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Defender Picks



July 26th

Gloria Park & the Arrowhead Jazz Band

The Mint, 2PM

Music at the Old U.S. Mint


Kaya Nicole Band

The Maison, 4PM

Samba & Bossa Nova sounds


Mid-Week Mindfulness 

Longue Vue, 6PM

Decompress from the stress


Debachuerous Duets

Allways Lounge, 7PM

5th anniversary of Esoterotica's duets


The Rocketboys

Siberia, 7PM

Feat. The Whistles & The Bells


Space Kadet

Howlin’ Wolf, 8PM

Their New Orleans debut


The Boondock Saints

Catahoula Hotel, 8PM

A rooftop showing 



Side Bar, 8:30PM

Feat. Eric “Benny” Bloom + David Torkanowsky


The Love Witch

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Free screening of the Anna Biller feminist flick


George Romero Retrospective

Bar Redux, 9PM

Dawn of the Dead, The Crazies, Night of the Living Dead  


Organized Crime & Friends

Maple Leaf, 10PM

Feat. Cliff Hines


Antoine Diel & the Misfit Power

Spotted Cat, 10PM

A jazzy midweek show


July 27th

Antoine Diel Quartet

Hotel Monteleone, 5PM

At the Carousel Bar


Yoga Social Club

The Crescent Park, 5:45PM

Get zen and ready to mingle


Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6PM

Feat. Paul Sanchez


Book Signing

Alvar Library, 6:30PM

An appearance and reading by James Nolan


Crescent Fresh Open Mic

Dragon’s Den, 7PM

No cover


Singing In The Rain

Orpheum Theater, 7PM

Free screening of the Gene Kelly classic


Meek Mill

Lakefront Arena, 8PM

Feat. Yo Gotti + YFN Lucci


Derek Brueckner

Art Klub, 8PM

Come observe and participate as you wish


Tony Seville & The Cadillacs

Mohogany Jazz Hall, 9PM

R&B and Jazz classics



July 28th

Food Truck Friday

Champions Square, 11AM

Feat. even more trucks


Dinner and a ZOOvie

Audubon Park, 6PM

A showing of Trolls


John Waters Film Festival


The Pope of Trash's classic 1981 film, Polyester


Astrology: Basics of Chart Reading

New Orleans School for Esoteric Arts, 7PM

Demystifying the chart: glyphs, houses, aspects, and more


Leonardo Hernandez Trio

Casa Borrega, 7PM

A night of Latin jazz


Akira Movie Night

Art Klub, 8PM

A night for anime


Corey Feldman

Southport Music Hall, 8PM

The 80's idol comes to town with his Angels 



Siberia, 9PM

Feat. Cave of Swimmers + Smoke


Blue Velvet

Howlin Wolf, 10PM

Feat. Skelatin, Dusty_tupelo + The Family Band


Foundation Free Fridays

Tipitina's, 10PM

Feat. Rory Danger & The Danger Dangers and more


Spektrum Fridays

Techno Club, 11PM

Feat. Zander, Javier Drada 


July 29th

Cocktail Treasure Hunt

Chartres House, 10AM

Hosted by the Krewe of Crescent City Dames


Stretch Your Day Out

The Drifter Hotel, 10AM

Poolside yoga


Summer Shrimp Boil-Off

Seaworthy, 2PM

Three chefs compete to make the best boil


Brush Lettering Workshop

Lionheart Prints, 2PM

Learn the art of penmanship


Cool Down Block Party

4100-4300 Magazine St., 5PM

Live music, free drinks, special sales, and more



Pan American Stadium, 6:30PM

Gaffa FC versus Cajun Soccer Club


Hot Summer Nights in the Ice Pit

Orpheum Theater, 7PM

A night of comedy


Bad Girls of Burlesque

House of Blues, 8PM

Monthly showcase at HOB


Mythological Hybrids 

Bar Redux, 9PM

Psych-rock sci-fi


Rocky Horror Picture Show

MechaCon Convention, 12AM

Feat. shadow cast, costumes, props 


July 30th

Brunch & Burn

St. Roch Market, 10AM

Yogalates, with food & mimosas to follow


Free Yoga Class

Parleaux Beer Lab, 11AM

$1 off beers for all attendees


Sacred Marketplace

Congo Square, 12PM

Unveiling the refurbished historic marker


Harry Potter's Birthday Party

Tubby & Coo's, 2PM

It's the boy wizard's bday


Cauche Mar & Evers

Castillo Blanco Art Studios, 9PM

Feat. Delish Da Goddess, Ekumen, Pine Box Social



Prytania Theatre, 10PM

Christopher Nolan's mind-bending masterpiece


July 31st

The Well

St. Anna's Episcopal Church, 2PM

A woman's poetry circle


Start-Up Institute for Small Businesses

Urban League of Louisiana, 5:30PM

Start of month-long business training program


Larry Correia

Garden District Book Shop, 6PM

Signing and reading from Monster Hunter Siege


Elemental Dignities

New Orleans School for Esoteric Arts, 7PM

Working with the elements in tarot


August Alsina

House of Blues, 7PM

NOLA-born musician


Helen Gillet

Bacchanal, 7:30PM

Sip some wine and listen to the jazzy starlet 


Burlesque Bingo

Bar Mon Cher, 8PM

Lefty Lucy presents the art of the tease and bingo


Faun and a Pan Flute

Hi-Ho Lounge, 10PM

Atlanta musicians take over the Instant Opus series

Casting Their Lot

Film Project Focuses on Improving Algiers 'Park'

Filmmaker Russell Blanchard didn't intend to start a new project when he went into Black Star Books & Caffe, just a block from his Algiers home. But, as many neighborhood conversations go in New Orleans, he got to talking to Black Star owner Baakir Tyehimba about the closest blight.


Through their conversations, Blanchard learned how, seven years ago, Tyehimba tried to turn the lot across from his coffee shop into a green space for kids. He used his own money, but, Blanchard said, "it didn't work out due to city regulations." The small, vacant lot on the corner of Belleville and Slidell Streets was full of broken-down cars and over-grown grass, while the local children played in the street.


Today as Blanchard and his film crew finish principle photography on the short film "The Lot," the property still has overgrown grass and the fenceposts Tyehimba installed seven years ago. Local children still play in the street. 


"The City seems to have its hands tied or they act like they have their hands tied a lot of times," Tyehimba reflects. 


For Blanchard, Tyehimba's failed effort to create an urban green space shows "how sometimes it's difficult because you always want to help on your terms, but then people really need help on their terms."


Tyehimba's attempt to reclaim the lot back in 2007 began modestly. He persuaded a neighbor to park his diesel tractor-trailer-truck elsewhere, and towed the abandoned cars into the street with a heavy chain and his Ford F-150.  "For me, I'm not trying to own the property for personal gain or to make some profit off of it.  I want it for the benefit of...the people who live around here, and to take it away from being blighted." 


The city eventually towed the cars away.  Meanwhile, Tyehimba cut the grass, installed a wooden fence, and then taught local children to build playhouses, some of which decorated the property.


As Blanchard recounts, "At the high-water point he had about seven of these little playhouses, everything was rocking and rolling, and then the city came up and said he didn't use the right type of fence-boards, and he had to go to the board and discuss it.  And he went and kind of pled his case, and they said they'll review it." 


The actual owner of the lot by now supported Tyehimba's renovation effort, until he got a letter from the City threatening a $250 per day fine and jail time if the fines weren't paid. Eventually, the City informed Tyehimba that he could continue operating the park. But he was required to comply with the applicable regulations, including having a different fence and obtaining expensive private park insurance.


Tyehimba's experiences and frustrations resonated with Russell Blanchard. 


"It really connected to things I was trying to do, trying to help out the neighborhood,” Blanchard said. 


Being a filmmaker, Blanchard wanted to make a film that was inspired by Tyehimba's story. 


"Hopefully what we can do with the film is use it as a sort of tool to hopefully raise the funds and finish the park that he started," he said. 


“I think it's brilliant to do a film," Tyehimba said.  "I appreciate his effort." 


Blanchard sold Producer Megan Grogan on “The Lot” while they volunteered together at the Sundance Film Festival.  She had never been to New Orleans, but found the story drawing her interest.  


"It was more than just, 'I want to make a fun, short film.'  There was a story behind it, and it was the message, the message of reaching out and helping, the message of being a part of the neighborhood resonated with me," Brogan said.  "And the idea that it was a bigger project.  It wasn't just a small film, it was a huge project, and at the end of it there was going to be a park.  And that was the other goal outside the film." 


Director of Photography D. J. McConduit wanted to do the film after hearing about it from Blanchard at the New Orleans Video Access Center's 2013 event Synch-up Cinema. When local filmmaker Kevin Hughes (Laundry Day) joined the crew as a gaffer, he suggested Blanchard utilize the script-writing talents of his friend, Ben Gouldthrope.


Suddenly Blanchard had a dedicated group to make the film. It came complete with a small window when they were all free to shoot it, once producer Grogan’s regular TV show wrapped up. 


"I literally put my stuff in storage, came down here for three months, and here I am," Grogan said. 


The only problem was raising the capital. 


"We didn't really want to shoot the film until after the Kickstarter was done," Blanchard admits, "but we had such a good group of people that were available in this window that they all kind of agreed to participate, but, of course, you can't make a film with absolutely no money."  Blanchard and company created a crowd-funding campaign on the website to raise the production costs.


Blanchard plans to shoot for six days on a $10,000 budget.  "We have tons and tons of support, and everybody loves this project, but turning that into actual funds and, you know, physical help is a challenge," says Producer Megan Grogan.  She's spent her time in New Orleans finding cast and crew, ensuring materials and equipment needed to make the movie are available, coordinating everything and everyone, and launching the fundraising campaign.  The final film will be 15 minutes long with the intent for it to play at film festivals and do some local community screenings. 


Blanchard hopes bringing "The Lot" to "ready-made audiences" will inspire people to do something with vacant spaces in their neighborhoods.


"If you're going to help, why not help the people nearest to you?" Blanchard said.


Tyehimba retains hope that the property across from his coffeeshop will become useful for the community, even if that only involves a few picnic tables, benches or flowers.


"Sometimes the laws or the rules should be in line with what makes sense," he said.


The Lot's Kickstarter campaign ends July 28, 2014, at 10:20 AM CDT.  You can see their teaser trailer at

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


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

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