Rank #1: Employees Must Wash Hands After Exposing Themselves - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #2: If It's Not Amazing It's Not Worth It - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #3: Obama: The Funniest Person in New Orleans - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #4: Blend In and Stay Out The Sun - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #5: Trouble Never Ends - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #6: B J And The 20K Picasso of New Orleans - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #7: The Librocubicularist - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #8: Accidental Ecstatic Hypoventilation - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #9: Corruption, Consent Decree and Other Shocking New Orleans Revelations
Happy Hour is not the kind of podcast you expect to hear shocking inside breaking news revelations about corruption in the New Orleans justice system, but you never know who you're going to be sitting next to in a bar and what they're going to tell you after a drink or two.
Simone Levine is the Executive Director of Court Watch NOLA. It's a watchdog organization that keeps an eye on the courts. You won't even believe the story about Judge Bonin and why he gets defendants who appear in his court to wear an ankle monitor. Kickbacks. From the ankle monitor company. Sometimes the judge orders defendants to wear the monitors for up to a year - and the defendant has to pay $10 a day to the monitoring company. This story is going to be in the NY Times, and we scooped them on Happy Hour!
Lila Turner has only been in New Orleans for 6 months but she's probably done more good for the city in that time than most of us do in 6 years. Lila is the Development Director for Son of a Saint, an organization that mentors fatherless kids, mostly because the fathers are one step beyond ankle monitoring: incarcerated.
Basch Jernigan is the front man for the NOLA soul/Southern-rock band Roadside Glorious. It's hard to pin down exactly what they sound like, but that's a positive. Basch threw away a career in environmental journalism to sing in a rock band. That decision is not doing his student loans too much good but it's great for the rest of us who love music.
Andrew Duhon unravels a brand new tune called Emerald Blue. If you're already a Duhon fan you''re going to love this. If this is the first time you've ever heard Andrew, you're coming in at a high point.
Oh, and by the way, wait till you the hear the shocking details of the Consent Decree that keeps both the NOPD and Sheriff's department under the thumb of the Feds, and who's getting paid for that. This is quite a Happy Hour. Thank God for cocktails.
Rank #10: The Bearded Lady
Ingrid Victoria is best known in the world of drag queens as the maker of extravagant eyelashes. If you've seen drag queens on TV or on stage and wondered where the heck you get eyelashes like that, now you too can get hooked up for just $25 (or $12.50 for one eyelash) at Chimera Lashes.
But Ingrid doesn't stop at making eyelashes. She also crochets stuff. Like beards. If you're thinking a woman in a fake beard must look like a circus freak, head over to here and check out the photo of Ingrid in her beard. She's gorgeous.
Talking of men dressed as women, Edward Simon might be studying for a Ph.D in psychology, and he night also be a photographer, but he's also an award winning actor who made a name for himself playing the lead in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Oh, and he's also a recording artist with three records and was the lead singer in the Hollywood hair-band Knife Confession.
Duz Mancini came to New Orleans from West Los Angeles and never went back. 10 years later, and after a stint as a song writer in Nashville, Duz is back and making music with his band the Scorpedos. On this Happy Hour, Duz plays two new songs. If you're not familiar with the Scorpedos, do yourself a favor and check this out.
Happy Hour is recorded live at Wayfare in Uptown New Orleans.
Rank #11: Slaps! - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Luke Hooper is the kind of character a Hollywood screenwriter would dream up. Tall and handsome. A semi-professional iron-man athlete who is also an award-winning inventor. He's invented a new version of delivering wireless power (yes, that's right, wireless power), creates futuristic games for children, designs creative solutions for giant companies like Nike, and has defended his patents in the Supreme Court of the US (yes, the Supreme Court) and won. He invented shoes that do themselves up, called Slaps. And he works out of an office downtown, next to the yoga studio he founded. Even the name "Luke Hooper" is from Central Casting superhero.
There's nobody larger than life than Katrina Brees. Katrina is the founder of The Bearded Oysters Mardi Gras parade troupe, the Kolossos Bike Zoo, a do-it-yourself coffin business, and now she's sponsoring legislation that is making its way through the Louisiana legislature. Donna's Law is named for Katrina's mom, Donna. In 2018 suicidal thoughts got the better of Donna, and she bought her first gun and killed herself with it. Donna's Law will allow people who feel they are a threat to themselves or others to self-register on a list that denies them the right purchase a gun. Somehow, Katrina is managing to do what literally nobody in America has accomplished - she is shepherding bipartisan gun control into law. While at the same time retaining her sequined, giant-eyelashes, crown-wearing flamboyance.
If you've spent any time in New Orleans and you love going out to hear live music, there's a fair chance you've never heard any bluegrass. Well, you have nobody to blame for that but yourself. Any time you feel like hearing some bluegrass you can go check out The Tanglers. Jacob Tanner and Craig Alexander are the core of the band, which is a 6-piece, and they do a duo gig where the two of them call themselves The Tanglers. Yes, that's confusing but if you never see the full band, the duo version of The Tanglers is awesome, as you'll hear on this Happy Hour.
Photos at Wayfare by Jill Lafleur.
Rank #12: I Was Dennis Rodman's Roommate - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #13: You're Not Allowed To Call It Nut Milk
OK, so here's the thing about nut milk. Apparently Louisiana dairy producers are ticked off and powerful enough to get the legislature to outlaw anyone calling or labeling anything as "milk" that doesn't come from a cow. No bull. That's going to be the law. And that's according to one of the State's most connected journalists, Stephanie Grace.
Stephanie Grace was a columnist for the Times Picayune before quitting and moving to The Advocate, only to end up at The Advocate again now that they have bought the Times Picayune and become a brand name with a "|" in it - a vertical line that's been hiding on your keyboard for years and is under-utliized in daily parlance, for good reason. Nonetheless, Stephanie gets paid for calling bullsh!t on Louisiana politicians, a job with enormous security. OK, the paper is officially called The Times Picayune | New Orleans Advocate.
Talking of long life, Paul Tuennerman says an insurance actuarial guy told him he's going to live till he's 92. Paul totally believes this and lives his life accordingly, wantonly eating hotdogs and creating dishes like charbroiled sh!tty sticky buns with high-end ice cream, which you're going to be able to order at a Dat Dog near you. Paul is actually the CEO of Dat Dog and he does sh!t like dream up stoner desserts for a living.
Hey! Meet The Bummers! Sean Doyle and Ben Shooter are the guitar playing vocalist 50% of the alt/pop/rock band that sounds kind of like Lennon & McCartney if they had dropped acid in Mid City instead of India. Sweet harmonies wrap around bizarre and whimsical lyrics about subjects ranging from lawyer Morris Bart to the fate of being trapped in The Fountainbeu building on the corner of Tulane and Carrolton. You're going to love this discovery.
Rank #14: The CBD & Cocktails Experiment
Jonathan Andry shows up to this week's Happy Hour with a bunch of his CBD product, CBD-Tox. It's allegedly a kick-ass hangover cure, with 20mg of high grade CBD in each capsule.
So, picture this. You're in a bar in New Orleans - Wayfare to be exact, Uptown - with ace guitar player June Yamagishi, Erica Falls, the vocalist for Galactic, high-net-worth business consultant (for folks over $20m only) Melissa Schutz Lilly, and singer-songwriter Andrew Duhon. And Jonathan's free boxes of CBD capsules. Oh, and everybody's drinking cocktails. So what do you think happens next? Correct. Everybody takes two CBD-Tox capsules.
This podcast is the live, real-time experimental record of what happens next.
Without spoiling anything, Erica's pain threshold changes fairly substantially over the hour. Andrew believes he can see where the song he's writing can be fixed, and debuts it. Melissa's stomach ailment disappears. And Jonathan defends himself against a lawsuit from the estate of the late Dr.John.
Warning: your results with 40mg of CBD may vary. But we highly recommend accompanying it with rye, rose, pinot, or a gin based cocktail of indeterminate contents. We can guarantee those results.
If you want to see photos of this experiment by Jill Lafleur or get more info about this show, click here.
Rank #15: Ecstasy Saved My Life - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #16: Come with me River of Dream Weavers - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #17: Transactional Microdosing - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Rank #18: Operation Gentilly Bum Rush - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
Andrew Duhon comes up with this genius idea after ony one drink, and dubs it "Pontchatrain's 11," inspired by the Oceans 11 scam. The plan involves everyone sitting around the table at this Happy Hour to pull it off. The key player is Katherine Klimitas.
Katherine is an artist, a jeweler, a graphic artist, and a lover of country music. She's also confined to a wheelchair and because of that she has become the go-to person for Jazz Fest for checking out that the festival is ADA compliant. So the plan is, on the day the Stones are playing, to use Katherine's vehicle as a Trojan Horse, to sneak in Andrew and Georgi Petrov.
Georgi Petrov is one of the most impressive jazz guitar players you'll ever hear. He fronts his own quartet and plays with a bunch of other people, including the super-talented Meryl Zimmerman.
If you're wondering where you've heard the name Meryl Zimmerman before, you might be thinking of her dad who is a graduate of Ben Franklin and is now of the author of a Long Island New York based contribution to the wide world of Jewish trivia under the title Rashi Rambam and Rama Lama Ding Dong.
Anyway, this is all besides the point and we haven't even gotten to Josh Brasted yet. Like Meryl's father and Katherine Kilimitas, Josh went to Ben Franklin and is now an internationally known photographer specializing in photographing musicians. Josh, apparently because he's Catholic, is very self-effacing and describes himself as "Solidly okay," but the big deal here is that he's got a press pass to Jazz Fest to cover the Rolling Stones.
You see what's going on here? Okay, here's the bottom line: the deal at Jazz Fest is, while the Stones are playing the rest of the stages are going to be shut down. That's what's really pissing off Katherine. Except all the rest of the stages are not going to be shut down because Andrew Duhon and Georgi Petrov, plus other hand-picked musicians that will form their one-off band for the day, will be smuggled into Jazz Fest with their instruments and will set up and play on the Gentilly stage during the Stones set.
In between this plan coming together, Andrew plays a new song, Meryl and Georgi play two songs - one by the inimitable Fred Rogers, which is really going to shock you, in a good and sophisticated jazzy way. Meryl Zimmerman is the real deal.
Musically and in conversation, this might be the most quintessentially Happy Hour of all time. And when you see Katherine, Josh, Georgi, Andrew and the rest of the subversives on the news after the Stones play at Jazz Fest, remember you heard it here first.
Photos at Wayfare by Jill Lafleur.
Rank #19: Boudreaux in a Spit Hood - Happy Hour - It's New Orleans
It's hard to know which is Travis Laurendine's best story on this Happy Hour.
Maybe it's getting punched out by then Saints coach Jim Haslett when Travis was wearing the Boudreaux the Nutria mascot at a Zephyrs baseball game. Or maybe it's meeting Dick Cheney when he (Travis, not Dick) was named the smartest person in Louisiana. Or is it the story about how Travis started and staged Boycott Bowl? Or, try this one, maybe it's the fact that he's a secret super big deal in the music industry and is configuring a whole new aspect of Universal Music's business. And there's more!
Jenelle Slobof has some good stories of her own. Jenelle is a psychiatric social worker who specializes in working with super messed up people who are brought into an emergency room with mental problems. The only downside to that occupation - other than possibly getting beaten up or spat on, which is why people are restrained and have something called a spit-hood - is the fact that we don't have that exact occupation in Louisiana. Jenelle blames the Governor of Louisiana, but what she doesn't expect is that the Governor apparently follows us on Twitter and weighs in on the discussion. So how about that?!
Ben Shooter spends more time at Wayfare than anyone in the room. And not just at our table. Ben is normally a cook in the kitchen at Wayfare. Just like in a feel-good movie, the Wayfare staff stop work, crowd around and cheer when Ben plays an original song. And with good reason, the kid is good! You can catch Ben with his band, The Bummers.
Andrew Duhon is back from the road and premieres a brand new song, about slowing down. By the way, full circle, Andrew and Travis went to high school together and Travis produced Andrew's first show.
Photos by Jill Lafleur.