Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blink-182, Cheap Trick join 2011 Voodoo lineup

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 1:27 PM

In the seemingly infinite saga for the full 2011 Voodoo Experience lineup, a few additions were made over the weekend and this week — legendary Kinks frontman Ray Davies, video artist Mike Relm, New Orleans revelers Morning 40 Federation, and '70s power-pop stars Cheap Trick, known for the killer live album At Budokan, mega-hits "I Want You to Want Me" and "Surrender" (and their cover of Big Star's "In the Street" for That '70s Show).

Announced today: pop-punk icons Blink-182, who recently reunited and are playing only one festival gig this year. The trio (Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker) slumped around following their 2003 self-titled fifth album, with various solo projects and spin-offs — making nowhere a dent compared to the success of the goofball SoCal pop-punk of Blink-182.

Also added: Voodoo announced Dr. John & the Lower 911, recent Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee and eternally treasured, vocabularity possessified New Orleans demi god.

Follow Voodoo on Facebook and Twitter for updates — tons of fans are none too happy about the lineup-rollout process.

Scalise tops La. House delegation when it comes to staffers' salaries; Richmond, Landry most frugal

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Rep. Steve Scalise
  • Rep. Steve Scalise
Congressman Steve Scalise, R-Metairie, has positioned himself as one of the biggest Washington foes of government spending, particularly spending by Democrats. In 2009, he said, “When you look across the country you see families tightening their belts to live within their means, and states are tightening their belts to balance their budgets. Washington is the only place that is going on a wild spending spree during these tough economic times.” Last February, Scalise authored an amendment to a federal spending bill that would block funding for many of President Barack Obama’s aides and advisors (e.g., the much-loathed “czars”).

Scalise, however, has less of a problem paying his own aides and advisors handsomely. Recently, the nonpartisan public information website LegiStorm published the details of salaries and bonuses paid to congressional staffers in the first quarter of 2011. Scalise was Louisiana’s most generous House member when it came to doling out salaries and bonuses to his staff.

According to LegiStorm, Scalise spent $241,804 on salaries and bonuses in the first quarter of 2011. The average cumulative salaries and bonuses paid during the same time period by members of Louisiana’s House delegation was $200,578. More embarrassing for the GOP: the state’s most frugal congressman was Cedric Richmond, Louisiana’s only Democratic representative. Richmond’s staff took home a meager $147,342 — 61 percent of what Scalise spent on his office. Also near the bottom was another House freshman, Republican Rep. Jeff Landry, who spent $163,386.

Asked about the disparity, Stephen Bell, Scalise’s communications director, wrote in an email to Gambit, “Last year, Congressman Scalise returned $104,575 from his annual budget to the taxpayers, for a total of more than $375,000 returned since being elected in 2008, and earlier this year he helped pass a 5 percent cut in the budget of all House members.” (According to the report, Bell himself pulled down $12,999 in the first quarter of 2011.)

The totals for the Louisiana delegation: Scalise (1st District), $241,804; Rep. Charles Boustany (7th District), $235,426; Rep. Rodney Alexander, (5th District), $223,011; Rep. Bill Cassidy (6th District), $203,406; Rep. John C. Fleming (4th District), $189,669; Landry (3rd District), $163,386; and Richmond (2nd District), $147,342.

Benefit for James “Coulis” Leeming

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 9:59 AM

James Leeming

James Leeming, chef and co-owner of the Uptown breakfast/lunch favorite Coulis, died this week. On Thursday night Brigtsen’s Restaurant will hold a benefit for his young family.

Leeming, a native of Nicaragua, had a long run in local fine-dining circles before opening Coulis in the former address of the Bluebird Café.

He made a lot of friends along the way in his career, including Marna and Frank Brigtsen, owners of Brigtsen’s, where he worked as sous chef. They’ve pledged to donate 100 percent of sales of bottled wine at Brigtsen’s on Thursday, July 30, to Leeming’s wife and eight-year-old son. If you're dining out on Thursday, this makes an easy way to lend a hand.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monopoly issues Metallica and AC/DC special editions

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 9:02 PM


Metal heads and rock ’n’ rollers rejoice. You no longer have to test your strategies in unappreciated terrains like Park Place and Marvin Gardens or dip into the Community Chest for petty cash. Monopoly has tailored collectors editions just for you.

Monopoly released a Metallica Collectors Edition June 17, and has scheduled an August release for a rockin’ AC/DC Collector’s Edition.

The Metallica edition includes stops along the board at club shows, studios, festivals and other landmarks metal fans will appreciate, as well as Binge and Purge and Jump in the Fire spaces where you’ll get a special surprise (some good, some bad).

Even the game pieces are Metallicacentric: a Kill ’Em All hammer, And Justice for All scales, St. Anger fist, Black Album snake, Jump in the Fire demon and a ninja star.

The MSRP is $42.99.

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A muddled world

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 6:11 PM

It was less than a week after Hurricane Katrina, but looking back I guess it could have been two weeks. If your memory of September 2005 is like mine, it all runs together, one long journey through ‘A Muddled World,’ when we existed standing on our heads, wondering if our world would exist upright and normal again.

By this time our family was in Lafayette, Louisiana, safe and cared for within a friend’s guest bedroom. Like everyone we scrambled to reach people, frustrated with the lack of communication and the ‘Closed’ sign posted on New Orleans.

Once every few days the cell phone actually rang (forget about calling out), and we updated the distant relative or former neighbor, asking that they phone a dozen others with messages.

One such call came from Steve Diamond, a friend in Carmel, California whose ninety-six year-old mother, Irene Diamond, stubbornly remained by herself in her Lakefront home during the hurricane.

“Help me get her out of there,” pleaded her son. “I don’t care what it costs.”

Adding to the anxiety was the lack of communication. He had not spoken with his mother since before the storm.

Mrs. Irene Diamond with her grandchildren, Dr. Murray A. Diamond stands with his son Dr. Stephen Diamond, New Orleans, circa 1975
  • Mrs. Irene Diamond with her grandchildren, Dr. Murray A. Diamond stands with his son Dr. Stephen Diamond, New Orleans, circa 1975

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Free foot ulcer screenings at 2011 Essence Music Festival

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 3:41 PM

A health care professional applies Dermagraft onto the foot ulcer of a diabetes patient.
  • A health care professional applies Dermagraft onto the foot ulcer of a diabetes patient.

Save a Leg, Save a Life (SALSAL) and Heal2Gether will provide free foot-ulcer screenings for patients with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, July 1 through Sunday July 3, as part of the 2011 Essence Music Festival.

The groups also will educate Essence attendees about Dermagraft, a treatment to heal foot ulcers. Wound-care specialists can implant Dermagraft (see photo), a product that looks like a small-mesh screen, onto a foot ulcer. The Dermagraft, which is made with human skin cells, not only helps heal the wound but also grow back epithelium (or skin tissue). Heal2Gether will be on hand to help patients find wound specialists in their area.

The screening is part of a trade show at Essence’s Empowerment Series — a variety of seminars, book signings and more — at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (900 Convention Center Blvd.) during the day. Essence Music Festival concerts will be staged in the Louisiana Superdome at night.

Doctors from SALSAL, an international group of health care professionals trying to decrease the number of amputations and deaths resulting from diabetes and diabetic wounds, will conduct free foot screenings and glucose screenings for Essence attendees. The screenings are part of a campaign to help diabetics and people with PAD become aware of the dangers of foot ulcers, which can lead to amputations. SALSAL recently formed a chapter for the New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Alexandria areas because of Louisiana’s high incidence of diabetes: 11 percent of the general population of the state and 13.7 percent of African-Americans have been diagnosed with the disease.

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Bigfoot in New Orleans: real or imagined?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 10:06 AM

This was a great way to start the day. Without comment, I'll just share this press release. You can click on the N.O.B.S. website link to see the copyrighted video.

Bigfoot Captured on Video in New Orleans City Park

06.27.11 - New Orleans, LA - The New Orleans Bigfoot Society (N.O.B.S.) received a video of what appears to be an unclassified non-human primate in New Orleans City Park this week. N.O.B.S. immediately dispatched a field team who gathered hair and fecal samples from the site of the encounter. N.O.B.S. has sent these samples to a lab for analysis and will update the public on the results as soon as they are available.

You can watch the video footage on the N.O.B.S. website:
If this evidence proves conclusive, it will be a major breakthrough in the scientific search for Bigfoot.

The New Orleans Bigfoot Society (N.O.B.S.) was founded in 2001 by a group of Sasquatch researchers and enthusiasts in the Greater New Orleans area. It’s a little known fact that there are more Bigfoot encounters in Louisiana than in any other region of the USA (other than the Pacific Northwest).

Several of our members have had personal encounters with the creature, many of them during the course of N.O.B.S. research. Suprisingly, many verified sightings occur near urban areas and there are several documented encounters that have occurred inside the City of New Orleans (especially in the wild areas of City Park over the last few years).

N.O.B.S. is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind the nature of these creatures, finding evidence of their existence, and revealing it to the world.

There has been a rash of recent sightings in the area including one in New Orleans East (at the abandoned Six Flags) and at least two other verified reports of strange humanoid creatures encountered in City Park. We have also received audio recordings and photographic evidence that is currently being analyzed.

If you have seen or encountered one of these creatures, please contact N.O.B.S. immediately by emailing:

For interview requests please contact:

Dr. Xavier Jenks, PhD
Research Team Leader
New Orleans Bigfoot Society (N.O.B.S.)

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Finn McCool's goes non-smoking for a day as a "social experiment"

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Pauline and Stephen Patterson, the publicans behind Finn McCools in Mid-City, turned their bar non-smoking on Sunday as a social experiment, and will do so again July 11 for one day.
  • Pauline and Stephen Patterson, the publicans behind Finn McCool's in Mid-City, turned their bar non-smoking on Sunday as a "social experiment," and will do so again July 11 for one day.
One of the arguments raised during this year’s legislative debate over banning smoking in Louisiana bars was the point that any bar could change its own smoking policy now, without waiting for passage or defeat of the ban. (As it has in previous sessions, this year’s attempt at a ban went down in flames.)

Stephen and Pauline Patterson, the owners of the popular Mid-City pub Finn McCool’s, decided to put it to the test with what they call a “social experiment”: yesterday the ashtrays came off the tables and Finn’s went smoke-free for 14 and a half hours: 9:30 a.m. to midnight. So how did it go?

“Interesting,” said Pauline. “We’re going to try it again on July 11, on pub quiz night." One of Finn's regular customers is serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan, she said, and they want to turn the July 11 event into a fundraiser for him and his friends.

"We're a community bar, and we know 90 percent of our customers by name," Pauline said. "A few people boycotted for the day — and some of them were non-smokers. But it had no effect on the ring [cash register total] at all.”

It was 1 p.m. and a small lunchtime crowd of about a dozen people had gathered for a midday pint and a bit of air conditioning. The ashtrays were back, but the only person smoking was a young man at one end of the bar. 

When the Pattersons (both nonsmokers) decided to try going smoke-free for the day, Pauline put a brief announcement on the bar’s Facebook page, reading “To go smoke-free or not?”

“Within seven minutes, we had 25 comments,” she said. “We’re up to 450 now.”

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Watch: GIVERS debut "Up Up Up" music video

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Lafayette's GIVERS, on the tails of a U.S. tour, Late Night appearance and album premiere, have released the music video for "Up Up Up," the summer jam lead-in track from June's In Light (Glassnote). (Head to Gambit for more.)

Check out the video below — the band performs in a psychedelic, flowering space-forest, seemingly overlooking an alternately slow-motion and over-driven cityscape.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

On "Chinese menus" in NOLA

Posted By on Sun, Jun 26, 2011 at 9:00 AM


This week’s review of Jung’s Golden Dragon is really about this recently relocated restaurant’s “Chinese menu” — that is, its menu of regional Chinese specialties as opposed to its regular, and much more familiar, menu.

With this, Jung’s Golden Dragon is part of a low-key but gradually expanding circuit of local restaurants serving Chinese food of the sort you might actually encounter in China. I’ve been on the hunt for such places for several years now, and it’s been surprising and gratifying to discover the wide range available, mostly spread across Jefferson Parish.

See a list and more after the jump. . .

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