Archive for the Tide Category

UPDATE: Jason Berry has uploaded the Culture or Commodity video which greatly helps put this post in context. The phrase used was “find a way.” I wonder how many artists get lost while “finding a way?” Also, while everyone did a very good job on the panel I want to single out Deb Cotton and Brian Boyles for their insight. /UPDATE

Full disclosure: I help organize the Rising Tide Conference. I have more of a role in the presentation of the conference as a whole and a smaller voice in the nuances of programming.

In hopes of continuing the conversation in reference to the Community or Culture panel of the past weekend’s Rising Tide Conference, I seemed to be left wanting a lot more. More along the lines of contrasting New Orleans versus a pandemic of cities throughout America that are destroying their culture and providing paltry assistance to the arts. Here in New Orleans, we have one that is showing some interest in it as a viable and sustaining part of its future and that’s being poo-pooed by folks because they don’t want their sensibilities in regards to that culture tarnished.

I get it. Commodification of the culture is bad. All bad? How bad? Any good?

Where is the line? What’s the difference between investing in the arts and commodifying them? I don’t have the answer. The lines haven’t been drawn. But, like pornography, you know it when you see it.

While current second line issues and bar permits are certainly making the natural spontaneity of our culture quite viscous, I’m not entirely sure how that really reflects on the corporate commodification of the culture. The culture’s being fucked with, sure. But how it is being fucked with in regards to profiteering is not clear to me. Does it exist?

Now, Ho-Zone? Yes, that smelled like corporate commodification.

But the very real issue of having a robust community of viable artists who can pay their bills and are free to pursue their craft full time and are equitably rewarded for that is just left out there on the vine. And when given a chance to address it, a panelist on the Culture vs. Commodity panel said artists will make do like they always have done.

To be honest, making do, or getting by, or whatever the usage was during the panel, is quite suggestive of not having anything left after the bills are paid each month. And that’s not exactly good enough. We have to have an underfunded musician’s clinic here in New Orleans because getting by isn’t good enough. The “day job” exists because getting by isn’t good enough.

I understand that no one wants some corporate Disneyland representation of our culture depicted by insensitive companies throughout the city. But, letting the artists eat cake sucks too. Artists die, get on drugs, lose all their money and so on.

Take playing guitar as just one example of many. Playing just standard guitar in a band takes skill and practice. Maybe not a lot but, at least as much as, say typing or tailoring. More than bartending. But even the best guitarist, the ones who are naturally talented and then have added years of practice and skill and mentoring to their skills are still doing as they have always done and just getting by.

Of course, there is always the joy of it right? But what does that commodify? Happiness. If something you do sucks, you get paid more. If you enjoy it, you get paid less. Somewhere in there a truly sinister commodification exists. If you suffer for us, we will pay you for it. Minimum wage.

And how about I get a little personal?

My wife is an amazing jazz singer and songwriter. She is also a very good Standardized Patient Coordinator for Tulane Medical School. But while a number of people could be brought up to speed and trained in her job at the school, far fewer could provide her vocals and songwriting to the New Orleans music scene.

She is also a homeowner here in Algiers. Our house is in better shape now than when we moved in. She has the sensibilities to buy a nice old house and to care for it. She’s a very good cook who frequently forgoes Wal-Mart for Rouses and the Gretna family-owned supermarket Casey Jones and while at these places, buys all manner of local products like beer, canned goods, hot sauce and so on and so forth.

So she is a great New Orleanian. She’s not a native, but she’s contributing across the board to many of the best parts of our culture because she is an artist herself and can discern the organic stuff from the corporate shit. And that helps the rest of us, a lot.

However, rather than having the comfort level and security to use her voice to make her way here in New Orleans and contribute to its ongoing cultural legacy, she too, even with a day job and her night gigs, is “getting by,” “making do,” “finding a way.”

So, while the selling of our culture by corporate entities is indeed dirty and whorish. The main ingredient in the argument must always be the continued viability of those who contribute to it. And not just getting by like they always have but actually prospering, having health benefits, raising children, buying homes, getting resources, tools, supplies to better contribute and perhaps even inspire?

While locals do their best and certainly supplement a lot of incomes, corporate, tourist and civic dollars help tremendously. Musicians may bemoan corporate gigs, but they take them and sometimes, they even have a good time there. And most of the time the corporate gigs pay far more than the local establishments like, oh I don’t know, Balcony Music Club for example.

My wife was taught early by a local trumpet player that $50 makes “a gig.” You may show up and put a tip jar out and get a percentage of the bar but if you make under $50, it wasn’t “a gig.” Corporate gigs are always “a gig.” Now understand, we are talking about $50 fucking dollars for a night’s work by what we like to call the best musicians in the country.

Sometime’s my wife comes home and shakkes her head and says, “It wasn’t a gig.”

So is an artist supposed to forgoe health care and a mortgage and “get by” simply so someone’s sensitivities to what they think the culture should be won’t be offended?

The thinnest line in this battle was brought up after the panel on Saturday. Certainly a Mardi Gras Indian with a tip bucket in front of him in Jackson Square feels wrong. There was a notion that these Indians are rogues who got their hands on a suit of some sort. There was a notion that the Big Chief of these tribes would put a stop to this if he only knew. How the Big Chief is supposed to have missed someone in his feathers in the busiest square in town with picture after picture being taken of him for a few years now was left out.

But if this isn’t some rogue element, and it’s real Mardi Gras Indians out there, then that means that members of some tribes are also simply trying to get by as well.

David Simon – Keynote Speaker, Rising Tide VI from Jason Berry on Vimeo.

NOTE: This post should have lots of links but doesn’t.

After a year of planning the Conference was set to pop. I picked my wife Romy up from Tulane with a Toyota full of extra chairs and tables and electrical wiring none of which we would eventually need but were there as a back-up. My wife told me she had been smooshed on an amusement park ride earlier in the day by two large 225+ pound men who were on inside of a centrifuge.

We arrived at the Springhill Suites around 3:30 p.m. with some Ginger Ale and a bottle of Myers Golden Rum.

Check-in went something like this…

Varg: Yeah. HI THERE! My name… is, uh, Varg Vargas. I’m on the list, that’s for sure. Free lunch, final wisdom, total coverage. I have my attorneyyyyyyy, with me, and I realize that his name is not on that list, but we must have that suite! Must have that suite. What’s the score here? What’s next?

Desk Clerk: Your suite isn’t ready yet. But someone was looking for you…

Varg: [seeing her morph into an eel] Why? We haven’t done anything yet!

We managed to check in and I met Tim and Rob across the street as they were finalizing internet and chairs. We were later joined by Loki who refused drinks but smoked and drank Red Bull.

After four representatives from Cox managed to get us wired (yay Cox), we returned to the hotel and got ready. The boosterism on the hotel’s channel was curating New Orleans to death.

Food at the Howlin Wolf that night was tasty. Minglers began drifting in but the bartenders seemed to constantly be struggling with the taps. When the beer poured at all it came out with a head at least an inch high. This must be some sort of Howlin Wolf standard.

I know I met and chatted with lots of folks this night and the day of the conference but time and age must be catching up to me because the whole thing became a blur as I ran up and $80 bar tab and endured its hangover the next day.

At night’s end, I protested the lack of itemization of the tab but the bartenders excuse that they “just write it all on a cocktail napkin” was irrefutable. In a more sober state the next day I realized they were probably correct and the total had not been tampered with. No night is worth its expenses unless there is at least one regret. That was an epic tab.

Back at the hotel that night, I walked into this scene in Dangerblond’s room…

Dangerblond: Music, man. Put that tape on.
Sophmom: What tape?
Dangerblond: Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit”. I need a rising sound.
Sophmom: You’re doomed. I’m leaving here in two hours and then they’re going to come up here and beat the mortal shit out of you with big saps. Right there in that fucking tub.
Dangerblond: [Splashes and screams]
Sophmom: Alright, I’ll do it. But do me one last favor, will you. Can you give me two hours? That’s all I ask man, just two hours to sleep before tomorrow. I suspect it’s going to be a very difficult day.

Alli declared we all needed to be there by 7 a.m. in the morning and if the world was 30 minutes slower I would have made it. The hangover was strong. In my later years it seems to have moved from a general malaise to fortifications in my head and stomach. Jeffrey offered me some Aleve which I accepted but didn’t take. I don’t like to mask my physical pain the way I do the emotional kind. Better to suffer through it so you know exactly where you stand. Always strive for a deep intimacy with your own suffering. There are less illusions that way. We also had a conversation comparing hangovers to Lent. It was brilliant in a commiserating sort of way.

Hillary from Laurel Street Bakery arrived with coffee from PJs and pastries which she awesomely delivered for us this year. The pastries were delicious as always.

Sophmom, Leigh and Valerie McGinley (you rule) were rockin’ the check-in and things were sure-as-shit starting on time. Wh-what?

Chief Serpas came in and when shaking his hand I noticed that this dude is large. His hand engulfed mine. He’s also a bit of a card, cracking jokes and such before the panel and during. Alli mentioned her speeding ticket from the other day and the progress being made on police actions in that area of Religious Street. She called the previous incident there “shenanigans.” I was actually there Monday and saw the Popo with their lights on stopping traffic and pulled a u-ee before I could get caught up in any shenanigans of the ass-beating or fine-paying kind.

The public safety panel went off without a hitch, the crowd wasn’t quite rowdy and animated yet but WTF, it was still morning. I liked Peter Scharf the moderator. Serpas was pushing “you lie, you die” and there is some commentary about that below.

My hangover was going strong and I encountered Erster who advised me to take a hit out of the little brown bottle in his shaving kit, saying “you won’t need much, just a tiny taste.”

“What is this shit?!” I asked.

He replied, “Adrenochrome! That stuff makes pure mescalin seem like ginger beer, man.”

Up next was Mac McClelland and she was holding a hangover cure in her hand. I particularly enjoyed her “Bloody Mary as prop” style of speaking. I think several people were already drinking by this point including domestic lager aficionado Pants. I think Alli was two Bloody Marys ahead of Mac.

Mac’s speech had a very conversational tone to it with a bit of ire and frustration showing through. More reading on what she said and audio can be found below. I would also like to take this moment to say Pants was a victim of context in that post further down there and he was simply waiting to ask a question. The glow around Mac and the position of her onstage makes it seem like some sort of genuflection is happening but that wasn’t what occurred.

[just sayin] Although…he was very giddily showing off her lengthy dedication to him in her book. [/just sayin]

I missed much of the environmental panel as I finally relented and tried some hair of the dog as a hangover cure and sort of lingered around outside the main room and caught up with folks.

Lunch was great and the line moved very fast. Mad props to Howlin’ Wolf for knocking that out.

I would like to apologize right now to my fellow committee members who my darling wife said may have been trying to nicely chastise me for getting lunch before many of the attendees. Sorry guys. In hindsight, I should have waited. My hangover compelled me and the delicious brisket was sufficient in quelling it for good.

After lunch we were starting to reach a good density of myth dispellers. Probably the largest concentration of myth dispellers in any one place that weekend.

Politics panel got underway without a conservative and I was outraged! Not really, he showed up shortly thereafter “way overdressed” as described by Pants on Twitter. I think this was the portion of the Conference when I was like Tweet…, Twitt…, … I was on Twitter.

It should be noted that every panel has used cuss words this far. The best usage being “Bobby Jindal is a douchebag” by the keynote.

It seemed like after the politics panel things were beginning to get spirited. We were right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo, and somebody was giving booze to the goddamn things. Wouldn’t be long before they tore us to shreds.

There was a bit of a scare when a chemically, burning smell began spreading that Cousin Pat and I weren’t convinced was burning duck tape but could not find any other source of. Right in the middle of that several attendees were having connectivity problems and I was sure this was where things were going to take a turn. But the smell went away and we solved the Internet problems by using Howlin Wolf’s pipe. I was actually under the impressions before that they didn’t have one but they must because a lady I was helping was using it. There was certainly something fruity going on with Apple computers and the internet that day.

By the time of Tim’s presentation, the spirited attendees were gathering in the bar area. I thought we may see some fireworks when Sandy Rosenburg got up to ask a question but it was all very tame.

Much love to Clifton Harris of Cliff’s Crib, this year’s Ashmo Award winner.

Treme panel came on and though some folks thought it was tame, I thought it was perfect. No complaints here. What kind of action do you want at a panel on a TV show? Maybe if it was a panel on “The Wire” though. Omar comin!

Even though the after party was decided on a few days before no one thought to check if maybe, I don’t know, the bar in question, right on St. Charles, may, perhaps, be closed for a private party that night? This fiasco was worse than the Fahey’s /Avenue Pub split we had last year. It only got worse before everyone finally ended up at the Half Moon where tired but jovial remnants of the conference drank beer, did shots, listened to the likes of Fugazi, Rancid and “Purple Rain” before slowly trickling out into the night.

In the end, it was a classic affirmation of everything right and true in the national character. A gross physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country. But only for those with true grit. And we are chock full of that, man.

For anyone who heard Mac McClelland’s Rising Tide 5 Keynote speech on Saturday and was wanting to do anymore reading on what she said, links and audio are below. Also, see this post from the Rising Tide blog.

At :28 the story below is referenced…

Gulf focus shifts, but where is all the oil?

At :55 she says the government announced they couldn’t find any oil either. See story below…

Feds defend data that says 75 percent of oil is gone

I should also note this story was a favorite on conservative blogs.

At 1:17 the article in which she “got a little bit upset” is below…

Mainstream Media Helps BP Pretend There’s No Oil

And The Atlantic’s story is here…

Will the Oil Spill Really Be Less Damaging Than Expected?

At 1:42 this story in The Washington Post is mentioned…

Five years after Hurricane Katrina, how New Orleans saved its soul

Her response is here…

Sticking a Happy Face on Katrina

At 4:26 she mentions the cutting of UNO’s budget, Times-Pic story here…

UNO details plans to cut programs, staff

at 4:54 she mentions the dismantling of higher education statewide in Louisiana…

Pain of Louisiana’s public colleges’ budget cuts sought by Senate panel

Please ignore how the hed above makes no sense. I don’t know why the Seante panel would go looking for pain. It’s Nola.com man.

at 5:10 there is mention of large undersea plumes of oil still in the Gulf…

Giant Plumes of Oil Forming Under the Gulf

At 5:45 the effects of the Exxon Valdez spill are brought up…

Alaska fishermen still struggling 21 years after Exxon spill

New Study Documents Symptoms of Cleanup Workers in 2002 Spill Off Spanish Coast

The problems related to the distribution of information at 9:05 can be read about here…

Efforts to Limit the Flow of Spill News

The Economist cover mentioned at 13:48 is here…

The Colbert segment is here…

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Economist Photoshops Obama’s Picture
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

Rising Tide 5 Aug. 28 at the Howlin’ Wolf …

See below…

Keynote speaker Mac Mclleland …
“The goal is not to let it blow up”: A tour of BP’s relief rig

Treme panelist Eric Overmyer…
Treme News: Eric Overmyer Looks Back on Season One

Treme panelist Dave Walker …
‘Witness: Katrina’ tells storm’s story through the lenses of home-video cameras

Public safety panelist Susan Hutson …
In New Orleans, an unprecedented push for police reform

Public safety panelist Chief Ronal Serpas…
Superintendent Ronal Serpas presents 65-point plan for reforming the NOPD

Environmental panel moderator Steve Picou…
Seafood is safe, scientists say, but oil spill will impact physical and mental health for years …

Politics panelist Jason Berry…
Children don’t mean a thing, if you aint’ got that bling…

Politics panelist Stephanie Grace…
Five years later, a recovery mayor?

Politics panelist Clancy Dubos…
The Storm That Changed Everything

Politics panelist Jeff Crouere…
Political Correctness Doesn’t Quit, Dr. Laura Does Over N-Word Storm

Environmental panelist Robert Verchick …
Loyola law professor to sign new book this weekend

Perhaps in time for this?

Also…

Rising Tide 5 Treme panelist Eric Overmyer recently spoke at the Clinton School in Arkansas and offered some glimpses into next season…

‘Treme’ to get more ‘Wire-y’ next season

Overmyer revealed that next season of “Treme” will jump a year in the future from where last season left off and focus on crime, the police force and New Orleans’ severely troubled public school system.

This is fantastic news for my vision concerning the return of Genghis Glover to the Treme cast. I know he is in jail for murder but how hard would it be to write a storyline that get’s him out? Misdemeanor murder any one?

There may be a few late additions but this is our most complete program for the Aug. 28 new media conference…

Keynote Speaker: Mac McClelland – Mother Jones.com

 

Mac is Mother Jones‘ human rights reporter, writer of The Rights Stuff, and the author of For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question: A Story From Burma’s Never-Ending War. She has "been on the Gulf Coast since the early days of the Gulf oil disaster, and… documented every last drop of it."

Mac has reported from locations including Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Micronesia, Burma, New Orleans, and Bhutan on subjects such as the hot young Bhutanese king, Post-Katrina recovery efforts, South Pacific conservation initiatives, being embedded in dumpster-diving culture, posing as a high-class freelance call girl, and the decline of American manufacturing.

More important, she is, according to The American Prospect, "a total bad-ass."

‘Down in the Treme’
Treme Panel Moderated by Maitri Erwin
Maitri Erwin
moderator
Maitri is a geoscientist, blogger and all-around technology geek. She is the founder of Back of Town: Blogging Treme, author of Maitri’s VatulBlog and reporter for VizWorld.com. She is also Indian Languages advisor to Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free electronic books.

Eric Overmyer
panelist
Eric is a playwright, television writer and producer. He is the the co-creator of Treme and has written and produced numerous TV shows, including Law & Order, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire and New Amsterdam.

Becky Northcut
panelist
Becky is most likely better known to NO bloggers as VirgoTex, and she will answer to either name. In addition to being one of two non-NOLA ringers blogging Treme at Back of Town, she sometimes writes about pop culture, the environment, and politics at First-Draft.com, so she’s practically a digital cousin to some in the NO online community. She created the short-lived Got that New Package! blog about The Wire, and was lucky enough to share that obsession with Ashley Morris and Ray Shea, among others. She is a queer, a naturalist, a music lover, and a Texan, none of which she had any choice about.

Dave Walker
panelist

Dave has been TV columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune since September 2000. Before that, he worked as TV columnist and pop culture writer for the Arizona Republic, and before that he was a feature writer and columnist for the Phoenix alternative weekly New Times. Born in Kansas City, raised in Chicago. His American Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour, the first guide to pop music landmarks, was published by Thunder’s Mouth Press in 1992.

Davis Rogan
panelist
Davis is a New Orleans musician who began his broadcast career on WTUL at the age of 10, and was a DJ at WWOZ for 13 years. He first came to prominence in the New Orleans music scene with his eight piece funk group All That, for which he was lead singer, band leader, principal songwriter, arranger and producer. Davis is also script consultant for Treme and makes periodic appearances on the show.

Lolis Eric Elie
panelist
Lolis Eric Elie is a staff writer for Treme. His television work includes include Faubourg Treme, the PBS documentary directed by Dawn Logsdon. He was also a columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune for 14 years. 

‘Why Can’t We Get Some Dam Safety in New Orleans?’
Presentation by Tim Ruppert
Engineer and NOLA Blogger Tim Ruppert exposes inequities between the Federal government’s design methods for dams and levees.  For his Rising Tide 2 presentation, “In Levees We Trust,” Tim explained why the so-called “100-year level of protection” is completely inadequate for a highly developed and populated area such as New Orleans.  This year Tim expands upon that topic and asks why dams and levees alike are not designed as life safety systems.

‘Paradise Lost’
Evironmental panel moderated by Steve Picou
Steve Picou
moderator
Steve Picou is a lifelong environmental activist, musician and futurist with a systems-oriented perspective. He is an outreach agent with the LSU AgCenter in the New Orleans area where he helps people and organizations reduce their impact, save energy and find ways to develop sustainable lifestyles and businesses. A blogger since 1997– when he established the website of the (now-defunct) Louisiana Music Commission and served as Assistant Director from 1992 to 2005–Steve expresses his thoughts on the environment, politics, music and social justice primarily via nolamotion.com and highlights eco-abuse at dyingoaks.posterous.com.

Robert Verchick
panelist
Robert Verchick holds the Gauthier-St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans.  He is currently on leave, serving in a government position in Washington, D.C.  Professor Verchick is a graduate of Stanford University and of Harvard Law School.  An expert in environmental law and in the developing field of disaster law, he has taught at several American law schools as well as at universities in China and Denmark.  His newest book, "Facing Catastrophe: Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World," has just been released by Harvard University Press.
Len Bahr
panelist
 

Politics Panel
Moderated by Peter Athas
Jason Berry
panelist
Jason Berry is a documentary filmmaker and IP media consultant from New Orleans. His first full length documentary was completed in 2006 with fellow filmmaker, Vince Morelli, titled, Left Behind:  The Story of the The New Orleans Public Schools.  Berry began his blog, American Zombie, in 2006 as anonymous source reporting on corruption issues withing New Orleans City Hall.  After breaking numerous corruption issues within New Orleans city government Jason went public with his identity in 2009 after being threatened with a libel suit by a New Orleans’ city official.

Clancy Dubos
panelist
Clancy DuBos is the chairman and co-owner of Gambit Communications, Inc., and the political editor/columnist for Gambit weekly newspaper in New Orleans. He also is the on-air political commentator for WWL-TV (Eyewitness News Channel 4) in New Orleans, and a licensed attorney. Clancy and his wife Margo have owned Gambit since 1991, and he has been an attorney since 1993.

Jeff Crouere
panelist
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com.

Stephanie Grace
panelist

Stephanie Grace is a political columnist with the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, focusing on local, state and national politics, and since Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Before moving to the op-ed page in 2003, she spent eight years as a political reporter for the paper.

Jaques Morial
panelist
 

Public safety panel
Moderated by Brian Denzer
Brian Denzer
moderator
Brian Denzer was intiated into the New Orleans crime problem when friends became murder victims in 1995. He went on to become the principal developer of the New Orleans Police Department’s COMSTAT crime mapping system, which has been used for over ten years. He has also provided technical support to the US Attorney’s Office, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. For the last three years, he led a successful advocacy campaign through CitizenCrimeWatch.org, and NolaStat.org,

Jon Wool
panelist
 
Allen James
panelist
 
Susan Hutson
panelist
 

I hate to say “best yet” but this year’s Rising Tide is looking more and more stellar as it comes together.

And it isn’t because it will be on the 5th anniversary of the Flood and not because we are (along with the entire Gulf Coast) in the midst of another disaster this one too the fault of men.

And it isn’t because after five years the committee that put the whole thing together is more experienced and skilled at putting on a show.

It’s going to be a good show because the content really rocks.

A few of the panels are still coming together and a few more are already looking to be pretty snappy

I was very intrigued with Tim Ruppert’s RT2 presentation “In Levees We Trust” on hundred-year flood protection. In fact I have repeated many of his key points over and over again when arguing with jerkys about New Orleans’ levees versus Netherlands’ Delta Works I walked away from it feeling like I had some vital tools to discuss flood issues in New Orleans.I have used those tools many times discussing New Orleans with outsiders.

So this year’s discussion “‘Why Can’t We Get Some Dam Safety in New Orleans?’” has me intrigued. From the Rising Tide Web site…

Engineer and NOLA Blogger Tim Ruppert exposes inequities between the Federal government’s design methods for dams and levees. … This year Tim expands upon that topic and asks why dams and levees alike are not designed as life safety systems.

So that’s going to be awesome. I have always been impressed with Tim. Merely because it takes testicular fortitude to work for The Corps and hang around New Orleans bloggers. I must impart though that his RT5 presentation will be as a private citizen and not as a member of the ACOE. Either way, I can’t wait.

I’m also very excited about Maitri’s “Down in the Treme” Panel. Mostly because even though the show has been thoroughly dissected cell by cell, episode by episode at the Back Of Town blog, this will be the first discussion where fans, creators and critics will all converge to discuss the show. Full list of panelists is below. I will take this opportunity to petition Eric Overmyer for a return of Anwan Glover’s character next year. We love ya Slim!<

Maitri Erwin
moderator
Maitri is a geoscientist, blogger and all-around technology geek. She is the founder of Back of Town: Blogging Treme, author of Maitri’s VatulBlog and reporter for VizWorld.com. She is also Indian Languages advisor to Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free electronic books.

Eric Overmyer
panelist
Eric is co-creator and executive producer of ‘Treme.’

Becky Northcut
panelist
Becky is most likely better known to NO bloggers as VirgoTex, and she will answer to either name. In addition to being one of two non-NOLA ringers blogging Treme at Back of Town, she sometimes writes about pop culture, the environment, and politics at First-Draft.com, so she’s practically a digital cousin to some in the NO online community. She created the short-lived Got that New Package! blog about The Wire, and was lucky enough to share that obsession with Ashley Morris and Ray Shea, among others. She is a queer, a naturalist, a music lover, and a Texan, none of which she had any choice about.

Dave Walker
panelist
Dave has been TV columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune since September 2000. Before that, he worked as TV columnist and pop culture writer for the Arizona Republic, and before that he was a feature writer and columnist for the Phoenix alternative weekly New Times. Born in Kansas City, raised in Chicago. His American Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour, the first guide to pop music landmarks, was published by Thunder’s Mouth Press in 1992.

Davis Rogan
panelist
Davis is a New Orleans musician who began his broadcast career on WTUL at the age of 10, and was a DJ at WWOZ for 13 years. He first came to prominence in the New Orleans music scene with his eight piece funk group All That, for which he was lead singer, band leader, principal songwriter, arranger and producer. Davis is also script consultant for Treme and makes periodic appearances on the show.

Lolis Eric Elie
panelist
Lolis Eric Elie is a staff writer for Treme. His television work includes include Faubourg Treme, the PBS documentary directed by Dawn Logsdon. He was also a columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune for 14 years.

Check the Rising Tide Web site’s program page for more info on the fledgeling politics, public safety and environmental panels. There are going to be some more names added to them very as soon as they are finalized.

Oh and there is supposed to be a helluva keynote speaker this year as well.

Perhaps it may even be good enough to get Judy B there? I’m calling you out girl!

Last night’s Blogging 101 event was a success and I wanted to extend the invitation to all who attended to feel free to ask anyone in Rising Tide whatever questions you may have.

Also, mad props to Max at Bridge Lounge for not only being a swell cat but also providing the room to us. Check out the Bridge Lounge next time you want to have an Irish Channel beer.

Also to the “nameless” benefactor of our beer. We salute you!