Monday, June 29, 2009

Cincinnati Has a Plan

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 8:56 PM

Last week a New Orleans City Council committee approved an ordinance to pay for longer police shifts during the summer months, but it didn’t seem to consider the accountability standards for violent crime Councilwoman Shelley Midura had written about only a week prior to the meeting. In May, during another City Council meeting, New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley became angry when Midura had floated the idea of withholding police overtime until NOPD brass layout its strategies for battling violent crime.

     Maybe it’s time to look at how other cities are dealing with it. In Cincinnati, cops are using the Ceasefire method, which was developed by anthropologist David Kennedy. In its June 22 issue, The New Yorker contained a well-researched article by John Seabrook about Ceasefire’s success in Cincinnati as well as in many other American cities, and how the program uses a combination of academics, social workers, cops and former criminals to stop the violence. Here’s an abstract of the article. If you want to read the whole story, you’ll have to buy a copy of the magazine, visit your local library, or peruse the Internet for more information.

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Ted + Britney = Forever?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 8:35 PM

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Austin-based singer/songwriter Ted Hadji performs at the Circle Bar tonight. But will his biggest fan, his “wife,” be in attendance?

In May, Hadji self-released his debut album The Particles Don’t Care, full of raw sounds and lyrics. Samples are posted on his MySpace page. But there also is a link to an “official” site that is operated by a 15-year-old girl who claims to be married to Hadji.



The girl, “Britney” or “Brittany” as it is sometimes written, claims not only to be Hadji’s number one fan, but also his girlfriend and wife — simultaneously. She boasts that the two fell in love while Hadji was sitting in front of a bar and said to her, back when she was 13: “Don’t be a musician kid. Whatever you do, don’t be a musician. I love you too much for that.”


This was confirmation to “Britney” that, of course, she and Hadji had forged an undeniable connection. But to her mother, Hadji was nothing more than a crazy man on a stoop. To this, “Britney” describes her mother as “a cold, shriveled woman who is ugly!” and later says her “womb is a toxic wasteland drenched in puke!” After a few more profanities and insults, “Britney” goes on to talk about how much she loves Hadji’s music and provides tips on the best ways to stalk him. She even boasts that while Hadji only printed 1,000 packaged CDs, she bought them all. That’s right, every single one of them, and she wants you to buy them from her if you’re a true fan. Get them while they’re hot; she’s selling them for a mere $11.99 a pop.


If this is an elaborate prank on Hadji’s side, kudos to him for keeping the world guessing. No doubt if he has this much creativity for a fake fansite, his music and his stage show must be of epic proportions.


Or, maybe there really is some girl out there named “Britney” or “Brittany” who just keeps forgetting how to spell her name and who likes mini horses, Hot Topic and absolutely adores Hadji. - Briana Prevost

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Michael Jackson Second Line Video Teaser

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 5:19 PM


There was a second line for Michael Jackson yesterday in the Marigny/Treme area and it was everything you'd expect from a New Orleans second line. We're working on getting all the footage cut and edited, but I wanted to give y'all a taste of the action.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Orleans Sports Scuttlebutt 6-28-09

Posted By on Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Gregg Williams


Photograph by Jonathan Bachman


Last year the Saints were derailed by an inexplicable rash of injuries and an even more inexplicable penchant for giving up big plays on defense. New Orleans went extended periods without impact players like Marques Colston Reggie Bush, and All-Pro pass rusher Charles Grant. Colston and Bush are back now and hope to put it all together this season, but as versatile as those guys are, they can't play defensive end.


The Saints finished the second half of the '08 season without Grant, and it looks like they'll be starting the '09 season without him as well.  New Orleans has exhausted all of their options, lodging appeal after appeal in efforts to prevent a four game suspension for defensive ends Grant and Will Smith. Last year Grant and Smith tested positive for the banned diuretic bumetanide, found in the weight loss supplement Star Caps.


This puts a huge damper on what was to be a defensive renaissance for the Saints. No, the '09 Saints aren't the "Dome Patrol" and no one expects them to be. All they have to do is hold teams long enough so that when the fourth quarter comes, Drew Brees can hand the ball of to Bush or Pierre Thomas to run out the clock.


But with the absence of Grant and Smith, who've accounted for 40 percent of the team's sacks since '04, New Orleans has to find a way to get pressure on the quarter back. DT Sedrick Ellis is looking to improve in his sophomore season, and this could be his chance. Ellis had only four sacks last year but has gotten the attention of the Saints coaching staff in their recent OTA's.


The maturation of Ellis would be huge for the "Black and Gold,"(both literally and figuratively) but the Saints are confident that second year Saint  Bobby McCray will help sure-up the defensive end position. Before last year McCray was considered a "situational pass rusher"-but don't tell him that.


“I am not a situational guy,” McCray said. “That’s just a little topic that has stuck with me. People like to write stories about that. That’s never been me.”


When Grant got injured McCray got the chance remove "situational" from his title. Misnomers aside, the 260 pound speed rusher's twenty-nine tackles and six sacks last season proved that his size, or lack there of, was a non issue.


It'd be asking a lot to expect McCray to fill the shoes of the Saints' two Aces but New Orleans does have a wild card. DE Anthony Hargrove is trying to resurrect his career and for both he and New Orleans, it couldn't have come at a better time. Hargrove spent the '08 season in a drug treatment center after being suspended for violating the league's drug policy. Drafted in '04 by the Rams Hargrove's best season was in '05 when he racked up 51 tackles and 6.5 sacks.


His troubles began in 06' when without any explanation Hargrove went "A-Wall" for two days. The Rams were unamused. After being traded to the Bills  Hargrove's production began to slip-relegating him to the bench. Hargrove was unable to return to form in '07 and was suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.


Now one year removed from exile Hargrove finds himself filling in for one half of a Pro Bowl tandem  in the middle of a war for the NFC South. It almost seems like fate or a really cheesy Holly Wood script. But as dramatic as it sounds, he could be big part of the supporting cast that finally makes it to the big show. Hargrove seems contrite and ready to turn his career around. He's on his third strike and so are the Saints for that matter. The only question is can the former outcast ,along with an under achiever, and a "situational pass rusher" help New Orleans keep it close until their home run hitters return? Only Hargrove, McCray, and Ellis can answer that.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Local musicians on Twitter

Posted By on Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 9:32 PM

So you succumbed to Twitter. Now who to follow? (Us, for one.)

A good place to start: New Orleans musicians. Here's a few we follow, and I know we're missing plenty. Go ahead and leave any other suggestions in the comments.

Wynton Marsalis

Terence Blanchard

Jeremy Davenport




New Orleans Bingo! Show

DJ Beverly Skillz

DJ Soul Sister


Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Rebirth Brass Band

Next time: New Orleans food folk.

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Party Before You Party

Posted By on Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 2:22 AM


Free food, drinks, music and a chance to see a new business in Gentilly — a great warmup for your weekend entertainment.

Entrepreneur Percy J. Marchand is throwing a party Saturday (June 27) to celebrate New Orleanians who returned after Hurricane Katrina to help rebuild the city and their lives, as well as the grand opening of Renaissance Hall (3869 Gentilly Blvd., 288-9925), a meeting and party venue.

The event is free and open to the public.

The “Original Orleanians” event, hosted by radio personality CJ “Superstar” Morgan, starts with a networking event at 2 p.m., followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:45 p.m. Food will be served at 3:30 p.m., and the Free Agents Brass Band, Dappa and the Troy Sawyer Band will perform until 6 p.m.

The event also gives Marchand a chance to show off his new enterprise, an 1,800-square-foot venue for business and social events with seating for up to 150 people. Renaissance Hall also offers off-street parking, a patio, two house bands, audio and video equipment and a food and bar preparation area.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

AAN awards announced

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 11:06 PM

Today in Tucson, Ariz., the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies held its 14th annual awards ceremony.

In the category of publications with circulation under 50,000, Gambit placed twice: a 1st place win in the category of Editorial Layout for Amy Morvant, and a 2nd place finish in Best Blog for Blog of New Orleans, the weird, undefined, non-mission-statemented, crowd-sourced blog you're reading right now.

OK, shameless self-promotion over. Thanks, AAN. Have a great weekend in Tucson.

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Satchmo SummerFest music schedule announced

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 10:52 PM

This morning's Voodoo Music Experience announcement got all the ink. But, like a neglected child, the wonderful Satchmo SummerFest Music Festival also announced its schedule and didn't get one-tenth the attention. Sure, there's no Eminem, but wouldn't you rather see the Soul Rebels instead? Here it is.

August 1, 2009

'Red Beans & Ricely Yours' Stage

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Louisiana Music Factory presents the New Orleans Moonshiners

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM Fritzel's presents Fritzel's New Orleans Jazz Band

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Connie Jones Crescent City Jazz Band

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM Tim Laughlin

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Leah Chase

'Cornet Chop Suey' Stage

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM Mo'LASSES (New Orleans Mostly Women's brass band)

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Sweet Home New Orleans presents Dejan's Olympia Brass Band

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM Sharon Martin

4:30 PM - 5:45 PM New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation presents Glenn David Andrews & the Lazy Six

'Back o' Town' Stage

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Michael Skinkus

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM New Orleans Traditional Brass Band

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Linnzi Zaorski

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Seguenon Kone of Ivory Coast West Africa

August 2, 2009

'Red Beans & Ricely Yours' Stage

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM The Windsor Court Hotel presents Anais St. John the Harry Mayronne Trio

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM Sweet Home New Orleans presents Lars Edegran's New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra Featuring Lionel Ferbos

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Yoshio Toyama & the Dixie Saints

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM The Ritz-Carlton presents Jeremy Davenport

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers

6:30 PM - 7:00 PM Props for Pops Trumpet Tribute

'Cornet Chop Suey' Stage

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM Evan Christopher's Clarinet Road

1:15 PM - 2:30 PM New Wave Brass Band

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation presents Leroy Jones & New Orleans Finest

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM James Andrews

5:15 PM - 6:45 PM Soul Rebels Brass Band

'Back o' Town' Stage

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Heritage School of Music

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Royal Players Brass Band

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Sasha Masakowski

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Shamarr Allen

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Da Winnas & Da Loozas

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 10:16 PM

This year’s legislative session went swimmingly for Gov. Bobby Jindal, but for many others it was a drowning pool. Here’s our annual recap of “Da Winnas and Da Loozas” of the annual session:


1. Gov. Bobby Jindal — The governor rammed through his “transparency” bill (which critics say actually reduces transparency in the governor’s office), got the budget more or less as he presented it, killed any and all tax increases, and kept lawmakers from raiding his economic development mega-fund. His few losses seem almost insignificant by comparison, such as his failure to secure repeal of the motorcycle helmet requirement. If there was a major setback, it was the failure of a proposed constitutional amendment designed to give legislators and the governor more flexibility to cut budgets in times of fiscal hardship.

2. Saints owner Tom Benson — The new Saints deal eliminates the team’s direct subsidy, but it gives Benson something almost as good: a nice building downtown with the state paying above-market rent as a tenant … and $85 million in Superdome renovations.

Continue reading »

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Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 9:40 PM

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As we wait patiently for the vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act, here's a brief week's worth of green:

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