NOLA bounce artist and rapper Nicky Da B is dead
. Nicki was best known for his colorful, aggressively infectious music and videos, including Hot Potato Style
), Express Yourself with Diplo
), and his collaboration with photographer Clayton Cubitt Go Loko
(NSFW, strobe and flashes warning)
Before the world knew him as Dr. John, Mr. Mac Rebennack was, as a very young man, already cooking up some utterly groovy, rollicking, jazzy and soulful R&B instrumentals that could've only come from New Orleans. One particularly delightful one was The Point
, and another was Feedbag
. Just let 'em hit ya, man, you're gonna love it.
Given word that he has a few months left to live, a man with lung cancer decides to throw a wake at the New Orleans jazz fest.
Everyone at the party wore nametags with brief descriptions of their backgrounds. The honoree of the night, Louis Misko, wore one that was, like the man himself, abrupt and unflinching:
"The Louis," said the message written in red marker. "Soon to be deceased."
Gaunt, but smiling, Misko circulated through the crowd, relishing conversation with his guests at Pascal's Manale restaurant, most of whom he expected never to see again. He was holding his own memorial, in advance of his death from lung cancer.
Going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and finding yourself worried about bathroom options? Try AirPnP
. Like Airbnb, but for bathrooms. [more inside]
Meet New Orleans' only official Sci-Fi and Fantasy themed parade krewe: Chewbacchus. [more inside]
Lost Dog: The Search For A Forgotten New Orleans Superhero
On a recent Friday night in the Harahan Community Center, the master of ceremonies had the capacity crowd’s attention. “This here,” he promised, “this tonight is gonna be some old-school professional wrestling.” All of us cheered. “Some of you may remember– folks my age, a little younger– the kind of old-school wrestling New Orleans was famous for. I’m talking about a certain Bill Watts. I’m talking about the Junkyard Dog.”
Some jumped to their feet, howling in approval. “Junkyard Dog!” they shouted. Most just clapped politely. When I spoke to people outside during the show’s intermission, no-one younger than forty had much to say about Junkyard Dog. Of the younger attendees, a few knew he was from here, but to the majority he was just another name, a minor figure from the distant days of Hulk Hogan.
Thirty years ago, Junkyard Dog was a New Orleans demigod. [more inside]
Miller's Crossing, 20 Years Later
Photographing (and finding) the exact filming locations for the Coen Brothers' New Orleans classic and comparing them to present day. [via mefi projects
It's The Victory Belles!
The house vocal trio for the National WW2 Museum's Stage Door Canteen in New Orleans perform medleys
of war-time hits
in shimmery brown uniforms
(or Santa suits
"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons."
Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
NOLA to New York
Katrina survivors reach out to Sandy survivors
From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader.
Jerry DeWitt is a former Pentecostal pastor in the evangelical parish of DeRidder, Louisiana who slowly lost his religious faith. Last Fall, he went public with his atheism, committing what he calls "identity suicide," and instantly becoming "the most disliked person in town." Since then, Mr. DeWitt's lost his job, his wife, his community and may be losing his house, but is still persevering and working
to help others
who find themselves in similar circumstances. [more inside]
'Looper' soundtrack, composer
[Nathan Johnson] relies
on the music
." (last two links contain embedded video)
“I am gay, and I’m proud to be called a gay rapper, but it’s not gay rap. That’s not a genre. My goal is always to make songs that a gay dude or a straight dude can listen to and just think, This dude has swag.... The best thing a song can be called is good.” Rapper/producer Le1f, in a short bio article on Fader
, which mentions Le1f being swept up with the "more outlandish" (as Fader writer Alex Frank puts it) House of LaDosha
and Mykki Blanco
. The Guardian has another piece on the rise of gay rappers
, but the Amoeba blog was there first
in 2008, covering a bit of the New Orleans sissies
. More videos and music directly linked inside (and you can assume the music and videos are NSFW). [more inside]
, a New Orleans institution
for almost 100 years burned down last night
in a five-alarm fire. For a city that's already lost so much, this is an especially devastating blow. Hubig's Pies are vital to the spirit of the city
. But they've rebuilt before
, and hopefully they will again.
Hand Crafted Films
, DOCOMOMO Louisiana and the Tulane School of Architecture
present: A Plea For Modernism
from Evan Mather (U.S.A., 2011, 11:59 [alternate YouTube link
The Phillis Wheatley Elementary School
served the historic New Orleans African-American neighborhood of Tremé since it opened in 1955. Celebrated worldwide for its innovative, regionally-expressive modern design – the structure had sustained moderate damage during the storms and levee breach of 2005. DOCOMOMO Louisiana
(autoplaying video) advocated for its restoration via adaptive reuse (For the Roots of Music)
. A Plea For Modernism
is narrated by actor Wendell Pierce
(“The Wire”, “Treme”). [more inside]
Dan Tague is an artist who takes pictures of dollar bills
after folding them to spell out political messages and social commentary. Additional galleries linked on the left of his page. Some of his work is in NYC this week
as part of the VOLTA Art Fair.
is a public installation artist, designer, urban planner and 2011 TED Senior Fellow
based in New Orleans. Her Civic Center
creates projects that try to "make cities more comfortable", and encourage residents to envision alternate urban realities: "I Wish This Was....
/ The NYC Street Vendor Guide
/ "Before I Die... In NOLA
" / The Restroom Map Notepad
/ The Sexy Trees of the Marigny 2011 Calendar
/ The Neighbor Doorknob-Hanger
/ A Nice Place for a Tree
and Post-It Notes for Neighbors
). [more inside]
Let's say that you're Lenny Kravitz and you're relaxing on a balcony in New Orleans when you hear someone singing one of your songs. What do you do? Well, you could always join in.
'If I die,' Brandon Franklin
had said, 'I want all the bands at my funeral.' As Franklin’s family filed out of the eastern New Orleans church and the hearse waited, nearly 300 current and former band members performed a final salute. Via.
"Men working on the river would move in time to the beat of the music. It was everywhere: on the street, in the church. In the tonks and barrelhouses where people went to be together. Like the beating of a big heart. It gave everyone a good feeling." The Cradle is Rocking
is a delightful 12-minute film that, though somewhat damaged (Folkstreams has found what may be the only surviving print), is highly recommended viewing for anyone interested in American roots music: in this case, New Orleans jazz. The film's thoughtful and affable narrator is trumpeter George "Kid Sheik" Cola
, who can be heard along with Captain John Handy serving up some fine old-school Dixieland jazz here
Just ease on into one of the most laid-back grooves to ever weave its way through a New Orleans junkyard, and join the procession as the estimable Dr. John is led through the rusting automobiles on a mule
. After that, you'll be ready to enter the Inner Sanctum of Deep Mystic Hoodoo, with the good Doctor as your intoning, night tripping guide through the Zu Zu Mamou
hallucinations. You won't be the same, afterwards...
Enrich your Halloween experience with some seasonally appropriate art: the whimsical and charming SkeleCANS (flapjax recommends: slideshow viewing)
from New Orleans' indefatigable Skeleton Krewe
One effect of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was to render existing bike maps of the city obsolete and incomplete. The NOLA Cycle Bike Map Project
is a grassroots effort to create a comprehensive, freely-available bicycle map for New Orleans (like those that already exist for Chicago
, and other cities). Because the project is driven by DIY maps produced by individuals
and by volunteer social events organized around mapping different locations that can then be added to the project's database, it's been described as "Wiki-style involvement in the real world
." (Here's some video
of the project.) [more inside]
New Orleans filmmaker Benjamin Reece asks fifty New Orlean's residents a single question: "If you could wish for one thing to happen by the end of the day, what would it be?"
The Gulf Coast has just witnessed what's being called the "the largest evacuation in US history", but let's hear from those hardy souls who stuck around NOLA to ride it out, shall we
? Hey, where else are you gonna see National Guardsmen (charged with the task of enforcing curfew) put down their rifles and take the stage at a local bar for a little blues jam? And be sure to watch the video that accompanies the article: immensely entertaining!
Killings Bring New Orleans to its Bloodied Knees
In the sixth New Orleans murder in less than 24 hours, Helen Hill
was killed and her husband (who co-founded a sliding-scale doctors' office to serve the impoverished community
) was shot in their home Thursday about 5:30 a.m., said police, who found the bleeding man kneeling at the door of the couple's Faubourg Marigny home, clutching their 2-year-old son.
has had a rather interesting life. The apparent principal source for the 'bands of looters killing police'
meme seems to have some connections to that thing they called the Iran-Contra affair as well as being this guy's
brother-in-law and the husband of a certain special someone
When the levees broke,
he looked for was his camera and a boat. This Times-Picayune photographer tells his story of what happened next.
Boobs 4 Bourbon St.
Brit, Justin Ross
, wanting to help out with the Katrina recovery came up with a novel idea to raise money. Use what NOLA is known for best. Boobies. So far a treasure chest of $14K has been raised [via here's my byline]
The Story is Over.
- At least, the story is over for The Indictor
. Being rotated out, he's leaving his post at Outpost Crystal; drawing the curtains on one of the few consistent wellsprings for information from New Orleans.
Louisiana Leads in Army Corps Spending, but Millions Had Nothing to Do With Floods
In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.
[H]undreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Despite a series of independent investigations criticizing Army Corps construction projects as wasteful pork-barrel spending, Louisiana's representatives have kept bringing home the bacon.
New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize
A very enlightening article for anyone needing a little refresher in geography.
New Orleans is not optional for the United States' commercial infrastructure.
The United States historically has depended on the Mississippi and its tributaries for transport. Barges navigate the river. Ships go on the ocean. The barges must offload to the ships and vice versa. There must be a facility to empower this exchange... Without this port, the river can't be used. Protecting that port has been, from the time of the Louisiana Purchase, a fundamental national security issue for the United States.
Convoy on the go.
Most of you probably already know this, but a massive convoy of food in and people out of downtown New Orleans is underway. On CNN they have video from helicopters, showing lines of hundreds of busses. This is a huge relief.
Horror writer Poppy Z Brite
is a NOLA resident affected by Katrina. Here's some journal entries
Toilets of New Orleans.
An anthropological journey for the lost and weary.
Hurricane Risk for New Orleans:
"if that Category Five Hurricane comes to New Orleans, 50,000 people could lose their lives. Now that is significantly larger than any estimates that we would have of individuals who might lose their lives from a terrorist attack. When you start to do that kind of calculus - and it's horrendous that you have to do that kind of calculus - it appears to those of us in emergency management, that the risk is much more real and much more significant, when you talk about hurricanes. I don't know that anybody, though, psychologically, has come to grip with that: that the French Quarter of New Orleans could be gone." (Nb. this excerpt from a fascinating 2002 American RadioWorks documentary does not refer specifically to Ivan.)