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The Best Unknown Gallery in New Orleans

Day breaks, and the landscape has changed. Anonymous, sub-cultural ambassadors left calling cards ten feet wide in the middle of the night. Seldom seen in the act, their swagger reads on walls like the proclamation of a boss. And any place can get it. Mops, rattle cans, even backloaded extinguishers; the top dog figures out a way. You can miss them slipping through fences and scaling walls in the strangest of places. One such place, the Market Street Power Plant, is a stunning example. Built in 1905, and abandoned in 1973, this steel mammoth has become the best unknown gallery in New Orleans. A multitude of graffiti styles cover nearly every surface within it. COUCH, ESCAPE, EKSA, YESAH, BEANO, GEYETTO, HYPHE, KELTR, REZNOR, ENOK, DUKY, KONQR, HOER…. These kids get up. And regardless of your overall stance on graffiti, you can’t help but respect the craft.

Within earshot of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the building was purchased for $10 million back in 2007. From there it was tied up in litigation and sold again in 2015. Between the two properties, a 47-acre development has heavy machinery scraping the earth clean by day to prepare for a 1,200-room hotel, 1,400 residential units, and various tourist attractions. You wouldn’t know it by its appearance, but the area known as the Trade District is apparently worth something.

Definitive monetary value is not hard to arrive at when dealing with commodities that are accepted in society. “Experts” in the field establish a bar, and everyone else presumes it to be fact. Words and phrases are repeated, becoming trends, and the sheep will follow. I once saw a program where ten art experts were called in to interpret and rate various works of art by artists whose names would not be revealed to them. The experts spent some time discussing their interpretation of each piece and placing a value on them one by one. The majority were impressed by these works. In the end, it was revealed that every work before them was created by a kindergartener. I could not have been more pleased.

Art is such a personal experience. The artist reveals his or her thoughts and feelings visually. Emotions are conveyed on another plane, through a different language. At the Market Street Power Plant, graffiti artists have graced forgotten halls with secluded synapse. Ten dollars or ten million, the structure itself is a display of how what is accepted and established in society can, and will inevitably be, absolute. In all its magnificence it is still finite. But the culture of graffiti art will never die. And challenging the system is this culture’s life blood. How apropos it is that you find fresh thoughts and feelings plastered across the face of such degraded majesty.

I feel fortunate to have been able to capture these images and share my experience with you. And to those graffiti artists who were kind enough to bomb this shack, THANK YOU!! Neworleansmusicians.net supports you. If any bands out there want a bad ass backdrop for their next music video, contact us and we may be able to put you in touch.  And if any of you graffiti artists ever want to do an interview, anonymously of course, e-mail us at neworleansmusicians@yahoo.com.

David Trahan

President

Neworleansmusicians.com

Local Podcast Reloaded504’s coverage of the powerplant.
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Who is Lingo Starr?

Ever since my boy Devin ran it down to me, my mantra has been this: “I try to take a cigarette break every hour, on the hour”. Of course, he was talking about where I could find him while we were at work. But I thought to myself, I think I’ll adopt that modus operandi and apply it to life in general. I tend to implement a real “take it or leave it” approach to things. And for the most part, society doesn’t make sense to me (this will become apparent to you in future rants). I’m here with Neworleansmusicians.com for several reasons. First and foremost, I love music; the passion, the grit, the ability to make a connection without saying a word. And I love New Orleans. There’s just no other place like it on earth. If I had to move out of this state, you could stab me. If I had to move north of the Mason Dixon line, you might as well just shoot me. I’ve seen Narnia, and fuck that. I don’t have to go that far to find mounds of white powder. Anyway, my intentions are true. I tend to rant at times. And honestly, I think that’s why they signed me on here. But I intend to give it to the readers raw dog, like I already know y’all don’t have an STD. I don’t want a following, but I do want people to feel me.  I’m not flashy, but I am loud. If you see me out, be prepared to drink, or fuck, or fight. In my opinion, the bands in New Orleans, and the surrounding areas for that matter, are due a lot more credit. I really think this site is going to help deliver it to them. And hell, even if it doesn’t, it’s free! I want to see bands coming together on here with fans. This is not some giant corporate worldwide bucket for local bands in which to be a drop. This is a soap box for US. And it’s a chance for local bands to actually make a connection with their fan base and do for self. So, to the bands I say, come hither! Sell your merch, book your own shows and tours, peruse NOM’s directory and DIY! This is what it’s all about…the experience of making it. I’ll be here on the sidelines, with a bucket of popcorn, some 3D glasses, and something loud like a bullhorn or something. If any bands out there want to score an interview and some free press, NOM is accepting e-mail submissions at neworleansmusicians@yahoo.com. And by submission, I mean send them something good man; a back story, and a link to your music. I guess that’s about it kiddos. So, yeah, this is me…. Howdy!

Funky Fresh Dressed to Impress,

Lingo

Neworleansmusicians.com

Lingo_starr@yahoo.com

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Drones, Music Vids, and Your Budget

Drones are everywhere! The FAA is worried about them flying into jetliners, sexy chicks are worried about them peeping in windows, and cops are worried about them assisting the neighborhood drug dealer. But for you, my fine instrumentalists, they can come in handy. They can film shots in high definition 4K resolution and do it on the move at any location. They can supply you with footage of your band in the act. Or they can give you footage of city landscapes, natural scenery, kick ass riots etc. to stock your music video. Some of us may know someone who has one. And hopefully that someone is cool enough to help your band make their next music video. But for those of us that don’t, I’ve thrown together a little two-part plan to make it happen.

Now where oh where can you possibly find a guy with a drone on a mission to make you famous? Well, I’ll tell you. The FAA keeps a searchable registry online for your viewing pleasure. Back in July of 2018, this list hit 100,000 certifications. But you can’t search for a pilot by skillset or location, only their name. You can, however, use this to make sure you’re hiring a pilot who’s not going to cost you ser charges plus bail money. A pilot having a Part 107 Certification or a 333 Exemption, plus valid liability insurance will help prevent your music video shoot from being shut down because you’re all going to jail.

I dove into this article with the intention of helping bands DIY their next music video with style. I scoured the internet looking for directories that would allow you to search by location and put you in touch with the right pilot. I kept finding sites that are essentially middlemen, harvesting lists of pilots and taking your money to link you up with them. If you’re ok with this, Droners.io has over 15,000 pilots ready. You can list your upcoming music video shoot by clicking the “post your job” button on their main page. I use guerilla tactics when it comes to getting things done. It takes some work, but it’s cheaper that way. So if it were me, I’d post for free on sites like Indeed.com, craigslist.com, ziprecruiter.com, or glassdoor.com. Use those links because it skips right to the posting area. As for New Orleans, here IS one drone service in particular that I have dealt with, Purple Fox Media. They got their start filming for real estate companies and have since branched out. You can find an example of their work in the music field at the end of this article. And now, onto the editing portion of this fiasco.

Below are examples of free and paid video editing software. I threw out a few names of paid versions for good measure. But our focus here is on your budget. So greater detail is provided for the free versions. Just remember this, filming in 4K HD is preferable. The greater resolution allows for zooming in on your scene, you know, if you needed to crop out the airplane flying overhead in your Medieval Times based rock video. All paid editing software packages accommodate this, but only some free, aka “open source” versions have this service.

Adobe Premiere Pro costs $20.99 a month. This is a popular, affordable editing software suite. One tip before we move on, make sure what you’re buying has a 24-digit serial number. Some folks out there have made this purchase and received a version with only 17 digits. This is no Bueno.

For our high rollers out there, there’s Apple Final Cut Pro X for 300 crispy one dollar bills. ‘Nuff said.

In the middle you can find Cyberlink PowerDirector, starting at $69.99. If you’re dying to spend moolah on editing software, those are your top three. But if you’re the sort that would rather be saving for your next stack unit instead of throwing pesos at the cyber machine, this next part is for you.

Blender’s specialty is 3D animation, simulation, and game creation; real complex shit. So, if you’ve got a brain in your band, put that person on this software. Your video could become otherworldly. Which could be a plus if you’re planning to include that sort of thing. There are, however, so many features and this can be a bit much for the beginner.

Lightworks only does 4K HD in their paid version. While the software claims to have a simple interface, critics say it’s too advanced. But video tutorials are out there. Features include video FX and access to royalty free video content. If you need a little extra oomph to fill in the blanks, you’ve got it. The software also helps with uploading to Youtube and Vimeo.

                Shotcut is a free version that supports 4K HD filming, and the software accepts a wide range of formats. For bands that use one guy to fly and another to edit, this is key. It has drag and drop capability for uploading files, that’s always cool. Sometimes video editing software programs can be clustered and intimidating. But this one seems to have a more organized feel to it. You can move panels around your screen to suit your needs, it has a search bar, and a playlist with thumbnail view.

VSDC software is for windows only. It has audio editing, but I would not recommend that to my bands out there. It supports 4K HD and has a high number of visual effects and filters. An interesting side note, the people that make this software also make a video format converter and an audio format converter which are also free. It has an “easy export tool” which helps submit your video in required formats to places like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Vimeo.

                And there you have it. Snag a drone pilot, cop some free editing software, and DIY your next music video. Louisiana, nicknamed Hollywood South, has thriving metropolises, abandoned buildings and theme parks, plantations and swamps all waiting to hear you shred front and center for the camera. When you get done, you can upload it on our site for free and hopefully catch the eye of an A&R. With your music, merchandise, and videos all in one place, Neworleansmusicians.com is a band’s one stop shop for success! Oh, and speaking of drones, check out this awesome drone video from Purple Fox Media of VooDoo Fest New Orleans 2018. It’s a wonder it didn’t get shot down by the fireworks!