Our favorite things this week include Miss Pussycat, Teen Daze and food on wheels.
[Updated] Pussycat's Puppets: Miss Pussycat's puppets remind me of Dr. Seuss because like his characters, the design of hers dictates the world they live in. I can't always tell one rodent species from another when she renders them as puppets, but their deliberately stylized, handmade quality necessitates a world decorated with foil and Christmas lights. They similarly allow and require specific kinds of stories and performances; having them move through lessons about sharing while conventionally voiced would not only be a waste but a disjunction.
This month, Miss Pussycat is installed in the front corner gallery of the Contemporary Arts Center where she is in the process of making 100 new puppets - new designs that she displays when complete. That invites you to think of her whole creative enterprise as conceptual or performance art, just as Quintron installing himself at NOMA in 2010 did, but in both cases, that's largely off the mark. Yes, doing that creates theater, but both projects explore the impact of surroundings on their art. The sounds of City Park made it on to Sucre du Sauvage, and for someone as resolutely downtown as Miss Pussycat, being on the Uptown side of Canal Street for a month and people-watching on Camp Street is giving her fresh input and energy, even though her space is as down-home as a gallery space can be. (Rawls)
Truck Talk: Poppy Tooker hosted Councilwoman Stacy Head and Food Truck Coalition organizer Rachel Billow, on her WWNO program Louisiana Eats, the same day the New Orleans City Council unanimously passed a new ordinance regarding the operation of food trucks within the city limits. That conversation went deeper into the issues, obstacles, and alliances that have delayed the process of allowing these non-traditional restauranteurs to conduct their mobile businesses. The most interesting thing about the conflict is the familiar (and complicated) dichotomy of progress vs. preservation that's shown up in the noise ordinance conversation. The ordinances in place for mobile food vendors don't reflect the current mosaic of appetites and trends because they were written decades ago for a New Orleans with a different set of priorities. The issue of food trucks, the public appetite for them versus the suggested threat they pose to the brick-and-mortar backbone of culinary wealth here, perfectly expresses the opportunity we have as a city to synchronize the priorities of two eras. (Amie Marvel)
Let's Groove in the Grocery Store: Studies show that we download music the way we impulse shop, grabbing free (to us) mp3s if we might care about them, and I did that when researching Vancouver-based chillwave artist Teen Daze before interviewing him last February. On his Soundcloud page: "Silent Night" - I love Christmas music, so sure; a "Let's Groove" remix - why not? Sunday in Rouses while waiting for cold cuts, his "Let's Groove" came up on my iPod and justified the iPod concept and the acquisition of a song I was only casually attached to before it started. Structurally, Teen Daze builds a verse and chorus out of the two words in the title, the former building tension as the musical phrase that leads to chorus stops at "let's" and repeats and repeats. Earth, Wind & Fire's funk-lite groove is retrofitted with an ecstatic house beat, and when he lets the line roll on to "groove," sequenced keyboards rain shiny, glittery notes on the moment. Far from being a disco inferno, it's disco heaven by the olive bar near Rouses' boxed sushi stand. (Rawls)
Updated 9:18 p.m.
The spelling of Dr. Seuss' name was incorrectly spelled when this story was first published. The text has been changed to correct it.