Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue playing at the Sherbino Sunday evening…

We met Gal and the Revue in New Orleans at the 2006 Jazz Fest.  We liked them so much we had them come out to play for our wedding party the summer of 07… What a fine band and a bunch of nice people…  If you weren’t at our fiesta at the Western Hotel that summer or know nothing about Gal and the Revue come on out to the Sherbino this coming Sunday … you won’t be disappointed, they’re a great dance band and Gal has a really fine voice…



Sunday, June 24th. Doors and bar at 6:30 pm, Music at 7:00 pm. $12 in advance, $15 at the door..

The Sherbino is excited to welcome back, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue, for a night of wonderful live music promoting their new album release, “Lost and Found”.

Buy Advance Tickets HERE!

Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue were at the vanguard of New Orleans’ now-thriving country scene when they formed over a decade ago, and they’ve remained in a league of their own ever since. Combining evocative songwriting, impeccable musicianship, and a twinge of punk sensibility to boot, their infectious Western swing energy has earned them their place in the upper echelon of local favorites and helped grow an avid fan-base of two-steppers around the world.

“The Gal” is Vanessa Niemann, an Appalachian-born songstress who has lent her powerful voice and magnetic stage presence to various musical projects in New Orleans and around the country. Upright bassist/musical director David Brouillette, who hails from small-town Louisiana, co-leads the band and provides the backbone for their hard-swinging rhythm. Over the years, they’ve counted among their ranks some of the finest musicians in the region. Their current roster boasts guitarists Gregory Good and Izzy Zaidman along with drummer Rose Cangelosi.

Last year alone found them touring out to Colorado, up the East Coast and into Detroit plus their monthly trips out to Texas for a residency at The White Horse in Austin. This vigorous touring schedule, however, doesn’t prevent the Honky Tonk Revue from remaining 100% native to their hometown. You can find them raising a ruckus at local dance halls, festivals, and watering holes any day of the week. They know the ins and outs of the country canon and can even get folks swinging to an unexpected pop cover or two. Above all, vivid songwriting is one of the group’s great strengths. Their rollicking foot-stompers and poignant Crescent City tributes alike crackle with an authentic country spirit.

Armed with this kind of versatility and an ever-growing body of original material, they put on a show that never gets old and delights rowdy dancers and buttoned-down diners alike. New Orleans may be most closely associated with jazz and brass, but Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue prove that the city celebrates its musical diversity with enthusiasm.

Listen to Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue here!

Posted in Music

“Coco,” a Story About Borders and Love, Is a Definitive Movie for This Moment ~ The New Yorker

By Jia Tolentino ~ June 16, 2018



Coco” is a movie about borders more than anything—the beauty in their porousness, the absolute pain produced when a border locks you away from your family.

Photograph Courtesy Pixar


In the weeks since that viewing, “Coco” love has continued to spread among my demographic—thanks, in part, to the movie’s release on Netflix in May. “Coco” is unlike any film I can think of: it presents death as a life-affirming inevitability; its story line about grudges and abandonment makes you feel less alone. The protagonist, Miguel, is a twelve-year-old boy in the fictional Mexican town of Santa Cecilia—named for the patron saint of musicians—and he is trying to get out from under the shadow of his great-great-grandfather, who left his family to pursue a career as a musician. His wife, the ferocious Mamá Imelda, was left to take care of their young daughter, Coco. She instituted a permanent household ban on music and started making shoes.

We meet Coco as an old woman. Her daughter, Miguel’s grandmother, now runs the family and its shoemaking business with an iron chancla. Earnest, sweet Miguel teaches himself to play the guitar in the attic, watching and re-watching tapes of the bygone star Ernesto de la Cruz. On the Day of the Dead, he accidentally shatters a framed photograph on the family ofrenda, then spots a hidden detail in the picture, one that makes him suspect that his wayward ancestor was in fact de la Cruz himself. He sprints to the town mausoleum, hoping to borrow de la Cruz’s guitar and prove the value of music to his family. Instead, the guitar turns Miguel invisible, and whisks him across a skybridge covered in thick, soft marigold petals that glow like lava. He falls to his knees in the petals, and then looks up to see a grand floating metropolis, confetti-colored in the darkness: the Land of the Dead.

The second and third acts of the movie are mostly set in this city of jubilant sugar-skull skeletons, where you exist only as long as you are remembered by the living. (You can cross over to the living world on the Day of the Dead, but only if your photo is on display.) Miguel joins up with a raggedy show-biz hustler named Héctor, who’s desperate to get his picture back up on an ofrenda, and who says he can bring Miguel to de la Cruz. Héctor lives in a waterfront shantytown filled with people who are about to be forgotten; at one point, he begs a guitar for Miguel off an ill-tempered cowboy named Chicharrón, who vanishes as soon as Héctor finishes singing an old dirty song.

Eventually, Miguel realizes that Héctor is his real ancestor, and the movie sprints to a conclusion that’s as skillfully engineered to produce waterworks as the montage at the beginning of “Up.” But until the end, “Coco” is mostly, wonderfully, a mess of conflict and disappointment and sadness. Héctor seems to have failed everyone who takes a chance on him. Miguel’s face, painted in skeleton camouflage, often droops as if he were a sad little black-and-white dog. “Coco” is animated by sweetness, but this sweetness is subterranean, bursting through mostly in tiny details: the way that both Mamá Imelda and Miguel’s grandmother brandish shoes when they’re angry; or how the daffy Xolo dog that accompanies Miguel on his adventure is named Dante; or how the skeletons return to their city through the Day of the Dead’s efficient T.S.A. system, declaring the churros and beer that their families gave them for their journey home.

~~~  MAS  ~~~

In Japan, Haiku on the Rocks

24Japan4-superJumbo.jpgMatsuyama Castle, one of Japan’s 12 original castles. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

Welcome to the world of the haiku bar trail. Matsuyama, Japan, is celebrating its 19th-century haiku poet, Masaoka Shiki, who coined the term haiku, with related events.


By Adam H. Graham

On a cold and rainy night earlier this year, I found myself at Hoyaken, a matchbook-size bar in Matsuyama, a city in the southwest corner of Shikoku, the least visited of Japan’s four main islands.


In Shikoku dialect, Hoyaken means “but anyway,” and there at the bar, chopsticks rested on a perfectly still peanut shell, while sake and literary conversation flowed. The bar’s owners, husband and wife Tomoko and Satoshi Kadoya, talked to me about their favorite poets, both Japanese and American. But haiku was never far from their minds.

Hoyaken is stocked with magazines and bilingual glossaries of “kigo,” haiku words used to connote the season like cicada for summer, scarecrow for autumn and the winter-blooming camellia. It is an ideal setting to write these 17-syllable seasonal poems using the classic 5-7-5 syllable stanzas or to drop the syllable form altogether and go freestyle as most haiku enthusiasts do these days.


A haiku-inspired cocktail at Riff Bar in Matsuyama.Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times


Welcome to the haiku bar trail.

Matsuyama, Shikoku’s biggest and liveliest city is known for its 19th-century haiku poet, Masaoka Shiki, one of Japan’s four haiku masters. Shiki coined the term haiku.

This year, to celebrate Shiki’s 150th birthday, the city launched a program of haiku-related events, including a recent haiku photo contest, a haiku sensory trail where you can experience the hourly chimes and dancing figurines of the Botchan Karakuri wind-up clock or the scent of incense at Ishite-Ji temple, and the haiku bar trail, where you can hone your haiku techniques while nursing a boozy concoction inspired by your own verse.

The idea of the haiku bars comes from the Matsuyama resident Kim Changhee, a haiku writer, illustrator and editor of Haiku Magazine’s 100-Year Haiku Plan.

“New Orleans has its jazz bars, so Matsuyama should have haiku bars,” he said in terms as simple as a haiku itself.

Dogo Onsen, a neighborhood known for its ancient hot baths. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times


Three bars have joined the haiku trail so far and a few hotels in nearby Dogo Onsen, an outlying neighborhood known for its ancient hot baths, are expected to join in 2018. At each location, visitors are expected to write their own haiku. Haiku pen names are given for free and it’s 900 Yen (about $8) to experience a haiku-inspired cocktail. I tried my hand last winter at Bar Caravan, a now-defunct bar in the city center.

Instead of a drink, the bespectacled bartender Chieko gave me a pen and paper. I wrote on it:

“1,000 cold grays

at Dogo Park, until

Kawasemi blue!”

I handed it to the bartender. She read it, looking puzzled, then exclaimed “Ah, Kawasemi!” Kawasemi is Japanese for the colorful kingfisher bird. She scurried away and returned, smiling with a martini glass filled with the unmistakable crystalline blue Curaçao liquor and vodka. By day, Chieko is a member of a jazz haiku group, but by night she pours spirits in exchange for verse. She now serves haiku cocktails at Riff Bar, a few blocks from Hoyaken.

Haiku cocktails run the gamut — some are subtle and emphasize local liqueurs made in Shikoku’s Ehime Prefecture, known for its unique varietals of citrus like iyokan, mikan and even yuzu, while others feature technicolor concoctions using Midori and Curaçao. (Unless you love those syrupy spirits, be careful which colors you wax poetic about.)

Haiku boxes are found around historic sites and parks in Matsuyama for visitors to pen their own haiku and deposit it. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

In addition to experiencing the haiku bars, I dropped by a haiku jazz bar called Monk with a group of haiku writers where we listened to the all-female Japanese jazz quintet Ladybird. I also spent a few days exploring the city’s haiku trail, stopping to write additional verse at some of the 93 haiku boxes (including 10 new ones) around the city’s historic sites and parks, like hilly Dogo Park, with its ponds, cherry trees and Shinto-shrine lined trails. It was there that I spent a gray afternoon bird-watching for Kawasemi, the common kingfisher who would later inspire my haiku.

Haiku boxes can be found at the 7th-century hilltop Hōgon-ji Temple, at an ice-cream stand on the trail along the 400-year-old stone walls outside Matsuyama Castle, one of Japan’s 12 original castles, and outside the famed Dogo Onsen, a vintage bathhouse that inspired Studio Ghibli’sanime classic Spirited Away. At each box, there’s a pen and paper for visitors to compose haiku and deposit it in a drop-box where it will later be collected.

Every two months, the best Japanese haiku are chosen and presented in the local newspaper, Ehime Shinbun. The best haiku by foreign enthusiasts like myself are only selected once a year. A man and his kingfisher can dream.


By day, Chieko is a member of a jazz haiku group, by night she pours spirits in exchange for verseCredit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

David Lynch On ‘Room To Dream’ ~ LISTEN

NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro asks David Lynch about Room to Dream, the director’s new memoir.

~~~  LISTEN  ~~~

         ROOM TO DREAM


An unprecedented look into the personal and creative life of the visionary auteur David Lynch, through his own words and those of his closest colleagues, friends, and family

In this unique hybrid of biography and memoir, David Lynch opens up for the first time about a life lived in pursuit of his singular vision, and the many heartaches and struggles he’s faced to bring his unorthodox projects to fruition. Lynch’s lyrical, intimate, and unfiltered personal reflections riff off biographical sections written by close collaborator Kristine McKenna and based on more than one hundred new interviews with surprisingly candid ex-wives, family members, actors, agents, musicians, and colleagues in various fields who all have their own takes on what happened.

Room to Dream is a landmark book that offers a onetime all-access pass into the life and mind of one of our most enigmatic and utterly original living artists.

THE BOOK REVIEW PODCAST Michael Pollan on Drugs ~ NYT

Michael Pollan on His Acid Test



Tune in, turn on: This week on the podcast, Michael Pollan talks about his new book, “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.” Pollan is best known these days as a food writer, but he reminds listeners that his chief interest has always been the natural world and the ways it intersects with human culture — so psychedelics were a logical next step. “Most of the people listening to this podcast have probably used a plant to change consciousness today,” he says, “whether it was smoking a cigarette or having a coffee or eating a bite of chocolate. Or something more serious. I’ve always found that to be a very interesting and universal human desire worthy of explanation. So when I heard about this research going on using psilocybin, the chemical in magic mushrooms, to treat people and to induce so-called mystical experiences, I thought, Well it’s really time to get back and to get a harder look at that whole subject.”

Among other things, Pollan discusses the ways that psychedelics dissolve our sense of self, and the potential mental health benefits they bestow as a result. “Psilocybin gives you such a powerful psychological experience that it kind of reboots your brain, your mind,” he says. “A lot of depression is a sort of self-punishment, as even Freud understood. We get trapped in these loops of rumination that are very destructive, and the stories that we tell ourselves: you know, that we’re unworthy of love, that we can’t get through the next hour with a cigarette, whatever it is. And these deep, deep grooves of thought are very hard to get out of. They disconnect us from other people, from nature, from an earlier idea of who we are. The mystical experience, as it’s sometimes called, or the experience of the dissolution of the ego, gets us out of those grooves and gives us a break from the tyranny of the ego, which can be a very harsh ruler.”

~~~  LISTEN  ~~~

Ryan Zinke Scores A Pyrrhic Victory In Yellowstone ~ Mountain Journal



ic_1529016626_780x_falseInterior Secretary Ryan Zinke on the doorstep of America’s first national park. Photo courtesy NPS

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo—There was a somber mood Wednesday wafting around the old 19th-century military barracks at Mammoth Hot Springs, the official administrative headquarters of America’s oldest national park.


As thousands of visitors hiked the travertine terraces and old cavalry grounds nearby, watching mother elk and calves grazing on the lawns, few were aware of what transpired that very morning. Word arrived early, mountain time, circulated via email from the US Interior Department in Washington, DC, that Cameron “Cam” Sholly would be the next Yellowstone superintendent. His new post is widely considered one of the most prestigious and high-profile non-military field jobs in government.


For Sholly, the announcement represents a joyous homecoming, a return to the place where, as a ranger’s son, nature left an indelible imprint.


Among the rank and file wearing the National Park Service green and gray, the news also landed hard, because it confirmed that Yellowstone’s existing and admired superintendent of the last seven years, Dan Wenk, was indeed being forced out.


After 42.5 years, Wenk isn’t receiving a gold watch from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for a career deemed extraordinary by any measure; instead, Zinke and a group of Trump Administration political appointees were serving him walking papers.


Zinke was a mere 14 years old when Wenk, today 66, began his journey in civil service, devoting four decades of his life to looking after national parks. A landscape architect by college training, he earned many of the highest honors for meritorious service along the way, working well with previous Democrat and Republican administrations, Congressional delegations and civic-minded corporate CEOs interested in supporting parks in times of budget shortfalls and growing needs.


Wenk, who served as deputy and acting national director of the 400-unit Park Service, oversaw renovation of the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore, and brokered a land deal along with the families of 9/11 victims to establish a permanent memorial to passengers on Flight 93.


At the Denver Service Center, the construction arm of the Park Service, he restored battered credibility to an institution in crisis and under investigation for fiscal mismanagement. When he took it over, it was doing 20 percent of the work in a $60 million program that exists to chaperone building and infrastructure improvements in the Park System. By the time he left five years later, the Denver Service Center was blueprinting 80 percent of the agency’s total workload with a budget that had grown to $250 million.


A capstone to all of those experiences was being tapped, in 2011, to oversee Yellowstone where there’s no greater challenge to balancing fragile wonders with visitor enjoyment. It is under constant political assault by gateway chambers of commerce, governors and members of Congress in three states that converge on the park borders.


As a twentysomething fresh out of college in the 1970s, Yellowstone was the first parks where he donned the uniform and, with retirement looming to spend more time with his wife and family, he derived no small amount of satisfaction in knowing where his tour of duty would end.
Last week, Wenk got word from Zinke’s controversial acting Park Service director that he had just 60 days to vacate Yellowstone and report to Washington, DC, where he was ordered to oversee the Park Service’s Capital region. [Read Mountain Journal‘s story Forced Out Of Yellowstone]. A demotion, it was handed as an ultimatum by P. Daniel Smith—either accept it or face termination. Read how his options were spelled out in a check-one-of-the-boxes memo at the bottom of this story. Option four: “I decline the reassignment. I understand that I will be subject to removal under adverse action procedure.”


After the circumstances of the heavy-handedness circulated widely in the media, Wenk received an outpouring of sympathy, from active Park Service veterans and retirees to politicians on both sides of the  aisle. Were Wenk to answer them all, five at a time daily, it would take years.


Back in Washington, DC. Wednesday, as a reporter caught Zinke on the fly, the Secretary sang Sholly’s credentials (they are impressive) yet dodged questions asking him to explain why he had moved with hostility against Wenk in the 11thhour of his career.


While Interior officials claimed plausible denial that their motivations were punitive, the way that Zinke rolled out Sholly’s appointment, without even mentioning Wenk, cannot be construed any other other way. They are furious that Wenk dared question them—them having underestimated how powerful the idea of Yellowstone is, and having trustworthy stewards in charge of it, resonates with the public.

An American editorial cartoonist has been fired for skewering Trump. He likely won’t be the last. ~ The Washington Post

June 15
“Oh, good lord.”

That was my reaction the day after the election of Donald Trump in November of 2016, when it dawned on me that I would be serving my year as president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists during the same time as the guy who wanted to “open up” libel laws and weaken the First Amendment so he could sue journalists more easily. Instead of the usual loss of jobs for editorial cartoonists that a president of the AAEC has to address during his or her tenure, now I’d be dealing with a much more fundamental threat to our profession: a president of the United States who has no idea or respect for the institution of a free press and its role in a democracy.

I did worry that editorial cartooning would be the next target of a president so enamored of visuals. That didn’t happen. In retrospect, I’m fairly certain it’s because Trump doesn’t read; he gets all his news from the television (Fox News) and uses Twitter as his megaphone. And I’m guessing his staff doesn’t cut out cartoons and tape them to the White House refrigerator so he will see them as he goes for his regular two scoops of ice cream. But with the firing of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist Rob Rogers, we now see that suppressing a free press can be accomplished without an authoritarian president’s orders. Michael Cohen isn’t the only “fixer” Trump has at his disposal.

Rob Rogers has been the editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for more than 25 years. Most working cartoonists have had an occasional idea spiked by his or her editor. But in the past few weeks, editorial director Keith Burris and publisher John Robinson Block have refused to publish six of Rogers’s cartoons, all criticizing Trump or his policies. Block and Burris have also rejected many of Rogers’s rough sketch ideas for several months.

This wasn’t the first time Block has used his position to defend President Trump’s actions; in January he demanded an editorial run in the Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade (where he is also the publisher) supporting Trump’s use of the term “shithole countries.”

I realize now I didn’t recognize this other danger of an authoritarian president: his enablers and the willing supporters who squash dissent and help attack the free press and subvert the Constitution. The fact that Trump will use any opportunity to spread lies and whip up hatred toward journalists only enables his powerful supporters in the media to do his dirty work for him. In April, another disturbing example of journalistic manipulation was exposed when a video surfaced showing news anchors from 45 Sinclair-owned stations reciting word for word the same script criticizing the mainstream media and spouting the “fake news” accusations that Trump uses in his diatribes. While Trump used the opportunity to blast its critics and offer his support for the “superior” Sinclair Broadcasting, he hadn’t orchestrated this abuse of journalistic integrity. He didn’t have to; there were others willing to do it for him.

Through satire, humor and pointed caricatures, editorial cartoonists criticize leaders and governments that are behaving badly. The purpose of an editorial cartoonist is to hold politicians and powerful institutions accountable — and we all know how little President Trump thinks he, his family or his sycophants should be held accountable. Rogers was the first American editorial cartoonist to lose his job as a result, but he won’t be the last. Trump has many “fixers.”

This newspaper owner (on right) is behind the firing of an editorial cartoonist who dared criticize . Here are 10 of the cartoons he wouldn’t let see print.  @Rob_Rogers @thenib @laloalcaraz @TheRickWilson @davidaxelrod

Below are five recent cartoons the Post-Gazette refused to publish.

Immigrant Children cartoon:



Pardon cartoon:



Ambien cartoon:



Sensitivity Training cartoon:



Memorial Day cartoon:



I Was Fired for Making Fun of Trump

By Rob Rogers

Mr. Rogers joined The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as an editorial cartoonist in 1993. He worked there until this week. In 1999, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.


~~~  READ  ~~~