All this stuff is more interesting than you might surmise...

Enter the OffBeat Archives

Here’s a heads-up for readers under the age of 30: once you hit 25, you’re not really going to change much—in your mind.

You’ll learn more (hopefully), which is the benefit of age, but your personality and habits are pretty much set by the time you reach 30. And you never really get any older in your mind. Your body doesn’t do what it did when you were 21, or 25 or 30, but your mind still thinks it’s 30.

All this stuff is more interesting than you might surmise...

All this stuff is more interesting than you might surmise…

This fact struck me when I was being interviewed about all the artwork and memorabilia that we have in the OffBeat office. It’s still as though I’m just beginning the magazine. I’m 30 years older, but I forget about the history we’ve accumulated in our office.

We’re hosting an interesting, intimate event this Friday night at the Inner Recess Gallery at 1068 Magazine Street that will include music and stories by Sarah Quintana, food and drink and a number of the photos, paintings and other work that OffBeat has gathered over the past 30 years: acquisitions, gifts, covers, photos, artwork, posters and a lot more.

It’s really amazing how much interesting and beautiful stuff we have, most by local artists and photographers.

Hannah Swenson (OffBeat’s special events manager), who is putting together the art portion of the event, was interviewing me and asking me questions about the history of a lot of the pieces she sees in the office every day, many of which were covers of OffBeat in its early years. Each piece generates a story that spreads out tentacles to include many other musicians, friends and acquaintances we’ve met or worked with over the years.

The interview process was sort of a walk down memory lane—and to tell you the truth, I’d forgotten about a lot of what we have (since I’m only 30 in my brain!). It was kind of cool to get a refresher in what we’ve done over the past three decades and to remember our process of documenting and promoting New Orleans music in a way that describes the music and culture in a literary, in-depth way, with a lot of visual features to keep it even more fascinating.

Listening to local music and experiencing our culture is wonderful, but the back-story and history of how music and culture came to be makes it a lot deeper and richer in the telling. I think the stories OffBeat tell is words and pictures plumbs emotional depths that complement the music itself. Music by itself is emotional, for true, but adding in the story behind the music is something else again.

The event this Friday, that got me talking about the stuff in our office, also demonstrated  that we have enough materials—books, photos, artwork, awards, paintings, sculpture, notes, old issues and memorabilia–for an OffBeat “museum” of sorts, or if nothing else, a super-duper archive (now we just need an archivist!).

Hope you’ll make it to the event on Friday evening, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

P.S. If you haven’t already, take a look at our new website. We’re proud of it and are still populating it with current (and archival content).