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Defender Picks



Alvvays Drop Second Single Ahead of NOLA Show

Indie pop outfit Alvvays (a stylistic take on ‘Always’) dropped the second single off of their forthcoming sophomore album Antisocialites, be released September 8th on Polyvinyl Records. Check out the new tune below to get to know their sound before the Toronto-based band quartet swings by New Orleans this fall on their worldwide tour. 

NOMA's John Waters Retrospective Offers Good Bad Taste

Attention, Dreamland fans. The New Orleans Museum of Art is turning its attention to the Pope of Trash with a summer retrospective on author, filmmaker, and artist John Waters. The five-week series will highlight his most iconic films, and will run in conjunction with NOMA’s current exhibition Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans, which includes several pieces by the Baltimore-born counterculture icon.


Watch: Queen Latifah Talks NOLA-Set 'Girls Trip’ With Jimmy Fallon

On Monday night, Queen Latifah appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to discuss Girls Trip, her “uncuffed” rated-R movie. Set during Essence Fest, Girls Trip follows a group of college friends played by Latifah, Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith as they run wild through New Orleans. 


A 'Radical' Act

Theatricality is a way of life in New Orleans — whether it’s the street performers along Decatur Street or your neighbors on Fat Tuesday, indeed all the world’s a stage in this fair city. “The evocative and provocative can be found on every street corner,” explained local theatre figure Jon Greene, the award-winning director behind Faustus, The Spider Queen, Sleeping Beauty, and The Musicians of Bremen. To further champion the city’s live performance culture, this week the theatre maker announced the launch of a new theatre and production collective, The Radical Buffoon(s). 


The Showman

Johnny Azari Talks Transition From Blues Music to Stand-Up Comedy

A little more than two years ago, Johnny Azari would probably have called himself a musician. But now, the multi-hyphenate artist would count stand-up comedy at the top of his résumé, above his years in music production and his sprawling delta blues career. Fresh off of a 20-state tour across America, where he recorded both an audio album and debut comedy special called The Revolution Will Be Hilarious, Azari spoke with NoDef about everything from life on the road to new marriages and new presidents. 


Deepa Soul to Play a Homecoming Show at the Carver

New Orleans daughter Deepa Soul announced an epic homecoming on Thursday (7.6). This fall, she will be joined by her 18-piece band The Love Soul Orchestra for a musical event dubbed “Creole Woman (Rebirth of a Love Evolution),” set to take place at the Historic Carver Theater. 

Essence Fest Attendance Tops Jazz Fest 2017

Updated July 6th, 11AM


The annual Essence Fest came to a close on Sunday (7.2), ending four days of music, movies, art, food, and fun. Over 200 artists and speakers took part in the festivities, including Diana Ross, Chance the Rapper, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu. This year, Essence reported pulling in a record-breaking 470,000 festivalgoers to their complete program of events. 

Perfectly Imperfect

Grammy Winner Elle Varner Sounds Off on Artistic Inspiration

On Sunday night (7.2), Three Keys at The Ace Hotel hosted Soul in the Horn, brought to us by Essentials. True to the experience of Essentials, Soul in the Horn was a collaborative mash-up hosted and graced by the vocals of Elle Varner and other trending artists, as well as featuring legends of the NYC nightlife, D. Prosper and DJ Natasha Diggs. NoDef was able to interview Elle shortly before taking the Three Keys stage. We talked about her interesting upbringing, her experiences recording with artists such as Chance the Rapper (with whom she won a Grammy) and J Cole, her awards successes, and her plans for the future. 


Finding the Big Voice

Teedra Moses Talks Social Change, Celebrity, and Her NOLA Roots

Three Keys at Ace Hotel is hosting an intimate Essence Fest after party called Essentials, and it’s providing an opportunity “for local artists that may not be on the Essence bill this year but maybe could be would be or should be,” according to Jocelyne Ninneman, the music director at Ace New Orleans. Essentials features countless DJ’s as well as too-class acts such as PJ Morton, Grammy nominated Elle Varner, Teedra Moses, and features numerous guest performances. Teedra Moses sat down with NoDef after her show to talk about growing up in New Orleans and California and what it means to make music in 2017 America. 


Homecoming King

Plenty of music fans dream of the chance to party with their favorite artist. Now, that dream can be a reality. PJ Morton, the Grammy-winning musician, producer, and the keyboardist for Maroon 5, is hosting a party to celebrate his forthcoming recording studio in New Orleans — and we're all on the guest list. 


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