Month: September 2008

Michael P. Smith - RIP

September 29, 2008

It was a tough week for New Orleans legends as we lost two in a span of 1 week.

Drummer Earl Palmer died in L.A. last week – Palmer was one of rocks legends and architects of the sound. King of the back beat, and creator of some of the earliest rythmn you were shakin too like: Fat’s Domino’s “Fat Man”, LIttle Richards “Tutti Frutti”, and Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”. Palmer grew up in the historic black neighborhood of the Treme, a neighborhood well documented and brought to the world by our next fallen legend.

Photographer Michael P. Smith defined what New Orleans was through his lens for almost 50 years. A man many times over i have been asked about “oh, that’s your dad! i get it!” – the most important New Orleans photographer next to EJ Belloq, “Pop” White and Eric Waters, to capture the underground essence of what makes this city unique…and what makes me never want to leave.

He was an inspiration to me as a photographer and “cultural archaelogist” – as he invented it.

Please read his obit –


Here’s a cover story from the 10/23/2001 Gambit Weekly. The article contains images of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Fess, among others.


His daughter, Leslie, and i are friends and have talked about him and new orleans for nights on end. Recently she gave me bags of his unused film after his nerve disease took over too much of his body to shoot. I have been shooting this film alot over the years – and only on street documentary, music, and images i care about so much – as to use his inspiration in their execution.

He will be missed.

I hope New Orleanians especially will realize the cultural significance that these two men have combined to create, and relate to the rest of the world. What life one man led spreading the unique vibe, beat, and influence of his upbringings to another led documenting that world shows us the amazing ballet of our existence here in city. Where we would be with out the Treme, the music, Congo Square i dont want to know. And where would we be without having these images to teach the world about the impact that these cultures had on them – Know your Past. Know where you are from.

Every artform has roots, and we are but branches fueled by the trees power.

Z on WWNO 89.9

September 17, 2008

An image of mine is now part of a well put together photography exhibit @ NOMA called “Rethink, Revive, Rebirth” – and if you want to see it….go to NOMA…if you want to hear about it – my friend Eve Abrahms is airing an audio documentary she did of opening night this Saturday…here’s her email:

“Sorry for the group email, but I’m working on a
deadline over here! I just wanted to let you know
that the story about the exhibit at NOMA has birthed
into two stories about the exhibit!

The first one, which focuses almost exclusively on the
photography exhibit (and which features Julie, Zack,
and Ali Portera) will air tomorrow, Wednesday
September 17 on WWNO — 89.9 during Morning Edition.
This means sometime between 7 and 9 a.m. Yikes.

The second story (which will be plugged inside the
first story) will air also tomorrow during All Things
Considered. This will feature the Coping With Katrina
exhibit (starring Holly and Casey –Holly, please tell
Casey) and maybe others. (It’s not quite finished

Olu Dara Poster

September 10, 2008

W tapped yours-truly for an OLU DARA photo that he used for his upcoming Tip’s show – great design dubya, thanks for the props dog.

Tree Musketeers!

September 2, 2008

Spread the word, Patrick and i will be back in NOLA soon ready to cut any downed tree in your yard, house, double-wide, or fema trailer. We’re real cheap, we trade, and sometimes free.



worst of it

September 1, 2008

looks like we just saw the worst of it…here are some images from my house, and next door…close call.

two pines

September 1, 2008

whoah, after some big swaying and moaning, two 50 ft pine trees fell from my moms yard on the neighbors house – BAM! – that’s shits loud. im going to have some photos as well as postmortem tree chopping action.

morning in lafayette

September 1, 2008

well, i was awaken by some moving trees, nothing big – we do have some 60ft pine trees swaying in the winds. now we’ve got the tandem WWL audio going w/ Superman Garland Robinette and then CNN TV goin back and forth – and i really think Rob Marciano of CNN is on top of the CANARY Gallery in the CBD. or near it. Wait, he’s on the Monteleone -that wicked cool pimp palace you can see on the top of it…

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