It’s the best of times, the worst of times, and all that.
August can be pretty tough in NOLA: Daylight hours are spent hiding from the sun, hoping you don’t get news that a dear friend burst into flame on the way to the grocery store. Nights combine treatment for second degree car upholstery burns with checking the revised spaghetti maps of whatever tropical bitch currently spins in the Caribbean. It’s really not our best month.
But this weekend brings the opportunity to taste New Orleans in two very different flavors: Friday’s 11th annual Satchmo Club Strut in the Marigny and Saturday’s 17th annual White Linen in the Warehouse District. You can choose one or celebrate your diversity and attend both.
The Satchmo Club Strut might be the best single night of music in New Orleans. General admission of $30 buys you access to most acts and venues, and VIP of $80 adds Snug Harbor, upstairs at the Maison, and some other items to the list. Artists include the now 100-year-old Lionel Ferbos, the Hot 8 Brass Band, Davell Crawford, Soul Rebels, Glen David Andrews, and too many more to list.
Frenchmen Street is the apotheosis of NOLA hipster culture, and the energy of the street is never more on display than it will be tomorrow night. If you’re a NOLA music geek, you’re probably already going; if you want to dive into the musical culture of the city, this is an event you should not miss. Trumpets will haunt your dreams for weeks, and I promise you’ll discover some new favorites.
After the sun comes up Saturday, throw your skinny jeans in the wash and make sure your linen is pressed, because sound gives way to sight on Julia Street at White Linen. No one can credibly dispute the richness of our music scene, but the visual arts are another vital component to any city that considers itself culturally robust. White Linen is the annual showcase event of the epicenter of the NOLA gallery scene. Artistic expression is not confined to the gallery walls; this shindig draws the best of New Orleans’ fashionistas. If you can bear the heat, there is people watching par excellence. White Linen runs from 6-9pm, followed by an after-party at the Contemporary Arts Center. Admission to the street scene is free, with cash bars and eats scattered about, and the CAC party is $10.
I’ve always loved that these events traditionally share the same weekend. Together they are testimony to the breadth of culture that makes New Orleans such a great place to live. Two great ways to get your mind off the heat and the hurricanes as we all pray for the blessings of October weather.