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Jan V. Ramsey

September 1st

We’re All In This Together

It’s that time of year again. I sincerely hope that when this issue of OffBeat hits the street—scheduled for August 28—it will end up in your hands on the day it’s supposed to. As I write this, the week before the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, there are two potential tropical storms that could develop into [...]

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August 27th

Southern Decadent Culture and Lifestyle

How much thought do you give to your “culture and lifestyle”? Probably not that much, I would imagine. But the fact is that there are a lot of different kinds of cultures bubbling under the surface of the niceties that most of us observe as American “culture.” I think most everyone would admit there’s a [...]

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August 20th

Survey says trad jazz

For the past couple of months, OffBeat has posted a survey on our website, just to get an idea of what our readers like, their opinions on political matters related to music, how they use information and more. Last week, we polled our readers and asked them “If you had one night to experience music [...]

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Treme Blog

December 30th

Treme: A Tale of Two Cities
(S4 E5, Series Finale)

David Simon’s Treme, the American auteur’s loving and unflinching portrait of New Orleans, is now history after Sunday’s final episode. People compare it to his masterpiece, The Wire, which similarly lacked big viewership numbers while it was running, but became a cult hit once it was over. Treme is a different animal from The Wire, [...]

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December 23rd

Treme’s Legacy (S4 E4)

Here’s a good question: If you died today what would you leave behind that you would be remembered for? That’s the question being asked in the penultimate episode of HBO’s Treme. No matter what happens in next Sunday’s final episode, the question now hangs over the entire series.The question takes on even greater weight in [...]

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December 18th

Joe Krown, Lolis Elie, Chef Blanchard Guest at Buffa’s 12/22 Treme Viewing Party

There are only two episodes left of HBO’s Treme series. It has been a fun and interesting four years having the HBO crew in town, painting a picture about life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina for the (televised) world. This Sunday, December 22, the second-to-last episode of Treme airs at 8 p.m. (central) and [...]

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Elsa Hahne

September 1st

In the Spirit: Murf Reeves at Erin Rose

I started out as a bouncer in Boston. The first question they asked me was, ‘Can you handle yourself in a fight?’ The main clientele was blacks and skinheads. They all liked playing pool and they all liked Toots and the Maytals—they just didn’t like each other. This was the late ’90s. When I moved [...]

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September 1st

Phillip Lopez Gets to the Root of Things

When you take one of the 16 reservation-only seats at Square Root, you won’t see knives or drops of sweat flying through the air. You won’t hear vegetables being slaughtered, no screams for increased speed, no guttural belly laughs or congratulatory back slaps. It’s eerily quiet, apart from the restaurant’s background soundtrack, which includes both [...]

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June 4th

Photos: Jack White at the Saenger, June 3, 2014

After his cover story in Rolling Stone this month, where Jack White sort of speaks out against musical copycats (the Black Keys following in the footsteps of the White Stripes, Adele selling millions of records in a genre created by Amy Winehouse…) and the music industry that supports them, followed by a mystifying “Apology and Explanation” [...]

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John Swenson

July 1st

Protecting Dave Bartholomew’s Legacy

The modest, wood-frame house at 1616 N. Galvez St. looks pretty much like all its neighbors, but the front door leads to a dynastic kingdom inside. Walk through the sparsely furnished living room and you come to the office of Bang-N-Records and the Bartholomew Boyz, where the sons and grandsons of New Orleans music pioneer [...]

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December 2nd

Treme at Buffa’s–You Better Not Leave

A New Orleans tradition was renewed Sunday night when people gathered in the back room at Buffa‘s to watch the HBO drama Treme and hear one of the featured artists from the show. Guitarist Alex McMurray was Sunday night’s host, performing with pianist Bill Malchow, and he provided the audience of familiar HBO regulars like [...]

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March 16th

Revivalists Score at SxSW

The Revivalists played one of the shows of this young band’s life Friday night at SXSW. The crowd at the Holy Mountain backyard was packed with hardcore fans but also a large media contingent and talent scouts checking for the next big thing. The showcase nature of the gig forced the band into a tighter [...]

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Alex Rawls

May 24th

Times-Picayune Plans to Cut Staff and Publication Days

I had thoughts on the twilight of American Idol based on Ann Powers’ excellent analysis, but the news about changes at The Times-Picayune jumps in front. According to Gambit, The New York Times broke the story that the T-P is going to shift its thrust to, cut the print edition to three days a [...]

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May 15th

Gathering of the Tribe

Jan Ramsey kicked a hornets’ nest when she raised the issue of accessibility at Jazz Fest for those with disabilities. The conversation that followed in the comments on her post is lengthy, rambling and contentious, but there’s a near-universal sense that the festival ought to do better by festgoers who need help getting around. They’re [...]

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May 9th

How Disneylanding Happens

Today’s Times-Picayune has a story by Jaquetta White on the revisions for the planned downtown taxing zone—an area from the river to Claiborne Avenue, and from the Pontchartrain Expressway to Elysian Fields. White writes: As is, the proposal, written and supported by Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration and local tourism leaders and sponsored by state Sen. [...]

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Ben Berman

November 24th

Happy Thanksgiving: A Big Freedia Animated GIF

Nothing says Thanksgiving like an animated GIF of Big Freedia and her dancers poppin in downtown New Orleans, taken from Freedia’s “Y’all Get Back Now” music video. Source:

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October 26th

Experience the Voodoo Experience on Spotify

Listen to our “Experience the Voodoo Experience” playlist on Spotify Even if you’re living under a rock, you know the Voodoo Experience takes place this weekend in City Park. But even the most tuned-in of your friends are unlikely to know all of the artists performing at Voodoo. To make it easy to figure out [...]

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August 24th

Why Does Sly Stone’s Appreciation End In 1973?

Sylvester Stewart, leader of seminal funk band Sly & the Family Stone, is one of the least well understood of a cluster of funk artists who produced memorable hits in the late 1960s through early 1980s. Sly Stone vanished in the ’80s, making brief appearances in public when Sly & the Family Stone were inducted [...]

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Brett Milano

September 1st

The Psycho Sisters, Up On The Chair, Beatrice (RockBeat)

Score one for lasting friendships. Susan Cowsill and Vicki Peterson began singing together in the early ’90s, when both were based in Los Angeles; they planned to make a Psycho Sisters album back then, but fate intervened and put them both in the Continental Drifters. With the Drifters gone, Peterson back in the Bangles and [...]

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September 1st

Backtalk: Paul Thorn

Paul Thorn’s backstory is so good that someone would’ve had to make it up if it wasn’t all true. Born in Elvis’ hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi, Thorn grew up as a Pentecostal preacher’s son who learned all of his music in church, secular music being forbidden. Before turning to music, he was briefly a professional [...]

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September 1st

Sarah McCoy Storms Frenchmen Street

You don’t necessarily have to walk into the Spotted Cat to fall under Sarah McCoy’s spell. On a clear day, her voice carries clear down the street. It’s a hard voice to miss, a deep contralto soaked in blues and likely to break into unearthly wails. Walk into the club and you probably won’t see [...]

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Luke R. Ilardo

August 18th

Fan Funding: Davis Rogan

Musician, satirist, and connoisseur of wine Davis Rogan has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his forthcoming DAVIS album. Rogan has enlisted Andre Bohren to produce the album, which will be recorded at the illustrious Esplanade Studios, also used by Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and Dr. John. “I’ve noticed that some of these Kickstarter narratives [...]

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August 1st

Cowboy Mouth, Go! (Elm City Music)

The tenth studio album from Cowboy Mouth finds the band in familiar territory, but the CD does offer a couple of tracks that deviate from the norm. On “My Little Secret,” Casandra Faulconer’s bass line oozes in as Fred LeBlanc sings, “I may not be the sharpest dresser and I ain’t so debonair / but [...]

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July 15th

Native Lights: From an Abandoned Cattle House to the Circle Bar

Indie rockers Native Lights will play Circle Bar on August 2nd at 10 p.m. Hailing from Oklahoma, Native Lights is composed of Johnathon Ford on bass, Nathan Price on drums, Bryce Chambers on guitar and vocals and Philip Phillips on guitar. In November of 2010, Native Lights set up a small-scale recording studio in a [...]

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