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Defender Picks



November 30th

Big K.R.I.T.

House of Blues, 8p.m.

Part of the Kritically Acclaimed Tour



Higher Heights Reggae Band

Blue Nile, 9p.m.

Get your reggae jams on


Glen David Andrews

b.b.a., 10p.m.

Nola jams


Aurora Nealand & Royal Roses

Maison, 7p.m.

Traditional jazz meets modernity


December 1st

Pelicans v. Grizzlies

Smoothie King Center, 7p.m.

Memphis takes on Nola


The Art of Giving

Ogden Museum, 5p.m.

A holiday shopping events


Until The Beat Stops

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

A novel by Stella Mowen


Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide

Maple Street Book Shop, 7p.m.

Compilation by Mark Yakich



Saenger, 7:30p.m.

Broadway smash-hit


December 2nd

Tank and The Bangas Backyard Hangout

1032 St. Maurice St., 6p.m.

Also ft. The Original Pinettes Brass Band


A Dark and Stormy Night

The Arbor Room, 6:30p.m.

An evening of cocktails and ghost stories


Pelicans v. Rockets

Toyota Center, 7p.m.

Nola heads to Houston


Freeman’s: The Best New Writing on Arrival

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

Compliation of writing about “arriving”


Cas Haley

Howlin’ Wolf, 10p.m.

In the Den


December 3rd

Ogden After Hours

Ogden, 5:30p.m.

This week ft. Roman Street


Prism Break

Zeitgeist, 6p.m.

An interactive video installation


The Butlers of Iberville Parish

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

Dunboyne Plantation in the 1800s


An Evening with Lusher’s Creative Writing Program

Maple Street Book Shop, 5:30p.m.

Students read from their original work


December 4th

Newcomb Art Department Holiday Sale

Carroll Gallery, 10a.m.

Ft. works in glass, ceramics, printmaking, jewelry and more



Home for the Holidays

Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market, 8p.m.

Fundraiser honoring returned Nola homeowners


The Soul Stoned Fest

The Willow, 8:30p.m.

Art, music and visuals


Doombalaya & CakeWalk

Tipitina’s, 9p.m.

A couple Nola bands jam for the weekend


Pelicans v. Cavaliers

Smoothie King Center, 8:30p.m.

Cleveland comes to New Orelans


Friday Nights at NOMA

NOMA, 5p.m.

This week ft. Artist Perspective with John Barnes


December 5th

St. Nicholas Day Fair

French Market, 10a.m.

Ft. the Saint Nick Secondline, facepaint and more


Algiers Bonfire & Concert

Algiers Ferry Landing, 5p.m.

“A Riverfront Holiday Celebration”


12 Brews of Christmas

House of Blues, 6p.m.

$20 to taste 12 seasonal beers


NOLA Polar Express

Freret St. Publiq House, 8p.m.

Benefit for CASA New Orleans


3rd Annual Krampus Gras

The Voodoo Lounge, 10p.m.

Dancing, drinking and fundraising for Planned Parenthood


December 6th

White Christmas

Prytania, 10a.m.

Part of the Holiday Movie Series


Saints v. Panthers

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 3:25p.m.

Carolina comes to Nola


Bikes Vs. Cars

Zeitgeist, 9p.m.

Bikes for change



Saenger, 2p.m.;7:30p.m.

Broadway smash-hit

Birdfoot Hops the Night Train to Frenchmen

by Joe Shriner

On Thursday, the familiar reverberations of traditional jazz quintets, guitar-slinging buskers, and curbside brass bands on Marigny’s most dynamic street are going to have some new sounds to contend with. In one venue among the babble of barflies, fourteen artists will be offering classical works inspired by clouds and trains, as well as some serious counterpoint.


Birdfoot Festival presents “Night Train" at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, the first pair of four featured concerts, taking on two radically different sets of chamber music. At 8 pm, Birdfoot artists will be presenting Kaija Saariaho’s textured “Cloud Trio” for string trio and Steve Reich’s seminal “Different Trains” for string quartet, taped speech, and sound effects. At 10 pm, they will present that vaunted paragon of baroque composition: J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.”


Making its Frenchmen debut, “Cloud Trio” is a contemporary work by award-winning Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. Comprised of four layered movements, this piece was written in the French Alps, inspired by the composer’s gaze into the vast sky beyond the mountains. In her program notes, Saariaho does not volunteer which cloud shapes gave her inspiration, encouraging listeners to reach their own conclusions.


Celebrated American composer Steve Reich’s “Different Trains,” first performed in 1988, is probably the most famous and compelling of his works. As a child of divorced parents living in New York and Los Angeles, Reich spent much of the first years of World War II travelling across the country by train. Reich, who is Jewish, later observed that if he had lived in Europe when he was a child, he would have been riding trains to concentration camps.


Made up of three separate movements, Reich’s composition explores different journeys: “America - before the war,” “Europe - during the war,” and “After the war.” Using spoken phrases from taped conversations with the nanny accompanying him on his trips, an American railroad employee, and archival recordings of Holocaust survivors, Reich extracts phrases and turns them into musical passages that underscore the driving rhythm from the strings.


The second set presents one rather prodigious work published 247 years earlier. The cult of personality surrounding J.S. Bach kindles not just excessive extolling by musicians and critics repeating observations of his sonic perfection and astonishing career, but it makes the composer so easy to disparage. There have been volumes written about his genius and no fewer blog entries and articles about how overrated and even boring his music is. Whatever your opinion, one thing never debated is his inescapable presence in music.


Clocking in at around 75 minutes if uninterrupted from beginning to end, Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” is no less overhyped and unduly derided as the composer. This work is made up of 30 variations on an enticing aria and was written to help lull an insomniac Count to sleep at night. The piece is more than just “furniture music,” though. Bach was able to achieve something in these variations that allows listeners to actively or passively engage as they see fit.


Much of it is in the presentation, of course, and to witness a performance of the “Goldberg Variations” live in an intimate setting lends itself close and direct audience participation. The presentation at Snug Harbor will feature 12 Birdfoot artists, including both pianists Prach Boondiskulchok and Danny Driver, as well as three string trios presenting string arrangements of variations.


Each set costs $15 for general admission, and $10 for students with a valid ID required at the door. Tickets are on sale through Snug Harbor Bistro’s website or by calling (504) 949-0696.


For additional information on this and two remaining festival events, visit the Birdfoot website or call 504-451-6578. Also, be sure to stick with the NOLA Defender for continuing coverage.

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Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Theatre Critic

Michael Martin


Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond


Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.


B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock