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At the Spellcaster

I’ve heard of the 9th Ward hipster scene, but I never checked it out until this past Saturday night, when Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat re-opened the Spellcaster Lodge. I’d never been there before, but I’ve been a fan of Quintron ever since I heard his Satanic croaking organ cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” (mp3). On the bill for the Grand Re-opening: Black Lips, Quintron and Pussycat, Uncle Flim Flam and DJ Jubilee.

Tony and I stopped first at the Saturn Bar for a beer, then made our way across St. Claude. The Spellcaster is the lower floor of a house, and you could easily miss it because the entrance is in the rear. But eventually we found our way in. I don’t know what the place looked like before the flood, but they redecorated in high kitsch, complete with bubbling water-filled “porthole” lights and sparkly-shaggy wallpaper and little display cases with tableus of pinecone people. The place was filling with a mix of interesting folk of every description. I started to get a real David Lynch Blue Velvet vibe. I think the drugs were kicking in.

Though their website said “we now have air conditioning” and “ventillation,” as the grew it got hotter and hotter inside. I heard one person refer to it as the “Spellcaster Sweatlodge.” Another person said the heat was making him hallucinate. I swear it must have been up to a hundred degrees when I went to the bar.

And who should be working behind the bar but Antoinette K-Doe, widow of the late Emperor of the Universe himself. It was so hot I was worried for her health.

Fortunately it was very nice outside, but even the back yard was getting crowded. Soon Tony and I adjourned to the Saturn. I never even got to see any of the musical acts. But never fear, there was an interesting crowd at the Saturn now, overflow from the Spellcaster perhaps. Tony and I perched on the balcony to drink and talk and watch the crowd. I found it a fascinating spectacle, even though I felt a bit like an anthropologist. I saw plenty of people I recognized from living in New Orleans for the past seven years.

It reminded me of the microscene back in Bloomington, Indiana in the mid-90s (which continues to this day, as I confirmed during my evacuation). But there were a couple of key differences. Here there was more diversity of age and race. And back in Bloomington I knew most everybody’s name.

I think they must mix ’em strong at the Saturn, because I woke up Sunday with a killer hangover. Thankfully this motivated me to get some more work done on ROX #94. It’s almost finished.

Update: Slimbolala has pix and illustrations.

Published inDrugzMusic & AudioNew Orleans


  1. Michael Michael

    Next time you go to the Spellcaster, let me know. I’ve never been, but I think Miss Pussycat is pretty much perfect. At least that is what I decided after watching North Pole Nutria.

  2. that’s Matt’s whole scene. bet you saw him. He’s sposed to be in NOLA through the end of September, i think. I know he’s buds with both the K-Does and Quintron (though I’d not heard of Mr. K-D’s passing).

  3. dan bloominton dan bloominton

    i am very envious of you…saturn and spellcaster in one night, unbelievable!

  4. My wife was at that show. (I was intensely jealous, but alas, somebody has to stay home with the kids.) I did make her describe in detail all of the dance moves DJ Jubilee taught them, some of which I have since done my best to illustrate (being demonstrated by a skeleton – don’t ask – it’s complicated).

  5. I believe I was on the same balcony ! unbelievable, how small the world really is. I went with a bunch of friends and I was pretty impressed. we treated ourselves with some special brownies before going and I have to say it was one of the most special experiences ever

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