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New Orleans Suspects, photo by Jerry Moran, OffBeat Magazine, October 2014

New Orleans Suspects are the Oldest New Band

For those not hip to Greek mythology, the Ouroboros is a serpent that swallows its own tail, an emblem of infinity and the circularity of life. This struck the New Orleans Suspects as an appropriate title for their new album, and an apt symbol for the band itself. “Man, nothing really defines so well who [...]

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Meshell Ndegeocello, OffBeat Magazine, October 2014

Ten Questions with Meshell Ndegeocello

She’s back. Meshell Ndegeocello, the enchanting empress of neo-soul, has spent decades stirring together soul and funk, sex, politics and religion, jazz, R&B and rap into a career that places her in a genre all her own. Ndegeocello’s latest journey has resulted in Comet Come to Me, an emotional storm. I was introduced to Ndegeocello [...]

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Lost Bayou Ramblers, OffBeat Magazine, October 2014

Lost Bayou Ramblers Begin a New Phase

The last time the Lost Bayou Ramblers released a live album, they had never collaborated with Hollywood starlets, Barack Obama had yet to be elected president, there was officially a war going on in Iraq, the Saints had only watched the Super Bowl on television, and you could have paid under $3 for a gallon [...]

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Bobby Rush, photo by Kim Welsh, OffBeat Magazine, October 2014

Bobby Rush is Still a Bayou Boy

“I’m almost back at home,” Bobby Rush exclaims with a laugh. Youthful for age 80, Rush is laughing because what he means is that since he lives in Jackson, Mississippi, he’s much closer to Homer, Louisiana, where he was born, than he was earlier in his career. The guitarist, vocalist, harmonica player, composer and bandleader [...]

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Prospect.3, OffBeat Magazine, October 2014

Prospect.3 Tackles Sound-Oriented Pieces in New Orleans

“Who are we? What are we? Where are we going?” These are some of the questions curator Franklin Sirmans hopes to tackle through his selections for Prospect.3: Notes for Now, the third incarnation of New Orleans’ international art biennial. Founded by Dan Cameron in the years after Hurricane Katrina, this year’s exhibition runs from October [...]

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Joshua Caffery, OffBeat Magazine, October 2014

Joshua Caffery Takes a Fresh Look at Alan Lomax’s Louisiana Recordings

In the 1850s, French aristocrat Amédée Carayon-Latour crafted “L’Armour et Fanatisme,” a song from the point of view of an Islamic knight in love with a blue-eyed Christian girl. It ends terribly: Their love is forbidden by Allah, so he heads to battle where he will likely die in the first wave of fighting. But [...]

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Bella Blue, Jason Kruppa, OffBeat Magazine, September 2014

A Day in the Life of Burlesque Diva Bella Blue

It is 11:50 p.m. on a Saturday at the Allways Lounge—10 minutes before cutting-edge burlesque spectacle the Dirty Dime Peep Show is set to begin—and producer/performer Bella Blue has just arrived from another show. As she enters the small dressing room with mirrors and posters quoting “Young hearts be free tonight” from Rod Stewart’s “Young [...]

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Laundry Day, OffBeat Magazine, September 2014

Checkpoint Charlie Bar Fight Spawns Independent Film “Laundry Day”

The whole place launched into a melee. A bar stool struck the bartender; pint glasses flew; instruments were thrown aside; people were dragged out by their hair. Writer/director Randy Mack was new to the city and had just rolled up to a dark French Quarter drinking post, dumped his clothes in their back-room washing machine, [...]

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Tuba Skinny, OffBeat Magazine, September 2014

Tuba Skinny Stays on the Street

  It’s easy to understand why musicians who can’t get indoor gigs would play on the streets for tips. It’s harder to understand why they would keep busking even after they’ve graduated to nightclubs and jazz festivals. Tuba Skinny, the New Orleans trad-jazz septet that emerged from the city’s fertile busking scene to hit the [...]

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Wynton Marsalis, Frank Stewart, OffBeat Magazine, August 2014

Wynton Marsalis on Louis Armstrong, New Orleans, and America

When Louis Armstrong was only age 21 at the dawn of the Jazz Age, he left his hometown of New Orleans to seek his fortune. By 1928, he’d become the toast of the town in New York City after making a series of recordings that essentially defined jazz. A half century later, Wynton Marsalis, another [...]

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