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A&E Feature 

MUSIC

Theryl "Houseman" DeClouet
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18
Hotel Intercontinental, 444 St. Charles Ave., 525-5566

Slowly and stealthily, Theryl "Houseman" DeClouet has joined the ranks of the great New Orleans vocalists, and he's worked at it, too. From singing on the corner with his buddies in the neighborhood to fronting renegade funk percussionist Michael Ward's band Reward to adding the soul to Galactic's funk, DeClouet has had a long road to his hard-won success. As he says, "I've been around since salt." His new CD, Truth Is Out (independent), is vintage Houseman, and his charisma comes from his genuineness and his street smarts. He has been everywhere that he sings about, from the heights to the depths. This CD-release party is the main event for the opening party for the Cutting Edge Music Business Conference, a local gathering with business advice, continuing legal education and recording information for professionals and novices alike. For more information including how to register, go to www.jass.com/cuttingedge/ce.html. The show is free to conference-goers; others who are interested can call 945-1800 for an invitation. — David Kunian


MUSIC

Nocturnal Records Showcase
10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18
The Howlin' Wolf, 828 S. Peters St., 522-WOLF; www.howlin-wolf.com

Photo by Ryan Thornberg

This Cutting Edge showcase features the Northshore's Nocturnal Records. The show opens with Rock City Morgue, whose Dead Man's Song reveals a band that has become distinctive and powerful. The songs owe less to the graveyard humor and imagery of the Cramps and the heavy guitar sound of the New York Dolls than on the band's previous release, Some Ghouls . Instead, Sean Yseult, Rik Slave and Johnny Brashear's songs have a dramatic edge reminiscent of Nick Cave, but without sacrificing the crunch of rock 'n' roll. Just off the road after a tour with Corrosion of Conformity, Suplecs (pictured) will focus on songs from its recent album, Powtin' on the Outside, Pawty on the Inside . C.O.C.'s Pepper Keenan produced the album, and his emphasis on the guitar in the mix makes it easier to hear what a monster Durel Yates is. The swifter tempos get the Black Sabbath out of the band's sonic repertoire as the band finally sheds the stoner rock millstone. Pleasures of Zero's self-titled EP is a modern rock blend of electronics, goth and Deftones-like metal. No cover. — Alex Rawls


MUSIC

Little Brother
8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE; www.hob.com

Little Brother headlines "The Minstrel Show," a night of hip-hop from members of the Durham, N.C., collective known as the Justus League. The Chitlin Circuit 1.5 (Fastlife) features Phonte, Big Pooh and hot underground producer 9th Wonder, who met in 1998 while attending North Carolina Central University. There, they discovered they shared affections for artists as dissimilar as the Roots, jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery and Led Zeppelin and soon became mainstays in the Durham hip-hop scene. Neither Phonte nor Big Pooh do anything showy — they stay away from tongue-twister territory — but just when you think they don't have much going on beside a steady, earnest flow, Phonte spits a rhyme as smart as "Phonte doin' a job for ya / stayin' on the scene like a cinematographer." 9th Wonder's grooves are consistently engaging, and his tracks are built on '70s soul samples, swelling with the warm strings and jazzy horns used to conjure an air of guarded hope on blaxploitation soundtracks. Tickets $13. — Rawls


EVENTS

Southern Comfort Tales of the Cockta
il Various times. Thursday, Aug. 18 - 20
Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St. and other French Quarter locations, 558-1820; www.talesofthecocktail.com

A lot of people say that the best things to do in New Orleans all revolve around eating and drinking, and Southern Comfort's Tales of the Cocktail celebration embraces that consistency. The third annual weekend-long event honoring the history of the cocktail in New Orleans (its supposed birthplace) starts off Thursday at Hotel Monteleone. The "celebration of the history and culture of dining and drinking" will feature entertainment, culinary demos, book signings by more than 30 authors from around the country, panel discussions with industry experts, and lots and lots of eating and drinking. (And the happy hours and multiple-course dinners at some of the city's most high-end restaurants seemed like enough reason to party.)

On Thursday and Friday, expert panels will discuss the invention of Peychaud bitters and the Sazerac cocktail, the first cocktail ever, and the history of whiskey in America. There will also be a meet-and-greet and cocktail hour featuring celebrity bartenders Theresa Andersson and Henry Butler at Hotel Monteleone at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Attendees will be able to meet authors of cocktail and pop culture books and try special cocktails created by each author. For Thursday's last event (8 p.m.), 19 restaurants in New Orleans will offer special menus to be paired with cocktails and spirits.

At noon Friday, there will be a lesson on entertaining at Brennan's restaurant by author and designer Beverly Church, and, of course, food and cocktails. At 5:30 p.m., there will be a screening of Peter Moody's debut film, Olive or Twist , which teaches American history related to the martini. A walking tour at 4 p.m. Saturday will explore some of New Orleans' oldest restaurants and bars, and a final outdoor party on Magazine Street at 6 p.m. with music, shopping and cocktails will round out the weekend. Various prices; visit the Web site for a complete schedule of events. — Colin Schoenberger

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