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LOADED GUN | Vol. 5, No. 45, November 24, 2005
(Big Brother Watching)

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Loaded Gun

by Sam Baltrusis

GALLERY NIGHT Well, the masses were out in full force and hitting the pavement on Gallery Night. The Independent News transformed its quiet 'lil office at 124 S. Palafox Place from a work in progress to a holiday delight on Friday, Nov. 18.

The evening was a success.

New Orleans artist, Brandon Delles, set up shop in a larger-than-life white tent plopped in front of our downtown digs. The displaced New Orleans illustrator, who was a Jackson Square regular before Hurricane Katrina, feverishly crafted caricatures as crowds buzzed around to see the 30-year-old create on the spot.

"This is just amazing," says one satisfied customer, holding up a Delles original. "I'm glad that this sort of thing is happening downtown."

Also, the talented painter, who has his fine art works on display at Imago and Barbella's, ended up selling his "Jackson Square 2" acrylic at the end of the night.

While Delles was enchanting Gallery Night patrons outside, jazz vocalist Robin Stine and pianist Joey Allred delivered a memorable performance inside. The chanteuse conjured up a  genre-bending blend of original jazz and bluesy folk tunes pulled from her CD "Daydream."

Of course, it was her arsenal of standards that summoned hundreds of people into our makeshift jazz haunt. But it was her original tunes that kept the crowds coming back.

"Robin was a hit," says IN publisher Rick Outzen. "Everyone I've talked to really liked the music."

Loaded Gun gives the up-and-coming performer major thumbs up. The diva—a perfect fit for the holiday season—says she's available for private and public bookings.

Visit www.robinstine.com for details.

MACY'S PARADE Loaded Gun is pleased to announce that Crestview High School's marching band, "The Big Red Machine," will headline the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Thursday, Nov. 24. All 262 members of the marching bulldogs will escort Santa through the Midtown streets of Manhattan, an honor usually reserved for the nation's top dogs.

Miracle on 34th Street? Absolutely. The Crestview crew applied to be in the parade on three separate occasions and, on their last try, ended up landing probably the most important slot in the Turkey Day procession.

Of course, the parade has a soft place in Loaded Gun's usually acerbic heart. Way back in '86, when this former Tate High band freak played trombone, Loaded Gun got its first taste of the Big Apple. Performing in the Macy's parade ignited a desire within which eventually led Loaded Gun to live in the city that never sleeps—and helped inspire this budding journalist to land writing and producing gigs at Newsweek, ABC, MTV and, ultimately, VH1.

Any advice for the Crestview High kids heading up north? Well, the city isn't as dangerous as it's depicted on TV. Yes, there's plenty of fodder for "CSI:NY." But, you don't have to be terrified.

I remember walking the streets, completely afraid that the '70s gang kids from "The Warriors" would come out and get ghetto on my high school ass. It didn't happen.

The holiday season in NYC is amazing. Enjoy it, while you can.

TAKE A SEAT Wanna unique holiday gift idea? A company that makes customized high-end director's chairs is attracting a slew of celebrity endorsements. Owned by husband and wife team Tom and Joanne Sullivan, Hollywood Chairs manufactures and markets a line ofquality wood and "engineered bamboo" director's chairs.

And they seem to be a hit with the stars. In fact, just last week, five Hollywood Chairs were purchased as gifts for the popular actresses of "Desperate Housewives." The customized director's chairs have also been used by cast and crew members on other shows like: "Lost," "24," "Alias," and "The View."

To date, more than 1,000 celebrities and sports stars are owners of the Hollywood Chairs, including James Cameron, Jack Nicholson, Charlton Heston, Steven Spielberg, Pamela Anderson and, get this, Barbara Walters.

The chairs range in price from $198 to $350. Check out www.hollywoodchairs.com for more info.

sam@inweekly.net