Live Picks: 06.23.2011 – 06.29.2011

06.23: Rotary Downs – Ogden Museum of Southern Art

06.24: Gravity A + Earfunk – Hookah

06.25: Generationals + Giant Cloud + Empress Hotel + Au Ras Au Ras – Tipitina’s

Even if you haven’t spent hours devouring their 2009 debut Con Law, their follow-up EP, Trust, or their latest full-length offering Actor-Castor, there is a good chance you have heard the musical stylings of Generationals Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner.  Since their time in Baton Rouge-based quintet The Eames Era, the two have been crafting the kind of breezy, retro-pop ear-worms that have not just caught the attention of fans and critics across the country, but also television show runners and the creative teams for some major advertising agencies.

But their music is more than just a good soundtrack for episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Bloomingdale’s holiday commercials.  Easy-going melodies and jangly odes to almost every noteworthy musical genre that sprouted up between 1950 and the late 1970s combine to provide a blissful backdrop for nearly any activity that comes to mind.

In a live setting, however, Widmer and Joyner are far less less quaint, beefing up their spacious studio sound with enormous drums and synth that give their already catchy songs enveloping sonic weight.  The two are also no strangers to a delay pedal, and are not afraid to launch into a fuzzed-out guitar jam if the moment is right.  This all adds up to a stage show that is at the same time as agreeable as one may expect, but also far more rollicking (as anyone who witnessed the band’s garden-dance-party inducing set at this year’s Jazz Fest will readily attest).

If that is not enough, Saturday will likely mark the final show for Giant Cloud, purveyors of some of the most delightful music ever caught on tape.  Lead vocalists Benjamin Jones and Julie Odell have probably forgotten more about bouncy, ethereal harmonies than most singers will ever know; and locals are sure to be elegiazing the shifty, dynamic space-pop Giant Cloud crafted for years to come.  Park The Van label-mates Empress Hotel and Au Ras Au Ras open.

MP3: Generationals: “You Say It Too”
MP3: Giant Cloud: “Old Books”

06.26: Andrew Duhon + Sun Hotel + Dominique LeJeune + Reid Martin + Alexis Marceaux – Breezy’s Spot

06.28: Cigarette + James Hayes + Dave Fera + Opposable Thumbs – Euclid Records

06.29: Kool Keith – Maison

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

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