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2016 Baton Rouge Blues Festival expands to two days

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Kenny Acosta & the Home Reckers perform during the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, Saturday, Apr. 11, 2015, at the Baton Rouge River Center. The festival was moved indoors due to inclement weather which brought rain into the metro are Saturday afternoon. The 2016 festival will expand to two days.

For the first time since 1994, the Baton Rouge Blues Festival will be a two-day event. The 2016 festival is scheduled for April 9 and April 10. The talent lineup will be announced early next year. “One of our main goals for the Baton Rouge Blues Festival has been to add significant layers of festival programming… Continue reading →

'Super VIP-level experience' offered at new downtown bar 1913 that promises to 'take Baton Rouge nightlife to 'the next level'

Photo provided by 1913 -- The logo of the new Baton Rouge nightclub, 1913.

If you’re looking for a VIP experience, a couple of Baton Rouge businessmen might have the experience for you. Andrew Bayard, Chrisian Walter and councilman John Delgado, the guys behind Capital City bars such as Huey’s, The Draft House and Brickyard South, are opening their new downtown bar, 1913, this weekend. The bar will… Continue reading →

Lil Wayne to perform at the Cajundome on Jan. 29

Recording artist Lil Wayne speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at the opening of a new skateboard park he helped finance along with Glu Agency and Mountain Dew, in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Lil Wayne, the Grammy-winning, multi-platinum rapper, will perform at the Cajundome Jan. 29. The Lafayette show is part of the New Orleans rapper star’s 19-date “The Dedication Tour,” which also includes a Jan. 31 stop at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City. According to a press release, “The Dedication Tour” is a personal thank you… Continue reading →

Leftovers: New Mexican restaurants in Baton Rouge, new microbrewery in Lafayette and more

Photo by Matt Sigur -- Marina's Mexican Grill has opened in the former location of Souga Pizza Factory.

Baton Rouge is establishing itself as a food destination. Every day, more and more food news is cooking in the area. A weekly feature, “Leftovers” is a roundup of the latest on the local food and restaurant scene. If you’re in the mood for Mexican food, the Capital City now has two new options. Marina’s Mexican Grill is now open… Continue reading →

’Hunger Games’ beats ‘Good Dinosaur,’ ‘Creed’ at box office

This photo provided by Lionsgate shows, Liam Hemsworth, left, as Gale Hawthorne, Sam Clafin, back left, as Finnick Odair, Evan Ross, back right, as Messalia, and Jennifer Lawrence, right, as Katniss Everdeen, in the film, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2."  The movie opened in U.S. theaters on Nov. 20, 2015. (Murray Close/Lionsgate via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite some mighty competition, Katniss and her crew dominated the box office once again. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” held on to its first-place spot in its second weekend in theaters, earning $51.6 million to top “The Good Dinosaur” and “Creed,” which both debuted Wednesday, according to Rentrak estimates on Sunday.… Continue reading →

All the holiday events in and around Baton Rouge and Lafayette

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Sydney Kline (left), age 6, and Henry Kline (right), age 3, enjoy the Christmas lights Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, during Zoo Lights at the Baton Rouge Zoo. The lights are on display this year from November 27 to December 30 (with the exception of Christmas Eve & Christmas Day).

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can turn our attention to the start of the Christmas season. Didn’t you know that once you’re finished with Thursday’s annual food party that it’s time to get in the holiday spirit? So put away that leftover turkey and carve out some time in your calendar for these… Continue reading →

Review: Awards-worthy ‘Brooklyn’ is an epic of the heart

Photo by KERRY BROWN -- Saoirse Ronan plays a young Irish immigrant in ‘Brooklyn.’

In the beautifully staged immigrant drama “Brooklyn,” Ireland’s Saoirse Ronan emerges as one of her generation’s finest actresses. In “Brooklyn,” Ronan (who already has an Oscar nomination under her belt) displays focused, sensitive aplomb in the leading role of Eilis Lacey. An economical actress, she’s skilled at expressing a heady mix of thoughts and emotions… Continue reading →

Rayo Brothers bring new energy to country

Photo provided by Jesse Reaux -- The Rayo Brothers will perform at NiteTown Friday night with singer-songwriter Dustin Sonnier.

Acadiana brothers Jesse and Daniel Reaux might well have become Cajun musicians. They are first cousins to Lost Bayou Ramblers band members Andre and Louis Michot, and their uncles are in Les Frères Michot. But rather than play Cajun music, The Rayo Brothers proudly perform folk-rock, outlaw country, Americana and rock music. Jesse Reaux… Continue reading →

Al Berard Music Festival returns

Photo by Ron Berard -- Al Berard is known for performing with many Cajun bands. A festival in his honor returns to Henderson this weekend.

Laura Huval’s childhood was filled with a love of music and family. Huval’s late father was Cajun music legend and Grammy-nominee Al “Pyook” Berard. Her family home in Cecilia was often littered with numerous instruments — electric and acoustic guitars and fiddles, all of which her father had mastered over the years. Berard spent his life… Continue reading →

Givers finds a ‘New Kingdom’

Photo provided by Girlie Action Media -- Givers is, from left, Taylor Guarisco, Josh LeBlanc and Tiffany Lamson.

Originally from Lafayette, the New Orleans-based pop band Givers devoted 18 months to crafting their lush new album, “New Kingdom.” Writing and recording took place on location in rented homes in Beech Mountain, North Carolina, and Eau Claire, Wisconsin, as well as Dockside Studio in Maurice and Parlor Recording Studio in New Orleans.… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Good Dinosaur’ isn’t good enough

Photo provided by Pixar-Disney -- Spot, voiced by Jack Bright, and Arlo, voiced by Raymond Ochoa, star in the new cartoon 'The Good Dinosaur.'

“The Good Dinosaur” is a beautiful sight, but its recycled storytelling is stale. Building on the basic ingredients of Pixar and classic hand-drawn Disney animation, a young character loses a parent and struggles to reclaim his place in the world. Comedy and danger follow as the character encounters enemies and allies during a long, dangerous journey… Continue reading →

Review: Croft gets crafty in latest ‘Tomb Raider’

Photo provided by Crystal Dynamics -- Lara Croft returns in 'Rise of the Tomb Raider.'

After successfully rebooting the “Tomb Raider” franchise in 2013 by reintroducing Lara Croft as a shipwreck survivor who washes up on a deadly — and really weird — island off the coast of Asia, the developers at Crystal Dynamics have returned with a solid follow-up that finds the iconic adventurer tackling snowy peaks, a private military and daddy… Continue reading →

Vanessa Carlton coming to Spanish Moon in February

Photo provided by Venessa Carlton -- Singer-songwriter Venessa Carlton will perform in Baton Rouge in February.

She would walk a thousand miles. Although, at this point in her career, she would probably rather you not bring up that song. Vanessa Carlton, the 35-year-old Grammy nominated singer-songwriter behind the hit song “A Thousand Miles,” is touring behind her newly-released fifth album, “Liberman.” Early next year, she’ll hit the Spanish Moon stage.… Continue reading →

Album Reviews: Jeff Lynne, Kirk Franklin

This CD cover image released by Columbia Records shows "Alone In The Universe," by Jeff Lynne's ELO. (Columbia Records via AP)

If it sounds like ELO, feels like ELO and plays like ELO, then it must be “Alone In the Universe” by Jeff Lynne’s ELO, as it is now called. Branding strategies aside, Lynne has long personified the Electric Light Orchestra and his first new songs under a similar… Continue reading →

Outlying areas calendar for Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2015

Photo provided by Doc Voorhies -- Kim Monroe plays Nurse Kim and Bud Forrest is Commander Bud Wiser in Iberia Performing Arts League's 'A USO Christmas Show.' This year's show starts Thursday at New Iberia's Essanee Theatre.

SHOP BERRY FROZEN HOLIDAY DEALS: Various Iberia Parish businesses are offering Shop Berry Frozen Deals and special events throughout November and December to encourage visitors and residents to shop local this holiday season. Participating businesses include Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorText ColorText ColorText ColorBangles, Baskets and Scents, Blue Butterfly Boutique, Downtown Salon, Landscape Ranch, Queen City… Continue reading →

Fairs & festivals for Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2015

AL BERARD MUSIC FESTIVAL: Henry Guidry Memorial Park, Henderson. Cajun music and family fun is the name of the game in this second-ever festival, honoring the life and tunes of Cajun musician Al Berard. Admission is $10. For more information, visit LOUISIANA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL:… Continue reading →

‘Brooklyn’ a quiet epic of the heart

Photo by KERRY BROWN -- Saoirse Ronan plays a young Irish immigrant in ‘Brooklyn.’

In the beautifully staged immigrant drama “Brooklyn,” Ireland’s Saoirse Ronan emerges as one of her generation’s finest actresses. Ronan, 21, received an Oscar nomination at 13 for her work in the British drama, “Atonement.” Her “Brooklyn” performance has made her an early prospect for honors in the 2015-2016 awards season. In “Brooklyn,” Ronan displays… Continue reading →

Review: Yo Rocky! Gritty, soulful ‘Creed’ goes the distance

This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures shows, Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures', Warner Bros. Pictures' and New Line Cinema's drama "Creed," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

Admit it. When you heard another “Rocky” movie was coming out — a seventh — you thought, really? How many “Rocky” movies do we need? Well, it turns out we needed seven. At least. From its very beginning in 1976, the “Rocky” story has been about proving you belong in the ring — not winning, necessarily,… Continue reading →

Weak humor, cloying plot mar ‘The Good Dinosaur’

Photo provided by Walt Disney Studios -- A scene from 'The Good Dinosaur.'

“The Good Dinosaur” too often goes through the storytelling motions. The animated comedy-adventure, set in a mountainous, prehistoric American West, is a beautiful sight, but its recycled storytelling is stale. Building on the basic ingredients of Pixar and classic hand-drawn Disney animation, a young character loses a parent and struggles to reclaim his place… Continue reading →

Shallow script undermines stars, story in ‘Trumbo’

Photo by HILARY BRONWYN GAIL -- Bryan Cranston as blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in 'Trumbo.'

Given the history, tragedy and injustice that the New Orleans-filmed “Trumbo” dramatizes, it could have been more effective than it is. Bryan Cranston portrays Dalton Trumbo, one of Hollywood’s great screenwriters of the 1940s and ’50s. But in the post-World War II U.S., as the Cold War with the Soviet Union reaches a boil, Trumbo’s support of… Continue reading →

Last ‘Hunger Games’ opens to $101 million, a franchise low

This photo provided by Columbia Pictures shows, Seth Rogen, left, as Isaac, and Jillian Bell as Betsy, in Columbia Pictures' "The Night Before." The movie opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 20, 2015. (Sarah Shatz/Columbia Pictures via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Mockingjay — Part 2,” the final “Hunger Games” film, soared to a $101 million opening in its first weekend in theaters, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday. For most films this would be a coup, but “The Hunger Games” had its own records to beat, and this sets a new low for the four-film franchise.… Continue reading →

Rhiannon Giddens, Dirk Powell to launch Louisiana Crossroads series in Lafayette

Photo by MICHAEL WEINTROB -- – Rhiannon Giddens

After Rhiannon Giddens performed at the “Another Day, Another Time” concert in New York City in 2013, a golden opportunity came her way. Giddens, a singing, banjo- and fiddle-playing member of the Grammy-winning string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, sang Odetta’s “Water Boy” that night during a celebration of folk music heard in the Coen… Continue reading →

One on One: Danny Bourque, a.k.a. Glitch Black

Photo provided by Danny Bourque -- The cover of Glitch Black's 'Death Spiral.'

If you’re a thirtysomething, you’re no doubt familiar with those video game themes. You know the type — the 8-bit, crushed synth scores that loop with intensity as you battle a boss. The hooks are no doubt present in the theme songs and sound effects of “Super Mario Bros.” and “F-Zero,” two old Nintendo games that… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Mockingjay — Part 2’ an overlong victory for Katniss

Photo by MURRAY CLOSE -- From left, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Evan Ross and Jennifer Lawrence in 'The Hunger Game: Mockingjay -- Part 2.'

“The Hunger Games,” a trilogy in its original book form but an overstretched quartet in movie form, concludes with some padding but also in-the-line-of-fire action and suspense and big, impressive special effects. Best of all, Jennifer Lawrence continues her passionate work as the series’ brave and principled archer/heroine, Katniss Everdeen.… Continue reading →

Review: One wild ‘Night’

Photo provided by Columbia Pictures -- From left,  Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in 'The NIght Before.'

It takes hundreds of people to make a movie, but just two talents, actor Seth Rogen and writer Evan Goldberg, define the Christmas Eve-set romp “The Night Before.” Rogen and Goldberg’s comic résumé sets “The Night Before” scene. You know the duo’s crass work in such hits as “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express,” “This Is the End,”… Continue reading →

‘Spotlight’ is a major achievement

Photo by Kerry Jayes -- Michael Keaton, left, as Walter 'Robby' Robinson, and Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes in 'Spotlight.'

“Spotlight,” director Tom McCarthy’s superb drama about The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse, is a low-key, level-headed movie about a sensational, hot-button subject. The film has already been compared to “All the President’s Men,” Alan J. Pakula’s Oscar-winning 1976 re-creation of The Washington Post’s expose of the Watergate… Continue reading →

Supporting Katniss: Jena Malone talks the final ‘Hunger Games’ chapter

Photo by Gero Breloer --  Jena Malone signs autographs before the world premiere of the movie 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2' in Berlin, Germany.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2,” the concluding movie of four films adapted from novelist Suzanne Collins’ internationally popular “Hunger Games” trilogy, debuts in theaters Friday. For actress Jena Malone, who plays rebel warrior Johanna Mason alongside Jennifer Lawrence’s archer-heroine Katniss Everdeen, it’s a bittersweet finale. “Saying goodbye to friends,” Malone said. “The… Continue reading →

It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’! Katt Williams brings the laughs to BR

Photo provided by Katt Williams -- The pint-sized comedian Katt Williams performs at the River Center on Sunday, Nov. 22.

Katt Williams, the pint-sized comedian who is a comedic force to be reckoned with, will bring his bad boy ways to Baton Rouge this weekend. The comedian will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Baton Rouge River Center. The stop is one of many along Williams’ latest tour, called “Conspiracy Theory,” which follows last year’s… Continue reading →

One of the men behind ‘Halo’ is from Baton Rouge, Patrick Bryan talks video game designing

Photo provided by Allison Wrenn -- Patrick Bryan, a Baton Rouge native and Runnels High alumnus, poses with Master Chief, the main character from the "Halo" game series. Bryan is an animator at 343 Industries, the developer of the video game franchise.

Creating video game characters means more than writing bits of code on a computer for Patrick Bryan. The Baton Rouge-born animator had loftier goals when working on “Halo 5: Guardians,” the latest title in the groundbreaking video game series. “You’re starting out with a blank slate, or you’re starting out with just a character that… Continue reading →

Now Showing: The Southern Screen Film Festival offers impressive slate

File photo by Christophe Ena -- In this Sept. 20, 2005 file photo, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs smiles after a press conference as he opens the Apple Expo in Paris. Jobs is the subject of a new documentary by Alex Gibney, which will be shown at the Southern Screen Film Festival on Saturday in Lafayette.

The Southern Screen Film Festival returns this week to give Acadiana film aficionados an opportunity to experience independent feature and short films, music videos, and creative workshops with industry insiders. Last year’s event had some 2,500 attendees, according to the festival’s executive director Julie Bordelon. She said the key for the Lafayette festival is quality… Continue reading →

‘Save a Prayer’ for these Eagles

Photo by Barry Brecheisen -- This Associated Press file photo shows Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal performing in Chicago. Hughes was scheduled to perform, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, with the band at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris where patrons were taken hostage.

Eagles of Death Metal is a band known for its mix of wit and riffs. Now, the band will be forever associated with a devastating series of attacks in Paris. The California-based band, led by Jesse Hughes, was performing at the Bataclan, a theater located in eastern Paris, last Friday night, when one of… Continue reading →

Album reviews: Justin Bieber, One Direction

This CD cover image released by Def Jam Records shows "Purpose," the latest release by Justin Bieber. (Def Jam via AP)

Justin Bieber’s new album is peppered with songs full of apologies and redemption. The troubled star claims he’s changed. And maybe he has. Or not. But one thing’s for sure — his music has gotten better. So much better. “Purpose,” Bieber’s first album since 2013’s R&B-influenced “Journals,” finds the 21-year-old edging… Continue reading →