Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Written by The Independent Staff

findsBETTER BAGS
Jillian Johnson, one half of the brother/sister duo (with Bram) responsible for the way-cool Parish Ink line of T-shirts, is at it again with a new series of purses and bags. Painfully hip yet perfectly practical, these one-of-a-kind items sport hand-drawn silk-screens including an elegant live oak design that has also made its way onto a series of Parish Ink Ts. The bags range in size and price ($22-$38) and also come in monochromatic and colorful tropical motifs as well as bold stripes, and they’re hand-crafted in durable, take-on-anything fabrics. Best of all for the hipsters, these products are made from items that are either locally produced, recycled or sustainable in some way. The best place to find them is at etsy.com. Search “workagencies.” — Walter Pierce

THE FULL SPECTRUM
Louisiana Beyond Black and White is a historic collection that comprises the most recent essays from historians who have studied and analyzed the intertwining concepts of race relations, and race itself, in the Pelican State. The essays cover in detail a variety of the critical historical themes including the effects of the Cold War on the civil rights movement, the role of women and other intellectuals in the black freedom movement, the exchange between race and religion, the state’s many echelons of racial structure and contingent understandings of race, and the ongoing struggles for economic and social rights after the end of the traditional civil rights era. This book’s contributing writers include Adam Fairclough, Susan Dollar, Thomas Aiello, Justin Poché, John Kyle Day, Charles Pellegrin, Michael Wade, Shannon Frystak, Greta de Jong and Michael S. Martin, editor. It can be purchased at ulpress.org for $20. — Wynce Nolley

HAVE A BALL
Can we get enough Marcia Ball? No, we cannot. Ball’s most recent record, Roadside Attractions ($14.98, alligator.com), offers another heaping helping of her distinct, danceable grooves, and for the first time in her illustrious, 40-year career, Ball has written or co-written every song on the record. Texas-born and Louisiana-raised, Ball’s discography plays like the definitive catalogue of Gulf Coast music, with an emphasis on East Texas boogie-woogie and New Orleans R’n’B. But her bio points to a singular influence — New Orleans legend Professor Longhair — that comes through strong in her spirited, syncopated playing. The singer/songwriter/piano player was headed to San Francisco in 1970 but her car broke down in Austin. She’s been there ever since, releasing 16 records and using the Lone Star capital as the hub for her frequent tours. Marcia Ball and band will be in Lafayette Thursday, May 19, to perform at Rhythms on the River at River Ranch Town Square. The performance is free and begins at 5:30 p.m. — WP

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