Woman arrested after cutting victim on Esplanade in French Quarter, NOPD says

Rina Whiticar. Courtesy of Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.

New Orleans police arrested a woman who is accused of cutting a victim following an argument over marijuana on Esplanade Street in the French Quarter on July 18.

According to Nola.com, 36-year-old Rina Whiticar was arguing with a 43-year-old man early Thursday morning in the 400 block of Esplanade Avenue when she pulled out a pocketknife and allegedly cut the man.

Whiticar was arrested near the corner of where North Peters Street meets Elysian Fields Avenue and was booked into Orleans Justice Center on suspicion of aggravated battery.

According to Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office inmate records, Whiticar is being held on $2,500 bond.

New Orleans funk music legend Art Neville dies at 81

Art Neville performing with The Funky Meters at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2012. Photo by Infrogmation | CC.

New Orleans funk music icon Art Neville has died Monday at the age of 81, according to numerous local news reports.

According to Nola.com, Neville died peacefully this morning surrounded by friends at family at his home after a long illness.

Arthur Lanon Neville was born in 1937 in New Orleans. He came to be known as Poppa Funk whose music shaped and became a fixture of the the Big Easy sound. He formed two influential bands: The Meters in 1965; and The Neville Brothers band, which he formed with his three brothers in 1977.

Neville grew up with his brothers on Valence Street in the Uptown part of New Orleans. Like numerous musicians from the city, Neville became interested in music at an early age.

One of Neville’s first jobs was performing on the piano with hometown band Hawketts after replacing Mac Millet. He later became proficient in singing and playing the keyboard.

While with the Hawketts in 1954, Neville recorded a newer version of “Mardi Gras Mambo,” a song that can be heard repeatedly playing from inside French Quarter bars and on the local radio station WWOZ each year during Fat Tuesday. It wasn’t an original recording by the Hawketts, but the band made it popular.

Neville served in the Navy in the late 1950s and early 1960s but continued to record music, releasing two more albums during this time.

Neville shifted from the doo-wop sound of the Hawketts to funk. He founded Neville Sounds, later renamed the Meters, which reached international acclaim and inspired several notable bands, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

In an interview with Offbeat magazine in 1995, Neville said he had to scale down the band because the stage at Ivanhoe on Bourbon Street wasn’t big enough to hold all of the members. After dropping brothers Aaron and Cyril from the Neville Sounds, the band changed its name after drawing it from a hat.

“That’s the juicy part,” Neville said. “Somebody didn’t want my name to be on the motherfuckin’ record. We were putting one record out with my name on it, “Bo Diddley” and some other shit, and when the instrumental [“Sophisticated Cissy”] came out, we had to pick a name that didn’t have nothing to do with me at all.”

Neville’s achievements also include winning two Grammy Awards—one in 1989 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and one in 1996 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance—and several nominations.

Last year, Neville announced his retirement from music.

The death of Neville follows that of several New Orleans music legends this year, including Dr. John, or Malcolm Rebennack, who died on June 6; and Dave Bartholomew, who passed away on June 23. Neville’s younger brother Charlie passed away in 2018 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Woman wanted by police after alleged stabbing on Decatur Street

April Red. Courtesy of NOPD.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) is searching for a woman who is being sought by police after an alleged stabbing in the French Quarter on Wednesday, July 10.

According to the NOPD, a woman identified as 25-year-old April Red walked up to a victim inside a restaurant in the 500 block of Decatur St. and stabbed him in the right shoulder with a bladed object. The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. Red promptly left the restaurant and headed on foot towards Toulouse Street, the NOPD said.

The police requests that anyone with information on this incident or the whereabouts of Red to contact NOPD Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080. They can also call Crimestoppers anonymously at 504-822-1111 or toll-free at 877-903-7867.

Where to watch a Creepy Fest 2019 show in the French Quarter

The Pallbearers at The AllWays Lounge and Theater in 2013. Photo by Dave Minsky.

New Orleans spawned its own punk rock scene that has persisted for at least four decades. It doesn’t appear to be letting up as Creepy Fest 2019 returns from July 17 to 21 with dozens of bands performing at several venues across the city.

Now in its 11th year, the festival includes two French Quarter venues: Santos Bar and Checkpoint Charlies.

Creepy Fest has its roots in cinema. According to Antigravity, Creepy Fest began as a film showing for Creepy Dean, a film produced by local Terror Optics studios that had a soundtrack featuring songs from more than a dozen bands. The showings were just a CD release to promote the bands and it morphed into the punk festival it is today, organizer Bill Heintz told Antigravity in 2013. Heintz, a graphic designer by trade, has performed as a drummer with several Creepy Fest bands, including The Pallbearers.

The five-day festival begins at 6:00 p.m. at Portside Lounge with a special appearance by horror movie scream queen Geretta Rosemary Geretta. Check here for a full list of Creepy Fest shows and venues.

The festival creeps into the Quarter starting in the downstairs venue at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 19 venue at Santos Bar at 1135 Decatur St. with Trampoline Team, followed by Marty Feldman’s Eyes, Die Rotzz, Fat Stupid Ugly People, The Pallbearers, Vomit Spots, and Submachine.

Upstairs bands at Santos start playing at 9:15 p.m. and feature Pawn of the Jungle, Lauren Jean’s No Man Band, Trash Night, and Red Poison Berry. Doors open at 7 p.m. and entry is $15.

Checkpoint Charlies at 501 Esplanade Ave. and Santos will host bands on Saturday, July 20.

All live shows at Checkpoint Charlies are free on Saturday. Bands begin performing at 8:30 p.m. and feature Dead Centered, Pussy Rot, Reagan Era Rejects, The KBK, The Cops, Killer Hearts, and Before I Hang.

Santos hosts an earlier show with $7 admission and featuring Witchcake, The NoShows, Future Hate, Joystick, and Franks and Deans.



Woman fired handgun several times inside French Quarter gas station, New Orleans police say

Courtesy of NOPD.

A woman is accused of illegally firing a handgun inside a French Quarter gas station on July 1, according to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD).

According to WGNO, an unidentified woman got into argument with an employee at the Chevron gas station located in the 400 block of N. Rampart St.

The incident occurred at approximately 1:19 p.m., according to the NOPD, when the woman returned with a gun and an unidentified shirtless male with distinctive lettering tattoos on his shoulder blades. Surveillance photographs released by the NOPD on July 14 show the woman pointing a handgun while entering the store.

The woman fired several shots into the air, according to the NOPD, but no one was injured. Both suspects immediately fled the store in a black Nissan Altima with an unknown temporary tag in the rear window, according to the NOPD.

The NOPD requests anyone with information on this incident or the identities and whereabouts of the suspects to contact First District detectives at 504-658-6010. Anonymous tipsters can call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or toll-free at 877-903-7867.