Fish Keep Getting Bigger at Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo

by E.J. Ruane

Stories of fish "this big" abound all over the Southeast this week, as fishermen who flocked from all over Louisiana, as well as Florida, Mississippi and Texas, for last weekend's Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo go home to tell all of their impressive catches. The annual event drew 25,000 people to the coastal city that has a year-round population of about 1,200. Asked about her own highlights of the weekend, director Angela Dorbin said, "Here's a highlight for you. The very first fish caught and weighed at the Rodeo was a 154-pound Tarpon!"  


That catch was made by John DeBileux of Houma, La..  Kenny Abney from New Orleans won the grand prize with the largest Tarpon caught. His whopper weighed in at 165 pounds.


Breaux Bridge resident Glenn Thomas will be forever enshrined in the 95-year-old tournament's lore. Thomas set a Rodeo record with a 99 pound grouper.


The biggest fish of the whole tourney came in on the final day of the event.


"Soon as the scales opened Saturday was when the most powerful fish was caught–a 541 pound Blue Marlin!" Dorbin said. Ross Chouest from Galliano, La., scored that catch.


View all the triple-digit catches and the rest of the results in the tourney's countless categories here.

Louisiana’s Shaw Group Sold to Texas Company in $3 Billion Deal

by Shay Sokol

One of the Pelican State's biggest companies will now be guided by the Lonestar. The Shaw Group Inc. announced today it has signed a merger agreement with the Texas-based Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, under which CB&I will acquire Shaw in a cash and stock transition valued at $3 billion. The combination of CB&I and Shaw, now to be called CB&I Shaw, will create one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies in the global energy industry.


Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Shaw Group Inc. is a global provider of engineering, construction, technology, fabrication, remediation and support services, with 27,000 employees around the world. When the Army Corps or Louisiana state government needs a large engineering project done, they usually call on Shaw.


After Katrina, the company was cited for failing to follow proper safety standards when some of the 24,000 FEMA trailers Shaw provided exploded due to improperly installed propane tanks, killing at least five people and injuring at least nine, The IND reported at the time. It is a Fortune 500 company with fiscal year 2011 annual revenues of $5.9 billion, the result of an upswing late last year after a two-year revenue decline.


“The company had said its power segment started to benefit from U.S. nuclear projects, though at a slower-than-expected rate,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “It anticipates contributions from those projects throughout the fiscal year.”


CB&I Shaw will have about 50,00 employees worldwide and an approximate $30 billion backlog.


The merger is awaiting approval of regulatory agencies and of both companies’ shareholders, and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013. CB&I will acquire Shaw for $46 per share in cash and stock (Shaw’s shareholders will receive $41 in cash and $5 in CB&I equity). 

Anthony Bourdain’s New Orleans Layover

As he's been known to do, Culinary King and NOLAphile Anthony Bourdain made a trek across New Orleans neighborhood bars and eateries Sunday. While we won't get to see the episode of The Layover for a while, the chef cum pundit let the public in on his thoughts, both in person and via the Twitter. Here's where we found him:



Around 3 p.m. at R Bar, Bourdain spent about twenty minutes drinking beer, and chatting with his friend, local scribe Lolis Elie. After the shooting wrapped, Bourdain continued a regal rendition worthy of Rex, and received tribute from his fans. First up was Dancing Man 504 who presented a sincerely appreciative Bourdain with his mother's red beans and rice recipe. Other gifts followed including notes, trinkets, and a bottle of Old New Orleans Rum.


NoDef's correspondent attempted to interview Bourdain, but professionalism fell victim to the hungers of the heart, and our erstwhile reporter was able only to ask for a quote, then blurt out mention of a shared Garden State heritage. Bourdain chuckled and walked on to his United Cab.


Inside the R Bar, a second woman could be seen lamenting her unrequited love for "Tony." Penny, a visitor from Spain, explained that she had vowed to swap saliva with the chef. Denied an actual kiss, she settled for the literal route, sipping Bourdain's unfinished beer at the bar. With the cab gone, we decided to follow the rest of the trip on Twitter instead of surveying the wreckage any further. 


At R&O’s Restaurant (216 Metairie Hammond Highway) in Metairie, Bourdain posted a picture around 7:00pm and tweeted, “I believe the local term for this sandwich involves ‘debris’”.


Later, Bourdain went to Snake and Jake’s. Or, maybe the light called him there:



He then closed out the night at King Pin (1307 Lyons Street), only to walk outside to another meal waiting for him – Taceaux Loceaux. He called the food truck “better than excellent” around 2:00am. Taceaux Loceaux posted this picture and tweeted @Bourdain, “thanks for coming by. Flattered that you and your crew enjoy our Taceaux.”

Anti-Crime March to Add Second Line Stylings

Last month's 610 Stompers appearance at an Uptown anti-crime march made things feel like Mardi Gras. This month, it's set to feel more like Easter, as The Original Pigeon Town Steppers are lined up for a special Ordinary Time appearance at the monthly procession against violence. “I didn’t want to wait until Easter to see them again,” an organizer said.

Route info and more details at Uptown Messenger

Stevie Wonder Offers Bounce Bonus at New Orleans Gala (VIDEO)

Stevie Wonder was in town to receive a Legend Award at the 2012 National Urban League Conference on Saturday, July 28, and ended up performing to bounce music by night’s end. At the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Masquerade Gala,at the Morial Convention Center, he performed a few classics on a baby grand to close out the conference, where U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and National Urban League president Marc Morial were in the house. At an after party, Stevie Wonder got on stage and performed “Superstition,” “Do I Do,” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to an old-school Bounce beat provided by DJ Raj Smoove and 2 Cent was there to catch it on film:


Video by Kev2cent [h/t Humid Beings]


Irish House’s Matt Murphy is Next New Orleans Chef on the ‘Chopped’ Block

by Mary-Devon Dupuy

After featuring a quartet of New Orleans chefs that included Miss Linda "The Ya-Ka-Mein Lady" Green in a late June episode and Fireman Mike around the 4th of July, the Food Network’s Chopped is going for the Crescent City trifecta on Tuesday. Local chef Matt Murphy is one of four competitors in the episode. The Irish House (1432 St. Charles Ave) will have a viewing party for the event, and Chef Matt is excited to celebrate the city’s positive publicity.  


Every episode, Chopped brings four chefs on to try to make the most out of everyday ingredients. The contestants compete before a panel of three expert judges, and each one must make a three-course meal in only thirty minutes. The real challenge lies in the fact that each chef goes in completely unprepared; their mystery ingredients are revealed to them mere seconds before the clock starts ticking.


The former Executive Chef at the Ritz Carlton is a native of Ireland, but he’s been in the Big Easy for around fifteen years. Murphy gained some national media attention back in 2009 after tripping on one of his daughter’s toys and subsequently suffering from the rare condition necrotizing fasciitis or “flesh eating disease.” He’s alive and well now, and has been undergoing rigorous preparations.




Murphy’s friend, Kris Gabik, helped the chef his promotion for the viewing party. “It took about a day and a half,” Murphy said. “We had three people on iphones taking shots taking different angles.” According to Murphy, it also took only about eight Guinness to complete his personal project.



Although Murphy is a wee bit shy about appearing on the network’s most viewed show, he sacrificed his modesty for New Orleans.


“It’s all for New Orleans, anyway. It’s great that they’re bringing it here. It’s usually New York or Los Angeles or Las Vegas, but this will help put New Orleans on the map. That show goes everywhere.”


The wide net won't only help New Orleans. Murphy said friends and family in Ireland and England will be tuned in.


At the Viewing Party, there will be door prizes ranging from pots and pans, to pantry mix, to beer. Murphy promises that the Irish House has “the best bloody Guinness in New Orleans,” which is incentive in itself to come out. “A lot of the Irish people that live here come here for our Guinness, and we have Murphy’s Stout. Some Irish people will only drink one or the other.”

The NoDef Guide to White Linen Night

It’s the time of year again for art aficionados and novices alike to break out their fancy white clothes and bring themselves to the Warehouse District. New Orleans’ art galleries are putting on their A-game this Saturday night, August 4, from 6-9pm, when five blocks of Julia St. (300-700 blocks) will be reserved for foot traffic only.


Galleries will open their doors to anyone who wants to peruse while they fan themselves with Whitney Bank’s paper party favors and sip on wine from some of the city’s finest food and beverage vendors. There will be three stages of music, and the event is free and open to the public. However, you’ll have to buy tickets if you want to indulge in the refreshments. You can preorder tickets for the event at the CAC's website.



White Linen Night Participants: 



5 Fifty 5, 7 on Fulton, Cake N’ Cups, Crêpes À la Cart, GW Fins, Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant, Mia’s Balcony, New Orleans Hog Dogs, Nirvana, NOLA Cotton Candy, NOLA Foods, Pinkberry, Salu Restaurant, Sun Ray Grill, and Ye Olde Kettle Cooker.



Check out the three stages featuring tunes from The Good Country Hey Brahs, Jim McCormick and Mark Carson, Picnic, and Jim Smith’s Damn Frontier.


White Linen Night Openings:


AIA New Orleans Center for Design, 1000 St. Charles Ave. 

Architecture Exhibition for AIA New Orleans members.


Alexis Walter Art, 835 Julia St.

Lagoon, mixed media painting by Alexis Walter 


Ariodante Gallery, 535 Julia St.

Paintings by Elsie Semmes, mosaics by Christine LeDoux and jewelry by Belle Bijoux. Opening reception at White Linen Night, lagniappe show by Joshua Windham.


Arthur Roger Gallery, 432-434 Julia St. 

Paintings by Holton Rower, Video Installation by John Pilson, and Objects from Rob Wynne. 


Callan Contemporary, 240 Chartres St.

Raine Bedsole presents her new body of work, inspired by the time she spent in Greece and Cuba. On view through September 28.


Contemporary Arts Center:

CAC Closing Exhibition Reception and White Linen Night After Party

$10 general admission, free for CAC members. Fundraiser. NOLA Now, Part II: The Human Figure—Group Show. EXPOSE: Parse Gallery, Staple Goods Collective, T-LOT.



Cash bars and Cuisine by 5 Fifty 5, Mia’s Balcony, and NOLA Cotton Candy

After-Party Entertainment at the CAC (9 – 11pm)

Mod Dance Party DJs spin funk and soul platters from the 50s, 60s, 70s & 80s


Coup d’ Oeil, 2033 Magazine St.

Paintings by Scott Hebert, on view through the month of August.


d. o. c. s., a studio gallery of contemporary art, 709 Camp St.

The Mystique, The Brilliance, paintings by Chic Connell.


The Foundation Fine Art Gallery, 608 Julia St.

All Alive and Close Enough to Touch—Rob Stephens—printmaking.


George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, 747 Magazine St.

2012 Scholarship Art Contest Winners—oil, acrylic, mixed media, and photography.


George Schmidt Gallery, 626 Julia St.

Paintings and etchings by George Schmidt.


Heriard-Cimino Gallery, 440 Julia St.

Fresh! New work and ongoing work from artists represented in the gallery. For information about artists displaying their work, visit The new art will be on view through July 30.


Jonathan Ferrara Gallery400 Julia St.

Stephen Hoskins presents “Omissions,” a collection of paintings that explore the ways that humans identify each other in the absence of clearly defined facial features. Opening July 30, in conjunction with White Linen Night. On view through August 25.


St. Claudeby Stephen Kwok, Bob Snead, James Goedert, Kiernan Dunn, Hannah Chalew, Michael Pajon, Angela Berry, Brian Guidry, Dan Tague, Christopher Saucedo, Malcolm McClay, and Generic Art Solutions (G.A.S.)  group exhibition.


Le Mieux Galleries, 332 Julia St.

They Were Hopelessly Outnumbered, ceramic sculptures and drawings by John Donovan.


M. Francis Gallery, 604 Julia St.

Evolution: The Spirit of an Artist, by Myesha Francis.


Mallory Page Studio Works, 641 Julia St.  

Recent work by Mallory Page, mixed media on canvas and wood panel.



Martine Chaisson Gallery,727 Camp St.

Infinite Flux, oil on canvas by Batya Kuncman.


Octavia Art Gallery, 4532 Magazine Street

Living with Pop, Emerging Artists and Modern Masters. This overview of pop culture and pop art from the 1960’s to the present will include works by Haring, Lichtenstein, Wesselman, Warhol, and more.


Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St.

Louisiana Contemporary, 86 pieces from 44 different artists will be on display through September 24. After a long review process of over 600 submissions, juror Rene Paul Barilleaux has made his final selections. There will be an awards ceremony in which one of the artists will win up to $1,500.


New Southern Photography: Lisette de Boisblanc, Birney Imes, Kathleen Robbins, Bruce West, S. Gayle Stevens, Andrew Garn, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Alex Leme, and more.


Louisiana Photographs from the Ogden Museum’s Permanent Collection:E.J. Bellocq, Clarence John Laughlin, Walker Evans, Elemore Morgan, Sr., Alec Soth, and more.


Historic Louisiana Landscapes and Portraits– Various Artists, paintings.


Lin Emery and H. Cole Wiley, multi-media. Works by Young Audiences Students, multi-media. 


Soren Christensen Gallery, 400 Julia St.

Transcendence, Luc Leestemaker, mixed media on canvas.


Stella Jones Gallery, 201 St. Charles Ave.

Mr. “I” The Bottle Cap Man—Mr. Imagination—bottle caps, found objects, mixed media.


Steve Martin Fine Art, 624 Julia St.

Face Off, paintings and sculptures by Steve Martin.





 Barrister’s Gallery,2331 St. Claude Ave

“Stripped (On Flame with Rock n Roll),” an exhibition of paintings from John Davis. On view through the month of August.


The Big Top 3 Ring Circus Arts Education Center, 1638 Clio St. 

Heather Weathers Presents her new installation, Maxi Paid Dress, as well as her XL Fem Capsule, a collection of percolated feminist ideas in a time capsule. Meet the Artist Reception June 8, 6-9pm. Spoken word by Kaitlyn Buchbaum, Live Performance by Alexandra Scott.


Byrdie’s Gallery, 2422A St. Claude

Paintings by Peter Ladetto. Ladetto presents his collection of paintings “made to heal and inspire, to question and arouse.” On view through August 8.


2-D/3-D, Part II. Work from current and incoming MFA grads, curated Suzanna Ritz and Kathy Rodriguez. Opening reception July 14 from 6-9


Carol Robinson Gallery 840 Napoleon Ave.

Group exhibition featuring gallery artists, on view through the month of July.


Cole Pratt Gallery, 3800 Magazine St.

Artist Katie Rafferty presents, About a Line, on June 2. The opening reception will last from 5:30-8pm. Rafferty’s mixed media monotypes and canvas works explore the many manifestations of “the line.” The exhibition will be on view through the month of June.



Guthrie Contemporary Gallery3815 Magazine St

DeeDee Morrison’s “Charmed” uses heavy industrial metals, laser get cutting methods and botanical inspired designs to create solar-powered, sustainable sculptures.  


The Front, 4100 St. Claude 

Rooms 1 and 2: Ves Pitts presents Ghost Walk, a photographic investigation of gay nightlife, theater, art and burlesque. Room 3: Sally Heller and Nina Schwanse present “Lewdicrous,” a series of paintings that explore sexuality through different images of the female sex goddess. Room 4: John Otte presents “Falling Beauty,” a series of pieces that combine found objects with painting to create an aesthetic that represent Otte’s interest in the effects of time, weather, human interaction, and folly on objects.  


Good Children Gallery, 4037 St. Claude Ave.

“Something Here from Somewhere Else,” featuring the work of Eric Graham, Stephen Hilger, Deborah Luster, Maria Levitsky, and Katherine Newbegin. On view through August 5.



Identity, an exhibition featuring the work of Carlos Villasante, Sharon Jacques, and Carlos Betancourt.


HomeSpace Gallery,1128 St. Roch Ave 

Beheld, a photographic exhibition with work by Andy Cook, Muffin Bernstein, Gayle Stevens, Judy Sherrod, Meg Turner, and Louviere+Vanessa. Opening Reception June 9, 6pm.


Jean Bragg Gallery600 Julia St.

David Dillard, Architecture of the Spirit, Paintings of Historic New Orleans Churches and Cathedrals. Opening July 7, on view through the month of July.



 Martine Chaisson Gallery, 727 Camp St

In “Parallel,” JT Blatty’s photographs explore the symmetry between the fossil and the human form, by combining portions of the human figure juxtaposed with fossils she has collected over the years. The exhibition will also include a separate display of fossils from the images. Opening reception is on Saturday, May 5 from 6-9pm.


May Gallery, 2839 N. Robertson

The Bywater’s newest art space is launching June 8, at 7:30pm. Exhibition by Katie Lerin, sound by Kim Hebert, and video by Wesley Stokes.



Salon Gallery, 4432 Magazine St.

“Ready/Set.” The first show of Ten, a new artist's collective, opens this weekend for the first Saturday of the month. Artists include Rex Dingler, Jeff Rinehart, Jonathan Mayers, Kathy Rodriguez, Ken Kenan, Jessie Hornbrook, Ryan Lindburg and Jono Goodman, Matthew Duguid and Matthew Kirscht, Valerie Corradetti and Ariya Martin, and Amanda Turpen and Ida Floreak. On view through July 29



Soren Christensen400 Julia St.

Watershed by Gretchen Weller Howard. The popular New Orleans artist brings her new mixed media on canvas and panel. Rear Gallery: Traveling by Michael Marlowe. Smoky, atmospheric landscapes on panel. Opening reception June 2, 6-8pm.


Stella Jones Gallery, 201 St. Charles Ave.

Enduring Legacies, 7 Black Artists. Work from Elizabeth Catlett, Richard W. Dempsey, James Denmark, David Driskill, Louis Mailou Jones, Richard Mayhew, and Charley Palmer. On view through August 30.


New Orleans Museum of Art 

NOMA's weekly Where Y'art brings music from Scott Sanders Quartet featuring Oliver Bou, visiting artist Heather Mattingly, and Chefs Michael Gottlieb from Red Fish Grill along with Leah Chase presenting Zecret Z'herbs: The Art of Roux Making and other Gumbo Tales. 


Forever, a kaleidoscopic mural by Odili Donald Odita. First floor elevator lobby on view through October 7, 2013. 


Ralston Crawford and Jazz. Crawford’s collection of over 150 photographs, paintings, prints, drawings, and films explore the intersections of various art forms in New Orleans. On view through October 14.


Dario Robleto’s The Prelives of the Blues, will be on view until September 16, 2012. Robleto’s exhibitionis centered on the time he spent in New Orleans and his observations on the nature of the city’s musical culture.


Self Taught Artists from NOMA’s Permanent Collectionwill be on view through June 10, 2012. The exhibition features the works of eleven auto didactic southern artists.


What is a photograph? Opens April 20. On view through August 19 in the Templemen Galleries. Works dating back to the 1840’s from NOMA’s permanent collection explore the question in the exhibition’s title.


Leah Chase: Paintings by Gustave Blache III. The exhibition of Blache’s 20 paintings of the New Orleans icon will be on view April 24-September 9.Drawn to the Edge. Katie Holten debuts her site-specific, large-scale installations in NOMA's Great Hall Space. Holten's work explores Louisiana's relationship with her natural environment. On view through September 9. 



Doors Closed to Public at Charter School Meeting, But Not Drapes

On Saturday, New Orleans College Preparatory Academies' board members announced that they are planning to apply to the state to operate a new charter school. The details were unveiled during a private session that probably shouldn't have been closed to the public, but Joshua Johnston managed to get a peek at the presentation through some unobstructed windows.

Read more at the Lens

Today in New Orleans: 7.30.12

Today, start the week with a walk in the swamp, support Southern Rep by drinking PBRs, and a restaurant musical at Allways Lounge. On this day in Louisiana history, William C.C. Claiborne became the first governor of Louisiana (1812) New Orleans police stormed an integrated Republican Party meeting, killing more than 40 and wounding more than 150 (1866) and Buddy Guy was born in Lettsworth (1936). Now for today's notables:


Guided Swamp Walk (Jean Lafitte National Park, 10:00am) Over the river and through Marrero sits swamplands once controlled by the privateer Jean Lafitte. A ranger will guide you on a short walk, identifying any critters also taking Monday morning off. The Coquille Trail has reopened this week after maintenance.


Southern Rep Fun-raiser (Il Posto Restaurant, 5:30pm-9:30pm) $10 at the door gets you into Il Posto’s backyard of live music, a spread of food, and all-you-can-drink PBR, wine, tea and soft drinks. Door-entry donations will fund Southern Rep’s upcoming 3×3, a show of three plays by three playwrights. No RSVP required.


Music From The Big House (Zeitgeist, 7:30pm) Canadian blues singer Rita Chiarelli takes “a pilgrimage to the birthplace of blues” – Angola. Documents conversations with convicts and a jailhouse concert.


Waiting Around: The Restaurant Musical (Allways Lounge, 8:00pm) A musical comedy about working in the service industry. Originally presented as "The Black & White Blues" at Le Chat Noir in 2002. The show had an off-Broadway run in 2006, and a production in Dover, Delaware in 2008. The new production opened July 23, 2012, at the Allways Lounge and Theatre in New Orleans. $20 in advanced.




Satchmo Summerfest

Old U.S. Mint (All Day)

Music, seminars, all in honor of Pops!


Jazz Mass/Second LIne

St. Augustine's Church (10:00 AM)

Buckjump through the Treme to celebrate Satchmo


Sunday Punk Matinee

Big Top (2:00 PM)

with A Hanging, Fat Stupid Ugly People, Choi Wolf


Maze Feat. Frankie Beverly

New Orleans Arena (6:00 PM)

R&B faves return


The Coathangers, Jaill

Hi-Ho Lounge (10:00 PM)

Grrrl rock from Georgia, Psych from Milwaukee


Cajun Fais Do Do

Tip's (5:30 PM)

Go to the dance!


Sunday Swing w/ Lionel Ferbos

WWII Museum (2:00 PM)

Centennarian jazz



Dragon's Den (10:00 PM)

Dubstep and bass, weekly


Hot 8 Brass Band

Howlin’ Wolf (10:00 PM)

End the weekend with one of the best brass bands in town