ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY: One of the greatest disappearing acts recorded during the history of humankind, the southern coastal wetlands along Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are being swallowed up and washed away into the Gulf of Mexico. The economic prosperity along the southern Gulf Coast of the United States has come at a high price. The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea by Jack E. Davis is a dedication to the natural world, its evolution into a paradise before people and how eventually humans learned to live in conjunction with the land — before the industrial world took hold and has robbed its ecosystem of stability and balance in the name of “progress.” Davis’ writing makes this more than just a history textbook; it gives the coast a story and a voice that people can understand, and through which, hopefully, realize the urgency to act to save the coast before it withers away completely.


MURDER MYSTERY: The story of the ax murder in New Orleans has had a resurgence in popularity since the debut of “American Horror Story: Coven,” a popular television show that debuted its third season in New Orleans. Audiences from across the country who have never before heard of the axeman were suddenly captivated by this character, said to be based on a real serial killer who once struck fear into our lively city. A well-researched account of the real axeman’s years spent active, The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story by Miriam C. Davis offers theories as to where the killer began and where else he traveled, including Lake Charles and even Chicago. While Davis clues the reader into police documents and various news articles, she effectively strings together the narrative to read like a truly creepy crime mystery.


INDIE-ROCK: This past winter they teased us with their whimsical and upbeat EP, Critters. Sweet Crude releases their newest album, Creatures on April 21, and the music coming from these indie-pop folky New Orleans musicians feels like home. Some of the band’s lyrics are written partly in English and partly in Cajun French, and they mix synthesizers, xylophone and fiddle to create inspiring ballads that get you dancing slowly or jumping around to the beat. Sweet Crude is performing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this year on May 5, so be sure to add them to your list and get ready for a high-energy, poetic performance by this local talent.


Please send submissions for consideration, attention: Jessica DeBold, 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005.