Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Short List: Thursday March 31st

Soul Project @ Cafe Negril - 9pm

Chris  Thomas King @ dba - 10pm

Matisyahu @ The Howlin' Wolf - 9pm

Soul Rebels @ Le Bon Temps - 11pm

The Trio with Johnny Vidacovich & George Porter Jr. @ The Maple Leaf - 11pm

Honey Island Swamp Trio @ Oak Wine Bar - 8pm

Khris Royal at the Maple Leaf - 3/30

Photo taken by Bob Compton

Photo taken by Bob Compton

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wednesdays at the Square - Back for the Spring!

Wednesdays at the square is one of my favorite free activities of the spring. All food and drink sales go to benefit the Young Leadership Council and the music is always good. This spring Lafayette square will host some of my favorite New Orleans performers. Check out the art tents too!

Here's the lineup:

March 30th - The Radiators

April 6th - Troy Andrews & Orleans Avenue

April 13th - Kermit Ruffins + Coot

April 20th - Anders Osborne

April 27th - Irvin Mayfield & the Jazz Playhouse Revue

May 4th - Marcia Ball

May 11th - George Porter Jr.

May 18th - The Iguanas

May 25th - Tab Benoit

June 1st - Eric Lindell

June 8th - Galactic

June 15th - Cyril Neville and Monk Boudreaux

Wednesdays 5:30-7pm at Lafayette Square. For more info check out the Wednesdays at the Square Website

The Short List: Tuesday March 29th

Rebirth @ The Leaf - 11pm

Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Ensemble @ Snug Harbor - 8pm

Kermit Ruffins @ Bullet's Sports Bar

Hogs for the Cause at City Park in Retrospect

The tickets were cheap (with money to a good cause) and the music lineup was awesome at first glance. I didn't try the food (vegetarian alert), but my friends who did were pretty happy with what they ate. Not only did I see a few bands I already like, but I  got to hear at least one I'd go see again.

Amanda Shaw was a little spitfire - playing killer fiddle and singing louder than I thought anyone her size could. Girl's got range, energy and a damned good voice.

Honey Island Swamp Band was good as always. They played favorites from both of their albums and kept the crowd dancing. They also did a sweet set with members of Soul Rebels, who had a set right after. The Soul Rebels Brass Band complemented the rest of the lineup nicely - giving the audience a good segue from country to rock/jam band music.

Anders Osborne followed up after a short break in music to announce the winners of the cook off. I never figured out who actually won - I was too busy dunking my friend in the Squeal BBQ dunking booth. Anders killed it though. I'll never get sick of hearing him play guitar.

I didn't catch much of the Radiators. I had already had a full day of drinking and had seen the band the night before at the Maple Leaf. The sky, towards this point in the evening, was an amazing shade of purple so I wandered around staring at it before heading home.

All in all, the fest was great. Next year they should lay out a few more signs throughout City Park to let people know where it is. While getting lost trying to find it, Jill and I gathered a group of eight other people who were all walking in different directions trying to find the field. Once I got there I had a blast though and will absolutely be back next year.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Short List: Friday March 25th

Big Boi @ Harrahs - 10pm

Bluerunners @ Rock n' Bowl - 9pm

Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle @ Le Bon Temps - 11pm

Radiators @ The Leaf - 11pm

The Tangle @ The Shamrock - 9pm

Soul Rebels @ Tipitina's - 10pm

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Short List: Thursday March 24th

Soul Project @ Cafe Negril - 9pm

Stooges Brass Band @ The Hi-Ho Lounge - 10pm

Soul Rebels @ Le Bon Temps - 11pm

The Trio with Johnny Vidacovich, George Porter Jr. and Guest @ The Leaf - 11pm

Honey Island Swamp Trio @ Oak Wine Bar - 8pm

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

French Quarter Fest Schedule Released - Check it

The French Quarter Fest schedule is out - day by day, stage by stage. I'm going to ask around for recommendations but try to not see anything I've seen before this year (unless I can't resist). This is gonna be fun.

Hogs for the Cause 2011 looks like a lot of fun

My experiences with events at City Park have always been good (Martini Madness is a fantastic party). The lineup for the upcoming "Hogs for the Cause" event looks awesome, as does the ticket price.

For $10 advance/$15 you get to try a whole bunch of BBQ and vote for the cook off winner while listening to the music stylings of:
-Honey Island Swamp Band
-Soul Rebels Brass Band
-Anders Osborne with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
-The Radiators

All the money goes to the families of children with brain cancer.

The Short List: Wednesday March 23rd

Walter "Wolfman" Washington @ dba - 10pm

John Lisi & Delta Funk @ Deckbar & Grille - 8pm

Khris Royal & Dark Matter @ The Leaf - 11pm

Rotary Downs Video Release Party & Rockband Challenge @ Le Bon Temps - 7pm (?)

Cat's Pajama Funk Allstars @ Maison - 10pm

Snake and Jakes Christmas Club Lounge - My favorite dive bar in New Orleans

Photo taken from Snakes website
For the first six months that I knew of Snake and Jake's existence, I had no idea where the bar was. I would show up around 3am close to blackout drunk with a few friends. It wasn't until I was walking by during the day that I actually saw the windowless converted tractor shed from the outside. The only indicator or its purpose was the word "BAR" painted in block letters next to the door. For a few months I frequented the bar every Monday night to play cards with friends. More recently it's become my post Maple Leaf hang spot. It is the darkest, dirtiest most badass place I've ever ordered a drink.

The Good
-This is the ultimate dive experience. There are no windows, a few broken down couches and a few tables. No surface is clean and locals take up most of the seats.
-There are some interesting characters who hang there. Sometimes the crowd gets a little too hipster-intellectual for my taste (usually the earlier late crowd on weekends - the ones who can't make it past 2am) but for the most part you'll have either a very good or a very drunk conversation.
-Usually the bar stays open till sunrise or later - depending on how the bartenders feel about staying.

The not so Good
-It's a dive, folks. The bathrooms are disgusting.
-The space is small and gets packed easily - which means there may or may not be seating when you get there.
-That hipster-intellectual crowd I mentioned before can't really hold their liquor. Women, get ready to be hit on. They're pretty easy to brush off though (silly pacifists)

Good to know
-They do not, under any circumstances, serve anything with energy drinks. Which really makes a lot of sense (the last thing a bartender needs is a drunk kid getting hyped up at 5 in the morning)
-They do accept credit cards - so get ready to blow all of your hard earned money on girls you won't remember and drinks you'll eventually throw up.
-No one really starts showing up till 12:30-1am. Before that it's just the neighborhood alcoholics.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Short List: Tuesday March 22nd

Kermit Ruffins @ Bullets Sports Bar

John Lisi & Delta Funk @ Cafe Negril - 9pm

Rebirth @ The Leaf - 11pm

The People Say Project feat. Ayo Scott and Bunny Matthews @ Louisiana Humanities Center - 6pm

Mahayla @ The Howlin Wolf - 9pm

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Short List: Monday March 21st

John Cleary @ Chickie Wah Wah - 8pm

Glen David Andrews @ dba - 9pm

Honey Island Swamp Band @ The Leaf - 11pm

Coulis on Prytania

Photo Courtesy of Coulis Facebook
This little breakfast spot down the street from my house is one of my favorite close-by spots for breakfast. Located on Prytania between Amelia and Foucher, Coulis, takes a relatively small space and opens it up with brightly painted walls and huge glass windows.

The Good
-The menu is small, but every dish on it is worth trying. I'd specifically suggest the Eggs Creole or the Special French Toast.
-The coffee is good, better than most breakfast places I've been to in New Orleans.
-If you can't find anything you like on the menu, the omelettes are pretty killer and are gigantic. They also have a good selection of veggie/meat/cheese toppings.
-Two Words: Cheesy. Grits.
-Two More Words: Amazing. Biscuits.

The Not so Good
-They don't serve iced-coffee, which I love, and will make me think twice about going there in the summer. I need the cold stuff.
-If the restaurant is packed, the service is great; if the restaurant is slow, service is awesome; if it's right in the middle, for whatever reason, the food etc has always taken longer.

Good to Know
-They do make gluten-free dishes for anyone who has gluten allergies.
-BYOB - which I've actually done before when I left the bar and went straight to breakfast.

Coulis on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Short List: Saturday March 19th

Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes @ Blue Nile - 11pm

Soul Project @ Donna's On Rampart - 9pm

Feed the Kitty featuring James Singleton, Tim Green, Simon Lott, Michael Jenner, & Jason Mingledorf @ The Leaf - 11pm

The North Mississippi Allstars @ Tipitina's - 10pm

Friday, March 18, 2011

From St. Paddy's to St. Josephs

With Mardi Gras barely behind me and a St. Paddy's day hangover just beginning, I completely forgot about St. Joseph's Day. I've never been to any of the St. Joseph's happenings, but this year I plan on attending all of them. I guess I have another big weekend coming up.

Here's what WWOZ told me:

Saturday is St. Joseph's night. Masked Indians taking to the street.

Sunday is the Single Men Social Aid & Pleasure Club parade at 12:30, here's the route, and Uptown Super Sunday at 11am (route).

I'll let you know how it goes...

The Short List: Friday March 18th

Earphunk @ Blue Nile - 10pm

Alex McMurray @ Carrollton Station - 8:30pm

The Johnny Vidacovich Trio @ dba - 10pm

Soul Project @ Le Bon Temps - 11pm

Gravy + 101 Runners @ The Leaf - 11pm

Queens of the Stone Age  @ One Eyed Jacks - 9pm

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Short LIst: Thursday March 17th - Special St. Paddy's Day Edition

St Paddy's Day Block Party outside of Superior Grill

St. Paddy's Day Block Party outside of Tracy's

The Soul Project @ Cafe Negril - 9pm

Soul Rebels @ Le Bon Temps - 11pm

The Trio with Johnny Vidacovich and George Porter Jr. @ Maple Leaf - 11pm

Photo From the Vault: Monk Boudreaux

Photo Taken by Bob Compton
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux backstage at Tipitina's

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Short List: Wednesday March 16th

The Tin Men @ dba - 7pm

John Lisi and Delta Funk @ Deckbar - 8pm

Khris Royal  & Dark Matter @ Maple Leaf - 11pm

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Short List: Tuesday March 15th

John Lisi & Delta Funk @ Cafe Negril - 9pm

Rebirth @ The Leaf - 11pm

Thelonious Monk Jazz Ensemble @ Snug Harbor - 8pm

When Brazil got carjacked

Just an FYI if you're dealing with New Orleans Cops

I knew that something was up when Brazil walked in shaking. That’s one of those ‘oh shit’ moments: seeing a 6’2” burly black dude with long braided hair shake in legitimate fear.
“My car got stolen – they held a gun to me and they took my car.”

I ran through the half empty house looking for a beer. There was nothing in the fridge and less in the liquor cabinet. Ronny, who lived upstairs, walked in with an unopened Highlife tallboy in his hand. I grabbed it, cracked it and handed it to Brazil as he sat on a bed, phone receiver to his ear.
“Yes ma’am, they took my car.
At the gas station on Claiborne and Louisiana.
I’m on General Taylor and Carondelet now.
Yes, I walked home.
Yes ma’am. Thank you.”

We got up and walked out onto the back porch where Rusty, Brazil’s landlord, passed both of us Marb reds and a lighter.
“Fuck man. They fucking shot at me.”
Rusty, being an unemployed, dysfunctional alcoholic, started yelling nonsense about ‘fucking n*ggers’ and the ‘hoodrats down the street.’

Twenty minutes later the cops showed up. I made a point of keeping Ronny, equally unemployed and drunk, on the back porch and out of trouble. I didn’t want to go out there myself. I’ve had my own experienced with NOPD and didn’t really want any part of seeing them again.

What we needed, more than anything, was booze. After a ten minute mission involving back gates and side doors I returned from across the street with most of a handle of Skyy Vodka and a bottle of wine. I set my loaded bag down inside, took a deep breath, and brought a cigarette out to Brazil in the front yard.

There was a squad car and a cop SUV in front of the house. Brazil and his roommate, Heath, were sitting on a stump while the three cops filled out paperwork and talked to each other. I handed Brazil the smoke and gave a nod to Heath. Every once in awhile a cop would call Brazil up to ask him a question, but the scene was otherwise actionless.

It was, at least, until I heard Rusty’s cries. When Rusty gets drunk every night, he likes to let out this low, guttural howl. It sounds like a combination of a wild animal raging and a man being tortured on the rack. It’s disturbing at first, but having lived across the street for six months or so, I had become used to it. The cops, however, had no idea what to make of him.

Then Ronny came tumbling down the stairs after Rusty. I think he was sincerely trying to help, but drooling drunks aren’t good for much. As if the howls weren’t enough, Rusty began to actually talk,
“What the fuck man. This is some racist shit. What the fuck are you doing here anyway? You can’t fuck with me I’m on my property. Fuck you.”

God. Damnit. Another cop car, unmarked, pulled up and a detective got out. He called Brazil towards him. Everything seemed fine until the detective rose his voice,
“You’re going to get in the fucking car and we’re going to go back to the scene. Then you’re going to fucking tell me what happened.”
“Fine man, let’s go back to the scene. I’ll show you the casings.”
Brazil made a move for the detective’s passenger side.
“Not in my car. Get in that one.”

The cop standing next to the squad car opened the back door. I realized that my hand had been wrapped around my throat in horror and was beginning to cut off my oxygen supply. There isn’t an easy way to describe the look of loathing that was on this detective’s face. There was nothing good about this scene.

Heath looked up, “can we come with him?”
“No.” The cop shut the back door on Brazil.
The detective pulled the other three cops into a huddle before they all got into their respective cars and drove away.

For the next two and a half hours Heath and I sat on the front porch killing the bottle of vodka and chain smoking. It tasted like water; we went through packs. I felt like I was in some unreal dream; this was some pretty fucked up bullshit. Poor Brazil, he had just moved from Chicago, barely been in the city six months.

Around sunrise the squad car returned and dropped Brazil back off. All at once the vodka slammed me.
“Man, they fucking took me to central lockup. They told me I was lying and that I had lent my car to my drug dealer. They said if I didn’t sign some form saying that it hadn’t been stolen that they’d put me in jail for falsifying information.

“All I kept asking them was, ‘why aren’t you looking for my car?’ The girls in the office were sitting there watching videos online. Fuck man, I was coming home from a gig. My beemer’s gone. My cellphone. My fucking guitar.”

So we finished the last of the vodka and Heath made breakfast burritos. What else you gonna do?


Monday, March 14, 2011

Parasols provides great atmosphere, killer food

While walking around taking pictures on a sunny Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, I found Parasols in the Garden District. I had heard the name before, but never actually seen the place. The interior seemed too tiny to be functional at first, with barely any room between the bar and the wall across from it. I had heard they served lunch, and there were people sitting around grubbing on sandwiches, but couldn't even fathom where a kitchen might fit into the tiny building. While searching for the bathroom, I found my answer. The door to the right of the bar led to a non-smoking dining area with ample seating and a window for ordering food. Since I was there, I figured I'd stay for lunch. I've been back three times since.

The Good
-Killer onion rings - everything is fried in peanut oil so it all tastes delicious (unless you're allergic to peanuts)
-My grilled cheese was cooked in a garlic butter, which seams to be the way they cook anything with butter. Amazing.
-Decent remoulade.
-The Chicken gumbo looked pretty good (my friend actually drank the dregs, so I'd imagine it was awesome)
-Irish Sundaes = potato salad, roast beef and gravy

The Not So Good
-This is one of those rare times where I have few if any complaints. I heard that the change of ownership (which happened in the past few years) wasn't the most amicable, but I met the new owners and they're great people.

Good to Know
-The bathrooms are clean as hell, ladies. Just so you know though, it's a single room (no stalls) so if the place is busy get ready for a wait.
-Not entirely sure how late they serve but when I went in around 9pm and asked if they were still serving food, the guy at the counter looked at my like I was crazy and replied, "of course we're still serving food! Who told you we weren't?"
-The bar area is in fact smoke friendly and small so if you don't like smoke, you'd do better in the back.

Parasol's on Urbanspoon

The Short List: Monday March 14th

John Cleary @ Chickie Wah Wah - 8pm

Papa Grows Funk @ The Maple Leaf - 11pm

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Troy Andrews, DJ Manny Fresh and Lenny Kravitz @ Tipitinas - 3/6

What a night what a night! Troy Andrews both playing and singing, DJ Manny Fresh getting on stage and Lenny Kravitz making a surprise appearance on the drums. Gotta love Mardi Gras.

Photo taken by Bob Compton   
Troy Andrews

Photo taken by Bob Compton
Troy and DJ Manny Fresh

Photo taken by Bob Compton 
Lenny on the drums

The Shot List: Sunday March 13th

John Lisi and Delta Funk @ Cafe Negril - 7pm

Alex McMurray and Jim McCormick @ Carrollton Station - 7pm

The Jake Eckert Band @ dba - 10pm

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Short List: Friday March 4th - Special Mardi Gras Edition

Krewe of Hermes Parade - Uptown - 6pm

Krewe D'Etat Parade - Uptown - 6:30pm

Krewe of Morpheus Parade - Uptown - 7pm

9th Annual Not-So-Super Superhero Party Simon Lott, James Singleton, & Justin Peake + Mike Gamble + Rotary Downs + more @ Allways Lounge - 10pm

Mardi Gras Throwdown with Cyril Neville & Tribe 13 + Khris Royal & Dark Matter @ Blue Nile - 10pm

Soul Project @ Donna's on Rampart - 10pm

Better than Ezra @ House of Blues - 10pm

Anders and Kermit @ The Howlin' Wolf - 10pm

New Orleans Bingo! Show @ One Eyed Jacks - 9pm

Rebirth @ Cafe Prytania - 10pm

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Anders Osborne at Tipitina's - 2/26

Photo Taken By Bob Compton

For those of you who missed out on the Anders show this Friday, it was awesome. I really like Anders, and saw him up in NYC over New Years this past year. For some reason, this show was so much better than any other time I've seen him. From the moment the music started I was dancing. George Porter Jr and Billy Iuso came up towards the later half of the show and took the band up a notch.

Nothing feels better than leaving a show sweaty and dehydrated.

The Short List: Thursday March 3rd - Special Mardi Gras Edition

Krewe of Babylon Parade - Uptown - 5:45pm

Krewe of Muses Parade - Uptown - 6:30pm

Krewe of Chaos Parade - Uptown - 6:30pm

James Singleton Illuminasti Trio featuing Jonathan Freilich, Skerik, & Mike Dillon @ Allways Lounge - 10pm

Drew Meez on the Keys + Gravity A + Khris Royal @ Blue Nile Balcony Room - 11pm

The Soul Project @ Cafe Negril - 9pm

The Soul Rebels @ Le Bon Temps - 11pm

The Trio @ The Leaf - 11pm

Alex McMurray @ The Saturn Bar - 9pm

Radiators @ Tipitinas - 10pm

Kermit Ruffins @ Vaughan's Lounge - 9pm

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Short List: Wednesday March 2nd - Special Mardi Gras Edition

Krewe of Ancient Druids Parade - Uptown - 6:30pm

Khris Royal and Dark Matter @ Blue Nile - 10pm

The Tin Men @ dba - 7pm

Tommy Malone & Blvd. Jr @ The Leaf - 11pm

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Short List: Tuesday March 1st

John Lisi @ Cafe Negril - 9pm

John Mooney @ Chickie Wah Wah - 8pm

Khris Royal @ Irvin Mayfield's - 8pm
(note: Khris is awesome but I have not been to this venue before)

Rebirth @ the Leaf - 11pm