Tuesday, February 20, 2018

'Not meant for this world': St. Vincent's performance art pop lights up the Civic Theatre

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 7:00 PM

PHOTO BY NEDDA ASFARI
  • PHOTO BY NEDDA ASFARI

Annie Clark celebrated President’s Day emerging from behind a heavy black curtain, pulled back just a bit to let her slip out from behind it. A slim spotlight revealed her standing cross-legged, a translucent alien wrapped in what looked like 3-D-printed flamingo pink vinyl, immediately singing a spare arrangement of “Marry Me” from her 2007 debut.

The curtain peeled back as she was handed a guitar for the harmonics bouncing into “Now Now,” another from Marry Me. “I’m not anything,” she sang on its chorus, lingering on and repeating “I’m not any” before reaching the “thing,” seemingly blurring “any” into “Annie” with each repetition and introducing Clark’s performance art counterpart as St. Vincent.

She performed alone onstage throughout her Feb. 19 show at the Civic Theatre, a two-act piece of theater on a stage marrying a heightened, frightening Pee-wee’s Playhouse future with her absurd Day-Glo palette. Framed on a small circular platform onstage, or under dramatic spotlight, she performed by herself, accompanied by offstage production, losing herself and body, voice and guitar in a gorgeous, peculiar choreography strictly synchronized with visceral light displays, even as she disintegrated into explosive guitar breaks. Stage lights cut to a room-filling black with the end of each song, each a scene in a play.

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Alon Shaya will open modern Israeli restaurant in Uptown in spring

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 12:45 PM

Chef Alon Shaya will open a new modern Israeli restaurant, Saba, in Uptown this spring. - COURTESY POMEGRANATE HOSPITALITY
  • COURTESY POMEGRANATE HOSPITALITY
  • Chef Alon Shaya will open a new modern Israeli restaurant, Saba, in Uptown this spring.

Chef Alon Shaya announced plans to open two Israeli restaurants this spring. Saba, which means grandfather in Hebrew, will open in Uptown and focus on the chef’s Israeli heritage, paying homage to the country’s culinary influences from the Middle East, Europe and North Africa.

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French Quarter Festival announces lineup for April 12-15 event

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 10:40 AM

Jon Cleary will perform at French Quarter Festival. - PHOTO BY DANIELLE MOIR
  • PHOTO BY DANIELLE MOIR
  • Jon Cleary will perform at French Quarter Festival.

French Quarter Festival announced its music lineup and details for its 35th event April 12-15 in the French Quarter. Performers include Irma Thomas, Jon Cleary, Chocolate Milk, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Cyril Neville and Swamp Funk, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Zachary Richard, Brass-A-Holics, Sweet Crude, Rebirth Brass Band, Little Freddie King, Bill Summers & Jazalsa, Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, Amanda Shaw, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, the Ellis Marsalis Quintet, Mia Borders. The festival will feature more than 300 bands on 23 stages. The daily lineup is below.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Testy Algiers residents express doubts about pedestrian bridge project

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 10:18 PM

New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) released this rendering of the new ferry terminal in December.
  • New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) released this rendering of the new ferry terminal in December.

A Feb. 19 meeting about a forthcoming pedestrian bridge over the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad tracks turned testy as Algiers residents peppered a lead architect with questions about the project's design.

The bridge, which intends to help ferry riders cross the tracks without long delays behind trains, was proposed after plans for a new terminal that did not include a bridge drew criticism from Algiers residents and other people who take the ferry. But the prevailing sense at Algiers Auditorium Monday was that too little had been done to incorporate rider input, leaving a terminal design and bridge location riders fear will expose them to the rain and heat as they move between the bridge, the ticket station and along gangways.

"Our extreme concern for shelter is over all of this. No one wants to get soaking wet," Connie Burks, an Algiers resident, said. "The idea of the unimpeded cone took more precedence."

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Funeral services, second line announced for Mr. Okra

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 6:05 PM

Mr. Okra at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. - PHOTO BY FRANK ETHERIDGE
  • PHOTO BY FRANK ETHERIDGE
  • Mr. Okra at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Arthur "Mr. Okra" Robinson's funeral will be held Sunday, Feb. 25. The iconic New Orleans fruit and vegetable vendor died Feb. 15 at age 75.
A walk-through visitation is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Marigny Opera House (725 St Ferdinand St.), to be followed by a reception at BJ's Lounge (4301 Burgundy St.). There also is a fundraiser to cover funeral costs.

A memorial second line is tentatively set for Monday, Feb. 26. A route and time have yet to be announced.

His daughter Sergio Robinson plans to be back on the road soon, carrying on the singing vendor tradition from the front seat of Mr. Okra's unmistakable painted truck.

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Y@ Speak: Mardi Gras 2018

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 6:00 PM

New Orleans says goodbye to Carnival and Mr. Okra, and Mardi Gras 2018 closes with everyone's favorite thing on which to dunk: the Rex-Comus meeting of the courts.

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Pop-Up Magazine, 'live magazine' and storytelling show, is in New Orleans Feb. 23

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 2:59 PM

PHOTO BY ERIN BRETHAUER
  • PHOTO BY ERIN BRETHAUER

What if reading a magazine were more like watching a play — i.e., you could share it with a roomful of people? That's more or less the premise behind Pop-Up Magazine, which brings its winter tour to New Orleans Feb. 23.

The show, which bills itself as a "live magazine," adapts a variety of stories from writers, journalists and artists, adding multimedia elements and incorporating an orchestral score to create 3- to 12-minute storytelling pieces. The resulting performance is in a medium that is less curl-up-with-a-book night in and more collective outing, senior story producer Anita Badejo says.

"If you read an article or you listen to a podcast, that tends to be a very solitary experience," she says. "[With our show], people are experiencing it together, in a room ... as part of kind of a community."

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Robert Randolph headlines NOLA Brewing party March 3

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 12:16 PM

Robert Randolph and the Family Band will perform at NOLA Brewing Company.
  • Robert Randolph and the Family Band will perform at NOLA Brewing Company.

NOLA Brewing Company (3001 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-896-9996) celebrates its ninth birthday with new beers, boiled crawfish and music by Robert Randolph & the Family Band and Jonathan "Boogie" Long March 3 at the brewery.

Robert Randolph learned to play pedal steel guitar in the scared steel tradition in church in New Jersey. His band plays a mix of funk, soul and R&B and became popular with jam band fans. Its 2017 album Got Soul was nominated for a Best Contemporary Blues Album.

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Gambit's Digital Edition, February 20, 2018

Posted on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 9:36 AM

Friday, February 16, 2018

Editorial: New Orleans needs a local power source

Posted By on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 2:18 PM

GRAPHIC BY DAVID KROLL
  • GRAPHIC BY DAVID KROLL

The New Orleans City Council soon willdecide whether to allow the local Entergy affiliate to build a new electric power plant in New Orleans East. The proposed “peaking plant” would provide New Orleanians with immediate power during periods of greatest demand — on the hottest days of summer, during hard freezes, and after severe weather events such as hurricanes. The council has been studying this issue for almost two years, and its Utilities Committee is scheduled to make a recommendation next Wednesday (Feb. 21). The full council will likely decide the issue next month.

Entergy New Orleans (ENO) wants to build a 226-megawatt facility, which local utility watchdog the Alliance for Affordable Energy rightly criticizes as inappropriate. In the face of this and other criticism, ENO has proposed an alternate 128-megawatt facility. The Alliance opposes this plan as well, suggesting that the council force ENO to use alternative energy sources — particularly solar power.

For most of the past century, the council has regulated ENO and its predecessors. Council members in recent decades have done a good job of holding the local utility’s feet to the fire — thanks largely to a battery of technical and legal advisors who have helped them navigate the arcane waters of utility regulation. In the present matter, the council’s advisors unanimously recommend approval of the smaller plant, which is roughly one-fifth the size of the old Michoud generating station. We agree, and we likewise agree with the consultants’ recommendation that ENO invest heavily in alternative power sources (including solar) and upgrades to its distribution system.

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