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THE

Defender Picks

 

MERCREDI

July 23rd

The Apartment
Prytania Theatre, 10a.m.
1960 classic inspired creators of Mad Men

 

Wednesdays on the Point
Algiers Ferry Dock, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Soul Rebels, Tank and the Bangas, DJ Rik Ducci (free)

 

Snowpiercer
Theatres at Canal Place, 7p.m.
N.O. Film Society presents Bong Joon-ho’s new film ($12.50)

 

Dave Hill, Fayard Lindsey
One Eyed Jacks, 8p.m.
Comedy presented by Hell Yes Fest ($15)

 

Dinky Tao Poetry
Neutral Ground Coffeehouse, 8p.m.
Weekly open poetry hour hosted by Jacob Dilson

 

Surrender the Fall, Artifas, Colossal Heads
Southport Hall, 8:30p.m.
Heavy rock out of Memphis ($10)

 

Peter Matthew Bauer, Ben Jones, Skyler Skelset
Gasa Gasa, 9p.m.
Former bassist of The Walkmen ($10)
 

JEUDI

July 24th

Crescent City Farmers Market
3700 Orleans Ave., 3p.m.-7p.m.
Midcity edition of the city's prime local market

 

Ogden After Hours
Ogden Museum, 6-8p.m.
This week ft. country rockers Pontchartrain Wrecks

 

Thursdays at Twilight
City Park Botanical Garden, 6p.m.
This week ft. Paul Sanchez ($10)

 

Dying City
Shadowbox Theatre, 7:30p.m.
Christopher Shinn’s play about the social effects of the Iraq War ($15)

 

Gisela in Her Bathtub & A Hand of Bridge
Marigny Opera House, 8p.m.
9th Ward Opera Company presents two one-act operas ($20)

 

20,000 Days On Earth
Zeitgeist, 7:30p.m.
Screening of the Nick Cave doc

 

Yojimbo, Down By Law
Joy Theatre, 7p.m.
Double feature worthy of the Criterion Collection

 

Coathangers, White Fang, Trampoline Team, Bottom Feeders
Siberia, 7p.m.
Feminist punk rockers at the early show ($8)

 

Reggae Night
Blue Nile, 11p.m.
Hosted by DJ T-Roy
 

VENDREDI

July 25th

Friday Nights at NOMA
NOMA, 5-9p.m.
Murals On Screen film series begins with Multiple Perspectives: the Crazy Machine

 

Gal Holiday & the Honky-Tonk Revue
Siberia, 6p.m.
Authentic N.O. honky-tonk rock (free)

 

Zephyrs vs. Omaha
Zephyr Stadium, 7p.m.
Local baseball in Metairie

 

Closed Curtain
Zeitgeist, 7:30p.m.
Jafar Panahi made his new film despite Iran’s ban on his work

 

Dying City
Shadowbox Theatre, 7:30p.m.
Christopher Shinn’s play about the social effects of the Iraq War ($20)

 

Johnny Angel & Helldorado
Old U.S. Mint, 8p.m.
Country Western swing from New Orleans ($10)

 

Gisela in Her Bathtub & A Hand of Bridge
Marigny Opera House, 8p.m.
9th Ward Opera Company presents two one-act operas ($20)

 

King Buzzo, Dax Riggs
One Eyed Jacks, 9p.m.
Melvins leader goes solo acoustic ($15)

 

The Hood Internet, Jermaine Quiz
Hi-Ho Lounge, 9p.m.
Mashup DJ extraordinaires ($12)

 

PUJOL, Natural Child, Heavy Lids, Planchettes
Siberia, 10p.m.
Garage rock from Nashville & NOLA

 

Foundation Free Fridays
Tipitina’s, 10p.m.
This week ft. Eddie Roberts & Friends

 

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Prytania, 10p.m.
Ft. The Well Hung Speakers shadow cast

SAMEDI

July 26th

Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Historic New Orleans Collection, 10:30a.m.
1964 film stars Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten

 

Renee Broadhead: Unveiled and P.L. Jones: Bonded By Blood
Garden District Books, 2-3:30p.m.
Two YA authors read from their supernatural novels

 

Big Easy Rollergirls Double Header
UNO Human Performance Center, 5p.m.
vs. Hattiesburg & Chicago ($15)

 

Zephyrs vs. Omaha
Zephyr Stadium, 6p.m.
Local baseball in Metairie

 

Symbols of the Illuminati in New Orleans
Zeitgeist, 6:30p.m.
They’re reeeeeal (presented by Tony Green)

 

New Orleans Voodoo vs. San Antonio Talons
Smoothie King Center, 7p.m.
Local arena football

 

Ceremony, Nothing, Back to Back, Heat Dust
Mudlark, 7p.m.
Cali & Philly punk rock ($5)

 

Dying City
Shadowbox Theatre, 7:30p.m.
Christopher Shinn’s play about the social effects of the Iraq War ($20)

 

Gisela in Her Bathtub & A Hand of Bridge
Marigny Opera House, 8p.m.
9th Ward Opera Company presents two one-act operas ($20)

 

Steely Dan
Lakefront Arena, 8p.m.
Kings of cool-dad rock ($62+)

 

Bantam Foxes
Old U.S. Mint, 8p.m.
Local indie band incorporates fuzzy blues rock ($10)

 

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Prytania, 10p.m.
Ft. shadow cast the Well Hung Speakers

 

HUSTLE!
Hi-Ho Lounge, 11p.m.
DJ Soul Sister’s rare groove dance party
 


Momma Tried

Art and Lit Publication Inspired by 60's and 70's Nudie Mags



While helping curate and build the Music Box shantytown in the Ninth Ward over a year ago, artists Theo Eliezer and Micah Learned devised a new art and literary magazine that would take its inspiration from men’s lifestyle magazines from the 60’s and 70’s, but distill the classically cool and intuitively interesting from the schlock and dated stereotypes.  The result is Momma Tried, a self-described “conceptual nudie mag” that is about to run off the print rollers and onto your naked coffee table.

 

 Eliezer and Learned’s goal is to present art and writing that is inclusive and descriptive of the vast sexual landscape that exists between the binary poles of pinup porno and lecture hall dissections of libido.  In addition, Momma Tried has a non-heteronormative editorial stance, which means that its ideal reader can aspire to the level of coolness contained inside no matter their gender, sexual status, or smoking jacket size.  

 

Ryan Sparks: What essence of 60's and 70's nudie mags did you most want to emulate?  Which were you eager to avoid?

 

Micah: The late 1960’s and 1970’s were the heyday for modern magazines. A number of publications were taking risks with their content and art direction at that time. George Louis and Jean-Paul Goude, two of the best art directors to work in the medium, held positions at Esquire back-to-back. From covers like ‘The Passion of Muhammad Ali’ to ‘Andy Warhol Drowns in his Own Soup’ to “Oh my God - we hit a little girl.”, George Lois’ covers often operated as both celebrations and subversions of the medium. Jean-Paul Goude was also really quite experimental, especially in his development of what came to be known as the ‘French Correction,’ a sort of pre-Photoshop manipulation of the body. And Harold Hayes, as editor of Esquire, was helping to revolutionize journalism with a stable of writers from Tom Wolfe and Truman Capote to Gay Telese. They introduced and legitimized New Journalism to a mainstream audience.  

 

 

June, Photo by Sarah Danzinger, Concept by Corinne Loperfido

At the same time, Playboy was publishing all these experimental, often leftist, and previously blacklisted, authors and combining these perspectives with somewhat revolutionarily open portrayals of sexuality. It was the first and possibly only coffee-table nudie mag in America. “I only read Playboy for the articles,” may be a cliche and a bit tongue in-cheek but, in many cases, it was also true.

 

I think with a brief overview of these magazines its clear why they continue to be influential, and a major source of inspiration and appropriation; however, they always were and are increasingly problematic. From the advertisements to the comic corners, there was a pervasive misogyny at the core of these magazines. They were incessantly straight. And, in the case of Playboy, they steadily contributed to an unrealistic ideal for female beauty which has had lasting negative impacts upon women’s body image and men’s expectations.

 

RS: Does Momma Tried function as a comment (implicitly or explicitly) on today's pornographic and lifestyle magazines, or is it more about just taking those concepts down a different alley?

 

Theo: Momma Tried isn’t a direct commentary on pornography or lifestyle magazines, though there are some aspects of both that we are specifically addressing, such as the lack of diversity, unrealistic standards of beauty, and heteronormative portrayals of relationships and sexuality that are outdated and alienating to lots of people.

 

Collage by Maj Anya Debear

 

We’ve talked a lot with each other about the experience of having a tangible publication in-hand; the feel and smell of the paper, the weight of it, how a book or magazine can be an object that’s carried through daily life for a period of time--all of those things factor into the concept of what we’re creating.  So, even if someone’s just reading a trashy magazine, the experience is often more immersive and memorable than viewing content of equal quality on the internet.

 

I think it has to do with the relationships we form with physical objects; some magazines, like books, become part of our personal history, and if one sticks around long enough, it becomes a source of nostalgia. I still have the very first porn mag I ever bought which was during the summer after 7th grade when I was trying to be super cool in front of my friends who were all skater boys. Even though it’s just a shitty old copy of Penthouse from the 90’s that I bought in a corner store, for me it’s now a sentimental object tied to a particular phase of my life.

 

RS: What is the format like?  

 

Micah: Theo and I have spent a lot of time hashing and rehashing the physical details, concepts, and intentions behind Momma Tried, but we don’t want to beat people over the head with those every time they open it up. It’s going to be a standard 8.5” x 11,” approximately 144 pages, full color, matte finish and perfect-bound. It’s going to be beautiful and easy to carry around. No gimmicks. No odd packaging. No snooty design. We used one issue of Playboy with Dolly Parton on the cover as the basis for most of our layout decisions.

 

Theo: We’re publishing a magazine and not a book or a journal, but the overall quality of it is more on par with publications that use those descriptions. It’s not a flimsy glossy mag like People that one might find in an airport kiosk and throw away two weeks later.  Our choice of paper weight and finish were chosen for the feel and look, but also longevity.

 

Micah: Exactly, it’s substantial and will fit right in on your bookshelf. With this first issue we wanted the printed object to remain with you as long as the ideas will.

 

RS: Where does Momma Tried fall on the continuum between titillating and obscene?  

 

Theo: We’re definitely creating a work that is on the titillating end of the spectrum, where the nudity supports creative concepts instead of being specifically a tool for arousal. The photos are sexy, but because they’re photographs of our friends and peers in our community, there’s a lot more to the images than dudes being heartthrobs or women making sexy-face at the camera.

 

Man of Steel, Photo by Steven Lang

RS: Were there some submissions that you felt did not fit because of their content?

 

Theo: Our process of selecting pieces really came down to how good each one was, though I vetoed some submissions that were too extreme in one way or another for the first issue. Normalizing the naked body and sexual expression is an important first step, since a lot of people might still feel awkward about seeing a penis or breasts next to literary content, and I wanted to make sure that we weren’t going to alienate people by being too graphic right off the bat.

 

RS: Can you break down the range of the different writing projects that will be in this issue?

 

Micah: From the outset I wanted the writing featured in Momma Tried to run the gamut from science writing and cultural essays to short fiction, poetry, and genre-defying experimental works. The main criteria for the writing we accepted was for it to be both entertaining and worth returning to, so I didn’t necessarily think we’d get to publish such a scope of material with this first issue, but we are. As a result, the selection of writing in this issue is fairly broad, ranging from Ben Ewen-Campen’s interview with Dr. Vincent Lynch, in which they dissect the ‘science’ of the female orgasm (it turns out there fundamentally aren’t any sound scientific theories, just patriarchal ones), to  Kate Durbin’s “Wives Shows,” which is essentially a transcription of five different Real Housewives-type reality shows, resulting in an eerie yet humorous cultural criticism.

 

RS: How did you come up with your photo editorials and assign them?

 

Theo: My process for coming up with ideas for this first issue involved identifying what tropes are most common in print magazines and thinking of ways to deconstruct them. There is still such a lack of diversity in mainstream publications that by simply embracing the diversity of our community and friend group, each one of our three editorials is in some way a repositioning of how people are typically portrayed. The industry’s representations of gender, ethnicity, body type, and orientation are so monotonous that it’s not too difficult to branch out from those very rigid norms.

 

RS: What are the themes of the photo editorials?

 

Theo: The three nude editorials that we created for our first issue are Earthly Delights, Crystal Visions, and Paper Dolls. Earthly Delights was inspired by the films of Kenneth Anger, and the beautiful and grotesque scenes of the painting The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. I’m a big fan of the fashion photographers Mert Atlas and Marcus Piggott, and their style definitely influenced what I envisioned for this shoot, which is one of the reasons we sought out Daniel Ford to be our photographer, since he captures drama and glamour in a similar way, with a brilliant eye for candid moments and composition.

 

Crystal Visions, which was photographed by Aubrey Edwards, was initially inspired by the music and style of Stevie Nicks, and became a sort of non-linear story about a character I took to calling the Dream Walker. I envisioned this character appearing to people with symbolic messages between sleep and waking, so it’s full of dreamy early-morning light, washes of color, and 1970’s prismatic effects meant to reference the Dream Walker’s place in the subconscious.

 

Paper Dolls is a playful exploration of how our outward appearances influence what others assume about us, and what judgments about lifestyle and economic status are projected as a result. With photographs of our models (shot by Alana Pryor Ackerman) we recreated the format of classic paper doll pages, which typically look like a doll in nondescript undergarments surrounded by different outfits that have foldable tabs on them so the clothes can be worn. Each doll character is a sort of blank canvas in white underwear, and next to them are outfits that represent divergent aspects of themselves expressed through clothing, each one potentially indicating something different about the culture, status, or identity of that doll when worn.

 

7. Does the magazine have much of a focus on New Orleans, or is it more of a product that is "made in NOLA?"

 

Micah: It’s definitely a product of New Orleans and our community, but we’re not reporting on current events and goings-on about town. There are enough publications in New Orleans doing that. We want to celebrate and publicize the intellectual life of the south, and we want Momma Tried to be a living document of the current climate and culture in New Orleans, which is both spectacular and precarious.

 

Theo: We’re very invested in creating a platform for local artists and writers to gain visibility, and we decided early on that the best way to achieve that would be to distribute the magazine internationally so that the work of our contributors could be seen around the world. In addition to showcasing the work of our local collaborators, we have many contributing writers and artists that live around the country and some abroad, which is something that we’re really happy about, because everyone involved in one way or another is contributing to a project that is inspired by our local identity.

 

Momma Tried #1 will be available at Gnome in the French Quarter and Blue Dream Boutique in the Marigny.  Or, have a copy mailed direct to your door when you pre-order via a Kickstarter Pledge before Thursday, April 4th.  Bonus gifts like launch party invites and photo prints are available with higher levels of backing.  

 

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Contributors:

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

Listings Editor

Anna Gaca

Art Listings

Cheryl Castjohn

Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Managing Editor

Stephen Babcock

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.