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Defender Picks


Hip-Hop/Electronic Centered Buku Fest to Debut in March

A new big ticket festival has been added to this year's calendar of all-day parties that tide us over between Fat Tuesday and the annual voyage to the Fair Grounds. Slated for March 17-18 at Mardi Gras World's Eastbank complex, the Buku Music and Art Project has booked some of the biggest national acts of the moment in hip-hop and electronic music including Wiz Khalifa, Diplo, Skrillex, Yelawolf and Big K.R.I.T. So far, 12 bands have been announced for the two-day festival.

NoDef Nods: Weird

11 Strange News Bits of '11

In a city where Do Whatcha Wanna is the mantra, it's no surprise to see odd developments breaking all over the place. Around here, the news of the weird is not simply a chance to laugh at strange things happening to normal people. It also has implications on real-life concerns, like politics and Mardi Gras. So, in no particular order, here's our list of 2011's outliers. It's no surprise that between the lines of this rundown is the story of the Year As It Was. Open wide:

Stevie Wonder the Sunshine of Tulane Commencement

Amid the free food lines and giant, faux live oaks at the Mardi Gras World after-party, many a Tulane University grad - and even their next of kin - boasted last night's commencement was the best they had ever been forced to sit through. Stevie Wonder was expected to add another honorary degree to his collection, but few expected him to treat the crowd to a performance of "You Are the Sunshine of my Life." He also played harmonica with Dr. Michael White's Original Liberty Jazz Band. In total, Wonder appeared four times on the stage at the Morial Convention Center.

Judge Ousts Mr. Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras World founder and resident impresario Blaine Kern has been relegated to man in the moon status. A judge ruled today that Mr. Mardi Gras would have to turn over operations of his company to his son, Barry Kern. The transfer of power atop Carnival is the result of the elder Kern's apparent lack of follow through on an agreement that was hammered out last fall to keep the dream of Carnival 2011 alive. Federal judge Kern Reese also called for an immediate shareholders meeting to be held in the wake of the news. Shareholders were rumored to be upset about this, as there was little time to prepare a costume.

Mardi Gras World Still Turns

When Mardi Gras was on the line and the captains of three superkrewes were at the table, the old man and his son were able to settle their differences. But, apparently, the dispute that took Mardi Gras World off its axis is still churning. Carnival float impresario Barry Kern, son of Mardi Gras World founder and original float impresario, Blaine Kern, recently filed his second lawsuit against his dad in less than a year. The younger Kern claims his father failed to live up to his end of a bargain the pair struck to keep the family company afloat.

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

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