Love it or hate it, the holiday season is a time of heavy psychic waves, where it seems like all of our big human emotions come crashing into each other. Dark nights and bright lights, the stress and joys of gift-giving, family ties and tensions, holiday parties, extra imbibing, a seemingly nonstop list of errands until suddenly… the streets go quiet. Gotta say, I love it. One of my favorite traditions of all is the year-end recapping, like the prepackaged news shows and magazine listicles (which you may find within these very pages). So, channeling my best Billy Joel, let’s take a deep breath and review what a year it’s been for ANTIGRAVITY.
We said goodbye to beloved photographer and artist Christy Lorio, kicked it with Joe Lyle at No Pulp Records, thumbed through the alternative rags of New Orleans’ flower-power era, got some labor organizing 101 with the Lowe’s union drive, honored the capitalism-halting power of Mardi Gras and survived Carnival season with kids, broke down the campaign to recall Mayor Cantrell, welcomed the return of our gear-geek column Sound Check (thank you Albert Allenback, Katie Ballou, Cam Smith, Michael Selser, Jeremy Phipps, Rev. Robert Sinewave, Zora Lucent, Travis Marc, and Lindsey Baker), showered Margaret Orr with love, took a deep dive into potty-training, tooted the magical fruit, looked into the big money and motives behind book banning campaigns in Louisiana, got loud and proud with $leazy EZ, went straight to hell on International Clash Day, got called for jury duty, let all the squishy parts out with Joy Clark, found inspiration with photographer Kim Ha and all her beautiful homegirls, celebrated the twilight of the tyrant boss, kindly squished snails, covered Louisiana’s back-and-forth battle with hepatitis C, thrived against the tide with Elder Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar and Chief Devon Parfait, blurred the line between human and instrument with Helen Gillet, crowd surfed with proud papa Andy Bizer, searched for New Orleans’ elusive night mayor, talked weather and romance with the Tinder Meteorologist, chased waterfalls with Deltaphonic, took a ride in Jane Tardo’s Haunted Hearse, memorialized beloved anarchist-activist Stryker Black, battled against the encroachment of AI, doubled up with Tim Heidecker, explored the sounds of Rice’s whales and deconstructed pianos with Cory Diane, skipped the Fleetwood Mac bullshit with Jesse Dayton and Samantha Fish, let the pups out with Dog Park Dissidents, cleaned our bongs, rolled into organized labor with the Blue Krewe United, looked into the big money and big religion attacking trans youth in Louisiana, soundtracked the class war with Rathbone, toured up and down the East Coast with BAD OPERATION, asked who gets to be a child, talked fact and fiction of xylazine in the drug supply, mourned the loss of multimedia artist and beloved scene champion YOKO, got our SAG card (and sage advice from Steven Soderbergh) with David Jensen, recognized the renaissance of Black art in New Orleans (and the Westbank) with JACQ FRANÇOI$, sat shiva for the dead in Israel and Gaza, tidied up New Orleans with Culture of Cleanliness, checked in with our Japanese sister city Matsue, watched over 50 films with the New Orleans Film Fest, found consensual, sober love on the dancefloor of HEATWAVE!, poured one out for Hollise Murphy with Eyehategod in Osaka, and put a cork in this dusty-ass year with our annual Top 5.
And of course we voted a handful of times, published a bushel of poems, a shoebox worth of photographs, and a gaggle of comics; read our Tarot and zodiac faithfully every month, spiffed up our house and home (terlet even), greened our thumbs, honed our parenting skills, got the scoops on cultural wins and losses from our friends at the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans, compiled tons of public commentary from city council meetings, reviewed well over a hundred records, books, and movies, and chuckled at more than a few Stein’s ads.
With this issue in the can, it’s time to spike the eggnog, put on a little Christmas with Mahalia, set the phone to “Do Not Disturb,” and—as we like to do in the film biz—call that’s a wrap! on 2023. Have a safe and happy holiday, see you in ‘24. —Dan Fox
illustration by Laura Frizzell
December 2023 cover by Thom Karamus