Concert-ing: Exile on Bourbon Street

Exile on Main Street by the Rolling Stones is a mess of a record. Mick Jagger has never actually warmed up to it. Keith Richards was intoxicated most of the time. The mix isn’t muddy and could be so much better. They just run with the mistakes throughout the album.

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2622307

By Source, Fair use, Link

In other words, it’s a perfect rock’n’roll album.

Over the years, it has always gone up in stature. It continually appears on the multitudes of best rock albums of all time and usually quite high on the list.

It’s a monolith of an album that can intimidate anyone trying to cover any of the songs off of it. Someone would have to be crazy to cover all of it.

Enter Ryan Adams.

Ryan Adams is one of the Nola Nerd Couple’s favorite musical artists. He is the rare artist that we both love equally. He can rub people the wrong way, but he doesn’t say things that are genuinely insane like some other more famous artists in the news today. He has always had a prolific output, and he is consistently good and sometimes reaches the heights of his idols. He has done the cover the entire album thing before with his intriguing cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989. He found his truths in the songs.

But that was in a studio. On May 5, 2018, he will cover Exile on Main St. live at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans (tickets). He will be joined by Cyril Neville, John Medeski, Mark Mullins, Terence Higgins, and more are promised. Don Was will be the musical director.

Ryan is readying himself for the challenge.

 

We will be there, thanking California for its bitter fruit along with Mr. Adams and company.

#GiveNOLA Day

If you follow any profit organization, including museums, Audubon institutions, religious organizations, schools, parks, libraries, etc., you might have seen posts about GiveNOLA Day. GiveNOLA Day is a 24 hour event where nonprofit organizations ask for charitable donations to support their work. It is completely online and extremely successful; according to their website, last year, GiveNOLA raised nearly $4.9 million from 38,000+ donations across the nation!

This year, GiveNOLA Day takes place on May 1st. Although any day is a great day to be charitable and donate money to wonderful nonprofit organizations, if you donate on May 1st, you are not only participating in a region-wide fundraiser, there are awards and hourly prizes, in addition to lagniappe funds given to organizations. (Amount you raise ÷ Amount raised by ALL on May 1 = Your lagniappe fund percentage.) The nonprofits are divided into small and large categories, and for each of these categories, awards will be given to the five nonprofits that raise the most money AND the five nonprofits that raise the most unique donors. Two hourly prizes are awarded to any nonprofit organization that receives a donation of at least $10.

If you would like to donate, go to GiveNOLA on May 1st and search by either name, service area, or parish for the nonprofit organization to whom you would like donate. You can even browse all of the registered nonprofit organizations if you do not have a specific one in mind. your credit or debit card to donate to any nonprofit that has registered to participate. You can search for a nonprofit by name, service area, or parish. Donations begin at $10, payable by debit or credit card, and there is no limit to the maximum size or number of donations you would like to make. You may give to as many different nonprofit organizations as you would like! Your bank statement will read as “Greater New Orleans Foundation,” “GNOF,” or a similar abbreviation and is 100% tax deductible.

To help celebrate GiveNOLA Day, there will be the GiveNOLA Fest on May 1st from 5-8pm at The Circle: Center for Philanthropy, 919 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Entry is free and attendees will enjoy music from Soul Rebels and Irma Thomas. A portion of proceeds from food and drink will benefit the Lagniappe Fund, which is distributed proportionally to all participating nonprofits based on total amount raised. Attendees can also enter to win one of two sets of Southwest Airlines tickets!

If you would rather hang out with Saints punter Thomas Morstead, he will be celebrating GiveNOLA Day at Sal’s Sno-Balls in Metairie by handing out free snoballs to help raise money for What You Give Will Grow. What You Give Will Grow hopes to inspire action behind the idea that giving back makes a difference and to inspire others to give.

Here are some of our favorite nonprofit organizations to which you can donate. Remember, there are over 700 total, so find a cause you are interested in and be generous!

Al Copeland Foundation https://www.givenola.org/al-copeland-foundation
American Italian Renaissance Foundation https://www.givenola.org/american-italian-renaissance-foundation
Audubon Nature Institute https://www.givenola.org/AudubonNatureInstitute
Bayou Playhouse https://www.givenola.org/bayouplayhouse
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans https://www.givenola.org/ccano
The Devon Walker Foundation https://www.givenola.org/TheDevonWalkerFoundation
Geeks Empowering Extraordinary Kids https://www.givenola.org/geeksforkids
The Green Project https://www.givenola.org/green-project
KATRINA NATIONAL MEMORIAL MUSEUM https://www.givenola.org/KNMFM
Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners https://www.givenola.org/louisiana-books2prisoners
The National WWII Museum https://www.givenola.org/wwiimuseum
NOMA https://www.givenola.org/noma
The Posse Foundation https://www.givenola.org/the-posse-foundation
STEM NOLA https://www.givenola.org/stem-nola
WYES-TV https://www.givenola.org/wyes
Youth Empowerment Project https://www.givenola.org/youth-empowerment-project
Zeus’ Rescues https://www.givenola.org/zeus-rescues

For a list of all of the nonprofit organizations, click here.

If you have any questions, please call 504.598.4663 to speak with a Greater New Orleans Foundation staff member or email givenola@gnof.org.

NOLA-ing: NOLA Baby Firsts

If you follow cute New Orleans-centric stores like Fleurty Girl and NOLA Gifts and Decor, you might have seen the adorable NOLA Baby Firsts print by local artist Allie Behan. I ogled over this print on FaceBook, thinking that it would be a perfect keepsake to commemorate our daughter’s first NOLA experiences. From going to the zoo for the first time to eating her first crawfish or snoball, this print fits into our interests and lifestyle perfectly. Unfortunately, when I visited two different Fleurty Girl stores, they were sold out out of this popular print (they have since restocked). I was bummed, but figured I could wait; after all, it is not like she can do everything on the print yet.

Nola baby firsts

Image courtesy of Fleurty Girl.

A few days later at work, a coworker of ours gave us gift for our daughter. Happily, it was the NOLA Baby Firsts print! I think I squealed with delight when I saw it. It is so sweet to have such marvelous people in our daughter’s life. We are definitely blessed and started planning out when to start accomplishing some of these firsts. We then picked which first we thought we would accomplish last. My husband guessed her first Saints game since we have only ever been to one and that was during the preseason. I picked her first streetcar ride since in all my time living in and around New Orleans, I have never ridden the streetcar! Though maybe we will purposely ride one now, just to make sure we fulfill all of the firsts.

Continue reading

NOLA-ing: New Orleans Tricentennial festivities

This year is a big one for New Orleans, as it officially marks the Tricentennial. The Big Easy’s 300th birthday is a year long celebration and this week has some extra-special happenings. We hope to attend a few of these occurrences over the course of the weekend.

NOLA Navy Week: The Tall Ships are coming! To help celebrate the Tricentennial, NOLA Navy Week is bringing up tall ships from not just the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, but from Great Britain and Canada as well.  VIP FastPass tickets available here. Here’s a schedule below of how to see them.

Thursday, April 19
12:00pm Tall ships arrive into downtown New Orleans. All times approximate. Ships will dock at Woldenberg Riverfront Park at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. (No public boarding day on day of arrival.
Friday, April 20
10:00am – 12:00pm Pre-arranged school and social groups
12:00pm – 5:00pm Tall ships open to the public. Admission is free.
Saturday, April 21
10:00am – 12:00pm Pre-arranged school and social groups
12:00pm – 5:00pm Tall ships open to the public. Admission is free.
Sunday, April 22
10:00am – 5:00pm Tall ships open to the public. Admission is free.
Saturday, April 21
6:45pm – 12:00am Tall Ships® Tricentennial Gala – Tall Ships celebrate NOLA’s 300th! On-deck and dock-side black-tie gala in Woldenberg Park. Tickets include drinks, food, dancing and fireworks over the River. Download the Gala invitation (PDF)
Monday, April 23
9:00am Tall ships depart New Orleans. Please note: Navy ships maintain a separate schedule. Visit: NOLA Navy Week for more information.

Tricentennial Dog Parade: The Saints’ mascot Gumbo will lead those “lucky dogs” that call New Orleans home down the streets around City Bark on Sunday, April 22. If you want your dog to participate, check-in is at 10am and the parade starts at 11am. There is also a costume contest for your cute pooch. Registration is $40/dog or $45/dog on site. According to the website:

Dress your dogs up to compete in the following costume contest categories: Best NOLA-centric Attire, Most “Fest”ive Pet, Funniest Costume, and Best Pet Duo (dog and owner). Prizes include tickets to Zoo-to-Do, a membership to NOLA City Bark, a $100 gift certificate to Metairie Small Animal Hospital, a 5-day pass to Dogtopia, a gift basket from Magazine Street Animal Clinic and more.

Tricentennial Citywide Family Reunion: On Sunday, April 22, a celebration of jazz music will occur with music, food, and a nighttime fireworks display at 9pm at City Park’s Big Lake at 9 p.m. In Armstrong Park, there will be performances by Mia Borders, Ivan Neville and Friends, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers and other local acts. A jazz stage in Congo Square (starting at 2 p.m.) will feature Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Patti Austin, Ledisi and other guests. Guests are welcome to bring their own food, drinks, blankets, and chairs to enjoy the festivities. If you cannot make it, they are filming the performances to be shown online as part of International Jazz Day on April 30.

If these festivities weren’t exciting enough, there is also Kenner’s Italian Heritage Festival.

Located at: 400 Blk of Williams Blvd. (from the River to the railroad tracks)

Italian Fest Lineup 2018 for website.jpg
With so many activities going on during this beautiful weekend, there is no reason to stay indoors!

 

The Nola Nerd Couple Podcast Episode 15: Wizard World New Orleans 2018 Wrap-Up

After a long absence, The Nola Nerd Couple Podcast is back! In this show, we explain why we were gone for so long, what we were up to in that time, and finally, we focus in on Wizard World New Orleans 2018!  Spoiler alert: we had a great con.  Show notes for this episode in the photo gallery below!

 

ComicCon-ing: Some of Our Favorite Eats Near Wizard World New Orleans

This is not by any means a definitive list. We aren’t rich enough to eat at all the restaurants near the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center where Wizard World New Orleans is held.  Looking at the map, there are way more restaurants that we want to try and never have. Therefore these are just some restaurants within walking distance, which actually does cover almost the entire CBD.

Mulate’s New Orleans:  To be honest, I haven’t been here in years. But it does have some decent cajun fare, and if it is a night with live music, that makes it worth it.

El Gato Negro:  There mole chicken is fantastic, and everything else is pretty good, too. (Note: we have not tried this particular location).

Cochon Butcher: This is my number one recommendation. Everything I’ve had here has been great.

Cochon: The fancier big brother is right next door to Butcher.  While I think Butcher is better, this is world class food.

Drago’s Seafood: Don’t look at the menu.  Order oysters either raw or charbroiled…preferably both. If you are still hungry, order another dozen.

Mannings: We find Manning’s hit or miss, but everyone else we know seems to love it.

Lucy’s Retired Surfer’s Bar & Restaurant: This is where we ended up on day one of Wizard World last year. The food was excellent, the company better, and the scorpion was weird.

Carmo: If you are craving something a little healthier, this is the place for you.  They do have vegetarian and vegan options. I have yet to have a bad meal or drink there.

Gordon Biersch Brewery:  If you are looking for a great pub atmosphere, this should be high on your list.

St. James Cheese Company: If you like cheese, these people are the best cheesemongers in the city. (Note: we have not tried this particular location).

Herbsaint:  If you are dressed up (and I mean Sunday dressed), this is our favorite restaurant in the city.

The American Sector Restaurant: This restaurant is attached to the World War II museum. It’s also one of our favorites.  The glazed lamb ribs are to die for.

Some of the other restaurants in the area that we haven’t tried but would love to:

  • Galliano Restaurant
  • Root
  • Emeril’s
  • Grand Isle
  • La Boca
  • Tommy’s Cuisine
  • Peche Seafood Grill
  • Compere Lapin
  • Meril
  • Legacy Kitchen
  • Mother’s (wait…what? We have never eaten at Mothers?)

 

 

ComicCon-ing: Wizard World New Orleans Artist Alley

When we explain comic conventions to our friends, we have to make sure they understand it’s more than just meeting celebrity guests.  We often compare the vendors’ area to a jewelry show for geeks. However, the best part of any comic convention is the artist alley.

Artist Alley is comprised of comic book artists who will sign books and have artwork for sale.  Many, but not all,  sign for free or for a small donation to a favorite charity.  Some do charge, but we understand they have to make a living.

The person we are most excited to meet at Wizard World New Orleans is Howard Chaykin. He is a comic creator who both writes and draws. We met him at Wizard World Philadelphia a few years ago, and he was quickly the most entertaining comic creator we ever met. While we got him to sign a Star Wars comic variant cover he did, we highly recommend his works, American Flagg! and Divided States of Hysteria…and anything else his name is attached to.

The great Neal Adams will also be there.  Neal Adams changed the game of comics and help usher in a social awareness to comics especially in his Green Lantern/Green Arrow run. He has worked on Batman and has done some of the most iconic covers in comics. In fact, we will probably get him to sign a Harley Quinn cover that we did.  He does charge for autographs.

Other comic artists inlcude Jaime Hernandez (“Love and Rockets”), Olivia (“Bettie Page,” “Sideshow Collectibles”), Agnes Garbowska  (“My Little Pony,” “DC Superhero Girls”), David Mack (“KABUKI,” “Jessica Jones”) and Mike Grell (“Green Arrow,” “Batman”), Marat Michaels (“Deadpool Corps,” “Extreme Studios”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies”),  Amy Chu (“Red Sonja,” “KISS”), Stuart Sayger (“ROM,” “Micronauts”), Tiffany Michelle Vollmer  (“Dragon Ball” franchise), Mike S. Miller (“Justice League,” “Game of Thrones”), Phil Ortiz (“The Simpsons”),  Tom Cook (“Masters of the Universe,” “Smurfs”), Mark Kistler (“Secret City,” “Imagination Station”), Clinton Hobart  (licensed Disney Fine Artist), Victor Dandridge (“The Samaritan,” “Origins Unknown”), Dean Haspiel (“Billy Dogma,” “Bored to Death”) and many more.

There is another comic creator that you may have heard of…Stan Lee.  He will only be there on Saturday, and you do need to purchase signatures.  We have already bought our photo op with him!

Plenty of these comic creators will be doing discussions and demonstrations at the Creative Stage so make sure you check it out.

Wizard World New Orleans show hours are Friday, January 5, 4-9 p.m.; Saturday, January 6, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, January 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.