Jan V. Ramsey

July 23rd

An Outsider’s Perspective

Sometimes it’s so useful to see your universe from an outsider’s perspective. An old friend sent me some pages from the New York Review of Books that reviewed Richard Campanella’s Bourbon Street: A History and Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. I’ve started reading the latter, but stopped [...]

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July 16th

Everything Old Can Be New Again

One of the better things about getting to be, shall we say, “advanced in years,” is that when things go around they tend to come around again, usually in a different format: everything old can be new again. It’s crazy that the pop stuff I was listening to in the late ‘70s and ‘80s whose [...]

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July 9th

Buffa’s Sued Because of Music

Here we go again: Buffa’s Bar on Esplanade has been sued by Sidney Torres IV about the intolerable music that emanates from Buffa’s back room. Buffa’s has presented music at the bar for at least 30 years, testified the owners of the building. Here’s the situation, as simply as I can put it (see this article [...]

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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

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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June 1st

Beer Tastings on Tap

This month, WYES hosts two fundraisers, a private beer sampling and an international beer-tasting event, that together offer an excellent opportunity to taste some of the best new brews as well as support the local public-broadcasting station. Both take place at Mardi Gras World; the sixth-annual Private Beer Sampling is on Friday, June 13 (7-10 p.m.) [...]

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May 1st

In The Spirit: “Shake the Devil Off” by Kimberly Patton-Bragg of Tivoli & Lee

Washboard Chaz and I have a New York connection. A gentleman I did Shakespeare with up there used to jam with Washboard Chaz when he lived in San Francisco, so we all connected when I moved down here. Chaz doesn’t know yet that I’m creating this drink for him, for the Tin Men, but I [...]

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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

July 1st

Gaynielle Neville, Woman Power (Independent)

Gaynielle Neville is the longtime singing/songwriting partner of her husband Cyril Neville, here making her solo debut. Since she’s been in many of Cyril’s bands, the music mix here is what you’d expect: A little reggae, a little smooth soul and a lot of funk. As a singer, she’s earned the spotlight: She’s got a [...]

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July 1st

Back Talk: Chris Smither

Even though he left New Orleans nearly a half-century ago, acoustic legend Chris Smither has practically been a local fixture of late. Last year found Smither in town to record his double-CD, Still on the Levee, which revisits songs from throughout his career with Allen Toussaint, Loudon Wainwright III and other admirers. He returned to [...]

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June 1st

Eden Brent, Jigsaw Heart (Yellow Dog Records)

Mississippi blues woman Eden Brent has an interesting backstory. Early in her career she befriended blues elder Boogaloo Ames, and was his protégée (and eventual caretaker) for 16 years until his death in 2002. Their partnership was celebrated in the PBS documentary “Sustaining the Sound” and a second TV documentary in South Africa, where she [...]

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Luke R. Ilardo

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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July 14th

Tales of the Cocktail 2014 Takes Over New Orleans

The 12th annual Tales of the Cocktail festival will take over the French Quarter from July 16-20 with an array of parties, seminars, awards ceremonies and countless opportunities to imbibe. Here’s a breakdown of some of the many Tales of the Cocktail 2014 events you can attend. Monday Spanning from Monday, July 14th, to Monday, [...]

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July 7th

Lawsuit Seeks to Silence Buffa’s Bar and Restaurant

Buffa’s Bar and Restaurant is being sued by prominent New Orleans businessman Sidney Torres IV for allegedly violating the city’s noise ordinance. The lawsuit, filed by 1011 Esplanade Avenue, Inc., a property owned by Torres, seeks to strip Buffa’s of it’s Mayoralty Permit, which serves as a live music permit in Orleans Parish. Buffa’s, operating [...]

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