The Superdome began as a public referendum in 1966, and shines today as New Orleans gets ready to celebrate Super Bowl XLVII.
Built atop the bulldozed Back o' Town neighborhood, the Superdome is the site of ecstasy and tragedy, of countless celebrations and memories, historical agonies and post-K clichés. The Dome is a temple to our Saints and our city, and — love it or hate it — you can't ignore it.
The Superdome in New Orleans has hosted heavyweight fights, papal visits, and — after this weekend — seven Super Bowls, an NFL record. But no event looms larger in the dome's history than Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that turned the stadium into a teeming shelter of last resort.
During the storm, reporters spared no hyperbole when describing scenes of human suffering. The Superdome, in particular, was described as a "hellhole" and "apocalyptic," and it was sort of true.
With much of its crew of eighteen following along in a van, the blimp travels from site to site across the eastern half of the country by flying. It really only touches down for more than a few hours at a time once a year, to get a tune up at a hangar in Smyrna, TN.
The rest of the time, the blimp is above some of the most major sporting events in the country, including this year's Super Bowl here in New Orleans.
WWNO's Jason Saul and Paul Maassen took a ride up in the blimp this past Thursday, and sent in this report.
Born out of New Orleans club culture, bounce music isn't just best experienced in person — it's almost impossible to understand in the abstract. But Big Freedia (pronounced "free-duh"), one of the style's biggest stars, says the music does have a few defining features.
At 72, the prince of R&B has reverted to childhood. Aaron Neville has a new album called My True Story, and it's a collection of the songs he sang growing up in the projects of New Orleans in the 1950s and '60s, back when doo-wop was king.
"I've been into every doo-wop there is," Neville says. "I think I went to the university of doo-wop-ology."
Listen to this week's episode of Music Inside Out with singer/songwriter Jim McCormick.
The poetics of pickup trucks and cutoffs are not lost on Jim McCormick. Nor are the subtleties of Trans Ams and the beverage choices of the young and hay-baling set. And that's how it should be for a poet-turned-Nashville songwriter.