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Friday, September 2, 2011

Fall event overload anxiety has begun to set in

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Neon Indian plays at One Eyed Jacks Sept. 21.
  • Neon Indian plays at One Eyed Jacks Sept. 21.

Summer in New Orleans is relatively quiet, except for a few big events — mainly White Linen Night, Krewe of Oak's Mid-Summer Mardi Gras and other outdoor events requiring certain attire — where people tend to get really hot and drunk. Most of the time, we spend our summer days complaining about the heat and waiting in line for sno-balls. While going outside right now still feels like living inside a Crock Pot (although this tropical storm weather might bring us a cool front, along with a lot of car flooding), the insane amount of events coming up means that summer is officially over. I'm already hungover just thinking about them.

First, the fall music calendar is both wonderful and terrifying. If you're a 20-something who listens to daytime WTUL shows and NPR's All Songs Considered and reads Pitchfork (in secret), you're going to be very busy these next few months. Just in September alone, we've got Dodos with the Luyas at One Eyed Jacks on Sunday, Sept. 4; Vivian Girls with Widowspeak and Au Ras Au Ras at Siberia Sept. 11; Bright Eyes with First Aid Kit at the House of Blues Sept. 13; buzzbands Foster the People and Cults also at HOB Sept. 19; Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, The Head & the Heart and The Devil Whale at OEJ Sept. 20 — and the next day at OEJ, Neon Indian with Com Truise. The month ends with Peter Bjorn & John with Dinosaur Feathers Sept. 26 at OEJ, Explosions in the Sky with Wye Oak at Tipitina's Sept. 28, and Junior Boys at OEJ on the 30th. And those are just the ones I'm excited about; there are probably millions of others I'm missing.

October is also looking great for music: the magical Tune-Yards and the girl-band super group WILD FLAG are both stopping at OEJ, on Oct. 2 and 26, respectively. And of course there's the Voodoo Music Experience.

As for other events, there's Southern Decadence this weekend, Culture Collision at NOMA this upcoming Wednesday — which gets really crowded, causing many a collision of people carrying tiny plates of food, as well as that of culture — the New Orleans Seafood Festival that weekend (chargrilled oysters) and a million charity events. Before you know it it'll be October, when of course there's Halloween (start working on your "sexy [occupation]" costume now, girls) and Voodoo, and also everyone's favorite comedian of the moment Louis C.K. at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on the 6th.

For those of us who tend to over-schedule, how do we partake in all these things without treating our bodies like garbage cans? All the alcohol, food and secondhand (or firsthand) smoke consumed at these events is surely detrimental to our health, guaranteeing a lingering cold from Halloween until Christmas. Sure, you could not drink at these things, but what would you do with your hands? And I guess you say no to the passed hors d'oeuvres, but what if you have no will power? I'm trying to answer these questions myself, and I've already thought of a few rules I may or may not actually follow:

1. Drink Diet Coke or Sugar Free Red Bull at shows instead of booze, because artificial sweeteners and other carcinogens have fewer calories than alcohol and don't cause hangovers. Or there's always water.

2. Starve oneself all day prior to whatever food-focused event one is going to (... but end up getting embarrassingly drunk due to empty stomach and fall down the stairs at NOMA's Great Hall).

3. Wear decorated surgical masks to music venues where smoking is allowed (hey, Nicki Minaj did it at the VMAs).

Or, we could forget being healthy and take cues from the bears, and consider this time a fattening-up period in preparation for winter hibernation — when we'll go back to complaining about the weather again.

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