Events » New Orleans Event Previews

A&E Feature


Adrian Belew
9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2
The Parish at House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE;

Photo by Rick Malkin

You can't stop Adrian Belew; you can only hope to contain him. That well-worn sports cliche better applies to this masterful guitarist, producer and everyone's favorite sideman. Fittingly discovered by Frank Zappa in a Cincinnati cover band, Belew went on to help add his own flourishes with contributions to David Bowie, the Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club (he co-wrote "The Genius of Love') and as a member of prog-rock legend King Crimson before following his own muse in solo projects that include the Bears. We're catching Belew in yet another busy year as he tours in support of Side Two , the second installment of a proposed three-part concept-album project (natch). Where Side One , with Primus bassist Les Claypool and Tool drummer Danny Carey, helped explore Belew's prog-rock instincts in power-trio form, Side Two is an excursion into an electronica with rich, ambient textures and a Japanese haiku approach to songwriting. Evoking some of King Crimson's late-1990s side project the ProjeKcts with its loop-driven approach, Side Two shows Belew marveling at the clash of acoustic guitar and the pulse of techno, making you wonder (as always) what's next. Jimmy Robinson opens. Tickets $14. -- David Lee Simmons




Kevin O'Day's All-Star Band
9 p.m. Thursday Aug. 25
Ray's Over the River, 2 Canal Place (World Trade Center), 31st floor, 595-8900;

In a city full of drummers, it's pretty hard to stand out from the crowd, but Kevin O'Day has managed to do that by playing in more styles and situations than just about anyone else in town. O'Day's Thursday series at Ray's Over the River runs through October; he leads a band of bandleaders, drawing on his background in jazz and New Orleans music. His standard funk and R&B credentials are well established after his longstanding stint in Walter "Wolfman' Washington's Roadmasters, and for the Ray's gig, Washington returns the favor. He co-fronts O'Day's band with trumpeter James Andrews, who leads his own band, fronts a traditional jazz group at Preservation Hall, and plays in the Andrews Family Band. O'Day rounds out his quartet with alternating organists -- some weeks Roadmaster David Ellington, who currently leads Latin music band Chevere, and other weeks, Brian Coogan, who brings a more soul-jazz groove to the mix. Either way, the combo packs the dance floor every time. Admission $10. -- John Swenson



The Big Beard Benefit
9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361

New Orleans' Joseph Palmer League is named for a 19th century freethinker and compatriot of Ralph Waldo Emerson who, in 1843, was briefly jailed for refusing to shave. Happily, persecution of the hirsute has ebbed since Palmer's day, and his namesake organization can devote itself to celebrating, rather than defending, the choice to cultivate impressive facial foliage. This benefit is intended to raise money to send league members to the 2005 World Beard and Mustache Championships in Berlin. The bill includes the angry/morbid folk-punk of the Happy Talk Band (pictured), the bearded ladies of ZZ Topless, along with Narcissy and DJ Math Problem. The event kicks off with a screening of A Harmony of Curves , a documentary filmed at the 2003 championship event, and an open beard-and-mustache competition for locals, the best of whom will win his (or her) entry fee to the international championships -- flight to Berlin not included. Tickets $8. -- Alison Fensterstock



19th Annual Krewe of O.A.K. Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade and ball
8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27
Maple Leaf Bar, 8316 Oak St., 866-9359

Photo by Herman Leonard

To many, the Krewe of O.A.K. Mid-Summer Mardi Gras is the first event of the 2006 Mardi Gras social calendar. While marching in this costumed, bacchanalian procession, one can anticipate with glee how the local holidays line up from Labor Day, second line/Saints season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Twelfth Night and, eventually, Mardi Gras. Honoring Queen Alexa and King Robustus, the parade will be led by the Troy Andrews All-Stars through the Carrollton neighborhood, complete with golf-cart floats featuring effigies of such Maple Leaf notables as Everette Maddox, James Booker and Rockin' Dopsie. The parade stops at Carrollton Station, Snake & Jake's Christmas Club, and other notorious neighborhood watering holes before it returns to the Maple Leaf. Then, the Maple Leaf All-Stars featuring George Porter Jr. and Theresa Andersson will celebrate into the night. Dressing up is a must, but take heed: Even in the late evening in August, parading through the streets is comparable to second-lining in a sauna. O.A.K. may stand for "outrageous and kinky,' but it also stands for a city's desire to rage against the heat and its attendant boredom, to say that August doesn't have to suck, after all -- even if it's while the month is almost over. Or maybe it's just another house party that got out of hand. Call club for cover. -- David Kunian



Fashion Show Fundraiser and "Art of Mingling' Extravaganza
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24
Cafe Brasil, 2100 Chartres St., 931-7779

A rum tasting, a drag show and fabulous prizes sound like a great way to help hurricane victims. This special event, organized by fashion designer and Honduran native Carolina Gallop, will feature cocktails, music, art displays and a fashion show to benefit victims in La Ceiba, Honduras. Gallop hosts cocktail parties twice a month, which she calls the "art of mingling,' and is now using her hostess skills to incorporate her parties into her sixth annual fundraiser. There will be complimentary cocktail samplings at the event and hors d'oeuvres provided by Maximo's Italian Grill. The party won't be short on entertainment either, with music by DJ Otto, live performances by Sublime Lens, Josephine Mills and the Button and a drag show by Princess Stephanie and Ava. A parade of raffle prizes will be offered along with a showcase of work by artists Grant Ingram, Otto, Dana DiPerna and Lisa Cohen. $25 limited reserve seating; $20 general admission. $15 admission with donation of two or more items of clothing. -- Colin Schoenberger



"Every Man A King' Night
6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25
The Fairmont Hotel, Sazerac Bar, 123 Baronne St., 529-7111

The Fairmont Hotel of New Orleans, once known as the Roosevelt, opened in 1893, the same year former Louisiana Gov. Huey Long was born. And since he loved that place, the hotel's renowned bar, the Sazerac, will honor the Kingfish's birthday in style. The long-established restaurant and bar, Huey Long's old hangout and campaign headquarters in the 1920s, will offer guests those famous Sazeracs and Ramos Gin Fizzes in honor of the Kingfish's birthday as well the opportunity to contribute to the John J. Hainkel Jr. endowed professorship at the LSU Health Sciences Center Foundation and LSU's Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center. The party will include complimentary hors d'oeuvres, "every man a king' cake, a cash bar and specialty drinks from the Fairmont's "Lounging II' cocktail series. The Sazerac restaurant will even feature a retro menu for the occasion. And to get into the spirit of things, seersucker suits or summer whites are suggested. Free admission. -- Schoenberger



Gospel Dream talent search
Various times. Friday Aug. 26-27
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 770-692-4549;

They might change the name to Christian American Idol , but for now the Gospel Music Channel is focused on auditions for its nationally televised Gospel Dream 2005 TV show. Although a gospel version of William Hung is painful to imagine, the premise of the shows is the same: Anyone can audition, and the 21 finalists from the regionals will compete in November in Atlanta to land a record deal with a major label. The Gospel Music Channel, the only 24-hour channel devoted completely to gospel and Christian music with shows like It's All Gospel Videos and Faith and Fame , and soon-to-be Gospel Dream 2005 , has sent down music industry celebs and executives to New Orleans to choose three winners to compete in the nationals. Singers from ages 15-60 of any gospel or Christian style of music such as rock, pop, country or R&B are encouraged to try out for this opportunity, although everyone will have to choose a song to sing from an approved list. Online registration $40, on-site registration $50. -- Schoenberger



"Wine & Roses Goes Black & White'
7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans Grand Ballroom, 921 Canal St., 455-5194

The Louisiana Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's elegant Wine & Roses ball this year features a theme that will honor the 1966 infamous and exclusive Black & White Ball at the Plaza Hotel in New York City hosted by New Orleans native and celebrated author Truman Capote. The black-and-white-clad guests will not only help those with the genetic disease, which affects more than 30,000 people in the United States, but will also get a chance to sample food and wine from some of the best restaurants in New Orleans. The restaurants providing the culinary selections include Bayona, Rene Bistrot, Antoinette, Herbsaint, Commander's Palace, Restaurant August and Pasadena, and the chefs themselves will select each dish and will pair it with some of the finest wines. There will also be live music at the party as well as auctions of packages including local art, dinners and trips. Cooper Manning will be the evening's emcee and auctioneer. Tickets $175. Patron Party $250. -- Schoenberger

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