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35th Spanish Town parade rolls Saturday: Still 'loose as a goose,' kitschy as a plastic flamingo

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Bill Creveling and his wife Maretta walk the staging route to preview floats, Bill wearing his flamingo hat with wings that spun in the wind, at the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008.

Spanish Town Mardi Gras is quirky, obscene and almost out of control. And it’s all Baton Rouge’s creation. The parade, now in its 35th year, pulls thousands of spectators into the yards and tiny streets of Baton Rouge’s oldest neighborhood to party with floats and dance troupes representing all… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Music Studios continues to grow

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Austin Ardoin, 11, plays guitar with his band, The Elemental 5, in 2014 during the band's performance at Yvette Marie's Cafe after a week of band camp hosted by Baton Rouge Music Studios, the educational music venue which is looking to expand its services.

As Baton Rouge Music Studios rolls into another year, the local educational venue is looking north for ideas on expanding. BRMS director of programs and owner Doug Gay said the musical academy is partnering with the Real School of Music in Massachusetts. Taking a cue from the Real School of Music’s model, Gay is… Continue reading →

Review: Seafood and steaks, Duke’s does it right

Photo by Randy Bergeron -- 'Duke'd Up' oysters at Duke's Seafood and Steakhouse

Duke’s Seafood and Steakhouse is new to Watson, but there’s an old hand in the kitchen. Duke Landry grew up in his family’s restaurant business, Don’s Seafood, and is a five-time U.S. Oyster Shucking Champion. Landry and business partner Rudy Chandler, a real estate developer, teamed up to open their establishment in an area with an ever-growing… Continue reading →

A big moment: Actor Jason Bayle talks acting in ‘The Big Short’

Photo provided by JASON BAYLE --- Local actor Jason Bayle appears in a scene with Brad Pitt in the Oscar contender 'The Big Short.'

It was filming day for “The Big Short” at Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans, which was up and running as usual. Local actor Jason Bayle knew he was filming a scene with John Magaro, who plays young investor Charlie Geller in the Oscar-nominated financial comedy-drama. Bayle had checked the call sheet, and didn’t expect any… Continue reading →

Album Reviews: This week in pop music - Rihanna, Sia

Photo by Richard Shotwell -- Sia, pictured here in a trademark wig at a Los Angeles event, has released a new album 'This is Acting.'

Rihanna doesn’t follow the rules. Her latest album, “Anti,” is no exception. Building more anticipation with each delayed release date, Rihanna’s latest album highlights a different side of the singer that is well worth the wait. “Anti” shows Rihanna is now not only an expert at creating chart-topping hits… Continue reading →

Macklemore explores his ‘White Privilege’ in new rap song

Photo by John Salangsang -- In this Dec. 4, 2015 file photo, Macklemore performs on stage at Power 106's Cali Christmas 2015  in Inglewood, California.

Macklemore explores racism and hip-hop in a new song called “White Privilege II,” rapping about a white person’s position in society with black people fighting injustice and even namechecking Iggy Azalea for appropriating black culture, along with himself. The track, released last week, is close to nine minutes long… Continue reading →

Remaining area Mardi Gras parades for Feb. 5-14, 2016

KREWE OF BOSOM BUDDIES: 11:30 a.m., French Quarter, New Orleans LYCÉE FRANÇAIS DE LA NOUVELLE-ORLÉANS KREWE DU LYCÉE: 2:15 p.m., rolling from the campus, 5951 Patton St., New Orleans, spenau@lfno.org ORIGINAL KREWE OF ORPHEUS: 6 p.m., Mandeville KREWE OF HERMES: 6 p.m., Uptown New Orleans, semrehcl.accountsupport.com KREWE OF TROUBADOURS: 6:30 p.m., Lafayette… Continue reading →

Outlying areas calendar for Feb. 5-11, 2016

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Fossilized dinosaur skeletons from the Triassic and Jurassic periods are seen as part of a display at the Lafayette Science Museum. A second part of the Fossil Giants exhibit runs through April 2016.

COOKIE JAR BASS FISHING TOURNAMENTS: 7 p.m., Pointe Coupee Office of Tourism, 727 Hospital Road, New Roads. $30 peer boat. For more information, call (225) 638-3500. ‘LA FÉE VERTE’: 7:30 p.m., Theatre 810, 810 Jefferson St., Lafayette. The Acadiana Repertory Theatre’s production of the play about the absinthe… Continue reading →

Big changes at Serop’s Express on Jefferson Highway: Remodeling begins, location to reopen in May

Photo by Matthew Sigur -- The Serop's Express on Jefferson Highway has closed for renovations and will reopen in May. The location will be remodeled to include a drive-thru.

Fans of Serop’s Express on Jefferson Highway will need to go to a different location to get their daily fix of Greek food, but only for a little while. Serop’s owner Vasken Kaltakdjian said that remodeling and demolition work on the Serop’s Express at 712 Jefferson Highway near Government Street has begun. The location, which… Continue reading →

LSU student competes on ‘JEOPARDY!’ at 4:30 p.m. today

Photo provided by Jeopardy Productions, Inc. -- Host Alex Trebek and Kevin Brown, a senior at LSU from Boise, Idaho

LSU senior Kevin Brown will compete in the quarterfinals of the “JEOPARDY!” College Championship at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on WBRZ, Channel 2 (cable Channel 5). The show re-airs at midnight Tuesday. Brown, from Boise, Idaho, is majoring in environmental engineering. Fifteen college students are competing for the $100,000 grand prize and a spot in the… Continue reading →

Def Leppard postpones tour, including Lafayette show

Photo provided by Donovan Public Relations -- Def Leppard will perform at the Cajundome on Wednesday. Tesla and Styx will open the show.

Def Leppard postponed its remaining winter tour dates, including the band's upcoming Lafayette show at the Cajundome. The band was slated to play a show on Wednesday, Feb. 3, but the show will be postponed due to illness, said Def Leppard spokeswoman Carleen Donova. Bands Styx and Tesla were Def Leppard's opening act for the 50-city North American tour. New… Continue reading →

Krewe of Mutts use ‘the Force’ to celebrate 17 years

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Dachshunds Sammy, 15 and Delilah, 9, right, dressed as hot dogs, patiently wait for the start of the CAAWs Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade in downtown Baton Rouge. This year's parade starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

It’s a fundamental law of the universe that any article of clothing becomes exponentially more adorable when worn by a dog. Sweater vests, party hats, Mardi Gras costumes…the list goes on. For 17 years, the Krewe of Mutts has offered the chance to enjoy two of life’s most wonderful things — parades and puppies — in… Continue reading →

Rock of Ages: Def Leppard to perform at the Cajundome

Photo provided by Donovan Public Relations -- Def Leppard will perform at the Cajundome on Wednesday. Tesla and Styx will open the show.

Following the Def Leppard Cruise that sailed from Miami in January, the British classic-rock band came ashore for its latest American tour. The tour lands at the Cajundome in Lafayette on Wednesday. Like the 50-city North American tour Def Leppard played in 2015, Styx and Tesla are opening acts. For Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen, the… Continue reading →

Review: Pupusas are on point at La Salvadoreña

Advocate staff photo by Kyle Peveto -- The pupusas, tacos and tamales at La Salvadoreña all come fresh and handmade. The restaurant serves Salvadoran comfort foods.

The tacos, tamales and pupusas at La Salvadoreña Restaurant are worth the wait. And when we tried it for lunch, it wasn’t fast food. Opened last year near the north gates of LSU, the South American restaurant previously had introduced its Salvadoran-style fare to Baton Rouge diners through its food trucks. It offers… Continue reading →

Miles away: Vanessa Carlton talks new album

Photo provided by Vanessa Carlton -- Singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton will perform Wednesday at the Spanish Moon.

When you think of singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, you probably start humming her chart-topping single “A Thousand Miles.” But now, after all those miles, she’s taking her music in a different direction. Fans can preview Carlton’s new style when she performs Wednesday at Spanish Moon. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance… Continue reading →

Album Reviews: This week in psych rock

Photo by Brendan George Ko -- The Besnard Lakes is a rock quintet from Quebec that has just released its fifth album.

An all-female post-punk quartet, Savages splashed onto the scene with the 2013 LP “Silence Yourself.” New Yorkers loved it. I didn’t. But on “Adore Life,” the band’s sophomore album, I’m starting to get in tune with Savages’ visceral mix. The lead-off track, “The Answer,” starts… Continue reading →

In the sky: Silk aerialists are growing in popularity in BR

Photo by John Power -- Jennie Guillot, the founder of Lagniappe Aerial, has used her dance training to become a silk aerialist. Her troupe performs each weekend at 1913 in downtown Baton Rouge.

Imagine dancing in the sky. Envision yourself swirling, spinning, swinging — suspended in air by ribbons of silk. Sheer and colorful, their long tails whisk beneath your movements as you transition from one elegant pose into the next. That is a day on the job for Baton Rouge silks aerialist Jennie Guillot. A dancer from… Continue reading →

Really, really: Kevin Gates to release new album Friday

Photo by Jimmy Fontaine -- Kevin Gates will release 'Islah' this Friday and celebrates with an album release party at The Bandit on Friday.

Prolific and controversial are just two ways one could describe Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates and his career thus far. Successful is another adjective that could be right around the corner. The 29-year-old rapper will release his highly anticipated album “Islah” on Friday. It’s his first studio release with Atlantic Records.… Continue reading →

Fairs and festivals calendar for Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2016

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Henry Turner Jr.plays his acoustic guitar in his namesake Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room, 102 France Street, where the Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Festival will kick off with their VIP Pre-Party on Thursday.

WATSON BIRD AND SAUSAGE GUMBO COOK OFF: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Double D Daiquiris, 32334 La. 16, Suite B, Denham Springs. Eat gumbo, enjoy live music, and let the kids play games at this sixth annual event. For information, call (225) 337-0041 or (225) 281-0498. WINTER ARTS MARKET: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.… Continue reading →

Outlying areas calendar for Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 2016

Photo provided by Warner Bros. -- Harry Potter is the subject of an event at the Livingston Parish Library in Denham Springs on Friday night. The evening will include Quidditch and more. Fun starts at 6 p.m.

HARRY POTTER NIGHT: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Livingston Parish Library Denham Springs/Walker branch, 8101 U.S. Highway 190, Denham Springs. Patrons age 18 and older can join the library for a Harry Potter-filled evening that includes wand-making and a game of Quidditch. Registration is required. Call (225) 665-8118 for more information. ‘A Night with… Continue reading →

Ennio Morricone’s music has starring role in Tarantino film

FILE photo by Michael Sohn -- In this Dec. 6, 2013 file photo, composer Ennio Morricone appears in Berlin, Germany. Morricone won a Golden Globe award this year for composing the score for 'The Hateful Eight.' He was also nominated for an Oscar  for best original score.

All Ennio Morricone asked of Quentin Tarantino, after committing to score his new Western, “The Hateful Eight,” was that the director feature his music prominently and give it the space needed to convey its message. Given how Tarantino feels about the award-winning composer, he hardly needed to ask. “Ennio Morricone, as far as I am concerned,… Continue reading →

Adele, Kendrick Lamar to perform at Grammys

FILE photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC - In this Nov. 17, 2015 image released by NBC, Adele performs at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The Recording Academy announced Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, that Adele will perform at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 15.

Hello, it’s Adele, and she’s performing at next month’s Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy said the British singer, leading nominee Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and Little Big Town will perform at the Feb. 15 show. Adele returned to music in top form with “25,” her third album that has sold about 8 million units in the… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam’ hits some flat notes

Photo provided by Nintendo -- This screenshot shows a scene from the new Nintendo 3DS game 'Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam.'

Role-playing games like “Fallout 4” and “The Witcher 3” are beloved for their complexity, ambition and overwhelming variety of things to do. But those same traits scare some players away, particularly grown-ups who may not have 100 hours free to really dig in. Nintendo’s lighthearted “Mario & Luigi” adventures are a good fix for people who… Continue reading →

Everything Philly, ‘authentic’ new restaurant near LSU’s north gates, to open in the spring

Everything Philly's pizza.

LSU students and Baton Rougeans will soon get a taste of Philadelphia, Pa. Everything Philly, a new restaurant at 3260 Highland Road, Suite 6, will open in March or April, according to the restaurant’s marketing consultant, Elise Patterson. The restaurant, in the old Momma Goldberg’s Deli near the north gates of LSU,… Continue reading →

Driftwood Cask and Barrel -- gastropub promising fun twist on bar food -- coming to downtown Baton Rouge

Photo provided by Sean Rivera -- Chef Sean Rivera is the chef and partner of the forthcoming gastropub, Driftwood Cask and Barrel, which will open in late February/early March in downtown Baton Rouge.

Downtown Baton Rouge will soon be home to a new gastropub. Chef and partner Sean Rivera said Monday morning that Driftwood Cask and Barrel is set to open by late February, early March. The gastropub, defined as a bar and restaurant that serves high-end beer and food, is across the street from City Bar on Third Street.… Continue reading →

Beads, balls, krewes and canines ... It’s carnival time!

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Children ride on shoulders to get better throws during last year's Krewe of Artemis parade in Baton Rouge.

On the water, off the water, people, cats, dogs, family-friendly, mature-themed, day, night — all of south Louisiana’s a parade between now and Fat Tuesday, Feb. 9. Yes, Mardi Gras arrives early this year, so all the fun has to be packed into a shorter span of time. That will require some planning.… Continue reading →

A look inside The Guru

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Sidney Coffee, center, Kay Willson, right and Garrett Kemp, left are partners in The Guru, an event center and meeting space in Circa 1857.

In the late ’70s, Sidney Coffee had an idea for a coffee shop and tea room. It would have had organic foods, art and be located near the south gates of LSU. “We may as well have been bugs on the wall,” she said, laughing. “We had people saying, ‘You want to… Continue reading →