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THE

Defender Picks

 

MERCREDI

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 

 

Scatterjazz

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

JEUDI

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

 

VENDREDI

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

NOMA, 7PM

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 

 

Bloodsick

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 

SAMEDI

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

 

GCPL Cup

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 

DIMANCHE

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

 

Inception

Prytania Theatre, 10PM

Christopher Nolan's mind-bending masterpiece

LUNDI

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


Promotin’ the General Welfare

Summertime Blues



There is a point at which the brain shuts down upon hearing news of another murder, gunshot victim, kidnapping, carjacking, or drug overdose. It is necessary to block out the madness, the sadness, the grim prospects that stand in opposition to those principles which comprise the “good life” we cherish thanks to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

 

Growing up in New Orleans, you always knew the end of the school year was the beginning of troubles for some of us. My grandmothers were fond of saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground,” and our mothers made sure we were hardly idle. By the time your vacation was done, you were ready to go back to school.

 

One summer, somehow things didn’t work out with a program in which I was enrolled, and the prospect of a couple weeks off in August seemed possible for a brief second. Plans were being made as to which friends I’d be visiting or places I’d like to go. “Blerd” that I was, I was just heading to the record stores or bookshops and making like Speed Racer on my ten-speed bicycle, dweebing out to the sounds from the nearest stereo I could find.

 

My mother had other plans and arranged for me to assist my Uncle William each day for a week. Uncle William was from Alabama, “the country” as we called it. He was an artist who also worked in a big building in the CBD and did not suffer foolishness, laziness, or worse, whining. This didn’t mean he lacked a sense of humor. On the contrary, like many of the men in my family, they had a heightened sense of humor in light of the circumstances they’d endured.

 

The task at hand? Building a shed in his backyard, and this wasn’t some prefab puzzle piece we were going to glue together. This required hanging sheetrock, painting: the works — in the middle of a New Orleans’ August.

 

Each day, I was dropped off around 6AM. We’d work until it was too hot, stop for lunch, then resume when things cooled off. While we weren’t suffering through putting the shed together, there were other tasks to be done. All the while, I could hear the sounds from the street where other kids were playing. I could easily imagine myself joining them. I could also imagine myself punished and enduring a more difficult, homespun penance.  

While we worked, we talked. I did a lot of listening and glistening from all that sweat. There was not enough water and ice in the world during that week. Needless to say, each night, I was done: ready for bed, no problem. I think we finished the shed, but my commitment of a week was complete with some valuable lessons learned along the way.

 

When I saw my grandmothers that Sunday, they said they were happy to hear I had been hard at work and not hanging in the streets, not that we were ever allowed to hang in the streets. This city is small, like a glorified big town. Everybody knows somebody. If they don’t know you directly, they know somebody who knows your family. Sure, there were those who hung in the streets, but it better not be you.

 

Why? Because worse than being caught breaking that rule was the thought of you being a victim of a senseless crime, and since you were reminded that they’d raise you to use your common sense, exactly why would you find yourself in such a predicament? And why would you want to break their hearts?  

 

“Bad news” didn’t have to happen your family specifically for it to impact the community. “Bad news” was something shared, the shock or worse, the logic of it: if he or she hadn’t been doing this or that, who knows? The burden of bad news was something assumed by all in a community with a shared culture.

 

But what is our shared culture anymore as Americans? Do we have a shared sense of community anymore? Is it something we decline and decide to mind our own business, or is it something we only feel for “folks like us”?

 

Regardless the source of “bad news”, it takes a moment to process, to comprehend exactly what happened. Sometimes, in an honest moment, maybe you ask yourself, do I really care? And if so, why should I? What difference can my caring make if I cannot reach those most affected by this “bad news”?

 

And that’s okay. We’re human, and if we’re honest, we acknowledge that humans get frustrated and fall prey to fatalistic thinking. If you’re human, you surrender sometimes to feeling utterly apathetic because, well, that’s where you go.  

 

Reality check: let’s say you really don’t care, you won’t care, why should you care? It’s just another negative blip on the murder radar, another strike in the shooting gallery. That’s not about you — until it becomes about you, until it impacts you or someone you know. Then it’s all about you and those you know.

 

During summertime, crime rates escalate, and kids, teens, and young people get caught not only in crossfire, but caught up in situations that might not be available if they aren’t idle. Twenty-four hours every day is a long time and for many, an interminable time.  

 

Is it each person’s problem to (re)solve? No. We understood this growing up. We were told who the “bad kids” were and why they were “bad”, and the definition of “bad” was highly subjective, but you knew better than to be around the “bad kids”, even if one of them might be a friend. Similarly, we were told what a “bad situation” was and why it should be avoided, and what would happen if you found yourself caught up in one.

 

We can turn blind eyes, move to other neighborhoods, drive-by and never stop, whatever: it’s a democratic right. Nothing compels any of us to care more than we should or want.  

 

But it does not stop or stem the problems which contribute to murders and shooting, drug overdoses and car-jackings, be it summertime or any time. And when I’m most inclined to surrender to cynicism and create distance between myself and the source of befuddlement and pain, I have to make the choice not to cave and throw in the towel.  

 

Unless I’m planning on moving to the most remote of surroundings, it’s unlikely there’s anywhere in America where grief and tragedy can’t strike. Here, it’d be easy to call into question the ease and access to guns and other weapons of war which make it to the streets of our small towns and cities, but the weapons are but one part of a larger problem to be found throughout our country, not just in urban areas like New Orleans.  

 

Wherever people and poor thinking intersect with access to a means of destruction, something bad is bound to happen. And, idle minds are to be found in every clime and community: where now there is a significant opioid crisis, there’s a sad plurality of idleness. Before the current “crisis” associated with opioids, there were previous drug crises run rampant in rural areas, small towns, and suburbs thanks to idleness.

 

How to cure the problem and make people’s lives more productive: that is the question, and not just sometimes, but all throughout the year. We’re talking about making living meaningful, be it in the Crescent City, Coal Country, or the Gold Coast.  

 

There’s something wrong at the heart of this crisis of American conscience that has more to do with consumer consumption and a failure to fill a void, or a disconnect with a larger culture that no longer exists. Better yet, what is the larger culture?

 

In a perverse way, America is being forced to deal with “the blues”. As Memphis Slim once spoke in the beginning of “Blues is Trouble” from the album All Kinds of Blues, “They say blues goes color only, but I disagree, I believe everybody have the blues…” 

 

Seriously, do we want to solve the problem, or do we wish to just “SMH” and “like” every time another post or tweet signals an opportunity to express a sentiment cheaply? That only makes the divide wider and the disconnect a greater impasse.

 

Let’s start with by rediscovering our connection to people. People like each other, people like the ones down the street whether they look like you or not, people like everyone impacted by some great weight they can’t seem to get from under, people like people some of us know, people like, lemme see, the human race.  

 

Or do we believe in that anymore either?

 

- - - - - 

 

The text above is a column and expresses only the opinion of the author, not NOLA Defender or NOLA Defender’s Editorial Board.

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Contributors

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

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily