 29

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 5:46 PM

CHRISTEENE, the self-designated "drag terrorist," comes to Siberia Aug. 29. - JASON RODGERS
  • CHRISTEENE, the self-designated "drag terrorist," comes to Siberia Aug. 29.

Former New Orleans resident Paul Soileau is the man behind CHRISTEENE — the foulmouthed, oversexed, self-designated "drag terrorist" that has been making her way around the world since 2010. With songs titles such as "Tears From My Pussy" and "African Mayonnaise," CHRISTEENE has gained an international and diverse fan base. She can be repulsive, yet endearing in many ways; she is Soileau's twisted response to celebrity, pop culture and a whole lot more. 

CHRISTEENE will be playing Siberia Aug. 29 on a bill that includes Delish, Chilldren, Liquid Nailz, White Girl Wasted, DJ Rusty Lazer and MC Anne Surprises.

Why did you choose to play at this sort of venue?

The music that we do in a live show — the performance that we give — is very different than the image that you watch in the CHRISTEENE videos. It's very aggressive; it's much more punk. So those venues are fantastic because it just allows this really great crossover crowd to be in the same room and really tear it up together. And the people who come to our shows are a pretty broad demographic of people, so we don't really perform for one group or type of person. The rooms are very mixed, so those old shitty rock and punk clubs are the best places to bring a bunch of different kinds of people and just shove them in there and feed them. And there is just a good energy in those places to tap into.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Along St. Claude, an exhibit at The Front, opens this weekend with a rebroadcast of the documentary that inspired it

Posted By on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 1:48 PM

Dan Eaglin, a subject of Eve Abrams' Along Saint Claude audio documentary. - JONATHAN TRAVIESA
  • Dan Eaglin, a subject of Eve Abrams' Along Saint Claude audio documentary.

It's been a little over a year since local NPR station WWNO 89.9 aired independent radio producer Eve Abrams' seven-part radio documentary Along St. Claude. Tonight, in anticipation of an interactive opening at The Front Gallery this weekend that features 33 portraits of people interviewed for the project, the documentary will air again, from 7 to 8 p.m.

The gallery opening is Saturday, June 13 at 5:30 p.m. and will feature portraits by Jonathan Traviesa. In addition to the photos, there will be a map and other artifacts to commemorate the project, all aimed at bringing together different voices and opinions to talk about real, significant changes in the areas surrounding St. Claude Avenue between Poland and St. Bernard Avenues. 

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Jefferson Performing Arts Center to open with gala June 20

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 5:45 PM

The Jefferson Performing Arts Center
  • The Jefferson Performing Arts Center

In 1978, Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) first had the idea to build a major performing arts building for the community. On June 20, 37 years later, JPAS invites the public to an opening gala for the new, state-of-the-art performance venue.

June 20's Gala Premiere Concert will feature performances by Branford Marsalis and the Joey Calderazzo Duo, Delta Festival Ballet, Jefferson Ballet and Spud McConnell, among others. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. There will be Champagne and light refreshments. 

The Palace for the Arts features an acoustically designed interior, a 51-ft. proscenium arch stage with a mechanical orchestra lift, a theatrical fly rigging system, a full bar, nearly a dozen dressing rooms and a VIP guest lounge. 

Tickets are $100 and $75 and can be purchased online here, or by emailing info@jeffersonpac.com. You can also order tickets by calling 504-736-6410. 

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Edible Schoolyard holds Edible Evening fundraiser

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 11:25 AM

Students work in the garden at Arthur Ashe Charter School. - COURTESY EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD
  • Students work in the garden at Arthur Ashe Charter School.

Edible Schoolyard New Orleans holds its annual fundraiser An Edible Evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at the Dreamkeeper Garden at Langston Hughes Academy (3519 Trafalgar St.), one of five open-enrollment charter schools run by FirstLine Schools. The event features music by Tuba Skinny, Seguenon Kone and Social Set, wines from Presqu'ile Winery and food from local restaurants including Atchafalaya, Carmo, Commander's Palace, Cowbell, Dooky Chase, La Petite Grocery, Latitude 29, Link Restaurant Group, Mondo, MoPho, Ralph's on the Park, Shaya, Twelve Mile Limit and many others. Dickie Brennan and Company sponsors the patron party at 6 p.m.

More than 3,100 students participate in garden and/or cooking classes through Edible Schoolyard. Two schools have kitchen classrooms and five have some sort of garden space. Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School students grow produce in aeroponic towers, and there are after-school culinary classes. Arthur Ashe Charter School is expanding its garden to nearly an acre and will have an outdoor teaching space and a greenhouse. Programs address gardening skills, nutrition, healthy eating, shopping and planning menus.

"In one of my favorite lessons, we have kids make two different kinds of pizza," says Edible Schools New Orleans Executive Director Claudia Barker. "One of them we make with grocery store ingredients and one comes from farmers market ingredients. We calculate how much each pizza actually costs and we compare taste."

Programming also engages students' parents and families. Some schools have family food nights, in which parents can learn about nutrition, shopping and more. Schools also give produce from the gardens to students' families.

FirstLine Schools also includes Dibert Community School at Phillis Wheatley.

Edible Evening tickets are $45 through Tuesday, March 24, or $60 at the door.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Music Box returns with "Roving Village" music and events series

Posted By on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 2:40 PM

The Music Box village on Piety Street in Bywater featured playable musical structures built by artists and musicians. Swoon's Dithyrambalina, left, inspired the village. - CHERYL GERBER
  • The Music Box village on Piety Street in Bywater featured playable musical structures built by artists and musicians. Swoon's Dithyrambalina, left, inspired the village.

New Orleans Airlift
, the group of artists behind The Music Box musical architecture installation, will take those musical structures to sites throughout New Orleans for performances, artist talks, workshops and other events. "The Roving Village Residencies" will feature all new musical houses from April 3 through May 10.

The first residency, "The Music Box Roving Village: City Park Presented by The Helis Foundation," will feature an opening performance from free jazz artist William Parker, Alex Ebert of the Magnetic Zeros, Quintron, Leyla McCalla, Rob Cambre, Marion Tortorich of Sweet Crude, and Cooper Moore. The performances are 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. April 3-4.

The Music Box village opened in 2011 as sprawling shantytown of musical architecture, from a wooden floorboard "piano" (Ranjit Bhatnagar's floorboard piano "Noise Floor" inside "Nightingale House" by Serra Victoria Bothwell Felsand) to Quintron's weather-controlled theremin, "The Singing House." The site hosted performances from Quintron (and his "Shantytown Orchestra"), Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, Andrew W.K., Helen Gillet, Aurora Nealand, and the late bounce artist Nicky Da B (whose mural now adorns the fence at the site's previous home on Piety Street), among many others, who utilized the unique instruments built into the structures to create elaborate, ambient arrangements.

New Orleans Airlift was founded by Delaney Martin and Jay Pennington (aka DJ Rusty Lazer), and the Roving Village's artist-builders include works from Martin as well as celebrated street artist Swoon, Taylor Lee Shepherd, Nina Nichols, Darryl Reeves, Andrew Schrock, Klass Hubener, Michael Glenboski, Ross Harmon, Frank Pahl, Matthew Ostrowski, Rick Snow, Lindsey Karty, Jonah Emerson-Bell, Rainger Pinney, George Long, and Justin Rabideau.

Public open hours at the "Roving Village" sites will be from noon to 6 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 10 at City Park. There will be closing performances at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. May 8-9.

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