Que pasa, neighbors! Welcome to Spare Parts, a new addition to OffBeat. I’ll be shamelessly plugging New Orleans musicians, artists, writers, business folks, clubs, record companies, actors, bartenders, go-go dancers…well, you’ll get a better idea by just reading on, darlin’!
ROCK ‘N’ BOWL WILL NEVER DIE DEPT.…Mid City Lanes (at Carrollton and Tulane Avenues) will be celebrating their 50th anniversary the weekend of June 7 and 8. Friday, you can groove to the Carl “Sonny” Leyland Trio (no cover) while Saturday will feature a special “Support Our Troops” extravaganza with the Dixie Cups plus surprise guests. The $5 cover that night will be donated to the parade celebrating the homecoming of our troops from Operation Desert Storm. Mid City’s owner John Blancher has made his bowling alley one of the most entertaining live music venues in town. Highlights during Jazz Fest were the Iguanas (who set a new attendance record) and the Blues Harmonica Showdown.
WALK DON’T RUN DEPT.…You still have until June 16 to catch Wanda Rouzan’s stunning portrayal of Billie Holiday in the Ibis Productions revue Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Directed by Tommye Myrick and featuring Ellis Marsalis as Billie’s pianist Jimmy Powers, this show at Gisclair’s (200 Magazine Street) gave me goosebumps. Check it out!
ART FOR ART’S SAKE DEPT.…Did you ever notice a tall, blonde dude sitting near the stage and painting portraits of the bands you went out to see during the past two months? That dude was Tom X, and if you would like a closer look at the many fine paintings he made of bands like the Stone Poets, the House Levelers, Tribe Nunzio, Rockin’ Dopsie, Rebirth Brass Band, Charmaine Neville, the Basin Brothers, the Iguanas, Blue Sister and many other acts call (504) 947-0353 for more info.
PARTY OF THE MONTH AWARD…goes to Craig Dietz and Richard Stewart for the fiesta they threw at “Edgar’s Cantina” (aka Latin American Bar at 2604 Magazine Street). “Calle Periodica” almost got shut down during the bash as the crowd of Latino-costumed revelers danced to the mariachi band in front of the restaurant.
RUMORS PUT TO REST DEPT.…I ran into Harry Shearer several times during Jazz Fest (didn’t everyone?—the man was everywhere!) and he denied the rumors I’d heard of a sequel to Spinal Tap, the classic “goof on heavy metal” movie he starred in with Christopher Guest and Michael McKean. “The first one would be too hard an act to follow,” Shearer said.
COMING SOON TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD DEPT.…Crackle! will emphasize “performance, drag, dancers and video” explained Clinton Peltier in regards to his newest nightclub venture (he also manages Snap! and Pop!—get it?). The location is yet to be finalized but the club should open by the end of June.
GROOVY GALLERY GUIDELINE DEPT.…On your way to or from the Reggae Riddums Festival at the Old City Park Driving Range, don’t miss the opening at Bienville Gallery (Magazine and Felicity Streets) Saturday June 8 from 6-9 p.m. The show will feature recent paintings by Michael Fedor, Jane Howard and Amy Robinson. If you’re strolling down Royal Street, visit the brand new Chimera Gallery at 319 Royal. Up in the Garden District, check out the new gallery boutique Circ de Ville (2038 Magazine Street) run by hat-maker extraordinaire Oliver and human being extraordinaire Wild Cisco Indian Thunder.
NIGHTCLUBBING HIGHLIGHTS DEPT. …As usual, April and May were the hottest music months in New Orleans. Besides the always overwhelming Jazz Fest, a few gigs around town that blew my brains away were: Arthur Ebeling, a singer/guitarist/songwriter from Amsterdam who cooked up a fine rockin’ stew at Café Brasil; Percussion Inc. at Café Instanbul; The Clements Brothers every Thursday at Howlin’ Wolf; King Missile and Roger Manning at Tipitina’s; Jimmy Buffett’s un-announced gig at Café Brasil; and the House Levelers mindboggling record release party at Tip’s.
BON VOYAGE DEPT.…To Tribe Nunzio, who will be spending most of their summer vacation playing in Colorado and Wyoming. And to Jonathan Blum, world-renowned “forehead portraitist,” who will be moving to Provincetown to work on a solo show.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST DEPT.…If y’all have something you want publicized (books, magazines, records, art shows, events, plays, etc.) you can send it to me c/o OffBeat or contact me in person at the magazine at (504) 522-5533. So, until next month, adios and stay regular!