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THE

Defender Picks

 

Lundi

June 26th

Pizza For Pitbulls

Reginelli’s, 11AM

Eat pizza to help dogs, really. Benefitting the Love A Pitbull Foundation

 

Justin Molaison

Chickie Wah Wah, 5:30PM

Happy hour tunes

 

Let’s Get Quizzical

Port Orleans Brewing Co., 6:30PM

Food, drinks, trivia

 

Salves + Infused Oils Workshop

Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Last class of the Heart of Herbal Medicine Series 

 

Choral Festival

St. Louis Cathedral, 7:30PM

Presented by the N.O. Children’s Choir

 

Breathe LOVE Yoga

Revolution Fitness, 7:30PM

Hatha Yoga Basics

 

Little Tybee + Cliff Hines + Friends

Hi Ho, 8PM

Elements of folk, jazz, psych, and bossa

 

Mondays with Tasche

Mags, 8PM

Vintage soul and modern blues

 

Charlie Gabriel & Friends

Preservation Hall, 8PM

Joined by Taslimah P. Bey, Djallo Djakate, Marion Hayden

 

A Motown Monday

Circle Bar, 9:30PM

With DJ Shane Love

 

Monday Music Therapy

Lucky’s, 10PM

With CSE & Natasha Sanchez

 

MARDI

June 27th

Movie Screening

Broad Theater, 5:30PM

An intimate screening of America Divided

 

Book Signing

Garden District Book Shop, 6PM

Appearences by Courtney + J.P. Sloan

 

Movie Screening

Café Istanbul, 6:30PM

Trapped: A story of women + healthcare

 

Song Writer Sessions

Foundation Room, 7PM

Supporting NOLA’s songwriting community

 

MORBID ANGEL + Suffocation

House of Blues, 7PM

With support by Withered

 

Astrology | Transits

School for Esoteric Arts, 7PM

A lecture on reading transits in natal charts

 

Boston

Saenger Theatre, 8PM

Get ready for a giant sing along

 

Blato Zlato + Toonces

Siberia, 8PM

Balkan tunes + art-rock

 

Progression

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Static Masks, Shame, Annette Peacock Tribute

 

MERCREDI

June 28th

Noontime Talk

NOMA, 12PM

Jim Steg: New Work, with Curator Russell Lord

 

Books Beer & Bookworm Babble

Urban South Brewery, 5PM

A fundraiser for Friends of New Orleans

 

Local Intro to Oils

Monkey Monkey, 6PM

Get the 411 on essential oils

 

Rye Tasting

Grande Krewe, 6PM

A flight of rye

 

Stick To Your Guns

Republic, 6PM

With support by Hawthorne Heights

 

Free Yogalates

The Mint, 6:30PM

Part of Wine Down Wednesdays

 

WNOE Summer Jam

House of Blues, 7PM

Jerrod Neimann with Michael Ray and more

 

Comedy Gold

House of Blues, 7PM

Stand up comedy from the Big Easy

 

Corks & Colors

NOLA Yoga Loft, 7:30PM

Let the paints and wine flow

 

Weird Wednesday’s

Bar Redux, 9PM

The Extra Terrestrial Edition

 

Mighty Brother

Saturn Bar, 10PM

With Grace Pettis

JEUDI

June 29th

Essence Festival

Superdome, 10AM

All your favorites in one place

 

Talkin’ Jazz

Jazz Museum, 2PM

With Tom Saunders

 

Ogden After Hours

The Ogden, 6PM

Featuring Andrew Duhon

 

Movie Screening

Carver Theater, 6PM

FunkJazz Kafé: Diary Of A Decade 

 

Bleed On

Glitter Box, 6PM

Fundraising for We Are #HappyPeriod, powered by Refinery29

 

Book Signing

TREO, 7PM

SHOT by Kathy Shorr

 

BYO #Scored

Music Box Village, 730

Presenting “Where I’m From”

 

JD Hill & The Jammers

Bar Redux, 8PM

Get ready to jam

 

Henry & The Invisibles

Hi Ho, 9PM

With support by Noisewater

 

Soundbytes Fest Edition

Three Keys, 9PM

With PJ Morton + Friends

 

Trance Farmers

Dragon’s Den, 10PM

Support by Yung vul

 

Push Push

Banks St Bar, 10PM

With Rathbone + Raspy

 

VENDREDI

June 30th

Electric Girls Demo Day

Monroe Hall at Loyola, 1:30PM

Check out the newest inventions

 

Field to Table Time

NOPL Youth Services, 2PM

Learn how growing + cooking = saving the world

 

Dinner & A ZOOvie

Audubon Park, 6PM

A showing of Trolls

 

Movie Night in The Garden

Hollygrove Market, 7PM

A showing of Sister Act

 

Songwriter Night

Mags, 9PM

Ft. Shannon Jae, Una Walkenhorst, Rory Sullivan

 

Alligator ChompChomp

The Circle Bar, 9:30PM

Ft. DJ Pasta and Matty N Mitch

 

Free Music Friday

Fulton Ally, 10PM

Featuring DJ Chris Jones

 

Spektrum

Techno Club, 10PM

Ft. CHKLTE + residents

 

The Longitude Event

Café Istanbul, 10PM

Presented by Urban Push Movement

 

Foundation Free Fridays

Tips, 10PM

Ft. Maggie Koerner & Travers Geoffray + Cha Wa

 

Gimme A Reason

Poor Boys Bar, 11PM

Ft. Tristan Dufrene + Bouffant Bouffant

 

SAMEDI

July 1st

SLOSHBALL

The Fly, 12PM

Hosted by Prytania Bar

 

Organic Bug Management

Hollygrove Market, 1PM

Learn about pests + organic management

 

Mystic Market

Rare Form NOLA, 2PM

Author talk, live music, art and more

 

Girls Rock New Orleans

Primary-Colton, 2:30PM

The official camper showcase

 

Serious Thing A Go Happen

Ace Hotel, 4PM

Exhibit viewing, artist talk, and after-sounds

 

Art NO(w)

Claire Elizabeth Gallery, 5PM

An eye popping opening reception

 

Antoine Diel Trio

Three Muses, 6PM

With Josh Paxton + Scott Johnson

 

CAIN Ressurection

Southport Music Hall, 9PM

Support by Overtone plus Akadia

 

Grits & Biscuits

House of Blues, 10PM

A Dirty South set

 

Jason Neville Band

BMC, 11PM

With Friends for Essence Fest

DIMANCHE

July 2nd

The Greatest Show On Earth

Prytania Theater, 10AM

Dramatic lives within a circus

 

THINK DEEP

The Drifter Hotel, 2PM

Ft. RYE, Lleauna, Tristen Dufrane

 

Night Market

Secondline Arts, 6PM

With Erica Lee

 

The Story of Stories

Académie Gnostique, 7PM

Learn about the practical magic of fairy tales

 

Silencio

One Eyed Jacks, 8PM

A tribute to David Lynch

 

Alex Bosworth

Bar Redux, 9PM

With Diako Diakoff

 

Church*

The Dragons’s Den, 10PM

SHANOOK, RUS, KIDD LOVE, ZANDER

 

International Flag Party

Howlin Wolf, 11:30PM

The hottest dance party of the year

 

New Creations Brass Band

Maple Leaf, 12AM

A special closing performance

 

'Right Time, Wrong Place'

Documentary Project Unearths the Origins of New Orleans Punk Rock



Though it was never the headliner of the New Orleans music community, punk rock has been a player since the beginning of the music form in the late 1970s. Ryan Sparks catches up with a local documentary maker who's attempting to assemble the pieces of the local scene's raucous - and uniquely New Orleans - provenance.

 

In 1978 the Neville Brothers debuted nationwide on their first self-titled album, Albert King sung about his bad luck on New Orleans Heat, and Dr. John released City Lights.  Far removed from mainstream funkiness and mature R&B, another New Orleans original released a 45 single, Almost Ready.

 

Until recently, it was the lone document of the city’s first successful punk rock band The Normals, who spearheaded the movement with a driving sound influenced by early rock 'n roll. The cutting-edge sound and rebellious, DIY ethos sent kids across the area head-popping and pogo-dancing.  While no local band from punk’s original heyday ever established themselves as a true nationwide phenomenon on par with MC5, the Stooges, or the Ramones, a scene managed to coalesce in this trumpet-and-sax town that was filled with enthusiastic kids.

 

As with any punk scene, there are survivors, stories, and souvenirs galore. But those elements have dissipated over the years, and sometimes the memories are a litty fuzzy. Al Champagne, a young director who was born around the same time the NOLA new wave was rolling hard and high, has committed himself to documenting the tales of the era straight from the participants themselves. He is currently about three-quarters of the way through interviews for a documentary on this little-studied piece of New Orleans music history. The doc will take its name from the Normals song: Almost Ready: The History of New Orleans Punk Rock.

 

Champagne found a CD collection of the Normals' singles and demos called Your Punk Heritage in the late nineties and has been listening to it ever since.  

 

“I describe the Normals as the Ramones if the Ramones were better able to play their instruments," he said. "When I told that to [singer/guitarist] David Brewton, he seemed to not like the fact that I was telling him that I thought he was better…it was like telling Pope Benedict he’s better than Jesus Christ.  The Normals did have that sound where everything came in together, they sang in harmonies, they played their instruments, they just were in the right time, wrong place.”  

 

Getting the Bands Back Together

Champagne studied in Delgado’s Television and Video program, and has long wanted to make films, but knew that on a spare budget he’d have little chance of making even an indie feature.  In fact, he has yet to find any financial backing and doesn’t own any equipment of his own but told NoDef, “I decided I’m going to try to do this regardless of having all of these handicaps.”  

 

The idea to explore the late 70’s and early 80’s punk scene in New Orleans years before, and as he approached his 30th birthday he decided it was time to undertake his own documentary project.  In the summer of 2011 he started contacting members of bands with requests for filmed interviews.  After a handful of sessions he met up with Jimmy Anselmo, longtime owner of Jimmy’s nightclub on Willow Street (the Frat House now occupies the site) who became enthusiastic about the project.  Anselmo not only had a wealth of stories but something even more valuable to Champagne: contacts.

 

Last year Anselmo and Champagne set up a Facebook group and watched as the member list slowly started to rise to the hundreds.  Made up of old musicians, zine-sters and well-known fans, the group has been posting photos, gig posters, and old T-P articles (one concerning the arrest of members of the Misfits trespassing in St. Louis Cemetery #2 is a favorite artifact) as well as catching up on each other’s interim history.

 

“What’ll happen is you got all these people re-connecting after 30 years and reliving their glory days," Champagne said. "I didn’t expect anything like that to happen.”  

 

Following the success of the group, Anselmo organized a reunion at the Southport Hall in Jefferson. He and his two-man film crew, Pablo Romero-Estevez and Andrew Mayeaux, set up at the party and got a lot of interviews. Another event is scheduled for this December in the same venue, this time with performances by reunited bands like the Backstabbers, the Models, Sexdog, the Limit, and Stephie and the White Sox.  

 

Tolerance for the Weird

The high points for many of the bands Champagne interviewed seem to be when they almost cut a record deal or when they opened up for the Clash or U2 or when they got a chance—like Dee Slut from the Sluts—to audition for a role in a more established band like Black Flag.  Only the Red Rockers—featuring John Thomas Griffith, now of Cowboy Mouth—found their way onto MTV with their minor hit “China.”  Many eventually made other cities their home, like so many musicians of that period, punk or otherwise, who felt the need to escape the stigma of New Orleans as a jazz/honky tonk/funk town.  A few have become successful session musicians.  Champagne says he has interviewed everyone from “laborers to lawyers,” but their memories all seem to be positive.  

 

Early New Orleans punk and new wave bands fed a lot on direct influence from the Clash, Ramones, and Sex Pistols, and none of them really attempted to break the mold, but the scene had its differences from other cities’ incarnations.  For one, there was very little infighting amongst bands or their adherents.  The closest thing to a rivalry Champagne can point to is the division between the Normals, who rocked mainly uptown and the Dukes, a band that held onto a little more of the Stones-type swagger and represented Fat City at a time when Fat City was a thriving disco boomtown.  For the most part, the same type of people could be found at any of the shows at now-defunct clubs, clued in by John G., a DJ who curated a punk and new wave show for WTUL on Tuesday nights.  In the era before MySpace, Facebook, and even the widespread sharing of bootleg cassettes, this little slice of time on the radio was important to kids across the city who were buying into the developing movement.

 

“Here in New Orleans, I guess ‘cause it’s a smaller city and a lot of these bands played together, it wasn’t uncommon to have a power pop band playing with a more hardcore band.  There was a lot of heckling, but not fights. “  

 

Champagne cites New Orleans long-standing tolerance of the weird for harboring the early scene, but it seems to this correspondent that it may have helped keep the scene a little tamer than in other cities since being a punk here wasn’t necessarily synonymous with being tough.  Listening to N.O. Experience Necessary, a 1980 compilation of various punk bands from southeast Louisiana (and inspiration for the name of Champagne’s film), it seems that in this region punk stayed only one step removed from rock for a longer period and maintained more of a party vibe than a running social commentary.

 

For instance, Chris Luckette, the drummer for the Normals, returned home after the band unsuccessfully tried to make their way in New York City and transitioned from straightforward 70’s punk to power pop with the remarkably popular band The Cold.  The band played quick offbeat/upbeat songs written by bassist Vance Degeneres.  They happened to be clean cut enough to play CYO dances yet hot enough to fill clubs on Bourbon Street.  Another band, RZA, formed out of NOCCA behind the capable crooning of Lenny Zenith.

 

“Lenny Zenith was a transgender at a time when it wasn’t really acceptable,” Champagne said.  “The scene here was very accepting of him, but when he tried to make his way to the major labels they weren’t as receptive of him as they were at home.  So I guess Boy George was one thing to the major labels, but he was another […]but as a songwriter, this guy, by all accounts, would have been a staple of college radio by the end of the 1980’s.”  

 

Project is Ongoing

After more than 20 interviews, Champagne is feeling a lot of momentum going his way. His partner Pablo Romero-Estevez is leaving soon to spend some time in California gathering footage from NOLA-expats there.  Collecting the stories has been the easy part; his main challenges now are editing the hours and hours of footage he has into a movie that will further compel the audience’s interest in this varied corner of NOLA’s rock history. To spotlight some of the more compelling lore, he envisions that he will also compile mini-featurettes to give wider exposure to particularly characters like A.G. Parr who wrote songs for the Dukes and fronted Famous Monsters.   

 

Champagne is currently considering Kickstarter or another crowd-sourcing utility to raise funds necessary to finish his project.  He is getting a lot of support and images to use in his film from fans and the bands themselves. For now, it seems interest in vintage southern punk continues to grow.  The Normals have had some studio tracks from 1979 recently released on Last Laugh records, the Cold are releasing a DVD, Live at Jimmy’s, that captures them in at their bounciest and best, and Jimmy Anselmo himself has garnered a tribute corner at this year’s Voodoo Music Experience featuring bands like Dash Rip Rock and the Models.

 

Stay tuned for more information on this one-of-a-kind film. And in the meantime, here's a clip in which punks describe their age-old nemesis, the HeyBra:

 

The Unheard Music From the

The Unheard Music

From the article;

"Champagne cites New Orleans long-standing tolerance of the weird for harboring the early scene, but it seems to this correspondent that it may have helped keep the scene a little tamer than in other cities since being a punk here wasn’t necessarily synonymous with being tough. Listening to N.O. Experience Necessary, a 1980 compilation of various punk bands from southeast Louisiana (and inspiration for the name of Champagne’s film), it seems that in this region punk stayed only one step removed from rock for a longer period and maintained more of a party vibe than a running social commentary."

With respect, Mr. Sparks, it's a good idea to avoid generalizing based on the position of one's lens. That Mr. Champagne connected with the venerable Mr. Anselmo at an early stage of this project was certainly fortuitous for both of them, and for others as well. There were many amazing shows and bands at Jimmy's over the years, not exclusively, but particularly for the power pop fan.

Whatever his enthusiasm for the music at the time, as a businessman Mr. Anselmo fairly consistently and decidedly rejected a large segment of The Scene. My impression was that he didn't want his place trashed. While there were notable exceptions, both homegrown and visiting hardcore bands generally had to find another venue. This is not meant to disparage Mr. Anselmo in any way, he was clearly an important and supportive figure for New Orleans music at the time, and it's extremely gratifying that he is still so involved.

As indicated in the article, one of the things i think New Orleans enjoyed as a smaller city was the cross-over between the various social and musical circles. That's just how New Orleans is (was?) anyway. I'm not trying to start a Mods vs Rockers thing, gawd knows the smaller circles also contributed to a lot of really silly drama. What appealed to many about the music and spirit of the time was the diy, homegrown nature and accessibility. Again, this applied for both local bands as well as visitors. New Orleans was a special place, that particular scene offered a unique and welcoming environment for a huge list of bands from around the world. We were certainly sufficiently numerous, varied and devoted enough to support a very vibrant scene outside of one particular sub-genre.

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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