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Arts & Culture

New Orleans: 2012 Retrospectives and 2013 Premonitions

In this episode of GoNOLA Radio, our hosts talk about their favorite moments from the podcast and the city in 2012 and what to look forward to in 2013.

One refreshing aspect about living in New Orleans is that although you can sit back and relish in an amazing year, you know the upcoming one has the potential to be even better. For this GoNOLA Radio episode, our hosts look back at the past year of recordings and highlight their favorite episodes, while also touching on the evolution of our beloved New Orleans podcast.

GoNOLA RadioTo give you a little taste, George Ingmire touches on the Spanish Heritage episode when John Lawrence played live on a whim. Lorin Gaudin explains why her favorite guest was actually not a chef.  Mikko then explains his top podcast moment was when he was able to sit with Roy Markey and talk to him him about his cultural hot spot. And that’s just scratching the surface. Our hosts then go on to tell us about what was a highlight in New Orleans for them over the past year. From the success of Fringe Fest, to free House of Blues tickets to see John Hyatt, to how the Bywater has evolved to be a cultural destination for many, their favorites over the past year are equally as diverse as they are awesome. To wrap it all up, we hear each hosts’ resolutions for ringing in the 2013 year and they’re great ones I think we should all add to our list!

To catch this complete year in review – and a few awesome throwbacks from top recordings in 2012 – listen to this episode of GoNOLA radio!

GoNOLA Radio is a free New Orleans podcast hosted by Sunpie Barnes, Lorin Gaudin, George Ingmire and Mikko about the food, music and culture of the Crescent City. Subscribe to GoNOLA Radio on iTunes or download to your mobile device on Stitcher. GoNOLA Radio features music by Cale Pellick.

Podcast Transcript

Sanpa Barnes: Welcome to Go NOLA Radio. My name is Sanpa Barnes and I will
be your host of hosts, as we explore New Orleans to learn about the city’s
rich cultural heritage, food, and music. We bring you experts, the real
deal experts, who will talk with you about the people who make New Orleans
such a wonderful place to, live, and visit, it’s Go NOLA Radio.

Miko: It always amazes me how the end of the year comes so close to the
beginning of the year. Hello everybody, we have George Ingmire, Lauren
Goden, and I am Miko here, bringing you the year-end, year in review, next
year coming up special, special, special show of 2012. Hi, George.

George: Hey, Miko.

Miko: Hey, Lauren.

Lauren: Hey.

Miko: Guys, I can’t believe we’ve been doing this since February, and this
show started as us getting our little recording packs and going out and
interviewing the people on the site, and doing the things that New Orleans
people should know about and visitors should know about, and meeting the
people making that happen. Now we’re sitting here in December and, I don’t
know, George. What were some of the highlights for you in this show for
your experience here?

George: Well, it’s interesting, because here we are in the music shed doing
a great recording, sitting around a table and having more interaction
whereas before we were kind of these independent journalists, and then we
had to glue it all together. Both forms were great, but this one is amazing
because we can actually see each other’s eyes and kind of bounce ideas off
of each other, but when I think back to our early form, there was a time I
was sitting in the backyard with this guy, Michael James From a band, My
Graveyard Jaw, doing an interview as his turkey started to take a romantic
liking to my recorder. He had to leave.

Lauren: Turkeys do that.

George: We had to move the turkey into the shed, because the turkey would
not leave my recorder alone, but the actual interview was great, because I
learned a lot about just Michael himself, being in his backyard, seeing
that him, and his wife were doing some frontier’s work, so to speak,
building his house in this area that’s coming back. I learned something
about him in the process. Then I brought that recording after editing it to
here and it became part of a podcast. Now fast forward to the last few
months. We’ve been in the studio together, and we’ve had some great times
with chefs and cultural figures, people from the festival community and of
course, musicians who have played live. We’ve got John Laurence in

Miko: Oh, I remember him.

George: Good friend of mine. I remember him from back in the rock and roll
days of Stavin’ Chain, right?

Miko: With Grayson Capps.

George: Exactly, exactly. During that whole time he was doing that rock and
roll he was also sneaking away to Spain, and he talked about in the
interview he did over here in the music shed, and then he played live for
us. That was impromptu.

Lauren: Incredible.

George: Literally, it was just like set up the mics, let’s listen to him
play a little bit of guitar live and that’s something I love about New
Orleans, in particular. There’s always that, in the moment, let’s make it
happen. There’s not like “Oh, we have to think this through.”

It’s like “No, let’s just plug in another microphone and let’s do some
music and see what happens.” That’s what I’ve really liked about how Go
NOLA radio has evolved. There’s an accommodation going on. There’s
playfulness and there’s a willingness to see what’s going to happen next,
and so John Laurence is at the top of that list. Having him just play a
short piece of Flamenco music at the end of the program.

Miko: Free music and free food. Lauren, I bet you miss tromping through the
kitchens with your little recorder, but it is great to have you in the
studio and share with you. You’ve brought so many friends that brought
food. Who is a highlight for you this year?

Lauren: Any time I have a chance to interview a chef it’s always a
highlight, because I love the artistry and the spirit of what it is that
they bring to our tables as cooks, and so I don’t really have one chef’s
particular moment. In truth, my favorite moment in the studio was not with
a chef, but was with Jonathan Fererra, who I thought was so amazingly,
interesting, and connected, and tapped in, and how he wove in what’s going
on, on St. Claude and in the Marigny-Bywater, which is so, so, so popping
right now. For me, that was one of my favorite studio moments, but I don’t
know if I can top what George said. Because George, once again buddy, you
nailed it. That was gorgeous. I can only say “Ditto.”

Miko: For me, my favorite part, although I love being here in the music
shed because it’s so accommodating and we have face to face with all of us
to embroider the New Orleans experience for visitors and for locals. But I
do remember getting my little recorder and going to Markey’s, a bar that
I’ve spent some little time in over the years and to sit with actual Roy
Markey. I mean he’s just a regular person. It’s not like he throws any airs
or anything. He’s real New Orleans. His family is part of the history of
the city, but I got a little star struck. “Folks, I’m here in Markey’s with
Mr. Roy Markey. I’m with royalty, the owner of the culture spot of the Bywater.
Welcome Roy, welcome to my show.”

“Roy Markey: It’s a pleasure being here with you.”

Miko: I got to admit it was great sitting there. We had a little cocktail
and you know, they were watching sports on TV and it was like the whole
Markey’s experience, but to get it from his viewpoint. When I left that
particular interview, I felt like I had read another chapter in this
infinite book of New Orleans and its history and its local culture.

Lauren: That’s awesome.

Miko: So that was a highlight for me and I hope that this coming year is
going-and I’m sure it will be full of more experiences like that. But
before we get to the coming year; in the past year and I’m going to throw
it to Lauren this time, ladies first; what was a highlight for you in the
city? Not necessarily on our show but just what happened in New Orleans
that was a highlight for you in 2012?

Lauren: The evolution of the Bywater-Marigny as a dining destination, as an
arts destination, just as a place to really embrace and be; that was a very
big highlight for me. In the culinary world, I would say it’s all the pop-
ups and speakeasies and chefs really tuning in to who they are and
expressing themselves.

That is a major highlight for me, is that people are now not boxed in, but
actually have taken free rein to express themselves, from a culinary
standpoint, from a vegan and vegetarian, vegan-Korean food into French and
all points in between, and that cocktail explosion. I think of Dash and
Pony and some of these other cocktail speakeasies that are happening. I
think that is the highlight for me. That’s it, right there.

Miko: George, you have so many. We should give you your own show of
George’s best of 2012. Can you pick one thing out this year that really
rang your bell?

George: Can I tell you, I actually have my own show that Go NOLA has
something to do with?

Miko: Yes, that’s true.

George: I’m very privileged to be with you guys as well, as with New
Orleans All the Way Live. Just to let you guys know this is a Go NOLA production. Plug over. All right, my favorite moment, it was
recent. I was actually with a good friend of mine, listening to the North
Mississippi All Stars with Alvin Youngblood Hart and Lightening Malcolm. We
were enjoying the music, having some drinks, enjoying some great barbecue.
As we’re walking away as the concert’s wrapping up, a car pulls up.

A friend of ours hands us two tickets to see John Hyatt at the House of
Blues that same night. We went from one thing to another, once again no
plans. We literally decided at the last minute to go see this music at
Lafayette Square with the Harvest of Music, and then within moments, we had
tickets for the rest of the night. I didn’t know much about John Hyatt. I
love songwriters, so I’m kind of embarrassed to say that.

But in the process of going in there, I realized this was a songwriter I
needed to know more about. At the House of Blues it can be a very intimate
setting, so it was a great chance to hear somebody of that caliber in a
small setting, and the audience were clearly lifelong fans, who were
singing along with every song. I felt like it was a true New Orleans
experience. Everyone was just pulling together, enjoying the great times,
and it was another thing as always. In New Orleans, if you are coming to
visit, don’t make too many plans, because they’re going to change anyway,
and they’re going to actually be-what’s going to end up happening is going
to be even more enjoyable than you imagined.

Miko: Yes, I call it the tent poles. Just pick the one thing you want to
do, and that’ll be your tent pole and whatever comes off of it like the
canvas of a tent, the other experiences, let that happen. And that’s
something that can only happen in New Orleans, where you can see quality
music all day long. Now you got free tickets, but the earlier thing was
free, so it was really a reasonable experience monetarily and it was
unreasonably wonderful in your experience of it.

For me the thing that I remember of this year; and it was a lot; but the
success of the Fringe Festival, the theater festival that happens in
November here. I went and saw a few of the shows. We’re pulling in some
great national acts and it’s inspiring the locals, to kind of kick up their
game a little bit theater-wise.

I saw this show, this guy out of Canada. It was called, “Underneath the
Lintel,” and it was just fascinating. It was a mad little librarian trying
to track down a 125-year-old overdue book, but it was fabulous. It was a
one-person show and then I saw another woman do a one-woman radio show.
Kind of like that old, Nick Danger third-eye kind of thing, it was both
funny, playful, but it was adult and deep, I have to say deep. Those are
some good events.

That kind of segues me into where I would like to ask our panel. The
next thing is where we’re going next year. Since I started with the
theater, I’m going to start this. I’m looking forward this year, I’m going
to make a resolution to really get out and see these new spaces. We have
three new theater spaces or two old ones that have been revamped. Most
notably, La Petite. That theater is going to be lean and green and they’re
opening with “Death of a Salesman” this year.

Lauren: Now, that’s awesome.

Miko: It’s good to see serious theater on a bigger stage like that. Then
they of, course are going to do some musicals throughout the year and some
local stuff. George Michalopoulos’s warehouse on Elysian Fields,
interestingly, where Stella and Stanley would have lived in “Streetcar
Named Desire.” That warehouse is turning quickly into a very accessible

James Michalopoulos and his wife, Reese Johannsen, are just so amenable to
whatever artistic ideas people bring to them. Finally, one of the guests on
this show, Claudia Baumgarten, has a new theater space right on Oretha
Castle Haley, in the 1200 block that’s redeveloping. I think that place is
going to blow up next.

Lauren: Blow up, absolutely.

Miko: That’s Andreas’ art space. That’s going to be exciting to bring
theater to the other side of the interstate and I think that that’s going
to happen, so this year I’m looking forward to see that. How about you,
George? What’s your resolution? I’m going to put you on the spot right now.

George: Well, my New Year’s resolution you were just talking about, going
to the other side of Canal Street, so to speak for theater. Something I
think most New Orleaneans are guilty of, is sticking to places that they go
to on a regular basis, throughout the city, they have their venues they go
to. I want to expand that. I’m a downtown person.

A lot of downtown people don’t want to go uptown that often, but there’s a
lot of great music up there, just I guess it’s a little bit laziness, so
it’s resolution of mine will be to enjoy music in more places throughout
the city, instead of just sticking to that handful of venues in the city,
where I’m used to hearing.

Every Wednesday night, I want to hear Walter Wolf Man Washington and I
don’t think there’s anything wrong with that at DBA, but there’s something
else on Wednesday night that’s worth checking out. There’s probably a half
a dozen, a dozen other things that I would personally love.

So for those of you coming into the city, you know about the obvious
places, I’m not going to name them. They’re all great, but kind of make it
a resolution for yourselves, as you’re coming into the city, do a little
homework. Find out about those lesser known places, because this city
always welcomes you with open arms. If it’s a small venue with better drink
prices, you might have a better time, even. So there’s always something to
discover here, even though I’ve been here 20 years, I’m convinced that I
haven’t even scratched the surface.

Miko: I like to say and I’ve been here 30 years. Not to one up you but I’m
like you, I came here and I see something every single day in New Orleans,
I’ve never seen before. That’s quite a lot. I go to some other places,
where you drive into town, and you feel like you’ve already seen it. So not
to put any place down, but having New Orleans like that, that’s my
experience. I know you, Lauren. You will be a treasure trove of things
coming up, but what should we be looking for and what’s your resolution
this year?

Lauren: I resolve to keep eating New Orleans that is my resolution. I’m not
one of those people that gets stuck uptown or one place. I’m notorious for
going everywhere and trying everything at least once, at least once and
usually more than twice. So my resolution is to keep my eyes and my heart
and my palate open and experience all the amazing things that I know will
be coming in 2013, from restaurants and new bakeries and new, new, new all
kinds of things that people step out and really express themselves and to
celebrate that as best I can. And make sure that anybody and everybody will
know about it, either via the internet or the radio or the television or
whatever media you happen to like.

I’m looking forward to continued exploration. Going on that West Bank where
there’s always something delicious, getting to the North Shore. I resolve
to get more often to the North Shore, and experience that area and their
food and their dining scene over there. That’s pretty much it for me. Not
to one up you, but I’ve been here 35 years, I couldn’t resist myself.

Miko: Wow, it’s almost amazing that the three of us can even keep track of
everything we’ve talked about today, but thank you so much to the listeners
that are supporting us. I know that we’re getting more and more hits on
this show and I really expect 2013, to be even a bigger splash for us. I’m
looking forward to working with both of you. Thank you, George.

George: Thank you.

Miko: Thank you, Lauren.

Lauren: Thank you.

Miko: Happy New Year, everybody.

Lauren: Happy New Year.

George: Getting a little teary-eyed.

Sanpa: Go NOLA Radio is a production of the New Orleans Tourism and
Marketing Corporation, in conjunction with FSC Interactive, music by Cale
Pellet. My name is Sanpa. Tune in next week by subscribing to Go NOLA Radio
on iTunes or

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