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Louisiana craft breweries thriving: Here are some names to know

Advocate staff photo by Jill Arnold -- Here are a few of the beers from Louisiana breweries: (from left) Tin Roof Turnrow, Bayou Teche LA 31 Biere Noire, Great Raft Southern Drawl, Parish Brewing Canebrake, Nola Brewing Blonde Ale, Covington Brewhouse Strawberry Ale and Nola Brewing Irish Channel Stout.

One of the most trending topics in food and drink is the rise of local craft breweries. While Louisiana is known for its food and festivals, the state isn’t short on great craft beers, either. Say goodbye to buying a sixer of the brand name at the convenient store, and say hello to names you need to know in… Continue reading →

Review: ‘The Walk’ earns its keep with spectacular third act

Photo provided by Sony Pictures -- Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays Philippe Petite in a scene from 'The Walk.'

Can a great third act make a great film? Conventional wisdom would say no. It’s silly to spell out, but beginnings and middles are important, too. But if you’re going to nail one section, the end isn’t a bad place to start. The audience leaves invigorated, and, in a best case scenario, has already forgotten the slog… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Sicario’ a searing, sad portrait of border drug war

Photo provided by Lionsgate -- Benicio Del Toro as Alejandro in a scene from 'Sicario.'

The billion-dollar drug trade along the U.S.-Mexico border is so bloody and lawless, the line between right and wrong has become impossibly blurred. Such is the dilemma in “Sicario,” a grisly, disturbing portrait of the malignance and corruption inherent in the war on drugs. Troubling, sad and deeply compelling, this film succeeds on every level: story,… Continue reading →

‘Sleeping With Other People’: a refreshing look at the romantic comedy

Photo provided by IFC Films -- Alison Brie, left, and Jason Sudeikis in a scene from 'Sleeping with Other People.'

Poor romantic comedies. Even our criticisms of them have grown stale. “They’re not as good as they used to be,” we moan, yearning for some purer time when we didn’t know the time-tested beats, the inevitable outcomes and the dynamics seemed more attuned to How We Date Now. Even the character types have started to become one… Continue reading →

Review: Quaker Steak and Lube gets your motor runnin’

Advocate staff photo by GEORGE MORRIS -- Quaker Steak and Lube in Gonzales has an automotive theme and a sports bar feel to it.

When passing by Quaker Steak and Lube, we have some advice: Apply the brakes. A restaurant and bar with an automotive theme, Quaker Steak exudes a fun, sports-bar kind of vibe, yet one where diners can enjoy table conversation without shouting at each other. The first part of the name is a play on Quaker… Continue reading →

Local band Burris’ sound ‘Meant to Be’

Photo provided by Chris Hochkeppel -- Burris is (from left) Ben Herrington, Anton Zholondz, Scott Graves, Chris Hochkeppel, Matt Murray, Kevin McMann and Robert Kling

Chris Hochkeppel, singer and principal songwriter in local jazz-rock-funk band Burris, doesn’t mind that the group may never release mega-hits. “We want to play music that we enjoy, that’s fun for us every time we play,” Hochkeppel said. “We don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the music for the enjoyment of the fans.”… Continue reading →

Grueling 100-mile ultra-marathon pushes runners to the limit

Photo provided by Walker Higgins -- A runner jogs between the rows of sugarcane during the Cane Field Classic race in the sugarcane fields of West Baton Rouge Parish.

It’s scary how grueling the Children of the Cane ultra-marathon race will be. With a name inspired by a classic 1980s horror movie, Saturday’s race was created to test runners’ stamina by pushing them through 31 to 100 miles of south Louisiana terrain. Starting at Margaret Plantation in Port Allen, the race will wind… Continue reading →

The opening act Friday: Daria and the Hip Drops

Photo provided by Daria Dzurik -- Daria and the Hip Drops feature singer and steelpans player Daria Dzurik, center.

Daria Dzurik throws a curve into the familiar pop singer-songwriter scenario: She plays steelpans. Also known as steel drums or pans, the pitched percussion instruments produce bell-like tones when struck with mallets. Dzurik leads the New Orleans-based Daria and the Hip Drops, which opens for Baton Rouge band Burris on Friday… Continue reading →

Art (really) Rocks Friday with LPB

Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- John Gray is trumpet player for the JGray Jazz Trio, which will entertain guests at LPB's Art Rocks Friday night.

The Friends of LPB calls Art Rocks a celebration for art lovers of all ages. The Friday night event officially opens Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s 2015 LPB Art & Travel Auction, and runs from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the network’s studios at 7733 Perkins Road. More than 150 Louisiana artists have donated 200-plus pieces for the annual… Continue reading →

Her everything: Ariana Grande to perform in N.O.

Photo by Chris Pizzello -- Ariana Grande performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Las Vegas.

At 8, South Florida-born pop/rhythm-and-blues star Ariana Grande was a professional singer. At 13, she was on Broadway. At 22, she’s headlining arenas throughout the world. Grande’s “Honeymoon Tour” tour comes to the Smoothie King Center on Friday, Oct. 9. The tour follows the many hits the five-foot-tall singer released in the past two years. They… Continue reading →

Album Reviews: George Strait, Don Henley, Kurt Vile

Photo provided by MCA Nashville -- This is the cover image of George Strait's 'Cold Beer Conversation.'

George Strait COLD BEER CONVERSATION George Strait — the old-school, traditional, consistent, semi-retired Country Music Hall of Fame member — might be the last person anyone would expect to join the trend-conscious movement of stars dropping a completed album with no advanced notice. The surprises don’t end there. “Cold Beer Conversation” finds the Texas legend… Continue reading →

One on One: Shannon Smith of 1010 Nic

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Owners Mitchell Naquin, left, Carol LaCour and Shannon Smith stand in front of 1010 Nic.

It started two years ago. Shannon Smith, her husband Andrew, Carol Lacour and Mitchell Naquin wanted to bring local, creative businesses to the Nicholson corridor. Now, after one-and-a-half years of renovation on a building that was formerly the St. Vincent du Paul warehouse, the building owners are ready to debut a new shopping center,… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Oct. 2-8, 2015

Photo provided by Shorefire -- Houndmouth, an indie-rock band that's made TV appearances with David Letterman and Conan O'Brien, performs Wednesday at The Varsity.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Oct. 2-8, 2015. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Outlying areas calendar for Oct. 2-8, 2015

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Paddlers make their way down Bayou Teche at the start of the 2014 Tour de Teche in Port Barre. This year's tour starts at 7 a.m. Friday.

TOUR DU TECHE VI: 7 a.m., Town Of Port Barre, 498 N. Saizon St., Port Barre. Tour du Teche is an annual three-day race down the entire course of Bayou Teche in south Louisiana. It’s 49 miles Friday, 59 miles Saturday and 27 miles Sunday. 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF HURRICANE KATRINA COMMEMORATION: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30… Continue reading →

Wine to flow on Friday, as it has for 15 years, at weekly dinner event at Matherne’s Highland Road location

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Glazers representative Aaron Rader pours a glass of Lyeth wine at Matherne's Supermarket on Highland Road.

About 15 years ago, Matherne’s Supermarket at 7355 Highland Road started hosting weekly wine dinners. The store’s manager Bill Hounshell said the events began as a way to show customers different types of wines. “We wanted to show customers that drinking wine is something you do to relax,” he said. “It doesn’t… Continue reading →

13th Gate owner says nothing scares him; as for you, expect something 'Evil,' something Grimm this year

Photo provided by Dwayne Sanburn -- Dwayne Sanburn is the owner/creator of 13th Gate, a haunted house located in downtown Baton Rouge.

Horror and Halloween fanatics know that one haunted house they have to visit year-in and year-out is 13th Gate. The Baton Rouge production covers 40,000 square feet on the edge of downtown at 832 St. Phillip St. For those who have never been, the award-winning haunted attraction features 13 themed areas. This year, there’s a nod to… Continue reading →

'Hotel Transylvania 2’ sets September box office record with $47.5 million

Photo provided by Columbia Pictures -– Left to right, Dracula (Adam Sandler), Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Jonathan (Andy Samberg) in 'Hotel Transylvania 2.'

LOS ANGELES — September has a new box office star in “Hotel Transylvania 2.” The PG-rated animated pic earned a robust $47.5 million in its debut weekend, making it the top September opener of all time, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday. The previous record holder was “Hotel Transylvania” which opened to $42.5 million in 2012. “It… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ has heart, but lacks ambition

Photo provided by Columbia Pictures -– Left to right, Dracula (Adam Sandler), Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Jonathan (Andy Samberg) in 'Hotel Transylvania 2.'

There was only one reason to make “Hotel Transylvania 2” — $358 million. The computer-animated “Hotel Transylvania,” released in 2012, earned $148 million domestically and $210 million internationally. Aimed at young children, the original film brewed a concoction of sanitized monsters, including Dracula, a mummy, a werewolf and the Frankenstein monster, into a slightly entertaining… Continue reading →

Ogden Park Prowl celebrates ‘the best eight blocks in Baton Rouge’

Photo provided by Ogden Park Neighborhood Association -- Ogden Park Prowl-goers line up at one of the food and refreshment stops at last year's event.

When artist Natalie Hutchinson moved into Baton Rouge’s Ogden Park area in 2005, affordability and abundance of stately trees were big parts of the attraction. She later discovered another reason she seemed to fit in. “The more I got to know my neighbors, [the more I found out that] a lot of them already were… Continue reading →

Up, up and away: The 2015 Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival

Photo provided by Brian Dryden -- Hot air balloons glow during the Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival. The event returns Friday to the Lamar Dixon Expo Center.

Balloons, baskets and no room for acrophobia. That’s what you can expect at this year’s Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival. Whether you prefer your fun from the ground or up above, the event on Friday and Saturday, Sept., 25-26, at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, promises something for all ages. This year’s event… Continue reading →

Men of the hour: Cherub to perform at The Varsity

Photo provided by Cherub -- The electro indie-rock duo Cherub performs Thursday, Oct. 1 at The Varsity.

Cherub doesn’t create stereotypical music from Nashville. These days, the pop-funk-dance duo is among the many examples of non-country music made in Music City. Featuring Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber, Cherub sees Prince, for instance, as a primary influence, not Garth Brooks. The duo’s debt to Prince is obvious in its breakthrough song, “Doses… Continue reading →

29th annual Festival Latino serves up exotic fare, entertainment and more

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Hungry festival patrons line up for authentic Latin food during the 2013 Festival Latino in Baton Rouge. The 2015 event takes place Sunday, Sept. 27.

The 29th annual Festival Latino is a feast for the senses. There are the bright colors and festive choreography of Folklórico dancers. There is dancing along to Cumbia rhythms. And then, there is the array of handmade, traditional South American and Mexican foods, said Maria Rosa Eads, executive director of the Hispanic Apostolate.… Continue reading →

Sweet, Nasty, Funk: Earphunk talks new album

Photo by Zack Smith -- Earphunk performs Friday at The Varsity. Doors open at 8 p.m.

New Orleans-based prog-funk band Earphunk recorded its new album, “Sweet Nasty,” at one of Louisiana’s legendary studios, Bogalusa’s Studio in the Country. Opened in 1973, Studio in the Country has played host to everyone from Maze to Marilyn Manson, Stevie Wonder to Soul Asylum. The studio’s legacy and its proximity to New Orleans drew Continue reading →

Prescription for a good time: On Call

Advocate photo by BRAD KEMP -- The band On Call performs at the Grouse Room on Sept. 11, 2015 in Lafayette, La.. The band made up of all doctors and nurses.

On Call is a seven-member group heavy on guitars, drums and, believe it or not, stethoscopes. Consisting of registered nurse Leah Stokes on lead vocals, drummer and pulmonologist Gary Guidry, heart doctors and guitarists Vernon Valentino and Rick Dearman, internists Steve Salopek and Bradley Chastant Jr., plus dermatologist Ronnie Daigle also on guitar, the group… Continue reading →

Album Reviews: Keith Richards, Battles and Ryan Adams

Photo by Marta Iwanek/The Canadian Press via AP -- Keith Richards smiles during the press conference for the film 'Keith Richards: Under the Influence' at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

At 71, Keith Richards steps up for a solo album that earns its place alongside both his and The Rolling Stones’ discography. Because Richards is Mick Jagger’s songwriting partner and guitarist in The Stones, “Crosseyed Heart,” Richards’ first solo album in 23 years, often plays like the… Continue reading →

Review: Nintendo gives fans the tools to make over Mario

Photo by Nintendo -- This photo provided by Nintendo shows a scene from the video game, 'Super Mario Maker.' The new game gives you all the objects you need - blocks, pipes, coins, power-ups and enemies - then shows you how to complete the design via a simple click-and-drag interface.

Ever since Mario rescued that damsel from Donkey Kong three decades ago, he’s done some pretty amazing things. He’s a master of golf, tennis and auto racing. He can turn into a raccoon, cat or penguin. He’s even explored outer space. All that may not be enough to prepare him for what his fans are… Continue reading →

Outlying areas calendar for Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2015

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  A mixed-media work titled 'Machine Art' by John Buck hangs in the 'Art Under the Big Sky' exhibit at UL-Lafayette's Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum. The exhibit runs through Jan. 2.

“THE CONSTANT CHANGE”: Hammond Regional Arts Center, 217 E. Thomas St., Hammond. The exhibition features the sculpture work of Sarah House and will be on display through Sept. 25. Hours are noon-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. SPARE TIME RIDERS TRAIL RIDE: All day event, New Roads Multi Use Center, 1400 Major Parkway, New Roads. For more… Continue reading →