VOODOO MUSIC + ARTS EXPERIENCE 2014, New Orleans

Voodoo Music

First of all: WHO DAT! I hope the Saints ride this win all the way to the end. I can’t wait to watch them whoop some Carolina tokhes! Finally, a Monday to enjoy. Moving on…

Halloween might be at the top of my list for favorite time of year- and it rises exponentially when it’s celebrated here in New Orleans. As per tradition, the VOODOO MUSIC + ARTS EXPERIENCE 2014 will be held at City Park October 31st- November 2nd, 2014. Wear your most creative costumes while enjoying the musical chaos surrounding you. Doors open at 10:30am and the event ends at 11pm on Friday & Saturday, and ends at 9pm on Sunday. That’s nearly 12 hours of festival fun for three days, located near the NOMA-region of the park. For those of you settling in, there will be lockers, charging stations, and free water. Check out the bottom part of this article to see what’s happening post-festivities.

Artists at VOODOO MUSIC + ARTS EXPERIENCE 2014 include:

 Foo Fighters, Outkast, Skrillex, Arctic Monkeys, Zedd, Pretty Lights, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Slayer, Awolnation, Rise Against, Flux Pavilion, Fedde Le Grand, Gogol Bordello, Death From Above 1979, City And Colour, Claude Vonstroke, Manchester Orchestra, Galantis, Booka Shade, DJ Set, Pete Tong, Twenty One Pilots, Thomas Gold, Action Bronson, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Melvins, Bleachers, Griz, Congorock, Fishbone, Makj, Fuel, Herobust, Le Youth, Big Freedia, Givers, Rebirth Brass Band, Red Baraat, Barcelona, Thomas Newson, The Wild Feathers, Wild Cub, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Royal Teeth, Bonerama, Soul Rebels, Barely Alive, Trent Cantrelle, Manic Focus, World/Inferno Friendship Society, The London Souls, Peelander-Z, Lindsay Lowend, Astr, Flow Tribe, The Tontons, Honey Island Swamp Band, Sturgill Simpson, Benjamin Booker, Desert Noises, Dirty Bourbon River Show, Bo Ningen, Tysson, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Yung Nation, Speak, Hello Negro, Carmine P. Filthy and a Boy Named Ruth, Church with Unicorn Fukr & Innerlign, Veridia, Naughty Professor, Crass Mammoth, Luxley, St. Cecilia’s Asylum Chorus and the Marchfourth Marching Band.

But the party doesn’t end there, check out the Voodoo “After Dark” Schedule:

10/30 – Moon Taxi @ House of Blues *
10/30 – DESTRUCTO + Big Sams Funky Nation @ Mardi Gras World
10/31 – Galactic + Earphunk @ Tipitinas
10/31 – Fishbone + MarchFourth Marching Band @ The Joy Theatre
10/31 – Flow Tribe @ Gasa Gasa
11/1 – The Revivalists + Naughty Professor @ Tipitinas
11/2 – The London Souls + Joe Krown @ Maple Leaf

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This Weekend: New Orleans Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, 2014

 This Weekend in New Orleans: 2014 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

On the heels of the Louisiana Seafood Festival, this weekend’s festival is the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival. Presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation (the ones who bring you Jazz Fest), the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival will be held at Lafayette Square, October 17-19, 2014.  This free event (the best kind) is from 5:30 to 8:30 this Friday; and Saturday & Sunday 11am-8:30pm. Join the fun in the heart of the French Quarter and support local vendors. Local New Orleans artist, John Bukaty, will be there, live, painting the music experience.  Side note- he’s a friendly guy who I met when he had his studio/gallery on Nashville. This past summer, he opened a gallery on Carondelet St. If you visit his site (the link above), you can learn more; his “About Me” section is intriguing.

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

A good plan would be to visit Lafayette Square for a savory brunch followed by watching the Saints play the Lions (at 12pm). Then head back to the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival for dinner and game celebrations…or return to the festival to eat your feelings. Click here to view a list of vendors and their menus. This includes some of the best barbecue in town with food from The Joint and the Smokery (yes, I am bias toward Carolina barbecue, both Eastern Carolina or Western Carolina style). Or visit here to find the music lineup, featuring musicians such as Bobby Rush, Valerie June, and Ana Popovic.  Ana Popovic (below) will be performing Friday night at 7pm.

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Where are you watching the game? Best New Orleans Sports Bars

WHO DAT TIME!

Football begins tonight! As good as pinstripes look, I have been itching for months for this day to come.  I completed two fantasy drafts to ensure that I am fully engaged each Sunday, Monday, and Thursday.  Check out the list I posted in March about Top 5 Sports Bars [to Watch March Madness] for detailed reviews of some of the bars on this list.  I am not dwelling on the ambiance of each New Orleans Sports Bar because…who really cares? Read here for where to go tonight and Sunday, and for the rest of the football season.  The boys of fall are back!

 Favorite New Orleans Sports Bars

  1. Finnegan’s Easy: 717 St Peter St  New Orleans, LA 70116
  2. Rusty Nail: 1100 Constance St  New Orleans, LA 70130

    A Great Bar...Inside and Out

    Rusty Nail

  3. The Bulldog: Uptown: 3236 Magazine St  New Orleans, LA 70115
    and MidCity: 5135 Canal Blvd  New Orleans, LA 70124
  4. Walk-Ons: 1009 Poydras St  New Orleans, LA 70112
  5. J & J’s Sports Lounge: 800 France St  New Orleans, LA 70117
  6. Bruno’s: 7538 Maple St  New Orleans, LA 70118
  7. Lucy’s [Retired Surfer’s Bar]: 701 Tchoupitoulas St  New Orleans, LA 70130
  8. Finn McCool’s: 3701 Banks St  New Orleans, LA 70119
  9. Cooter Browns: 509 S Carrollton Ave  New Orleans, LA 70118

    Cooter Brown’s

  10. Tracey’s: 2604 Magazine St  New Orleans, LA 70130
  11. Mellow Mushroom: 8227 Oak St  New Orleans, LA 70118
  12. Happys: 1009 Poydras St  New Orleans, LA 70112
  13. NEW ONE for the list: Ale on Oak St.
  14. NEW ONE for the list: Redd’s on Maple St. Free food too!

Mellow Mushroom on Oak St.

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The Idea Village Presents: Entrepalooza

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Idea Village presents Entrepalooza. This 2015 Season Kickoff Event is open to the entrepreneurial community and is a pep-rally of sorts. Entrepalooza will take place this Sunday, August 24, 2014 at one of the most popular New Orleans’ locations: NOLA Brewery.  The event is from noon to 4pm and will offer free beer. But free beer isn’t the only reason to stop by! Entrepalooza will be a chance to meet and talk to local entreprenaurial businesses.

Visit NOLA Brewery on Sunday to meet, chat, and hopefully be inspired by local endeavors and the men and women who undertake them.  Such ventures include Audiosocket, Better Day Health, Bioceptive, ChapterSpot, Cordina, Federated Sample, Kickboard, mSchool, NOLA Brewing, StaffInsight, TurboSquid, Tutti Dynamics, zlien, and more…Come out to support and enjoy cold beer and live music with new friends. 

NOLA Brewery Address:
3001 Tchoupitoulas St.
New Orleans, LA 70115

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New Orleans Red Dress Run 2014

Another favorite summer event is around the corner: New Orleans Red Dress Run 2014.

The gist: Originating and sponsored by Hash House Harriers (a running club), The Red Dress Run raises money for local charities . For an interesting history about the Red Dress Run, read here.  It’s a good time for a good reason, and it’s Saturday, August 9th, 2014.

The deal: Not everyone participates in the physical run, but everyone who comes out supports the cause in spirit and attendance. Those in dress should support the local charities and register for the whole event which takes place at Armstrong Park.  There are already 4763 registered participants.  Many show their support by visiting the streets of the quarter in the early hours, in a red dress, of course.

Events will be held all weekend, including a lingerie run on Friday night and a hungover run on Sunday- Won’t be there.

Seth and I at 2013 Red Dress Run

Saturday’s schedule:

9 am       On site registrations opens
9:30        Gates open, beer is served
11:15      Browncoat Brass leads us to the streets
11:30      20th Red Dress Run takes off
Noon      Time to eat – food is served
1 pm       Flow Tribe performs
3pm        5 Finger Discount performs

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New Orleans’ Tank and the Bangas

Tank and the Bangas

Tank and the Bangas album cover. Visit them on FB https://www.facebook.com/TankAndTheBangas

I experienced a spellbinding performance last Saturday night at Gasa Gasa. Big Freedia was everything I hoped for and more. The venue was packed, bouncing, and rowdy while Big Freedia was working it on stage. I had just watched a brief documentary of her on YouTube, and she did not upset. Big Freedia wowed the audience and truly is The Queen Diva of New Orleans.

Heading to the venue with the sole purpose of to dance around with Big Freedia and her fans, I was in awe when I arrived for the band preceding her: Tank and the Bangas. The music was a fusion of everything I loved- soul, funk, brass, poetry, and theatrics.  As much as I wanted to dance to their groove, I couldn’t take my eyes off the stage- I thought I was going to miss something, and in my mind, that just could not happen. Tarriona, the leading lady and poet of Tank and the Bangas, was mesmerizing; her back-up singers were killing it too, so it was a double whammy.  She may be small, but Tarriona has mighty pipes. And quite the style- think steampunk meets Tim Burton, but feminine, flattering, and sassy.   Between her dynamite look and dramatic and stunning facial expressions, Tarriona was bigger than life. TATB drew the reaction where you look around to make eye contact with people to find out if they are seeing what you’re seeing. Without words, I asked my friend, “Are you seeing what I’m seeing? Are we both watching the same magic?”. We did. Then we acted like looney-tunes and waited outside for TATB after the show.

The following day, I sent my sisters a link to a Tank and the Bangas YouTube performance, and I bought the album off iTunes. Tank and the Bangas can serenade me while I journey to Paris in a few days (so I won’t be writing here for a bit). The best news of that evening: Tank and the Bangas will be playing Wednesday’s at one of my favorite watering holes/venues: The Maple Leaf. You must go check them out; you won’t be disappointed.

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5 Things To Do in NOLA This Weekend: July 18th-20th, 2014

Is anyone looking forward to this weekend with no planned events or holiday pressures? Having zero plans is my favorite kind of weekend; it could only be better if there were thunderstorms. In case you don’t have the soul of a 75-year-old woman (me), here is a list of random weekend ideas in NOLA, July 18th-20th, 2014.

  1. Lucy’s 7th Annual Block Party-  This Saturday, July 19th, 2014, Lucy’s Retired Surfer’s Bar & Restaurant will be having their 7th Annual Block party.  Located in the CBD (701 Tchoupitoulas St), the free admission party begins at 12pm.  Starting at 5pm there will be live music: Nick Name & the Valmonts, The UnNaturals, and Clockwork Elvis.
  2. Chewbacchus Presents: Dance Wars! A Sci-Fi Dance Party- Now this is a little treat I do not know much about. I’ve always enjoyed the House of Blues venue, so when I checked their calendar, I saw this little event. It sounds sick: Sci-Fi Costumes + Dance Party= a one-of-a-kind evening of entertainment. Sponsored by the Krewe of Chewbacchus, the event is from 10pm-1am at New Orleans House of Blues, located at 225 Decatur St.
  3. Free Friday’s at Tipitina’s- This Friday features the Stooges Brass Band. As always on summertime-Fridays, admission is free. Showtime is at 10pm. Although the line usually extends down around the block, the wait goes by quickly. Trust me, if it didn’t I wouldn’t be going to any Free Friday’s at Tips.
  4. Hi-Ho Lounge- Double dance party weekend! On the third Friday of each month, Ritual, DJ Kung Fu Chris hosts a dance party that features music from a spectrum of cultures. On Friday you’ll be dancing to Brazlian, Caribbean and Latin music, blended with Afro Beat. Then on Saturday it’s our lovely DJ Soul Sister’s HUSTLE. The party is 11pm-3am. Visit the Hi –Ho Lounge to groove to a disco and hip-hop blend. Hi-Ho Lounge is located at 2239 St. Claude Ave.
  5. Keep Cool- Find a pool. Try the Country Club; Indulge (CBD); Hotel Monteleone; or some other courtyard secret.
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My beautiful boyfriend last weekend by the pool- #5: Keep Cool

 Please comment with more weekend ideas! 

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New Orleans Running of the Bulls

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It’s my favorite time of year again! (Besides Halloween, of course) New Orleans Running of the Bulls, “El Encierro to aficionados”, is this Saturday at 8am! Join us Saturday, July 12, 2014 for a casual race while being chased down by the finest roller derby ladies.  Dressed to the max to resemble a bull, these ladies will be skating behind you with horns on their heads and wiffle ball bats in their hands. And you better dodge and jet before you get swatted by one of them; that sting will pulse for quite a while…and swell…and change colors…and stay sore…not that it’s ever happened to me…

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Anyway, New Orleans Running of the Bulls begins at the Sugar Mill, located at 1021 Convention Center Blvd. El Encierro is actually only one part of the scheduled event: The Running of the Bulls celebration actually begins Thursday with a wine dinner. Read here for more event information. Unless you’re joining in any other New Orleans Running of the Bulls weekend events, the race is free! Then you have the morning to stroll through the French Quarter without the congestion of tourists and entertainment.

 

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Me trying to escape with bloody Mary in hand

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FestivALES: New Orleans’ Warehouse District

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This Saturday, New Orleans’ Warehouse District is hosting Gambit’s “FestivALES”. This beer tasting festival allows you to sample 28 different craft beers from all over the country beginning at noon, Saturday, June 28th, 2014. The tasting and sign up begins at Barcadia, located at 601 Tchoupitoulas St.

 

You get to spend the afternoon visiting your favorite bars in the Warehouse District. This includes Barcadia, Fulton Alley, Gordon Biersch, Grand Isle, Lafayette Pub & Bistro, Lucy’s, & Manning’s.

Participating Breweries at FestivALES

The featured breweries are: 40 Arpent, Abita, Bayou Teche, Brooklyn, Covington, Chafunkta, Curious Traveler, Gnarly Barley, Gordon Biersch, Green Flash, Harpoon, Leinenkugel, Lazy Magnolia, Magic Hat, New Belgium, Nola, Parish, Saint Arnold, Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Southern Prohibition, Sweetwater, Terrapin, Tin Roof & Unibroue.

Tickets are $35.00 online and include 3 oz. tasting cups for all 28 beers (84 oz total); an event t-shirt; and a tasting passport & map. You can sign up here, or the day of FestivALES at Barcadia.

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New Orleans Pride 2014

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Picture of Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis from Amazing Race, New Orleans Pride weekend hosts.

 

It’s that time of year again: New Orleans Pride Weekend 2014. This weekend, June 20-22, 2014 is New Orleans Pride Festival/Parade/Extravaganza.  The weekend packs in 3 days of events. Friday, June 20th, the party kicks off at 8pm. at Boomtown Casino and is hosted by Sandy Anderson as Dolly Parton.  (Note to self: Must re-watch Best Little Whorehouse in Texas).

 

 

 

New Orleans Pride Family Day:

Family Day is Saturday June 21, 2014 in Duncan Plaza. The event is 11am-5pm and starts with an all-faiths worship service and entertainment (listed below) until 5pm.

New Orleans Pride Parade:

Following Family Day, which wraps up at 5pm, the New Orleans Pride Parade will begin at 7pm. It will begin in Duncan Plaza and go through the CBD and the Quarter, and finish in the Marigny (around Rampart & Burgundy). The parade will be led by actor/musician Chris Salvatore, the celebrity grand marshal; local grand marshals include Tittie Toulouse and Electra Citty. Remember, the parade route is subject to change without warning.

Naturally, there will be special events and specials held all throughout the city, so be sure to visit! And don’t forget about New Orleans Decadence Festival 2014 held over Labor Day Weekend.

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