Contrary to appearances, there was no Thanksgiving Day Massacre around the OffBeat offices. “Eye Music,” “Crescent City Bounce,” “Strictly Jazz,” “10 West” and all of our other regular columns will return next month.
But we needed the columnists’ space even more than their wisdom this issue, so that we could include as many photos as possible in our “48 Hours of Music In New Orleans.”
Similar projects have been attempted in other towns, but never, as far as we know, has one been tailored specifically to chronicle a city’s musical life. What better place to try it than here, where, as it turns out, there is even more diversity than we imagined.
We wound up with nearly 100 photos that we would have liked to run (thanks to the folks at Eastman Kodak for the donated film), but even by robbing the columnists, we only had room for about 60. Hopefully, the others will turn up in some form down the road. We’ll keep you posted.
VEDDER DOWN WITH O.P.P … Pearl Jam’s Status as the nation’s biggest rock band-its second album, Vs., broke the all-time single-week sales record upon its release in October — has landed singer Eddie Vedder and company on the covers of Rolling Stone, Time, Spin and Musician.
While in New Orleans the week of Nov. 15 for three sold-out shows at the Lakefront Arena, Vedder added a front page TImes-Picayune story to his clip file, but not for reasons he would have chosen: Vedder was arrested early on the morning of Nov. 18 following a Decatur Street brawl that sent Chicago White Sox pitcher (and Vedder pal) Jack McDowell to the hospital and Vedder to Orleans Parish Prison.
According to witnesses, after Pearl Jam’s gig at the Lakefront Arena on Nov. 17, Vedder and other members of the band turned up at George Porter Jr.’s show at Margaritaville. They then he added across the street to Molly’s.
Around 4am on the 18th, Vedder got into an argument with patrons outside The Crystal, another Decatur Street watering hole. A brawl ensued, and McDowell was struck in the face and fell, splitting his head on a Jeep bumper on the way to the ground. He was patched up at Charity Hospital.
Vedder was arrested and charged with public drunkenness and disturbing the peace. He posted a bond and was released.
In addition to jall, Vedder spent time at Daniel Lanois’ Kingsway Studios. Pearl Jam contributed to an album-in-progress by Shreveport songwriter Victoria Williams. lncidently, Vic was not involved in the riot.
LUMP RULES … Some 300 local rock fans turned up at the Howlin’ Wolf on Nov. 11 for OffBeat’s second annual Rock-A-Ranta Playoff. As a media sponsor of the South By Southwest Musk and Media Conference (a music biz confab held in Austin each March), we may choose one band for a coveted SXSW showcase slot. For two years now, we’ve picked six semi-finalist bands from submitted tapes and let them duke it out onstage at Rock-A-Rama in front of a panel of judges.
This year’s contestants included the Bagdaddies, the Bingemen, the Boondoggles, Clones At Play, Galactic Prophylactic and Lump.
The sharp-eared judges-Abita Beer’s Jim Brasher, Dee Joyce from WWL- TV, Robinson Mills from the Egyptian Room studio, Grant Morris from WZRH-FM (106.1 The Zephyr) and yours truly — gave the prize to Lump in a close race.
SINGING THE PRAISES …It wouldn’t be Christmas without Tipitina’s Annual Gospel Extravaganza, scheduled for Dec. 23 at 9pm. The voices being showcased that night belong to Jo “Cool” Davis, Raymond Myles and the First Revolution Gospel Singers.
DR. JOHN, PEDIATRICIAN … Another staple of the holiday season is Dr. John’s annual “Such A Night” concert benefiting Children’s Hospital.
On Dec. 10, the New Island Social Aid And Pleasure Club, the Charmaine Nev11le Band with Reggie Houston and Amasa Miller, and a host of young local performers will join the Doctor at Tipitina’s.
General admission tickets are $15 at the door; special patron tickets-which entitle the bearer to a jazz dinner cruise aboard the Cajun Queen and balcony seats at the Tip’s concert-are available for $100. All proceeds benefit the Family Support Program of Children’s Hospital. Call 896-9373 for more info.
BEYOND RED RIBBONS … Over 500 artists have contributed some 3,000 works to this year’s
“Art Against AIDS,” a show and auction at the Canal Place Shopping Centre to benefit the NO/AIDS Task Force. The Contemporary Arts Center and the New Orleans Museum of Art sponsor the event.
The works — which include 20 limited-edition lamps sculpted in wood, designer faux-mink Teddy Bears, ornaments and wreaths — will be on display on Thur. and Fri., Dec. 2nd-3rd, from 9am to 8pm, and on Sat., the 4th, from 9am to 6pm. The items will be available for sale at a gala auction — with continuous music, an open bar, and a buffet — from 8:30pm to midnight that Saturday. Tickets to the gala are $50 each, available at the door or in advance from the NO/AIDS Task Force (945-4000).
CLASSY CHRISTMAS … For the third year in a row, “Nutcracker Swing,” the acclaimed Yuletide concert of dance and Big Band jazz, will bring the music of Duke Ellington and jazzed-up holiday classics to the State Palace Theatre.
Tickets to this year’s show — scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3 at 8pm — are available at the Theatre’s box office or by calling 522-4435.
ERRATA … Local harp man Smoky Greenwell reports that his name is not, in fact, “Sonny,” which was how it appeared in October’s “Crescent City Bounce.”
And Brint Anderson’s Tribute to Elmore James was co-produced by Anderson and Roger Branch, not Mark Bingham, as last month’s “Testifyin'” stated.
IN BRIEF … After a hiatus of more than a year, the venerable Danny Barker and his Jazz hounds have resumed their Wednesday night gig at the Palm Court Cafe.
The Atlanta-based Donkey, who are toted as a “musical cocktail of swing, style and sex appeal combining elements of Frank Sinatra and The Clash,” bring their roadshow to Cafe Brasil on Dec. 10.
An exhibit of nudes by Baton Rouge-based photographer Jim Fairchild — whose images of clothed subjects occasionally appear in these pages-opens at Fraga Galleries (4530 Magazine) on Sat., Dec. 4th. Call 899-7002 for more info.
AND FINALLY …The OffBeat writers will chronicle their favorites of ’93 in the January issue. So all you bands with early — December gigs still have a shot of making somebody’s list.