In 2013, I did a fairly exhaustive search for the best local songs to replace Atlanta-based Ying Yang Twins Halftime (Stand Up and Get Crunk) as the Saints’ touchdown song. VIDEO. I offered links to dozens of videos written and performed by local musicians. The ultimate superfans in my estimation, they pour their team spirit into songs and videos that take money and oodles of time to produce. And they do all this with little chance the music will turn a profit.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the playoffs. The Saints players have taken over the soundtrack inside the Superdome. In particular, carpool mates Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara along with Michael Thomas have fallen in love with old New Orleans rap and the crowds in the Dome couldn’t be happier. Apparently, Ingram introduced Kamara to the songs and artists while driving. When the three danced to Choppa’s 2003 local hit Choppa Style, the Superdome went bananas.
The moment went viral nationwide.
The categories are: Food & Beverage, Music & Entertainment, Culture, Shopping and Giving & More. Anything named previously in my Favorite Things in NOLA 2012 is marked with an Asterix*. Most items have links to their site, but if you’d like to know more, use the search window on the right to find photos, videos, history and stories.
This year, I’ve added a gallery of photos. The first photos are of items listed and the last half are of stuff I love in New Orleans from Creole tomatoes to Ashley the Traffic Tranny.
It’s impossible to attend all of the free music, festivals and cultural events in New Orleans, but I do what I can. This week, I got to D.J. at WWOZ, attend an Irma Thomas & the Professionals with Khris Royal & Dark Matter concert and watch a documentary on the Red Bull Street Kings battle-of-the-bands in 2010. Inspired by finally finding my pick for the new Saints touchdown theme song, Black and Gold, I called Jonny Ray of the New Orleans Movie Tours who has a regular time slot on WWOZ and asked if I could give the song it’s radio debut. I invited Phat Word, one of the masterminds behind Black and Gold and we spent the evening talking about everything from the definition of Jazz to behind-the-scenes stories of Django Unchained and Kill Bill. Continue reading →
I’ve been searching for a new Saints anthem to replace the Ying Yang Twins Halftime (Stand Up and Get Crunk)since pre-season when it became obvious the rumors were true – getting Crunk is on its way out at the Superdome. I scoured the web for a song as inspirational to fans and the team (and as menacing for the opposition) as Halftime. I wanted the song to be by locals and have horns, Who Dats, a universal dance beat and something to chant. After presenting over a dozen options in my posts Saints Soundtrack and Saints Soundtrack Vol. 2, I have found my very clear winner. Continue reading →
It’s preseason and the city is unfurling Who Dat Nation flags, dusting off… Oh let’s face it – this city is year-round ready for a Saints game. We don’t have to dust off a dang thing. But the new season is bringing changes. Like every team, we have some new guys and we lost some old favorites. Friday, I got to hear the leader of the “12th Man,” our MC Jerry Romig announce his last game. He has been on that mic 44 of the 46 years the Saints have been around and announced 445 games. His son will take the reigns. With Romig, they seem to have retired one of my favorite things about going to the Superdome – getting Crunk after a touchdown. Continue reading →
I didn’t bring my camera to the fireworks this year. I figure most major cities put on a fairly good display, though ours is shot off a barge over the mighty Mississippi, reflecting on the ever-flowing surface. And maybe other cities don’t have as many people wearing tuxedoes and top hats or costumes or beads or drag. But, the one thing I know your celebration didn’t have was Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs playing in front of Jackson Square. I love that celebrations here almost always include horns and drums. Continue reading →
Due to technical difficulties, I’ve been unable to write about the many NOLA Christmas festivities I’ve been enjoying. I will attempt a Reader’s Digest version. First up, the Newcomers Club of New Orleans annual gift-giving at Raintree Children and Family Services. Raintree has been providing services to foster children and the families who care for them as well as the homebound of all ages for 85 years. The Newcomers Club offers activities to women moving to the area including a book club, a gourmet group and, of course, participation in non-profit organizations like Raintree. Continue reading →
One year ago, after nearly 18 years in Los Angeles, I packed up a rental truck and moved my life to New Orleans. It was a leap of faith. I knew how to make a living in Los Angeles. I’d met friends there and 2 friends I’d known since high school moved there over a decade ago. I knew how to get around, where I liked to eat, and which doctors I trusted. I knew what to wear and what the cultural expectations were and I knew how dating worked there. About New Orleans, all I was certain of was that it was, and had always been, my favorite city in the world. Continue reading →