Sunday, October 19, 2014

Live Oak Cafe focuses on emerging musicians

Posted By on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Nyce performed at Live Oak last week - COURTESY LIVE OAK CAFE
  • Courtesy Live Oak Cafe
  • Nyce performed at Live Oak last week

The breakfast/lunch spot Live Oak Cafe (8140 Oak St., 504-265-0050; www.liveoaknola.com) is putting a new emphasis on its daily music offerings and providing a space for emerging and familiar musicians to spread their wings.

“(Our music booker is) determined to have as much variety in here as possible,” says Clare Leavy, chef/co-owner of Live Oak Cafe, which opened in January. “We try to have a different genre every day, and it’s really interesting. The focus is on emerging artists that most people haven’t heard about yet.”

The diversity in music genres melds with Live Oak’s customer base, which ranges from young families to college students to neighborhood regulars and tourists attracted to the bourgeoning restaurant, entertainment and retail scene on Oak Street. Leavy and her partners decided to take the music schedule in a different direction after pianist Charles Farmer, who had performed daily for eight years at Live Oak and its predecessor Oak Street Cafe, retired.

“We did it for the idea of it, really,” Leavy says of changing up the music schedule. “New Orleans is all about music and should be a playground for musicians to play whatever kind of music they want to play — bring whatever they have to the table.”

There will be regular appearances by musicians such as Sarah McCoy, who is scheduled to play once a month; and Katarina Boudreaux, who plays Mondays and Tuesdays for the next month; as well as some musicians who play regularly in clubs around town, such as Dave Easley (Nov. 2) and Norbert Slama (Oct. 25). For a daily schedule, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Live Oak, which offers home cooking with Creole and Cajun influences, plans other updates, starting with expanding the cafe with a new kitchen and doubling the size of the dining room. The restaurant will close in December, and Leavy says the construction timeline calls for the restaurant to reopen in time for Carnival — with the possible addition of dinner service.

The cafe is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Watch the first episode of Phil Anselmo's comedy webseries Metal Grasshopper

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Phil Anselmo. - ESTEVAN ROMERA
  • Phil Anselmo.

"Why I'm doing this, I will never, ever know."

There ends the first episode of Metal Grasshopper, as metal sensei Phil Anselmo begrudgingly drives a pickup truck with shirtless, pale comedian Dave Hill riding in the back, throwing his fists in the air in triumph.

"Mr. Miyagi is Phil Anselmo, and the Karate Kid is Dave Hill, and it's not karate it's heavy metal," explained Chris Lee, who co-created the comedy webseries with Hill. "You got a comedian and heavy metal rockstar: who's going to be the funny guy? ... Through Phil's force of personality, and he's just insanely funny, he's like, 'I'm going to do whatever I want.' We're like, 'Well, f—k it. We're not going to fight funny. He's great.'"

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Free Christmas opera Oct. 7

Posted By on Sat, Oct 4, 2014 at 12:46 PM


The International Youth Fellowship’s (IYF) New Orleans chapter is hosting a performance of the Christmas Cantata, an opera-like re-enactment of Christians’ traditional Christmas story, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, at the UNO Lakefront Arena. Admission is free. Call 504-2 08-2911 or visit www.graciaschoir.com to g et free tickets.


In the musical, the story of Jesus Christ’s birth is told through music, elaborate sets and costumes and includes a version of Handel’s MESSIAH, performed by the award-winning Gracias Choir. The choir has performed internationally, and this year earned grand prizes at the Concorso Corale Internazionale in Italy and the Montreux Choral Festival in Switzerland.

This is the fourth time the choir will perform in New Orleans.


Inho Choi, IYF New Orleans regional director, says IYF volunteers are personally delivering thousands of invitations with tickets to homes across New Orleans in an effort to bring Gracias Christmas Cantata to a wider audience. IYF presented the production at the Saenger Theatre last year, but opted for UNO Lakefront Arena for the 2014 show in order to accommodate a larger audience.

The choir’s 2014 U.S. tour includes 20 cities.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Y@ Speak

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 11:45 AM

We're back to our regularly scheduled programming, and I'm wearing a Gore-Tex jacket, Ugg boots and five layers of flannel while sipping on pumpkin ale and a PSL from a dual Camelbak. The "fall weather" has turned New Orleans into a Han Solo cosplay convention while the New Orleans Saints deflate like a sad balloon, NCIS: New Orleans makes K-Ville look like a Ken Burns documentary, One Direction cancels everyone else, and I found out I live somewhere between "gentrification" and "scary place." All that and more in the return of Y@ Speak. (Thanks for your patience; I was out of town last week.)

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Y@ Speak: the return of Roger Goodell

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Football is trying to destroy us. Roger Goodell remains in charge — despite our efforts to get rid of him even when we were on our best behavior — and the Saints' performance has sent us wandering into the night, staring at the stars and asking, "Why?" While New Orleans once again dries its tears, we look back at a week of football, sinkholes, and thanks that we do not live in Cleveland.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pitchfork hosting free Thundercat and Peanut Butter Wolf show

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Thundercat. - WINDISH AGENCY
  • Thundercat.

Taste arbiter website Pitchfork hosts the free late-night concert series Nightcap in venues across the U.S., with events in Chicago, New York, Portland, Seattle, and Austin. It concludes the six-concert series in New Orleans at One Eyed Jacks at 11 p.m. Nov. 1. Previous installments included shows from Real Estate, Majical Cloudz and Future Islands. For the New Orleans finale, Pitchfork brings future-R&B bassist Thundercat, whose 2013 album Apocalypse was produced by Flying Lotus. Also on the the bill is Stones Throw Records founder and DJ Peanut Butter Wolf.

Tickets to the event are free and first come first serve. Attendees need to email RSVP@pitchfork.com with your name and whether you are bringing a guest. The event also is 21 and up. 

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Lewis Black returning to Mahalia Jackson Theater

Posted By on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 12:53 PM

  • Lewis Black.

Comedian Lewis Black — known for his unhinged segments on The Daily Show and a similarly irate standup persona — returns to the Mahalia Jackson Theater this November as part of his The Rant Is Due 2014 tour. He last performed there in 2012. Read Gambit's interview with Black here: "I try to present myself as crazier than what I am seeing, and now they have stretched the limits," he said of current political figures. "Unless I am hospitalized, I don't know how much further I can go."

Black performs at the theater Thursday, Nov. 13. Tickets are $39.75-$59.75 and go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 12 via Ticketmaster.

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Y@ Speak: it is officially always #FalconsHateWeek

Posted By on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 12:27 PM

As a fingernail-less New Orleans goes about its week, let's look back at a more innocent, simple time. Like last week. Tom Benson immortalizes himself, Uber enters New Orleans, a man posts a Craigslist ad to reenact Dunston Checks In, and we collectively lose our voice in the fourth quarter.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014 Voodoo Fest releases daily schedule and full lineup

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 11:08 AM

click image Andre 3000 of Outkast performed with the duo at Tad Gormley Stadium in 2003. - TULANE
  • Andre 3000 of Outkast performed with the duo at Tad Gormley Stadium in 2003.

Daily lineup schedule "cubes" are now available for the 2014 Voodoo Experience, held Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at New Orleans City Park. Outkast, Slayer, Zedd, Melvins and Rebirth Brass Band will close out Friday, Oct. 31; Arctic Monkeys, Skrillex, 30 Seconds to Mars, Lauryn Hill, Big Freedia and Benjamin Booker will close out Saturday, Nov. 1; and Foo Fighters and Pretty Lights finish the fest on Sunday, Nov. 2.

Three-day general admission passes are now $175, and single-day tickets are $73. Tickets are available here.

Other interesting programming notes: Sturgill Simpson, whose 2014 album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music has won heaps of critical praise, has an early Friday set on the smaller Flambeau stage Friday, Oct. 31. Rapper Action Bronson is scheduled to perform before Melvins on the Carnival stage. The recently revived Death from Above 1979 performs before Lauryn Hill on the main Ritual stage, and the continually growing EDM-centric Le Plur stage hosts 23 performances over the weekend, more than any other stage.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

YAYA to get new home June 1, 2015

Posted By on Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 1:50 PM


Over the past 26 years, YAYA (Young Aspirations/Young Artists) has gone from a single-school arts education program in New Orleans to a fully fledged youth development organization empowering people through the creative arts. With its ever-expanding programing, from designing arts education curricula for 28 different schools to providing career and college preparation to students around the city, YAYA needs a permanent, consolidated home. 

Today, Sept. 3, representatives of YAYA and its partnering organizations hoisted colorful shovels and broke ground on a $1.3 million arts center at 3316 Lasalle St. in Central City. The target move-in date for the center, which will be installed right next door to the Market on LaSalle, is June 1, 2015. YAYA is working with Harmony Neighborhood Development, Bild Design and Landis Construction Company to complete the project. 

The center will be complete with a glass studio, an eco-arts garden, community space, a media lab and a gallery. All YAYA operations will be under one roof, which operations coordinator Lesley McBride says will make programing easier and more compact. 

Some broke ground, others dug. - JEANIE RIESS
  • Some broke ground, others dug.

Just Say YAYA, a gala to benefit the program's new building, is scheduled for Nov. 15. A patron party will feature a live and silent auction that will include glass crafted all over the country, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the new center.

"The new YAYA arts center will strengthen the neighborhood by providing a place for creative expression for the children, young adults and their families, develop new community partners and provide a creative space for professional artists," said Timeka Junius, executive director of YAYA. "I believe the rich history of YAYA will forever remain in our hearts." 

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