Stevenson J. Palfi’s 1982 documentary Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together (58:19) is a remarkable look at three generations of New Orleans keyboard masters, Isidore “Tuts” Washington, Henry “Professor Longhair” Byrd, and Allen Toussaint.
It's time to say so long to legendary Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Bo Dollis, who, for many years, led his Wild Magnolias through the streets of the Crescent City. Handa Wanda, Big Chief, Ho Na Nae and Jockomo Jockomo. Oops Upside Your Head [more inside]
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 (previously), Express Yourself with Diplo (previously), 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.
Going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and finding yourself worried about bathroom options? Try AirPnP. Like Airbnb, but for bathrooms. [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]
December 4th, 1928, in a New Orleans park: two boys dance while another plays a homemade drum kit.
Brandan Odums makes important and beautiful art in the ruins of New Orleans's 9th Ward [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]
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros play an acoustic session while moving through the French Quarter of New Orleans on a horse-drawn carriage.
"'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]
Everyone Hates The Oogles: Exploring The Animosity Towards New Orleans' Panhandling Punks [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]
"For NOLA-shot 'Looper' soundtrack, composer [Nathan Johnson] relies on the music of munitions." (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]
Hubig's Pies, 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.
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. (SLYT)
'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.
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, Portland, 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]
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!
More worries in New Orleans, this time from the Police Department. Within three weeks, Police Superintendent Warren Riley (as seen on the left) has suspended three NOPD officers in separate incidents: one for leading Crescent City Connection police on a high speed chase which ended in one pursuit officer grazed by the fleeing car and another slapped (video). One involved an off-duty officer brandishing a gun at a children's camp and shouting expletives, apparently even backed up by responding officers, according to witness accounts. Another was suspended for wearing the wrong colored shirt on the day he retired, a punishment Riley sees as appropriate as a "consequence of his actions".
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.
When the levees broke, he looked for was his camera and a boat. This Times-Picayune photographer tells his story of what happened next.
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.
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.)