Tag Archives: Tipitina’s

Songs that are making my day

I heard this first one last night at Tipitina’s before the Amanda Palmer + Grand Theft Orchestra show last night. My response: “This would be fun to tango to.” Can’t stop playing it. 🙂

This second one was sent today by a friend to amuse me. The story is that Reggae Pop, featured in the video, goes to L.A. parties and dances with all the guys’ girlfriends.

And back to last night’s show, Amanda Palmer brought up the St. Cecilia’s Asylum Chorus to do their acapella version of her song “Map of Tasmania” and they killed it. Enjoy the video:

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Yeah, You Write

WYLD FM aired an interview that Hal Clark conducted with Amanda Boyden and myself this past Sunday. So, even though I cringe at the sound of my own recorded voice, I’m including it here because this is going to be an amazing event on Thursday and I don’t want anyone to miss it!

Check it out:

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Filed under books, bragging on, Friends, literature, music, New Orleans, poetry, pop culture

Emilie’s 2010 Best List

I’ve been thinking about this post in the back of my head for the last few weeks. And now it’s come time to look back at my favorites of the year…

Books are pretty easy because I read fewer books this year than…ever. At least, any year since I’ve been keeping track and that’s a decade’s worth of reading. The last time I read fewer than 100 books in a year was my second year of grad school and I read considerably fewer than 100 books this year. So my quantity was down, but not the quality – a read quite a few books this year that I’d had on my to-read list a while.

1. Kai Meyer‘s The Dark Reflections Trilogy and most of The Wave Walkers Trilogy
2. Rebecca Cantrell‘s A Trace of Smoke
3. Audrey Niffennegger‘s The Time Traveler’s Wife
4. John Kennedy Toole‘s A Confederacy of Dunces
5. Alice Sebold‘s The Lovely Bones
6. David Madden‘s Abducted by Circumstance
7. Mary McMyne‘s Wait. (manuscript)
8. Suzanne Collins‘s last Hunger Games book Mockingjay
9. M.O. Walsh‘s The Prospect of Magic
10. Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium Trilogy (still working on the last, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest)

In the interests of full disclosure, I have some reservations about labeling some of these “best,” as I had some issues with a few of these books – notably Stieg Larsson’s books and The Lovely Bones – but they are unconditionally the ones that I invested the most time in, spent time thinking about. And there are some absolutely stellar BEST books on this list. And, of course, I read dozens of short stories through my work with Narrative, several of which I’d love to put on a best list, but can’t disclose. Interestingly, there’s no non-fiction on my list this year.

I actually saw quite a few movies in the theater this year, or maybe they stand out because I quite liked so many that I saw there. Rentals were often disappointing – slightly better than I’d expected or boring or not as good as I’d heard. So this is tough, but the movies I enjoyed the most this year:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (I have to do it, it was so good…)
2. Inception (I saw it 3.5 times in the theater)
3. Toy Story 3 (Pixar has always been really smart with these sequels)
4. Easy A (it was as funny and good as my favorite 80s comedies)
5. Red (it was like Sneakers jacked up, so of course I loved it)
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop (of course, it’s about Banksy)
7. Going the Distance, Get Him to the Greek (a tie)
8. Twilight: Eclipse and How to Train Your Dragon (a tie)
9. Nine (I love musicals)
10. The Kids are Alright

Honorable mentions: Last Station, Hereafter, Black Swan, True Grit, Despicable Me, The Ramen Girl, St. Trinian’s, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, The Young Victoria and Coco Before Chanel.

TV had to take a serious back burner this year because I never knew when I’d get home from work and had so much going on. This list is basically comprised of the shows that I kept up with in the chaos. Also, it should be said that I watched every episode of Law & Order SVU through Season 10 this year.

1. So You Think You Can Dance
2. Survivor
3. Castle
4. Glee
5. Raising Hope
6. Dancing with the Stars
7. United States of Tara
8. How I Met Your Mother
9. Bones
10. Fringe

My super notables:  The Tudors, In Plain Sight and 30 Rock.

I might go so far as to say that music was one of my biggest influences this year. I probably went to more concerts this year than I have every other year combined. Because my favorite songs are generally still my favorite songs from last year and the year before (with a few new exceptions), I’d much rather outline the best concerts of the year and the cds that I’ve been listening to obsessively.

CDs:

1. Lissie‘s Catching a Tiger, as well as her EP Why You Runnin’
2. Roisin Murphy‘s Ruby Blue
3. Mark Growden‘s Saint Judas
4. The Dresden Dolls‘s Yes, Virginia…
5. Black Gold‘s Rush

Shows:

1. Dresden Dolls at Tipitina’s in New Orleans
2. Black Gold at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
3. Citizen Cope at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
4. Simon Lott at Hi Ho Lounge in New Orleans
5. Mark Growden at Circle Bar in New Orleans

I think that just about covers the highlights of 2010, so all that’s left to say is Happy 2011!

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Filed under books, movies, music, New Orleans, pop culture, t.v., what I'm reading

My end of 2010 homework

A short while back, Jamey gave me some homework. She said (a loose quote here), “I don’t think you realize how much you’ve done and accomplished this year. I’m assigning you homework. You have to make a list of everything you’ve done in 2010.”

So, finally, I’m doing my homework. Here it is, 10 things I accomplished in 2010:

1. I’ve worked on five movies

In January, I worked for 2 days on the set of Legendary (Brother’s Keeper) and then went on to work on three more WWE Studios movies, up till October. Currently, I’m working on So Undercover. That’s five and that’s a lot in one year, as I’m realizing.

2. I watched a lot of football

I’ve always been a Saints fan, at least in theory. I became a fan in practice during 2009, but in the aftermath of our Super Bowl win (that could be its own entry on the list – I witnessed the Saints winning the Super Bowl!) and now, in this new season, I’ve been watching a lot of football. I’ve only missed one Saints game this season.

3. I started a major revision of my novel

I haven’t finished, but I began (and progressed pretty far) with what I hope will be my final draft before I finally send this baby out into the world — to agents first and then to editors at publishing companies, and then to actual real people who read, complete with hardback gift wrapping.

4. I had major surgery

And came face-to-face with the realities of physical recovery. And asked for help. And forced myself to rest.

5. I had a public disagreement with OffBeat Magazine

I, and several others, publicly and loudly disagreed with the image on OffBeat Magazine‘s March cover. This brought me a great deal of stress and frustration, although there was a bit of a surge in traffic here on my blog and I was quoted in the Huffington Post.

6. I escaped from the Book Section

I had the chance to write a piece for 225 Magazine that started out being a review of The Dictionary of Louisiana French and ended up being about so much more, including the grim situation at LSU lately. Not only was it longer than most of my published pieces, it was in the front half of the magazine, which was a personal first.

7. I published more than ever

And there’s nothing wrong with the Book Section (at all!), as I had more pieces (mostly book reviews) published in 225 Magazine this year than all the previous years I’ve written for them – combined. I continue to be honored and challenged and inspired in my work with this phenomenal magazine. Additionally, my web presence was stronger than ever, between my growing blog, my continued work with PureSYTYCD and a few posts I did for Write or Die.

8. I hung out with rock stars

Halfway through the year, I got the chance to interview Eric Ronick, the lead singer of the new band Black Gold during their New Orleans concert, I danced a little bit with Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls after their show at Tipitina’s and more recently (though I haven’t blogged about it yet), I met Mark Growden when he invited me out (via Twitter) after I mistook the date of one of his New Orleans shows and went out in the cold, only to be disappointed. I also went to Jazz Fest for the first time.

9. I started reading for Narrative Magazine

That one probably speaks for itself. I started out as an intern earlier in the year and was promoted to assistant editor around September.

10. I won NaNoWriMo

I managed to write 50,000 words during the month of November – despite my crazy hectic job, despite Thanksgiving and my parents being in town, despite not having a solid story or characters I was passionate about or interested in, I won!

Somehow, throughout the crucible that was 2010, I managed to (mostly) strike a balance between my consuming work in the film industry and my identity as a freelance writer and everything that entails. I grew my blog and spent a lot of time bragging on my amazing friends and family, something that makes me extraordinarily proud.

The balance isn’t perfect, of course, and there are still quite a lot of things I’d like to finish (my novel!) work out (my finances!) and do (travel!), but Jamey was right that I needed to sit down and reflect on everything that I have achieved this year. I feel much more prepared to tackle 2011 now!

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NaNoWriMo Day 13

Well. Last night was my early halfway mark present – the Dresden Dolls concert at Tipitina’s. And it was a worthy halfway mark present because it was the best concert I’ve ever been to. Absolutely amazing. There’s too much to talk about to mention here, but basically it was good from beginning to end. For instance, Meschiya Lake and a multi-piece band, probably the Loose Marbles, played outside while everyone waited to get into the show. That was just the music while you waited in line! And Neil Gaiman was hanging out and watching them as well. At one point, Amanda Palmer squeezed in front of me to go in through the side door. I had great friends for company. Then, there were two amaaaaaazing opening acts, one of which is local. Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship and Jason Webley. And then the Dresden Dolls, who were just brilliant. Their encore songs were covers of “Mein Herr,” (Amanda across us on the balcony, leaning out to Brian Viglione playing guitar on the stage below, even straddling the railing and leaning back) and “War Pigs,” if that tells you anything about the crazy, genius, energetic performance. Anyway, at the end of the show, some of us waited around to see if they’d come out. Brian did, sidling up beside me and Maurice while we were singing and dancing to “My Girl.” I looked over at the dude dancing next to me and it was Brian of the Dresden Dolls! Not only was he utterly gracious when he signed my c.d., he took it backstage for Amanda to sign as well since she’d hurt her foot. And I got several hugs as well. I’ll treasure last night for a long time.

Well, today, I had to wake up after not enough sleep to get my car worked on and finish up a project for work. And of course, I was all wrung out when it came time to do my NaNoWriMo words. I’ve been falling asleep in the middle of wars, just utterly unable to keep my eyes open and my fingers typing. I think I’ve forgotten how hard it can be to write when your whole body just wants to lay down, when your brain is like, “uh uh, I just wanna watch Law & Order and play Freecell, lady.” But, I solicited a word war on Twitter and managed 2,094 words in two half-hour wars. Which brings my grand total so far to 22,102. So, I’m just a little bit ahead once again and I hope I can get even further ahead tomorrow, store up some words for this coming week and whatever it may bring.

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From Cheers with love

So it’s been a while, my digital friends. Where have I been, what have I been doing?

Firstly, I should say that before I left Nola to go to Atlanta, I was lucky enough to catch a free New Orleans Bingo! Show at Tipitina’s. Whewwwweeee! This was *just* what I needed, doncha know? Despite the fact that it was P-A-C-K-E-D and I’m extremely claustrophobic (does claustrophobic mean dislikes strange drunk people touching her?), it was an amazing show. Loud and chaotic, filled with personality and phenomenal music. So many, many people have been telling me that I have to see the New Orleans Bingo! Show over the past few years, but it hadn’t happened yet. I’m glad this was my first show, their first show at Tips, it turns out. Who cares if I was set to leave for Atlanta SUPER early in the morning — I was out swaying and sweating with hundreds of folks to their delicious tunes.

The trip to Atlanta started a few hours later than I’d planned and except for a tiny bit ‘o rain (aka buckets and buckets, but only for about 2 minutes at a time) was uneventful. Here’s the rub – the job I’d been hoping for in Atl was not to be, though I hung out for a week to see if the tides would turn. Got to spend some time with my parents and work on the novel (or attempt to work on the novel, Butt In Chair, as they say). At the end of the week, the owner of my Atl Cheers knew me by name and was sad to see me go. I did not make it out to the Claremont Lounge (“Where whores go to die”) as recommended by somebody or other, but it was still a good trip.

And let me tell you, while I was happy to be with my parents and in a new environment, I was so homesick for Nola that my whole body hurt! It was a relief to get back, physically and emotionally. It would’ve been different if I’d been busy working, I think, rather than ruminating, but everything happens for a reason.

Spent a bunch of time with somebody or other upon my return, sent out resumes to more film jobs and even managed a quick jaunt to BR and dinner with bestest buddy while I was there.

And you know what I did this Friday night past? I went out and extra’d for the movie Mardi Gras, dressed up for a “Maxim party” that felt rather more like a lock-in and met a few fun folks there, most in the same boat.

Got to catch up with my buddy Clarence on Saturday – go check out his link because dude’s got some fabulous books out.

Good news is that I’m doing a bit of freelance, which makes me happy and doing alright on TCB. Also, the new roomie is fantastic thus far. He held the fort while I was gone and nothing seems too badly singed. Bad news…I’m determined that there is none. Everything has a silver lining!

So some stuff I’ve been thinking about.

Katherine Heigl withdrawing her name from Emmy consideration. Whoa. Personally, I am a HUGE Katherine Heigl fan and have been before probably anybody else (yes, even you folks who think you “discovered” her on Roswell), since I saw My Father the Hero waaaaay back when. Anybody who’s watched her career knows that she’s got moxie (for good or for better) and she doesn’t follow the tart of Hollywood playbook. She’s pulling ballsy moves more akin to male counterparts, making her moves publicly and loudly. But because she’s a woman, she gets called ungrateful and a bitch. She’s walking a fine line, the razor’s edge. I think she’ll be a winner in the end. I think now that she’s done a few smarter-than-your-average-still-box -office-gold rom-coms, she’s going to be getting better and better scripts and she’ll be choosing smarter and stronger roles (though, love her or hate her, most of her character selections have been *smart*). The article I linked to was just a random selection, but I love that a Grey’s “insider” decried her for her lack of loyalty to the same writers who made her a household name, the writers who accommodated her movie schedule, etc. Let’s look at this for a sec. Yeah, the role made her a household name, but part of that package is her own acting. And even before the Emmy nominations became public, folks were speculating whether the Grey’s writers were sabotaging her because they had to accommodate her movie roles by giving her stupid plotlines through the season till the end. AND let’s not forget that Heigl’s popularity due to Grey’s and her movie roles reflects back on Grey’s in a good light and keeps viewers loyal (I don’t watch the show, I should confess). I’m a writer, so I understand that writers are so essential but generally poorly respected in Hollywood. But I think Heigl should be given some props for speaking her mind. Love her or hate her, this is no blonde bimbo touting the company line. I suspect that she’s in danger of alienating some of the folks that have helped her with her best roles, but that her private relationships with these folks will likely win out. There’s still ONE role I’m dying to see her play. I’ll let you know if it happens, but no more on that for now.

This is from a while ago, but it’s still interesting. Haven’t heard much about the memoir, but hurrah for writers surviving over horrible people in their pasts!

And I continue to be fascinated by Emily Gould’s (mis)adventures and Gawker’s intriguing obsession with her. From GalleyCat, some speculation about a manuscript that’s doing the rounds and the potential fears of some editors/publishers in taking her on.

In the meantime, thank goodness for my neighborhood and my excellent neighbors. Also, my friends and mentors. What would I do without you people?

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