Friday, December 31, 2004


Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Wishing you a happy and smoke-free 2005.

Armadillo of the Month: Neil Johnson

Pommie: photographer Neil Johnson

Johnson's original magenta armadillo hangs at the regional airport as part of the ArtPort show. The image - on a pristine white backdrop - is like So Arklatex. Down to its Las Vegas hue. What I like about it is the Aristotelian study of armadilloness.
We would never see such detail - the perfect tail, for instance - unless a skillful photog like Johnson captured them up close.

Hayride history: Tracey Widiger Laird

Tracey Laird was a witty, what-if-we-did-this class president at Caddo Magnet High School in 1988. Today she is assistant professor of music at Agnes Scott College in Athens, GA. A musicologist who earned her PhD from the University of Michigan, she has written a book entitled Louisiana Haryride: Radio and Roots along the Red River. The author is married to writer/teacher Brandon Laird, also CMHS '88. The Magneteers have an eight year-old named Zoey. See more about her book at the Oxford University Press US website.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

All Songs Considered: sample the Best of 2004

Wilco's "A Ghost is Born"
was one of the year's best records. See NPR's All Songs Considered for the Best Music of 2004 - from their staff as well as from listeners.

Did you know that All Songs Considered has an unsigned try-out show called Open Mic?

Tweedy with Fender Jazzmaster

Wilco's Jeff Tweedy strums a Fender Jazzmaster.

Premier Quartet to perform Daugherty's "Elvis Everywhere"

Happily, the SSO quartet will perform Gershwin, Ravel and Ellington, too.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 6, 2005
WHERE: Hurley School of Music, Centenary College
ADMISSION: $15 - student tickets are always $5.
TICKETS: Call the Symphony box office at 227-TUNE (8863) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or buy tickets as you enter Hurley.

leland strebeck's "aloysius"

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Explore the new world of cartoon funk presented as Art. Check out leland strebeck's work at Prima Tazza.

Prima Tazza is at 8835 Line Avenue (at the Ashley Ridge / 3132 intersection), and serves coffees and desserts. Call 550-0174 for more details. And for more of leland's work, please see Northwest Louisiana Art Gallery.

Bill Gingles' "Sulmona IV"

Bill Gingles' "Sulmona IV"
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Textures on Gingles' multi-media paintings appeal to the viewers' need for sensual, tactile stimulation.
See more of his work at

Bill Gingles' paintings include textured surfaces that remind him of surfaces of the old walls, buildings and ruins he's seen in Italy.

"But my aim is not to simply create interesting surface textures," Gingles said. "I'm after the feelings one has when faced with the ancient structures, the weathered and scarred but still standing works of humanity. My paintings are about those parts of our best efforts that do not erode with time."

Gingles' paintings will be part of the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts exhibit "Painting in the Gestural Tradition." The opening on Saturday, Jan. 22, will include a 6 p.m., reception and a 7 p.m. gallery talk by Don Reichert, retired professor of art from Manitoba, Canada, and one of the exhibiting artists.

The show will remain on view through Thursday, March 24, at The Art Center, 329 E. Main Street in downtown Nacogdoches. More info: 936-468-2801.

Lemony? Missit

Pop culture alert / you might consider avoiding . . .

The Lemony Snicket movie was
1) cliched - making lukewarm use of items borrowed from Harry Potter and Spy Kids,
2) ill cast - the girl with a bee-stung lip was not engaging, nor was the deadpan brother - and
3) confused when it came to Jim Carrey. Is it possible to be both cruel and at the same time off-the-wall comical?

The coolest part of the movie was the animated sequence that accompanied the credits. The credit music was sweetly percussive and global.

The predictable Big CGI Blast came with the destruction of the house on a cliff over Lake Lachrymose. Twas impressive. But the cataclysm was academic since the characters weren't emotionally engaging. One more disappointment: the vaunted meryl Streep flailed about like a rookie.

The show has style, but I think it tried too hard. I'm tired of funky British esoterica such as brass and glass antiques; this movie acted as though it was all new and irresistably precious.

Industrial Light & Magic's Stefen Fangmeier, Lemony designer, says on, "“For me the key was to understand the level of reality necessary. It wasn’t the ultimate goal to create an absolutely real look but something that had some flair. The whole film has a theatrical feel to it. It is sort of a `non-period’ period film that’s got its own aesthetic. I call it `Fellini for the family.’”

Too bad the characters had so little charisma, Stefen.

An alternative? "The Incredibles" is a tour de force of moviemaking, if not as soulful as "Toy Story" or "Bug's Life."

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

the late susan sontag

the late susan sontag
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
from a site called

Sontag parade being planned

A caravan composed of mourners in silver and black sedans will convege on Columbia Cafe, corner of King's Hwy and Creswell, in a tribute to the late writer Susan Sontag.

Her books will be distributed free to the indigent by volunteers from the Centenary Book Bazaar. "We've got a warehouse full of pristine copies of her work," said Delia Weyerhauser.

The Land Rover Owners Association (LROA), Movie Critics' Association and Krewe of Apollo will provide a wine & cheese benefit for the hoi-poloi.

Said mayor Keith Hightower, "I've enjoyed reading her essays and novels for years." Matthew Linn, Columbia Cafe owner, rolled his eyes.

While all above is fiction - I claim blogsters' license re keeping things entertaining - the quote below is ... well, I'll let you decide.

The NY Times' Margalit Fox wrote "Through four decades, public response to Ms. Sontag remained irreconcilably divided. She was described, variously, as explosive, anticlimactic, original, derivative, naïve, sophisticated, approachable, aloof, condescending, populist, puritanical, sybaritic, sincere, posturing, ascetic, voluptuary, right-wing, left-wing, profound, superficial, ardent, bloodless, dogmatic, ambivalent, lucid, inscrutable, visceral, reasoned, chilly, effusive, relevant, passé, ambivalent, tenacious, ecstatic, melancholic, humorous, humorless, deadpan, rhapsodic, cantankerous and clever."

Norton Art Gallery / Ansel Adams exhibit

America's favorite photographer is the late Ansel Adams. It's a moment of good taste in a crass culture.

The exhibit, Ansel Adams: Celebration of genius, has been extended to January 2, 2005.

The RW Norton Art Foundation Gallery has been undergoing quiet but steady growth under the helm of Lewis Norton. The 2004 exhibit of photos by Eudora Welty brought us unusual material - black life in the 1930's - as well as excellence in image making. The Adams exhibit is extensive, offering enormous stimulation to artists. The Norton has new website, too. Please see their hours, map and exhibit schedule here.

Les premiers Samedis: French Club

French Club
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
A gang of Euros and Americans who gather once a month to converse en Francais. First Saturdays, 9 - 11, B&N. Sometimes the group's larger, sometimes smaller.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Meadows Museum closed on holidays

A nonpareil collection of paintings of Indochina in the 1930's can be found in the Meadows Museum of Art, Shreveport. Call 869-5169 for their limited hours.

Meadows Museum of Art is a Centenary College institution. Therefore they can close over the holidays. And they do.

My friends Diane DuFilho, director, and Kathy Brodnax, manager of collections, are crazy for art and are dedicated to Meadows, which is a jewel. And one of the mitigating aspects of working for a school - they are not getting rich, are they? - is the blessed relief of long holidays. They have parents to care for, they have friends and siblings and a life to lead.

But to close Meadows over the holidays does not make sense. Meadows is more than an adjunct to Centenary College. It is a vivid resource for the educated class of this region. When friends and relatives come to town, a visit to Meadows provides a shining moment in what can seem a dreary town.

To retain the professional class in a town like this requires a team effort. Surely successful Centenary president Ken Schwab and director Diane DuFilho can find a way to keep Meadows open during college holidays.

Atop an acropolis on Youree: Yeero Yeero

Originally uploaded by trudeau.

Ah, the pita and tzatziki sauce of the Eastern Mediterranean. The salty lamb strips, the dark dolmades. Locally we're fortunate to have 2 good Greek restaurants, Athenian Delights & the Sea Grille and Yeero-Yeero (six exclamation points on their endearing sign)!

Recently we've enjoyed the elaborate new dining room added to Yeero Yeero. It's like an outtake from My Big fat Greek Wedding inasmuch as it's about Greek pride in food, in hospitality and history. The crystal glasses, marble-topped tables (3) and eating bar, comfortable chairs, tiled ceiling and marvelous brick-a-brack will bring a smiile to one's face.

In several visits we have found the service excellent, the food consistently well-prepared and the tariff remarkably low. Yeero is located atop a small acropolis near the corner of Youree and Southfield/Pierremont. If you don't have time for the dining room, they are adept at drive-through service. Call them at 219-0027.