Archive for the ‘New Orleans’ Category

Sorry if that headline is misleading — no Trombone Shorty/Carl Sandburg mashup is in the offing. (That I know of.)

But two quick noteworthy links:

1. Trombone Shorty was on Sound Opinions (great show) recently. The interview was fine (nothing revelatory to anyone who has been paying attention to New Orleans music  in the last, say, decade), but the performances are really excellent. Listen to the entire show here, or just check out the Trombone Shorty portion here.

2. Leading “SJI” blogger and writer Robert W. Harwood has a nice surprise over I Went Down to St. James Infirmary: The first of a batch of monologues recorded for an “SJI” radio documentary includes some great details about Sandburg and early variations on the song. And he even breaks out his guitar! eally cool… Give it a listen here. And if you want to hear more, tell Mr. Harwood so, he’s looking for feedback!



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Sorry for the melodramatic headline. But “coupla stray notes” didn’t seem adequate.

First: Shortly after returning from our trip to N.O. in connection with the very enjoyable Hypothetical Development Organization opening, I was pleased to receive in the mail the book Louisiana Rambles: Exploring America’s Cajun and Creole Heartland, by Ian McNulty. I managed to sped a bit of time with it this weekend, and enjoyed what I read quite a bit. There’s a piece about the holiday bonfires upriver (also subject of an essay in LfNO), and a nice travelogue about the Angola rodeo — something we attended and I always wish I had written about… but I never did. There are also several pieces about exploring the musical culture of regions around N.O. that I haven’t yet read but am really looking forward to, because those are adventures we never quite found time for during our time in the area.

Anyway I intend to make more use of Mr. McNulty’s observations and explorations on our next trip to Louisiana.

Second note: Another essay in LfNO, which I’ve referred back to often, concerned Claiborne Avenue and I-10. I’ve mentioned there’s talk of somehow reverting this area to some sort of pre-Interstate version of itself (presumably by destroying the freeway, that’s my excuse for the “destruction” headline), but I see from this T-P article that the current state of things is that a study is still being planned. There’s something very New Orleans about that…

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“Implausible Futures For Unpopular Places”
Gallery Du Mois, 4921 Freret St., New Orleans
April 7 – May 7, 2011
Opening reception April 9


The project seems to pose the question: If we can dream this big on paper, then what else could happen?

–Mimi Zeiger, Design Observer: Places

The Hypothetical Development Organization presents a new form of urban storytelling — what Bruce Sterling calls “architecture fiction.”

Borrowing the form of the traditional real-estate development sign, H.D.O and its contributing artists devise and depict engaging, provocative, amusing, and above all implausible future uses for neglected-looking properties. Ten of these unlikely notions — The Museum of the Self, The Loitering Centre, the SnoozerDome, The Radtke Reading Room, Karmalot, and more — have appeared on 3’X5′ signs around New Orleans.

See all of them at Du Mois — plus two new, never-before-seen Hypothetical Developments.

Works by John Becker, Candy Chang, Mark Clayton, Carey Clouse, Michael Doyle, Mauricio Espinosa, Christina Hilliard, Kirsten Hively, Nicole Lavelle, Sergio Humberto Padilla, Dave Pinter, Lauren Stewart, Meg Turner, and the SVA Masters in Branding Class of 2011

Project founders G.K. Darby, Ellen Susan, and Rob Walker will be on hand at the opening, along with several of our contributing artists. Facebook Event page here: http://on.fb.me/HypoDevReception

As seen in Boing Boing: “Hypothetical Development Organization’s real estate fictions.” Good: “Fake Realtors Imagine Artistic Uses for Neglected Buildings.” NOLA Defender: “City of Memes.” And more: from PSFK, Swiss Miss, Core 77, Design Observer, Good Magazine, Josh Spear, Aesthetics of Joy, Archetizer, Huffington Post, Coudal.com, HiLobrow, Unbeige, Bookslut, The Architects Newspaper Blog.

“This must be the closest thing to an architecture-fiction ‘pure play’ to have yet appeared.” — Bruce Sterling


Images of renderings and installations here and here.

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Downtown Soulville, DJ’ed by Mr. Fine Wine, rolls out its Mardi Gras Hangover show, an hour of N.O. soul 45s. Lotsa great stuff, listen here.

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This hardly makes up for the melancholy fact that once again it’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and only Tuesday where we live, but: I was pleased to hear, when listening to the latest episode of the excellent Sound Opinions, a snippet of “SJI.” Or rather, it was a snippet of Josh White’s variation on the tune, “Free and Equal Blues,” played during a long interview with the founder of Elektra.

Happy Mardi Gras, y’all.

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Pic by Steve Witchbeam/WFMU blog; click it for more.

E told me several weeks ago she’d read that the Mother In Law Lounge (a setting explored in LfNO) was closing. There’s a nice batch of pictures of the exterior on the WFMU blog, here.  Steve Witchbeam writes:

Under the impression it was still a happening venue I headed over there with Crow Hill Gnostic Temple’s Sister Jillian to check it out Saturday afternoon. It was weird, even though the outside is covered with vibrant, beautiful and exquisite murals it seemed like the life was gone. We took some pics (below!), hung out and moved on. Sunday afternoon we happened to bump into a person featured on one of the murals, the world class puppet mistress Miss Pussycat, and she informed us we missed the last show there by just a week.

Mr. Witchbeam also points to this (brief) interview with Daniel Fuselier, the artist who painted the Lounge’s murals.

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Here’s a Kickstarter project that looks worthwhile (details, including video with some nice clips, here):

“We Won’t Bow Down” is a feature length documentary on the past, present and future of the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans.

What we are doing:
We are raising money to finish production of the feature length documentary “We Won’t Bow Down” which is six years in the making. This is an exceptionally long schedule for a film, but it has been necessary to properly explore the depth of the extremely secretive Mardi Gras Indian culture.

Why we are doing this:
“We Won’t Bow Down” has been a labor of love and we believe the film is a vehicle to carry the Mardi Gras Indian message of resistance through art, community, hope and healing to the world – while also faithfully documenting an amazing culture.

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