Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Department of Mixed Messages: Something's fishy

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 10:49 PM


The Great American Seafood Cook-Off is coming up this weekend at the Convention Center as part of the Louisiana Foodservice EXPO. Visit the competition's Web site and you'll discover that one of its sponsors is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a federal agency. Its 'history of' page (screen grab above) explains that it's a "New Agency" from 1970 that has a 200 year history. It also has a logo sinking into a body of water - not so encouraging given the Bush Administration's foot dragging on global warming. News pages of the site report that this summer's Gulf of Mexico deadzone is only 8,000 square miles. It didn't reach expectations because Hurricane Dolly churned oxygen into the Gulf ... so hurricanes are really good? 

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Just In Case You Forgot: Best Football Play Ever Happened in Jackson

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 6:06 PM

Why, you ask, would I post this video? Well, aside from the awesomeness of the play and the fact that I'm aching to get back to Jackson, Miss. and put up Saints video, it's just a reminder that this play took place on the same field the Saints are practicing on regularly.

Is that a sign? I don't know. It's definitely an amazing play, though.

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Saints Scuttlebutt: 7/29

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 5:56 PM


People went out "on a limb" yesterday and said Sedrick Ellis is close to signing, but he's still not in camp. Not that he's missing much, as the Saints practiced light this morning. The big news is Mike McKenzie, who's back in practice after tearing his ACL last season and improves an already loaded defensive back corps. Despite the good news, some are skeptical about how healthy the Saints will be. Hey, at least Shockey seems like he's fitting in well.

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Bennigan's bites the dust (Recession? What recession?)

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 4:57 PM


The Bennigan's Grill & Tavern chain? Uh-oh:

Customers showing up for lunch at Bennigan's restaurants in Chicago and across the country found quite a surprise Tuesday morning, when all the corporate-owned locations had signs on display reading "closed for business"...

Bennigan's Grill and Tavern closed all of its corporate-owned locations nationwide after filing for bankruptcy. Independent franchises remain open for business as usual.

Managers said the mass-shutdown went into effect at midnight Monday night, and there was no warning.

At Bennigan's Metairie location, an employee named Tanisha confirmed the bad news, but said that all Louisiana locations were open for business as usual; they're all franchises. Hurray: The Kilkenny Country Chicken Salad has been saved -- along with a lot of Louisiana jobs.

(Bennigan's seems to have taken down its website already. The franchisees may want to have a word with corporate about that.)

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Casino Rockin' In The Free World

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 4:10 PM


When elderly people get too out of touch with the modern world to properly look after themselves, they are often placed in retirement homes. When popular musicians reach this point, they, too, retire to a home of sorts where they can receive the kind of care and consideration they will need going forward. We call these places “casinos.”

     In your immediate area, there are at least three shining examples of such music health facilities: Harrah’s New Orleans, Boomtown in Harvey and Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Miss. In August, the latter hosts incite-ful bible study with the unplugged '60s version of Rage Against the Machine, Mssrs. Crosby, Stills and Nash (Aug. 6), and a smooth bingo hour with ’90s crooner and cover-butcher Michael Bolton (Aug. 22). September at Boomtown brings blind board games with country crossover Ronnie Milsap (Sept. 13). And there’s no disagreeing with Harrah’s October story time featuring the immortal Dave Mason (Oct. 17).

     So, stop by one of these centers and pay your respects to a pop patriarch. For life is short, and it won’t be long till it’s time for the Lawrence Welk revue with Amy Winehouse and trivia Tuesday with Justin Timberlake.    

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Oliver Stone moves into the W

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 2:26 PM

This week's Gambit -- the entertainment issue -- has a calendar of all the major film releases between now and December, along with a jaded look at the less-than-inspiring lineup.Among the new films is Oliver Stone's already-controversial W, the writer-director's biography of George W. Bush. The movie's first trailer surfaced yesterday, and subtle it ain't; aside from the always-excellent Jeffrey Wright's impersonation of Colin Powell, the rest of it looks like a community-theater production. What do you think?


Lee Zurik Just Doesn't Listen

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 1:43 PM

It was only last week that Mayor Nagin emphatically told  Zurik, Karen Gadbois and Sarah Lewis that they were hurting the recovery and “(they) needed to stop.” Nagin was referring to the story Zurik did about New Orleans Affordable Homeownership concerning homes the agency allegedly remediated for the elderly and low income.  The story originated from an investigation by Squandered Heritage  and WeCouldBeFamous  (I don’t believe it, E).

     Now, Zurik has the audacity to produce another report about the “right list” that Nagin referred to in the press conference when he blasted the bloggers and Zurik.

     When is it going to stop, Zurik? If you and these meddling bloggers keep it up, someone might end up going to jail. And if this continues, how will E over at WeCouldBeFamous keep up with the kitschy titles? 


The Pretenders and Chrissie Hynde are givin' it away

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 1:20 AM


The Pretenders' new album, Break Up the Concrete, doesn't come out until Sept. 23, but the band is giving it away on its website with an "MP3 countdown" -- a new single every week until the CD is released. This week, you can download a free copy of the first single, "Boots of Chinese Plastic."

(If you are under 25 and the Pretenders are your dad's music, trust me: there was no one hotter in her day than Ms. Hynde. Go download a copy of "Mystery Achievement" and learn.

If you are over 40, take a slug of Metamucil and consider this: in three years, Chrissie will be 60.)


Clear Channel makes the move into Internet radio

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 12:57 AM

Last month I wrote a story about Internet radio, its potential for keeping Louisiana music alive and finding fresh audiences, and new federal regulations that small Web broadcasters feared would put them out of business. While the new Congressional regulations purport to support musical artists and compensate them for Internet radio play, the little guys who champion the artists and broadcast the music from their living room computers insisted that the new fees were instead all about quashing competition and un-leveling the playing field.

Looks like they may have a point:

Clear Channel unveils online radio network with 900-plus stations

Clear Channel Communications Inc. said Monday it will launch an online radio network that offers more than 900 stations, including independent online stations....The network will have the widest marketing reach in online radio.

And, no doubt, plenty of duplication of what's already on terrestrial radio, along with those great commercials we all know so well. I have a feeling that if you like what Clear Channel has done to the radio in your car, you're going to love what it does to the radio in your computer.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Flood Relief

Posted By on Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 10:34 PM


This scene may look familiar. It’s a recent photo from Iowa, where flooding has filled towns with water, leaving people and rescue efforts to maneuver streets with boats. There are more photos and videos of the extent of flooding here. This week, Le Chat Noir hosts a fundraising event to help theater artists in Cedar Rapids affected by the flooding. Local cabaret stars will perform in “Heartsong Two: A New Orleans Concert for Iowa” on Thursday (8 p.m. July 31). Performers include Amy Alvarez, Trina Beck, Rich Arnold, Lisa Picone, Jefferson Turner, Jessie Terrebonne and Anais St. John. Tickets are $25. But anyone interested in making a donation also may contact the box office (581-5812). There also will be a raffle. The event is sponsored by Le Chat, the Contemporary Arts Center and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.


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