Monday, February 27, 2006

Bill Joyce NewYorker cover image on Katrina bumped by the Cheney shooting incident

William Joyce

My wife was going to a 12th night party dressed as Hurricane Katrina. Her hair was styled in great swooping whirls. Her dress was a hoop-skirt wrapped in black netting and festooned with dozens of tiny houses, cars and other stormy ephemera.

A friend of mine (whose whereabouts since the hurricanes I was unsure of until I saw her on Christmas Eve) explained that it’s generally accepted that people in New Orleans will burst spontaneously into tears during even the most cursory conversations.

“Any little thing will trigger it,” she said. “I mean you say hello and you’ll get sobs. But everyone knows to just be quiet for a minute and it’ll pass.” Then she added with that cheerful, attractive insolence so common to New Orleanians. “I add 15 minutes of “cryin’ time” to everything. Goin’ the grocery store takes forever. There are more tears than in Tolstoy.”

Like my wife’s dress this line got a laugh. It had to.

It’s glad/sad time down here. Glad you’re alive. Sad about everything else. If you can’t laugh about it, baby you are toast.

There’s been some controversy about having Mardi Gras this year. That it is somehow inappropriate given the scale of the recent tragedy and disaster.

The punch line to that misguided sentiment is that Mardi Gras is a celebration actually devoted to being inappropriate in a community that has courted disaster since the day it was founded.

You don’t build a city on land that sits below sea level and is surrounded by water and not expect to get soggy at some point. It is a geographical crap-shoot well understood by New Orleanians and Mardi Gras is part of their gallant disregard for that particular and unpleasant reality.

It’s one of their ways of laughing at doom.

The history of Mardi Gras is so deep, vast and strange, that it’s difficult to encapsulate. Starting hundreds of years ago with the shepherds of Arcadia and detouring through most of the more interesting cities in history it has always been steeped in sin and redemption.

The Romans. The Greeks. The Catholics. They’ve all put in their two bits of paganism or piety.

But it’s fitting somehow that much of Mardi gras pomp and plumage would evolve from the carnivals of Venice, that other impossible city at odds with time and tide.

And for all this historical pedigree there’s still something very childish about Mardi Gras.

If you are exposed to it as a kid you will never be quite like other people. How could you be?

You’ve watched an entire adult population, your parents, your aunts and uncles, your teachers or your school principles; all your authority figures, suddenly transform into Poseidon, or Mae West or a cross-dressing Santa Claus. Everyday life becomes an overnight Technicolor fever dream. Schools close. The daily schedule is thrown out for a new schedule of parties and parades that become an unending delirium where it’s not inconceivable but in fact highly likely that you might look out the den window at any given moment and see several dozen men and women dressed as Yogi Bear drift nonchalantly by in a papier-mâché galleon.

It’s like somebody knocked over the TV set and cartoons came spilling out.

For those of us who grew up in Louisiana, ”The Wizard of Oz” was like a documentary. Dorothy left Kansas and simply went to Mardi Gras.
Talking trees and wicked witches seemed perfectly normal if you’ve seen your librarian walking down St. Charles dressed in a gorilla suit and a set of woman’s breasts complete with blinking neon nipples.

As a result we tend to grow up with a keen sense of life’s absurdity and a healthy regard for the curative potential of fun.

And there is no fun quite like a Mardi Gras parade. Its epic silliness can be very seductive. It is one of the marvels of modern man that the quest for giving or catching cheap plastic beads can lead people of every temperament to engage in behavior that is singularly, perhaps historically ridiculous.

Not that I’m a pillar of normalcy but I do pay taxes and manage to mingle in polite society occasionally, yet I once led an organization, called the Mystik Knights of Mondrians Chicken. In homage to the great painter we rode in a giant cube shaped chicken, wore costumes the color of yolks and threw egg shaped beads, while white helium balloons were periodically released from a hole in the chicken’s ass.

After three years with this same float we were told by the parades organizers that we would have to change our design. The Novelty of our cubist chicken had apparently worn off. It just wasn’t weird enough anymore.

There are people, ordinary both feet on the ground people who, during Mardi Gras sport titles like The Lord of Misrule or the Abbot of Unreason.

It’s all so perfectly foolish. And essential.

It fills some vast human need to, however briefly, be something else, a satyr, a god, or anything deliciously forbidden. You simply don a mask and give in to enchantment, desire or foolhardy joy.

This year’s Mardi Gras will be the most surreal of all. Never has the gaiety confronted so grim a reality. The walls of rubble, the vanished neighborhoods, and the memory of the city from before the storm haunt every street.

But Mardi Gras has had troubled times before. One newspaper wrote in 1851, “The carnival embraced a great multitude and a variety of oddities. But alas! The world grows everyday more practical, less sportive and imaginative. Mardi Gras with its laughter-moving tomfooleries must content itself with the sneering hard realities of the present age.”

The streets of the city are in black and white now. Like Dorothy’s Kansas. A thin coat of grayish dust covers entire neighborhoods since the flood.

Maybe this will make the traditional green, purple and gold colors shine out even brighter.

New Orleans is a “let’s face the music and dance” town. It always has been. Try as they might, the sneering hard realities cannot keep it down.

But it’ll be harder to catch the beads this year. Those spontaneous tears will make it tough to see.

William Joyce

Friday, February 24, 2006

Parade umbrella workshop and second lining with Robert Trudeau at Artspace Sat, Feb 25, 10:30 to noon

Decorating umbrellas and dancing to the Mardi Gras mambo - including the Cajun and Zydeco jigs as well as second line - is the agenda when kids, parents and grandparents meet at Artspace Saturday morning between 10:30 and noon. Their host is yours truly, Robert Trudeau, author of How To Mardi Gras, a guide to Louisiana's Carnival celebration.

Expect to hear Crescent City and cajun lore and get a global perpective on Carnival. Be ready to glue and staple decorations on your parade umbrella (any sort will do).

$5 / Join us at any point in the morning!
Artspace: 673-6535.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Forgotten Shreveport: coming to Artspace March 16 via the photos of Mike Rosebery and Charles Goldthwaite

These two camera-toting fellows are recent arrivals to Shreveport. So they've had a ball adventuring in the sort of places routinely ignored by long-time residents and the less than intrepid. They've brought back canny, stimulating photos.

Forgotten & abandoned Shreveport:
Artspace, March 16 - Ap 27

See more at

Caddo Magnet High School archives growing , alumni association to be organized Fr, March 3, 6 pm, at CMHS Performing Arts Center

CMHS orchestra soloists
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
"I'm gathering objects and documents for the Caddo Magnet High archives," says Sue Borne, chair for the Friends of Magnet endeavor in Alumni and Archives.

"Also, the Friends of Magnet / PTSA members are hosting a reception for all CMHS grads Fr, Mar 3, at 6 pm, in the PAC foyer. This is an effort to get former students together and encourage them to organize an alumni association." The event takes place before the performance of the spring play presented by the Caddo Magnet Players; it is The Importance of Being Earnest and stars Amy Updegraff and Tyler Davis, says drama teacher Betty Walker.

"Please ask them to bring any memorabilia with which they're willing to part. Pictures, programs and yearbooks are most welcome. And please let any and all grads know about this event," says Mrs. Borne.

More info: Lynn Yancey at or Sue Borne at

The photo does not feature alum. Here are some of the best orchestra players at CMHS this year, which means they are the best in the state of Louisiana. Left to right, bottom row first: Abbie Pool, Ann Schaumburg, Christina Lake, Ann Payne and Adam McFarland. Stephen Clark, William Hock, Edward Charity, Salil Joshi and Rachel Zavecz.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Goodbye, New Orleans: author Mike Tidwell speaks in Shreveport Wed, Feb 22, 7 pm, Convention Center Ballroom

Mike Tidwell, author of Bayou Farewell: The Rich and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast, will speak in the ballroom of Shreveport Convention Center at 7 pm, Wed, Feb 22.

The event is a Shreveport Bar Association fundraiser to bring awareness to the plight of Louisiana's disappearing coast.

Shreveport Bar Association for tickets: (318) 222-3643.

Background: Goodbye, New Orleans; It's time we stopped pretending and the proactive

Monday, February 20, 2006

The curves of life in wood, as guided by master carver Zack Woodard / Artspace, Th, Feb 23

femme assise
Originally uploaded by coincoyote.
Adult wood carving owes its name more to safety and skill than to subject matter, says Artspace folk art exhibit manager Tyler Pecora.

On Thursday, February 23, from 6:00 pm -8:00 pm, Zack Woodard, President of the North Louisiana Woodcarvers Association, will further define these terms in his adult woodcarving workshop. He
will demonstrate the skill necessary to create a sculpture from a single block of wood.

Woodard has been artfully whittling for more than twenty-five years. He is known for his carved faces, human forms, birds of prey, fish, animals and stylized pieces. Woodard's works are on exhibit and are available for sale in the giftspace at artspace.

Also featured on February 23 is a workshop for young human beings. They will work with artist Jerry Davenport to create whirligigs. A whirligig is an object that spins or whirls, or has at least one member (general sense) that spins or whirls. See the recently-mounted whirligigs atop the street poles outside artspace.

Both activities are being offered for a $5 fee, which includes all materials.

Shreveport Regional Arts Council,
673-6500, or artspace at 673-6535.

Dillner, Gayle & Johnson: Shreveport Opera tweaks their marketing image to effective results

" I love the marketing this year. It really did wonders for our production of Faust. We had the youngest audience that we'd ever had," says season coordinator Jennifer Gallagher.

Credit for the Red Accent series goes to photographer Neil Johnson and creative director John Gayle at Gremillion & Pou, says Gallagher. Eric Dillner is Shreveport Opera's general & artistic director.

Say hello and get tickets to the Feb 24 fundraiser by calling Jennifer M. Gallagher, Season Coordinator, at

Shreveport Opera
212 Texas St., Suite 101
Shreveport, LA 71101
phone: 318.227.9503

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Tailor of E. Kings Hwy at MLP: adept cast brings elan to first production

The best thing about The Tailor of East King's Highway, a first drama by Jeffrey Kallenberg, may be the young cast. But the script is capable and the direction adept.

At Marjorie Lyons Playhouse Phillip Brooks oy-veys across the stage, providing a Jewish father foil for one and all. Jeni Loer and Courtney Gaston are charming and capable as the adult women. Sarah Smith brings a light-up-the-stage smile and voice as the daughter. And Tim Broderick's laser gaze and stentorian voice supplies edge.

Director Walter Schoen has made a lovely chicken broth from the dramatis personnae. Kallenberg's work in progress is a pleasant surprise.

See it Feb. 16 - 18 at 8 pm. Box office: 869-5242. See more at

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The 11th Hour is the theme for the Krewe of Highland Parade 2006, Shreveport; parade rolls Sun, Feb 26

The Krewe of Highland is one of Shreveport's grassroots successes of the turn of this century. Unlike the parades hosted by the Geminians and Centaurians, the Highlanders are low-key, funky (see Float Entries, below) and full of satirical arrows. This is the rare parade where beads are returned to the floats as the parade is in progress. Physicians, rednecks (did I say that?) and the less well-endowed join forces to party through a checkered, if vital, neighborhood.

Here's the Krewe of Highland dope for 06:

BAL MASQUE XI: Friday, February 24, 7:30 p.m., Randle T. Moore Center, 3101 Fairfield Avenue. Tickets ($35.00 for Krewe members, $45.00 for non-Krewe members) available at Columbia Café, Northwest corner of Kings and Creswell, 425-3862. Music: the RnB dance band Powerhouse. Dress—masque, with formal attire or costume. Breakfast after the bal at Columbia Café, $15.

Parade X1: Sunday, February 26, 2:00 p.m., beginning at Kings Highway and Creswell Avenue. The parade will roll north along Creswell Avenue to Herndon Street, then east to Highland Avenue, then south along Highland to Olive Street, then east on Olive to Centenary Boulevard, then south on Centenary across Kings Highway to Gladstone Boulevard, then west on Gladstone to end at Creswell. The Carnival de Columbia takes place at Columbia Park immediately after the parade. Shimmy to music by award-winning group Dirtfoot.

Royalty: King XI: Trey Baucum; Queen XI: Kathleen Clark; Captain XI: Mary Brownfield; Grand Marshal XI: Sherry Allen; Duke and Duchess of Dalzell: Harvey Dillahunty, Linda Sinitiere.

To enter a Float: Call Chuck Reid, 869-4897, 518-6042. Entry fees:
* floats rented from other Krewes ($150 for large, $100 for medium and $50 for band floats)
* Motorized floats $45
* Automobiles $15
* Motorcycles-Mowers-Go-Carts-Fourwheelers $10
* Walkers & Bicyclists $5.
Send check with float name, address and contact person and phone number to Krewe of Highland, 810 Wilkinson Street, Shreveport, LA 71104. There will be a FLOAT MEETING for drivers at the Highland Center, 520 Olive Street, Board Room #1, Tuesday, February 21, 6:00 p.m.

Floats begin staging at 10:00 a.m. at Byrd High and Gladstone Street on parade day. At least one member of your float must be a member of the Krewe of Highland!

TO JOIN THE KREWE OF HIGHLAND: Annual membership rates: Individual, $10; Family, Club or Organization, $25; Sponsors $250. Make checks payable to Krewe of Highland, 810 Wilkinson Street, Shreveport, LA 71104.

More Information - Chuck Reid, Parade Chairman, 869-4897, 518-6042; or Cyndie Reid, Bal Chairman, 869-4897, 272-0166. Thanks to Robert Marak of the Highland Area Partnership for the story.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mystic India, IMAX film, at SciPort this weekend only, Feb 18-19

Mystic India: an Incredible Journey of Inspiration, a big-screen film showing a land of many mysteries and fascinations, and shot in more than 100 locations, will show one weekend only at Sci-Port Discovery Center’s three story IMAX Dome Theatre on Saturday, February 18, and Sunday, February 19, 2006, says Eric Gipson.

Presented in partnership with The Multicultural Center of the South, the film reveals India’s ancient civilization, incredible architecture, colorful festivals, and fascinating peoples and landscapes. The new release from Giant Screen Films will be presented as a two-for-one double feature with the following schedule:

Saturday, February 18
Mystic India/Top Speed 10:30 am
Mystic India/Lewis & Clark 12:30 pm
Mystic India/Dolphins 2:30 pm
Sunday, February 19
Mystic India/Lewis & Clark 2 pm
Mystic India/Space Station 4 pm

Traditional Indian folk and classical dancers will perform in the IMAX Dome Theatre during the intermissions of each double feature.

IMAX Ticket prices for the February 18-19 Mystic India double feature are:
$ 8.50 General Admission
$ 7.00 Children (3-12), Seniors and Military
$ 6.00 Groups 15+

Chris Alexander, multi-divertiti artist, and friends on Sat, Feb 25th, Java Junction, Shreveport

Techno, rap, rock, jazz: trying to confuse the coffeehouse set, perhaps? Edgy ducks pooting in a turbulent pond?

Would someone please write a review of one of these cross-over collisions?

Hats off to Chris Alexander for both performing, co-producing and making the splendiferous posters.See and hear more at his site.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dorothy Kristin Hanna and Sondra Fraleigh present EastWest Somatics Workshop March 13 - 17

Originally uploaded by Robotic Kid.
EastWest Somatics Workshop: Expression & Myth,
Excavating Body Memories and Possible Selves

March 13-17, 2006
Arodasi Dance Center
Shreveport, Louisiana
Dorothy Kristin Hanna and Sondra Fraleigh, instructors.
Workshops meet Monday - Friday from 10am to 5pm. Tuition is $792.

Course content includes imagery and myth, guided
movement practice, core movement patterning, experiential anatomy, somatic yoga, hands-on movement therapy, intuitive dance.

Plus, Sondra Fraleigh is an expert at Butoh.

Info: or

Illustration: Katura Kan Butoh Performance at the Art Institute of Chicago

Houma, Louisiana's, Dax Riggs & Tessie Brunet, aka Deadboy & the Elephantmen, have a buzz

Of the duo Deadboy and the Elephantmen the New Yorker says "The two hail from Louisiana, and their spooky blues rock is pure swamp gothic, with Riggs singing like a ghostly David Bowie."

Enjoy their snaky Louisiana story (they're based in Houma) as crafted by their record company at

There are a trio of mp3's at so you can see the kind of indie effort that gets the bacon today.

Which probably will remind everyone of the celestial randomness of the entertainment biz.

See Patrick Long's folk art documentary, All Rendered Truth; see ArtSpace calendar of Folk Art Funktivities

Originally uploaded by mikerosebery.

Cool reminders from SRAC's calendar:

Saturday, February 18
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Black Heritage Festival Celebration
Join SRAC for a festive day in Vivian at the Black Heritage Festival
Celebration or enjoy a Folk Film Fest at artspace. The Shreveport Federal Credit Union, SRAC and the Black History Parade Association of Vivian are co-producing the 2006 Black Heritage Festival Celebration in Vivian, Louisiana. The festival includes an 8:00 am community breakfast at Vivian Elementary/Middle School and a M.C. "5-cents" Jones Art Exhibit and Auction from 9:30 am-11:00 am at the Vivian Library.

10:30 am-12 noon and 2:00 pm-3:30 pm at artspace
Jerry Davenport
Make - and take - a whimsical whirligig in a children's workshop that
commemorates the festivity of Folk Art with veteran Art-in-Education artist,
photographer, and ArtSmart Resident Artist, Jerry Davenport.

1:00 pm
All Rendered Truth
Screening of All Rendered Truth, a feature-length documentary by Shreveport
natives Patrick Long and Scott Blackwell that traces and showcases the lives
and artistic environments of self-taught Southern Folk Artists.
Thursday, February 23
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zack L. Woodard
And...for the Children
Jerry Davenport
$5.00 covers both activities

Learn how to carve a block of wood into a piece of art. Zack L. Woodard,
President of the North Louisiana Woodcarvers Association has made a life of
woodworking for over twenty-five years, beginning with his first carved
realistic duck. Woodard is known for his unique carved faces, human forms,
birds of prey, songbirds, fish, animals, stylized pieces, and birdhouses.
Carved works by Woodard are available for sale in the giftspace at artspace.

While the adults use the sharp tools, Jerry Davenport will teach the younger
folks to make - and take - a whimsical whirligig commemorating the festivity
of Folk Art.

Friday, February 24
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
"Fiddlin' Friday"
Bill Kirkpatrick & Mary Grimsley

Listen to "old timey" tunes with new twists performed by fiddlers Bill Kirkpatrick and Mary Grimsley who are consistent award winners in the Louisiana State Fiddling Championship. Bill Kirkpatrick was born in 1928 and is a longtime resident of Shreveport, where his working hobby is being a member of the "Louisiana Hayride String Band." They play old time country music breakdowns and waltzes, western swing, and Cajun music. Mary has received a number of first place awards, including the Louisiana State Championship. She has played venues from the Louisiana Folklife Festival to the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Mary learned to play by ear growing up in a family where her mother played piano, her father played bass, and both grandfathers played fiddle. She often played with her husband, the late Tex Grimsley, fiddler and fiddle maker.

The rendering of Artspace above is by photographer Mike Rosebery. He writes "Charles Goldthwaite and I will have a photo show here in March 16-April 27, 2006." See more of Rosebery's excellent work at MikeRosebery's PhotoBlog.

Slava Veder's “Burst of Joy,” 1974: part of the Pulitzer Prize Photos traveling exhibit at Louisiana State Exhibit Museum

"I spent a couple of hours yesterday with the just-up Pulitzer Prize Photo exhibit at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum and wanted to encourage anyone with an interest in either history or photography not to miss this extraordinary event," says Neil Johnson.

"This is no boring dusty traveling exhibit. The Museum has transformed the round middle part of the museum into a venue to put on this huge exhibit. The large prints and beautifully written stories behind each image cover the dioramas and other glass cabinets. In other words, they have created a massive expanse of temporary wall space to show this exhibit making it unlike any other local exhibit in memory."

"The exhibit presents every award winner from 1942 through 2004; there are so MANY icons of photography on there, along with their dramatic stories: the flag-raising at Iwo Jima, the shooting of Oswald in Dallas, the napalmed running girl in Viet Nam, the firefighter cradling the burned child after the Oklahoma City bombing, the flames of the World Trade Center towers. But there are so many, many more that stop you and move you and stay with you long afterwards, right up to the most recent powerful image of the American soldier with his Iraqi prisoner. World-changing, heart-changing, mind-boggling, awe-inspiring. Give yourself at least two hours to see it. It is virtually impossible to breeze through it."

"On a personal note: The Pulitzer Prizes for Photography, as per the rules set forth by Joseph Pulitzer, go only to newspaper photographers. Magazine photographers (a large number of legendary shooters and their legendary iconic images) are left out even though they are out there putting their careers and even lives on the line for the exact same reasons as the newspaper photographers. So many have died doing their jobs. Hopefully, as newspapers continue to change along with the rest of the news media in this digital age, the prize will evolve and eventually go to any news photographer for their still images that record and reveal deep truths about this confusing fast-paced world."

"The photo exhibit is up through May 1 at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum at the Fairgrounds on Greenwood Road. It is $5 per visit unless you go on the first Sunday of March or April when it is free, but the fee is well worth the visit. The Museum spent $50,000 to mount it and is to be highly commended. After several years of touring, the curator came down from New York and said this is the best mounting of the exhibit she has experienced. It is scheduled to continue touring the world until 2009. We are not "lucky" to get it. The Museum worked long and hard to get it. The Museum and the Friends of the Museum have given a great gift to this community."

Neil Johnson
Neil Johnson Photography

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Fairfield Studios Home Concerts an island of urbanity; singer-songwriter Annie Gallup, hippie poetry songstress, performed this week

Twisting her meter and rhyme in songs and schtick, Annie Gallup charmed an audience of some 75 at Fairfield Studios this week. She was accompanied by bassist Sean Kelly, who thumped and bowed his bass and sang harmony.

Baby boomers dominated the audience - after all, a Wed night at 7 pm - but all ages were represented. Supper, included in the $15 ticket, was comfort food on a buffet table. Filling if uninteresting.

Dana McCommon, engineer and architect of FFS, has developed the long, narrow room aside the studio as a foyer and art gallery. There painter Tony Reans and portraitist Talbot Hopkins exhibited their work.

All in all, Fairfield Studios was a pleasant surprise for many friends who came to view art by Hopkins - my wife - and Reans. Many said, "It's not easy to find." In a world of giant signs this is a quiet storefront adjacent to Harrison Paint across from the State Building (Jordan near Fairfield).

The Home Concerts are sweet but It's hard to know whether the performers are going to suit you. I offer 2 suggestions:
1) listen to the performers' music samples. A Google search will quickly take you to their mp3 pages.
2) if you want something a bit different and uptown, go regardless of research. The Home Concert series performers are part of a national circuit and they've all won their spurs.
3) Ring or email Dana at (220-0400) and ask for a quick rundown. Or call host Alan Dyson. They will be happy to say Hello and answer questions.

Next concert: a return show by the winning singer John Smith, March 21.

Come to Shreveport's Artspace for the Folk Art Is exhibit; consume chicken fried art and funktivities Feb to April

Howard Finster! Guided by voices and inspired by a wordy God, the untutored painter Howard Finster printed inspirational encomiums around all the charmingly blocky images he drew. He covered his environment - house, yard, homemade museum, etc - with paintings and detailed commentary.

In the process this late fanatic became America's folk art darling. See Finster's work and more at artspace, 710 Texas St, downtown Shreveport. The Folk Art exhibit, Feb thru March, is fascinating.

Monday, February 06, 2006 features Shreveport painter Bill Gingles / See his work online and at Montessori Art Auction, Mar 18

Mixed media by Bill Gingles
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
In this week Shreveport-based artist Bill Gingles is given quite a dose of respect:

"This month's fine artist profile is of the United States abstract artist painting in an expressionist style. His artist interview and contemporary paintings are now online."

Gingles: "At its core, my work is about the duality of existence: positive/negative, male/female, physical/spiritual and the dynamics that occur when they converge or mix like the spirituality of sex or the effects of time on people and things."

While his sales tend to be in Houston and New Orleans, many locals have pieces by Gingles because of the Montessori Art Auctions. He will again have pieces for sale at this year's Montessori benefit, he says.

Here's the book on the annual auction: "The Montessori School for Shreveport 33nd Annual Art Exhibition and Silent Auction will be held on Saturday, March 18th, and Sunday, March 19th, at the Shreveport Convention Hall. The theme this year is "Go Wild for the Child."

This event is the school's largest fundraiser. The money raised helps keep tuition within the reach of the average family in the Shreveport-Bossier area. Tickets can be purchased for $15 per person."

See more at And there's a visual feast awaiting you at

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Houston's long-lived independent record store, Cactus, closes its Montrose doors

Story from the Sara Cress Houston Chron music blog, Handstamp:

Cactus Music and Video closing

Cactus' manager Quinn Bishop announced today that Cactus Music and Video is closing on March 31, 2006.

Not only is this depressing news for those music fans who feel at home at Cactus, it will also hurt local artists trying to sell their CDs. Every band I know will rattle off all of the Web sites where a person can buy its CDs and always adds, "and, of course, Cactus." Many of them also champion Bishop as a person who cares about Houston music.

There will still be all the other places where you can buy your CDs (if you still buy CDs, that is) but no other place matches, for me, the leisurely, funky atmosphere of Cactus. And no other music store in town hosts in-store performances with well-known touring artists. It will most certainly be missed.

Do you think Cactus' closing will have any effect on Houston music? Will you happily just go to Soundwaves instead? Or do you no longer visit music stores at all? Discuss in the comments.

Handstamp music blog

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

KSCL Battle of the Bands postponed due to rain; will try again Fri, Feb 10, 4 to 9 pm, Centenary College amphitheater

The Big Positive are 4 local lads who went whaling from Barataria Bay and came back with a silver harpoon and a papal petroglyph. And 33 plaice. Runes up and down their arms. Sea chanteys. Empty bottle o rum.

These sailors can sing, too.

They've been added to KSCL's Melee of the Musicians Friday night. That's at the Shell, the classic amphitheater behind Meadows Museum. About 9 pm, which is the end of the evening's show.

What, you don't have a site? You kidding?

Duke of Ducatoon
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Trudeau's back on Please find my alternative self at

Soon, I'll open a myspace page for Triage music and podcasts. New sketches are coming, too. BTW, who's your favorite local wit or band with a myspace site?

Painter Mary Louise Porter at Turner Art Center gallery, Centenary College

An exhibit by Louisiana artist Mary Louise Porter will be on display at Centenary's Turner Art Center gallery through Friday, Feb. 17, says Bruce Allen.

Porter's vivid, contemporary landscapes and three-dimensional media have been exhibited nationwide. She also paints walking canes in custom themes, having been inspired to give personality to her mother's "ugly, brown cane." Examples of her artwork can be found at

Having received a BFA and MFA in painting from Louisiana State University, Porter now teaches a survey of the arts course for Louisiana Virtual School as well as studio classes for Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts.

More info: Bruce Allen, exhibit coordinator, at 318-869-5260 or