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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go

FILM

Reconstructing Creole
5 p.m. & 8 p.m. Thu., Dec. 7
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., 539-9612; www.ogdenmuseum.com

In August 2004, the Creole-style Laura Plantation in Vacherie was severely damaged in a fire. Rebuilding it turned into a path of discovery, as sifting through its ashes and reconstructing the house almost became a sort of instant archeology. Replacing walls and beams forced the renovation team to figure out and replicate how the original home was built, revealing new information about life along river road in 1804. Some of the woodwork was done with shipbuilding techniques. It is believed that the construction of the home was orchestrated by a free man of color, but it was evident, as elsewhere in Louisiana, that the slave labor was highly skilled, essentially suggesting an importation of technology from Senegal. Much about the history of the plantation and its early occupants was gleaned from 5,000 pages of diaries by various family members, as well as the memoirs of Laura Locul Gore (pictured), who grew up on the plantation and is its namesake. Former WWL-TV news reporter Jennifer John produced a documentary about the rebuilding of Laura, the discoveries made in the process and the culture and history of the Creoles. Her hour-long Reconstructing Creole will premiere at this Ogden Museum of Southern Art screening. Tickets $10 general admission, free for Ogden members. — Will Coviello

 

 

STAGE

Grenadine McGunkle's Double-wide Christmas
7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Dec. 8-9; through Dec. 30
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 606-9903; www.norunningwithscissors.com

It's not easy to keep up with the Joneses, especially during the holidays as the outdoor lights, faux window snow and waving lawn-Santas crop up. Perhaps you would rather have neighbors like these. Or perhaps not. The community at the Everlasting Arms Motor Court gets lit up for the holidays in Running with Scissors' annual and soon-to-be-classic Grenadine McGunkle's Double-wide Christmas . Grenadine (Dorian Rush) is knocking herself out to stage the Everlasting Arms Talent Show and Holiday Interfaith Tailgate Extravaganza, and the neighbors are just trying to help. Or are they? Hairstylist Punkin (Brad Caldwell), bubbly neighbor Gladys Finkelstein (Brian Peterson) and long lost son, Jesus (Donald Lewis), cousin/step-sisters Crystal (Lisa Picone) and China (Ashley Ricord) and other meddlesome neighbors are all trying to help and angling for the talent show's big prize. The high-camp musical spectacular has its filthy way with peace and goodwill and reminds us that winning really is everything. Tickets $20. — Coviello

 

 

MUSIC

Liquidrone with Earl Greyhound
10 p.m. Sat., Dec. 9
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361; www.oneeyedjacks.net

New York City, that smug cosmopolis, has been sneakily getting to enjoy Earl Greyhound for the past several years without sharing. It looks like that's all about to change, though, with the October release of its debut full-length album, Soft Targets (Some Records), which came out early last month and garnered unmitigated gushing from big dogs like the New Yorker and Rolling Stone . Put simply, Earl Greyhound is the best and most vital rock and soul bomb to appear on the horizon in many moons, and if the band doesn't become huge, it'll be because it's too good. Greyhound's enveloping wall of fuzz is as heavy as the mighty Led Zeppelin, as beatific and transcendent as Jimi Hendrix and as frenetically hip as the Dirtbombs. The band opens for Liquidrone, the rarely-seen and oldest of local oddity Clint Maedgen's projects, which brings much of the same found-percussion, soulful sax and costumed theatrics as the Bingo! show. Also on the bill is the Transmission from Lafayette, which plays a hot, hyped-up blend of garage, surf and psychedelic soul. Much rock is in the cards tonight. Tickets $10. — Alison Fensterstock

MUSIC

Thomas Dolby with BT Photo by Charlie Steffens
8 p.m. Mon., Dec. 11
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com

In the '80s, Thomas Dolby's shock of bleached-blond hair and antique goggles in the video for ÒShe Blinded Me With ScienceÓ were emblematic — along with films like Weird Science , War Games and Cherry 2000 — of how advanced and cool our state-of-the-art computer technology was. Most people today know Dolby (pictured, right)only as that freeze-frame image of the decade, and for that one catchy slice of electronic funk. In fact, many electronic musicians today consider Dolby's work, as well as his peers like Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle, to be major influences on the now greatly varied and popular genre of music made by computers and machines. Dolby's fame was eclipsed by synth-pop acts like Soft Cell and Human League in the '80s, but while their sounds were made to fill dance floors, Dolby's was more cerebral. Using vintage and modern technology, he pushed the possibilities for computer music to its farest reaches, coaxing warm, melodic sounds out of cold circuits. In the '90s, Dolby quit performing and recording to develop a software technology now used in more than two-thirds of the world's cell phones. This is his first foray back into performing. The show — done in tandem with renowned computer music artist BT and video artist Johnny DeKam — features mostly older Dolby compositions from his '80s heyday, performed with a bank of computers, vintage oscilloscopes and signal generators and live visuals from DeKam. Tickets $15. — Fensterstock

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click to enlarge CHARLIE STEFFENS
  • Charlie Steffens
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