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Read and Spin

Trumpeter Christian Scott brings us an intricately beautiful and psychologically heavy album as his latest gift to contemporary jazz. Yesterday You Said Tomorrow also features guitarist Matthew Stevens, pianist Milton Fletcher Jr., bassist Kristopher Keith Funn and drummer Jamire Williams. The first track “K.K.P.D” or “Ku Klux Police Department” is juxtaposed with “The Eraser,” a piece by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke on his solo project. Scott looked to the 1960s for inspiration in style and message. Check him out Saturday night, May 1 at Jazz Fest with Marcus Miller.

Fiction l Dead in the Family is Charlaine Harris’ 10th book in the addictive Sookie Stackhouse series set in the fictonial Bon Temps, La. – that’s right, as seen on TV’s “True Blood.” Louisianians will particularly get a kick out of the southern flavor and mentions of New Orleans and Shreveport. Sassy Sookie’s life is increasingly mysterious, carnal and – not always intentionally – hilarious. Harris gives readers a lengthy recap that’s helpful if you grab it for some light reading.
Nonfiction l Author David Valdes Greenwood focuses on Rayne, La., in his nonfiction delight: The Rhinestone Sisterhood: A Journey Through Small Town America, One Tiara at a Time. The title is as complex as its subject matter, surprisingly. More than just beauty pageants, competitions for Louisiana’s festival queens crown dedicated whole packages who work to represent the hometowns. Greenwood is an astute narrator who achieves a competition’s tension throughout the pages with the help of a lovable and dramatic cast of characters.
History l Did you know that you could ride the actual streetcar used in A Streetcar Named Desire on the St. Charles line today? Streetcars of New Orleans: 1964-Present is a labor of love by New Orleanian Earl W. Hampton Jr., a former transfer collector who developed an enthrallment with everything trolley as a teen after his mother bought him a copy of Streetcars of New Orleans 1835-1965 by Charlton and Hennick. Over 300 photos of streetcars may not be for everyone, but those who share Hampton’s passion will be in heaven with this historical ride through a unique component of our city.


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