Photoset // Cliff Hines Presents “A Tribute to Prince”: 02.25.2011

Cliff Hines and guests performing at One Eyed Jacks on February 25, 2011

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Radiators to Kick Off 2011 Wednesday At The Square Series

I came down to New Orleans a little over three years ago and it didn’t take long for this place to steal my heart.  Everyone has a “That’s when I fell for New Orleans” story, and although sharing these anecdotes are similar to describing dreams in the way they are fun for the person talking but not necessarily engrossing for the listener, I’ll offer mine:

On April 2, 2008, I headed down to Layfayette Square to check out the first installment of the 2008 Young Leadership Council Wednesday at the Square Concert Series.  When I arrived, I was greeted by hundreds of people of all ages cutting up to the nasty, multi-dimensional groove of Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk.  It was love at first sight, and the event’s annual 12-week run has grown to become one of my favorite New Orleans institutions:

The YLC Wednesday at the Square free concert series features top live musical acts from around the region. In addition to the music, YLC Wednesday at the Square has an Artist Village, showcasing handcrafted items including glass art, jewelry, ceramics, photographs, t-shirts, paintings and more. A varied selection of food and beverages is available with proceeds from these sales benefitting the YLC’s many community projects.

This year, the party starts on March 30, as the Radiators – who are quite literally making at least one final stop on every stage they’ve ever graced before they disband in June – kick off the 2011 season.  More announcements, including the release of the full schedule, are expected in the next few weeks.

Young Leadership Council: Save The Date

Live Picks: 02.24.2011 – 03.02.2011

02.24: The Polymorphines + Makeshift Lover + Dead People + The Bills – Siberia

02.25: Cliff Hines Presents: A Tribute to Prince – One Eyed Jacks

If this Cliff Hines tribute show is anything like the last one, in which the jazz-guitar impresario and upwards of 20 special guests played two sets of faithfully recreated David Bowie covers to the delight of a heavily costumed crowd, it’s going to be a ripper. Because for the second installment of Hines’ “Tribute to” series, the motley crew of talented local musicians will be tacking one of the most celebrated and influential catalogs ever assembled: the collected works of the one-and-only Prince.

Members of Sun Hotel, The Local Skank, Big History, King Rey, Magnetic Ear, The Next Generation and more will make up the all-star cast joining the Cliff Hines Quintet throughout the show; and the discounted cover charge offered to those who show up dressed as his or her favorite incarnation of The Artist guarantees a festive, memorable evening.

02.26: Anders Osborne + Lubriphonic – Tipitina’s

02.27: Dr. John and the Lower 911 – Howlin’ Wolf

03.01: Hot Tuna Blues + Charlie Musselwhite – House of Blues

03.02: Secret Cities + Chris Rehm – Howlin’ Wolf Den

Check out our New Orleans Music Calendar for a full slate of constantly updated live picks

Mrs. Magician: There Is No God + The Spells

Thrill Me!/Loud & Clear, 2011

It’s pretty difficult to figure out the true intentions of San Diego’s Mrs. Magician. For one, they just started – literally just started – making music: so far they’ve only waxed four songs, split up among two 7” releases. For another, the cover of the There Is No God 7” looks like it was lifted from either a bizarre horror movie or a disturbing 1930s medical textbook. Yet, when you turn on that little single, the sounds you hear are unexpectedly that of a semi-melodic post punk band kicking out compelling drum rhythms, hints of synthesized ivory, and metronomic guitar work, all with a fuzzy ambiance of distortion amongst the muddiness of a Jonestown Massacre recording.

The voices are the most captivating element of this 7”, especially on the title track when they’re singing the phrase “There’s no god!” so gleefully that even the most strident atheist listener will find himself thinking, “Man, I’m pushing my luck.” That knack for blurred melody is also the star of side B’s “I’m Gonna Hang Out with The Lesbians Next Door and Drop Acid”. Though the song itself starts out as little more than a run-through of Surfer Blood’s “Neighbour Riffs”, it picks up speed, begins churning out more noise, and touches on themes of the Devil and what to do (or possibly not to do) when fucked up in a hotel room.

Mrs. Magician does a Jekyll/Hyde with their second 7”, The Spells, though which disc is which probably depends on drugs. The recordings here touch on the diametrically grounded themes of love and heaven, and, while still pretty rough, the fracas of There Is No God’s unfettered noise has been all but rubbed out. The result is a much more straightforward offering, with the band taking a cue from its contemporaries Heavy Hawaii on the Mike Love-influenced cover of Rosie and The Originals’ “Angel Baby”, while “The Spells” takes the surf sounds even further, adding Surfer Rosa-esque snare work on the drums.

I’m pretty bummed that there are only four tracks to listen to because I want a lot more where that came from, whether it be their noisy chaos or their low-key crooning. This, I suppose, is a good thing because while I may have a deeper affection for affront-to-God rock n’ roll than I do for early 60s doo-wop, I’ve spent enough time listening to Mrs. Magician’s twelve total minutes of recorded music to dig any direction they choose to take.

Mrs. Magician at Bandcamp

Tipitina’s Announces 2011 “Fess Jazztival” Schedule

The beauty of Jazz Fest is the way it gloriously swallows up the city for the better part of a two weeks.  Once the Fairgrounds shut down each day, the party moves to every bar, club and restaurant with even a distant approximation of a stage or performance area.  Live music institution Tipitina’s gets in on the fun with a string of evening double-headers dubbed “Fess Jazztival”, and the 2011 schedule is starting to come together.

The early shows will include Dr. John and the Lower 911, J.J. Grey and Mofro, Dumpstafunk, Bruce Hornsby, a Brass Band blowout featuring Dirty Dozen and Soul Rebels as well as offer an opportunity to see The Radiators before their farewell 3-night run at Tip’s in June.  Galactic and Trombone Shorty will return for their annual late night performances and plenty more acts are still to be announced.

Tipitina’s Calendars