Wednesday, October 31, 2007

An art bar in Shreveport that features alternative bands from across the country and was decorated by local artists: the Jackrabbit Lounge, King's Hwy

Shreveport's most colorful, most communal and art-filled, alt-rock bar is managed by Jen Wasson, an English major who loves books and film. Under a gigantic Joe's Bar & Grill sign on King's Highway across from Centenary College lies her funk palace. Once called Lil Joes, it is now the Jackrabbit Lounge. "It used to be a black-walled shi*hole with t-shirts on the walls," says Frank Jones, staff member and musician.

The Jackrabbit Lounge was recreated in the image of David Nelson's Zebra Room by a group of young artists who were inspired by downtowner Nelson, an architect, artist and producer of art and music shows.

A cast of tens helped Wasson re-paint and re-upholster the room. "It was Ali Dickson's concept," said Brittney Maddox. "Sizer Yerger painted an entire wall," said Wasson. "The Peekers repainted the stage and installed the astroturf and put the flowers around the speakers," said Michael Stevens. "It's art from people who frequent the bar," added Jones. Contributors include "Sherry Teer, Lance, Pearl, Aubrey Ballard, John Mackie, Carter Sutton, Meredith Mighell, Frank Jones, Christy Herren, Bryan Sullivan. And Jordan West. John Martin and Levette Fuller."

"Almost everyone did a chair," said Wasson. It is also furnished with Jen's furniture and thrift store finds. "When I see cool glasses, an ashtray or tip jar, I buy it," said Jones.

"Bands who come through here" - and they come from NYC, San Francisco, Austin, etc - "are so happy to find this place. They take pictures around the stage, or the jackrabbit or the horses, and put it on their myspace," added Maddox.

Fri, Nov 2, a show of Dia de los Muertos art curated by Conchita McElwee will peer from the walls. Says her flyer, "Art at 8 pm. Music at 10 pm: Zack the Rookie, Power Pellut, and, from Brooklyn, White Rabbit."

See the Jackrabbit myspace to get a tall glass of diversity. "What I like about this place," says Maddox, who was about to do a "one-time deal" called Nerf Nugget, "is that if you've got a good idea, Jen will book it."

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