Live Picks: 05.26.2011 – 06.01.2011

05.26: NON! + Jean-Eric + Mikronaut + DJ Joey Buttons – Siberia

05.27: Damian Yancy – Republic

05.28: Consortium of Genius + Letters to Voltron – Hi-Ho Lounge

A  month and a half ago, New Orleans was one set of unforeseen circumstances away from hosting avant-garde art-rock institution The Residents – a band as enigmatic as they are prolific.  Over the course of their 40 plus year career, The Residents have released over 60 albums and produced dozens of award winning music videos and short films, all the while operating under almost complete anonymity.  So an unsurprisingly vague announcement that they were cancelling their April 5, 2011 gig at The Republic was met with a healthy dose of disappointment.

Just as upsetting, perhaps, was the fact that the news also meant we would not have the privilege of seeing the scheduled opener, New Orleans’ own Consortium of Genius.   With lectures – their preferred term for live performances – that involve costumes, props, or any number of their signature “inventions” (a constantly expanding stable of contraptions that includes drum-bots, radio terrorscopes and hypnotronic helmets), CoG have pioneered their own brand of multimedia concert event that has been part of the local indie rock panorama for nearly two decades.

Although in this case, “indie” means more than just “independent”. It can also be short hand for CoG’s industrial style of songcraft that deconstructs nearly every known genre of popular music of the last fifty years and boils it down to its visceral, elemental core.  The incorporation of vintage sci-fi ingenuity and the uninhibited kitch of post-Golden Age B-movies adds a healthy dose of levity to their “lab rock”, making each one of their lectures a unique, polysensory experience.  Houston prog-rockers Letters To Voltron open.

MP3: Consortium of Genius: “M.I.L.K.”

05.29: Billy Iuso and Restless Natives – Tipitina’s

05.31: Hurray For The Riff Raff – Saturn Bar

06.01: Raekwon – Maison

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

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