20100915-finds-0101HOUSES OF THE HOLY
South Louisiana is widely known for the way we party on Saturday night; making absolution on Sunday morning is important. Eighty-eight photographs of church interiors by A.J. Meek, professor emeritus of photography at LSU, underscore the importance of faith to the region. Sacred Light: Holy Places in Louisiana ($35, University Press of Mississippi) is divided into a triptych: “Altars, Chancels and Sanctuaries,” “Angels, Deities, Madonnas and Saints” and “Light,” with a foreword by Marchita B. Mauck. Acadiana is represented in the collection — the altar at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grant Coteau as well as a station of the cross bathed in blue light from a window at St. Landry Catholic Church in Opelousas — but the vast majority of Meek’s photographs are from churches in New Orleans, and most of those are Roman Catholic, a faith unabashed in its celebration of ornamentation. Episcopal (“Catholic-lite,” as my Anglican friends joke) churches are also well represented. The houses of worship in Sacred Light are as varied as the congregations — Roman Catholic, Jewish, protestant, Greek and Coptic Orthodox, Episcopal — and the focus of Meek’s lens shifts from subtly lit architectural nuances to panoramic views. If you can’t make it to church Sunday, pick up a copy of Sacred Places. But try to make it to church. — Walter Pierce

Local rockers Mission vs. Madness drag it all out on the floor with their new CD, Trainwrecks & Tipjars. Drawing the majority of their inspiration from melodic punk rock bands, Mission vs. Madness toss out their share of granular hooks supported by an aggro, four-on-the-floor attack that eschews post-punk prog detours and simply drills ahead with the pulverizing machine set on maximum energy. If you like old school, melodic hardcore like Husker Du, Social Distortion and 7 Seconds, you’ll dig Trainwrecks & Tipjars. Buy it online here: www.cdbaby.com/Artist/MissionvsMadness. — Dege Legg

“Yuck!!!,” your child will holler in delight. “Gross!!” Yep, that’s the fun of New Orleans native Johnette Downing’s new book, There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs. Downing, a singer/songwriter, is also handy with scissors. Adapted from the folk song “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly,” Downing’s humorous cut-outs of bugs slithering around “inside her” adds to the pleasure of the breathless repetition of the verses. Watch out for bug number four, it’s a big slippery slug. But the real payoff is the clever ending, which I won’t spoil for you here. Put in an advanced order for the Oct. 1 publication of There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs, $16.99, at Pelican Publishing. Either call, (800) 843-1724 or email at www.pelicanpub.com. — Mary Tutwiler

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