Garland Robinette, Hill’s former husband and longtime co-anchor at WWL-TV, announced Hill’s new show Thursday during an interview with her on The Think Tank With Garland Robinette.
He promised another programming announcement on his show Sept. 23 — this one regarding John “Spud” McConnell, whose Talk Gumbo with John “Spud” McConnell program will be displaced when Hill takes the time slot Talk Gumbo now fills.
In a news release issued after the announcement Chris Claus, vice president and general manager of Entercom New Orleans, WWL’s parent company, said, “Spud isn’t going anywhere. We have big and exciting plans for him.” It was followed by a pitch to tune in at noon Sept. 23 for the announcement.
Big Freedia's reality TV show, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, debuts Oct. 2 on Fuse. In a publicity stunt meant to squeeze a little more life out of Miley Cyrus' twerk at the VMAs, Freedia will lead a crowd of twerking dancers at Herald Square in Manhattan at noon Wednesday, Sept. 25. Guinness World Records will document the event, and a record is assured, since there is no current entry in the field.
Big Freedia talked to Gambit about Cyrus and twerking in this week's cover story. Cyrus's twerking leaves much to be desired, but Freedia thinks it's time to take her career and bounce music to a much wider audience.
Former Times-Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie was a writer for David Simon's Treme, and he's compiled a cookbook of traditional and contemporary recipes titled Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans. Recipes come from local restaurants and celebrity chefs who appeared on the show, including Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert and David Chang. Broudain wrote the introduction to the book. The book is written from the perspective of characters on the HBO series.
Before writing for the show, Elie produced other projects focused on food and the Treme neighborhood. He authored Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country, which he wrote while working as a road manager for Wynton Marsalis. He also edited Cornbread Nation 2: The United States of Barbecue. And he wrote and co-produced the documentary Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans.
Elie signs copies of Treme at 6 p.m. Thursday at Octavia Books.
Following Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, Yoshio Toyama collected funds in Japan to help replace instruments in New Orleans schools. Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Tipitina's Foundation repaid the favor, sending funds to replace instruments lost by Japanese youth in areas affected by flooding.
WWL-TV's Eric Paulsen accompanied eight O. Perry Walker High School students and eight Tipitina's Foundation interns, along with their director Donald Harrison Jr., on an October 2012 trip to Japan to meet the students who benefitted from the replaced instruments. It's the subject of a half-hour documentary, Tragedy to Triumph: The Musical Bridge Between New Orleans and Japan, airing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on WWL-TV. At each stop, the O. Perry Walker Chosen Ones Brass Band and the Tip's interns jazz band performed at concerts and festivals, and lineups also included Japanese bands that had received instruments. Those groups included the Swing Dolphins from Kesennuma. (The Swing Dolphins visit New Orleans next weekend and will perform at the Satchmo SummerFest Saturday at the Old U.S. Mint and at Tipitina's at 3 p.m. Sunday.)
(The above video of the Swing Dolphins is not from the documentary. The trailer is on the WWL site here.)
In the smaller cities of Ishinomaki and Sendai, the New Orleans students met Japanese students and music provided a bridge across the cultural divide as the Americans learned to slurp soba noodles at noodle shops and the Japanese students tried their hands at second-lining. The final leg of the trip was to the 32nd annual Satchmo Fest in Tokyo. The music helps lift spirits in communities still rebuilding and it looks at the experience's affect on local students and their lives at home.
The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans, a Digital Bayou HD web series about Audubon Nature Institute animals and their humans, launches tonight at 6 p.m. Journalist, businesswoman and animal lover Chriss Knight goes behind the scenes with some of the city's most loved Audubon animals and their staff, sharing the fun and dedication involved in making the zoo, aquarium, insectarium and butterfly garden tick.
Tonight's featured creatures are sea otters Buck and Emma. In later episodes of the Thursday series, viewers will meet Casey the silverback gorilla, penguin chicks, the Insectarium's newest residents and more.
To connect with The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans, check out the links below.
Zimmern often seeks to explore culture through traditional dishes, especially those featuring exotic or uncommon ingredients. This episode features Vietnamese fish cakes made with mullet fermented in a plastic jar for seven months, nutria and water fowl caught in St. Bernard Parish marshes, roasted whole feral pigs, and all parts of ducks raised at Chappapeela Farm, which Zimmern visited with chef John Besh.
On the show, Zimmern revels in some of the least appetizing of foods, or at least those frequently left to acquired tastes. I spoke with Zimmern about the episode and eating mullet, and he put his mission in a larger picture of sustainability:
"When you only eat commodity chicken, pork and beef, when you only eat salmon, tuna, shrimp and an amorphous group of white fish that includes cod, scrod haddock, halibut, you have horrific economic sustainability, horrific environmental sustainability, health/wellness issues are compromised, criminal activity because dollars that fetch those ingredients are so large and there’s mislabeling in seafood. If we could eat more seasonally, and more of what’s in front of us, like little fish with the heads on, like mullet, we’d all be better off."
The episode is full of hunting and fishing. He shoots nutria from an airboat and goes bow fishing for stingrays at night on the Gulf Coast. He also visits Chappapeela Farms, which raises ducks and pigs. Besh makes a gumbo, duck confit and pate for Zimmern. But when Zimmern sees workers at the processing center discarding duck testicles, he objects.
"We used livers, breasts, did confit, heart," Zimmern says. "We had all these different things, but nobody was cooking the balls."
He throws them in a sauté pan with white wine, garlic and parsley. Besh is game about trying them, and his expression is priceless.
Again, Zimmern sees using the whole animal as an issue of sustainability and expanding the American palate.
"The craft food movement in America, which includes knowing how to break down animals and use all parts is one of the biggest trends of the past five years. ... We eat from too small a series of choices in America. We don’t eat enough different foods. That’s killing us. Our diet needs to be more bountiful. We eat from a bowl with too few choices. We need to eat more mullet, less tuna."
There's a slideshow of images from the episode here.
After performing a string of local gigs this week, standup comic hometown hero Sean Patton makes his Comedy Central The Half Hour debut at 11:30 p.m. tonight.
Last year, for a story about New Orleans' growing comedy scene, Patton talked to Gambit about getting his start in comedy in New Orleans.
Patton first performed in October 2001, when he had his first gig at Amberjack's in Lakeview. "There were five comedians in the crowd, and two audience members," he said. He started performing at True Brew Coffeehouse in the Warehouse District, where he met fellow up-and-coming comics Neal Stastny, Seth Cockfield and Dane Faucheux. The comics also performed at monthly standup showcases at Carrollton Station. "Those were our rock star nights," he said. "We'd go and do our best material and perform your f—ing dick off."
Homegrown political pundit, professor and pitchman James Carville must be unaware of Sunken City, New Orleans' own self-deprecating take on itself. Why else would he be cutting a "For Your Consideration" ad for Portlandia, IFC's entry into the semi-improvised, ain't-this-town-crazy comedy genre?
Hmm. Here. Watch Sunken City instead.
Long live the queen: bounce's intergalactic queen diva Big Freedia will star in her own reality TV series on the Fuse network this fall.
Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce explores the underground world of the New Orleans hip hop scene known as Bounce. The series focuses on local hero and outrageous personality Big Freedia and fellow artists Mr. Ghetto, Sissy Nobby and others as they struggle to take their music to the next level of success.
The series (slotted for an eight-episode order) premieres Wednesday, September 18. Fuse also picked up shows featuring the Insane Clown Posse and G-Fella, an Italian-American rapper.
In January, Pitchfork followed Freedia for a half-hour documentary about the performer's life in New Orleans, interior design, relationships, bounce artistry and violence:
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