With the abundance of available bars and musical venues for even the most entry-level New Orleans bands, I was somewhat surprised to find myself at a basement show recently. It isn’t that I don’t know shows like this exist, because I do. Maybe I’m not nearly as “in the know” as I should be; maybe my tastes in music are acclimated to a mainstream bar show or a One Eyed Jack’s concert; or maybe the booking agent for Circle Bar, which is currently undergoing some drastic remodeling, was playing this show and Circle Bar was obviously not available.
Regardless of my reasons previously, I went tonight. I was greeted at 1406 Laharpe Street by a modest but friendly audience of concert goers and friends of the opening band, Teen Times (formerly the Secrets), that created the perfect ambiance for a laid-back two-band bill.
Teen Times is a two-person indie rock band featuring the aforementioned Circle Bar promoter, Jason, on drums and his good friend Celeste on vox and guitar. Celeste’s ability to make interesting and adventurous guitar riffs with a rudimentary technique, along with Jason’s creativity and energy on drums, made for a sound both markedly intense and thoroughly capable of filling up the room.
Headliners Jenny and the Holzers (a play on the famous truistic postmodern artist Jenny Holzer), a New York band in the heat of a heat of a coastal house party tour, played a polite yet subtly raucous set of 70s-inspired mod-punk, featuring a drummer who doubled as a keyboardist and a guitarist whose regular gig is drawing comics (one audience member knew her set very well, and requested an autograph on his forehead).
The long and short of it is that regardless of whether or not I’m right about how off-the-beaten-path basement shows in New Orleans are, they are a ton of fun and there should be much more of them.