Friday, April 24, 2009

Ponderosa - Celluloid Heroes

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 8:03 PM


The highlights of the eighth annual Ponderosa Stomp are the two-nights of performances by rock, rockabilly and R&B legends scheduled for the House of Blues Tuesday & Wednesday (April 28-29). The Stomp is also hosting its usual lineup of panel discussions during the day (Monday -Wednesday at the Cabildo). This year, Ponderosa introduces a film portion, Celluloid Heroes; Rock n' Roll on Film. Movies include Scott Conn's Dirt Road to Psychedelia: Austin Texas in the 1960s (11 a.m. Monday), Vincent Kralyevich and Joanne Fish's The Sweet Lady with the Nasty Voice (12:30 p.m. Tuesday) about Wanda Jackson (reviewed in Gambit here) and several showcases of rare clips from concerts and interviews.

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Wolf Apprehended

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 7:49 PM

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Vincent Wolf, the man who allegedly falsely represented himself as Armon Mosadegh, has been arrested in North Carolina and is being extradited to Louisiana to face charges, according to the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office.

   Gambit readers first heard the name “Armon Mosadegh” in a cover story about the Orleans Public Defenders Office. In that article, a man claiming to be Armon Mosadegh had spent 29 days in Orleans Parish Prison on a misdemeanor marijuana charge because he couldn’t afford to pay his $60 bond. After the story ran, the “real” Armon Mosadegh contacted me, saying he had never been arrested and that someone was using his name. Mosadegh’s experience — an innocent man saddled with an arrest record for a crime he didn’t commit, and given the right circumstances, this could happen to anyone — became the subject of a follow-up story, “Mistaken Identity at Orleans Parish Prison.” 

     I have a feeling this isn’t the last we’ll hear of Wolf.

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More Alike Than Different

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 5:32 PM

(This is a longer version of my political column that will appear in Monday’s Gambit.)


The first in-depth poll of the 2010 New Orleans mayor’s race says a lot of very positive things about the city’s electorate, and those who aspire to be mayor should pay close attention to its results. Above all, the poll should serve as a warning to those who may be tempted to exploit perceived racial divisions among New Orleans voters: Don’t, because the voters aren’t buying it.


On almost every major issue, the survey by Tulane University and Democracy Corps found that African-American and white voters in New Orleans are remarkably aligned in their opinions — from crime to education, from jobs and economic growth to levees, and yes, even race relations.


“I am very impressed by the degree of unity with which New Orleanians view things,” says veteran Democratic political consultant James Carville, who teaches an advanced political science class at Tulane that served as a springboard for the poll. “We have differences, but we are much more alike than we are different.”

Continue reading »

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DJ Soul Sister OK after early morning fire

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 4:57 PM

One of our favorite local disc-spinners, club queen and WWOZ radio host DJ Soul Sister, is OK but badly shaken after a 3 a.m. fire destroyed a vacant house next door to her own in the Carrollton neighborhood just off S. Claiborne Avenue.

"My parents are staying with me right now, and we were sleeping," she said. "All of a sudden, there was someone violently banging at the front door, hitting the doorbell over and over again. I got up and went in the living room and all I could see was flames. For a split second, all I could think of was my records, but there wasn't time."

Soul Sister and her parents got out in time, and the good Samaritan who woke them up had called 911. Several New Orleans Fire Department trucks were on the scene quickly, saving Soul Sister's house with no more damage than a charred side, some melted aluminum railings and a few broken windows. "But we're good," she says. "And my records are OK."

The good Samaritan who woke up the family disappeared; Soul Sister wanted to send her profuse thanks to him to her. And, in a particularly New Orleanian twist, one of the firefighters on the scene approached her while she was standing in the street in her pajamas to ask "Hey, don't you play music?"

"I was nervous about playing Jazz Fest," she said (she opens for Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers Sun. May 3 at the Congo Square Stage). "But I'm not nervous about anything any more."

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ABC: Always Be Closing

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 3:33 PM

An obituary from The Arizona Republic:

Dimmick, Chuck P.

born December 29, 1958 in Riverside, CA passed away suddenly on April 18, 2009 while attending a NASCAR race to watch his favorite driver, Jeff Gordon. Chuck was the loving husband of Kristen and devoted father of Dillon. Chuck was the Director of Marketing for the Lund Cadillac Group. We are sure he would still want all to know that 0.9% financing is still available on all New 2008 Hummer H2's.

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Gambit and WWL-TV team up for Jazz Fest picks

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 2:10 AM


Something new for Jazz Fest this year: Gambit has teamed with our pals at WWL-TV to bring you a Best of the Fest list. Check out the choices from Gambit's own Count Basin™, along with WWL's Chad Bower, Bradley Handwerger, Michael Luke and reporter Scott Satchfield. (Sounds like we'll all be meeting up at Wilco, but turns out Satchfield is a fan of The Vettes. Who knew?)

Check out WWL and Gambit's picks in cube form here and with critical appraisals here.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009


Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 10:10 PM

Early edition, sort of. No green matters stamp this time around. Graphic overload.


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It's a really refreshing kick to the head to see the city mapped out in the familiar fonts and bold-colored lines of those Big City rail lines. Directions from the airport to my house could sound like, "Take the pink line to Tulane Station and pick up the green line headed to the Faubourg St. John stop." Whoa. (You can also follow the group on Twitter.)


Continue reading »

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From pols to lobbyists

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 6:39 PM

USA Today on lawmakers-turned-lobbyists:

Despite congressional pledges to stop the revolving door between Capitol Hill and the lobbying industry, 16 of the 62 lawmakers who left Congress last year have landed jobs with groups that seek to influence policymakers, a USA TODAY analysis has found.

Former House members are barred from lobbying their former colleagues for a year after leaving office and former senators must wait two years. But nothing prohibits former lawmakers from immediately starting to advise clients on how to navigate the congressional process, having contacts with administration officials, or working as a state lobbyist.

Two of the 16 are Louisianans: Richard Baker, former Rep. from the state's 6th District, now president and CEO of Managed Funds Association; and Jim McCrery, former Rep. of the 4th District and now a partner in the "government relations firm" Capitol Counsel.

The story also carries this quote:

Craig Holman of the non-partisan watchdog group Public Citizen said the moves reflect "an utterly failed revolving-door restriction. They can't call or visit a congressional office for a lobbying purpose but can do all the work on a lobbying campaign," he said.

Like Captain Renault in Casablanca, I'm sure we're all shocked, shocked.

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Hughes Won't Attend Xavier Commencement

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 4:11 PM

New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes will not be attending Xavier University’s upcoming commencement because Donna Brazile, a Kenner native and Democratic political strategist, is the keynote speaker and a supporter of abortion rights.

     In a letter to Xavier University president, Dr. Norman Francis, the archbishop wrote of Brazile’s efforts in working with the poor, particularly in the African American population, but said her stance on the abortion issue “is not in keeping with Catholic moral teaching.”

     It’s not a surprising move by Hughes. A month ago, he wrote a letter criticizing Notre Dame’s selection of President Barack Obama, again because of Obama’s support of abortion rights. What is interesting is that Brazile grew up and remains a Catholic, something that Hughes notes in his letter. U.S. bishops, however, have made it clear they oppose the selection of speakers like Brazile by Catholic institutions. Abortion has always been the church’s hot-button issue, but it does make you wonder what constitutes “Catholic moral teachings?”

     Why is all right for Catholic bishops to attend a graduation ceremony where the non-Catholic speaker is someone who used false information to foment a war, in which tens of thousands have died, but it’s not all right to attend a graduation where the speaker is a Catholic who supports abortion rights?  

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Trouble the Water on HBO

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 4:06 PM

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Treme isn’t the only New Orleans vehicle on HBO’s radar. Trouble the Water, Carl Deal and Tia Lessin’s Oscar-nominated 2008 documentary about Kimberly and Scott Roberts’ survival during and after Hurricane Katrina, receives its television premiere tonight at 7:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. EST) on the cable network.

“Even though people will be seeing it in their living rooms, we’re working hard to organize group viewings,” says Deal, “particularly around the opening, so people can not only view the film, but engage in some real meaningful discussion afterward. There’s also an advance version of the DVD that’s available for community groups and schools. … The DVD will be available commercially following [HBO’s] broadcast, probably sometime in the summer.”

The filmmakers have even created Web tools to assist those who have HBO and want to host a party, or who do not have HBO and would like to mooch off a friend’s subscription.

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