Live Picks: 08.11.2011 – 08.17.2011

08.11: Gillian Welch – Tipitina’s

08.12: The Tontons + Felix + In Elevators – The Big Top

08.14: Zorch +Caddywhompus + Sun Hotel + Twin Killers – One Eyed Jacks

Austin, TX’s relative newcomers Zorch have quickly made a name for themselves through the perfect employment of quirky, spectacular behavior and a seemingly never-ending flow of creative output, the multiple avenues of which have painted this two-piece keyboard and drum combo as being never less than one step ahead of everyone trying to keep up. Though no strangers to unique and attention-grabbing marketing techniques, Zac Traeger and Shmu Chown totally outdid themselves last month when – in what is possibly the most direct attempt at a tail wagging the dog wagging the tail paradigm – they began releasing songs written for and about notable and influential music critics (the strangest being some sort of Civil War-esque salute song to Pitchfork Media’s own Union General, Ryan Schreiber).

At the very least, Zorch’s latest stunt could give tastemakers an incentive to sample just thirty seconds of their latest release (the two-song Cosmic Gloss/E.M.F. cassingle), after which they’ll all be completely absorbed by this mammoth endeavor of heavy, yet subtle, jazzy drum work; flashy, crystalline synths; and whirling, Prince-inspired “oohs” and “ahhs”. While they’ve yet to release a proper full-length under the Zorch moniker, Traeger and Chown have managed to put out numerous mix tapes of demos, improvised jams, and other avant-garde sonic experiments since 2009, all with the humble goal of offering blogosphere beat makers something free and interesting to sample.

It needn’t bear repeating how mind-blowing of a performance Zorch put on last time they were in New Orleans save that it was loud and there was a startling array of LED lights saturating the bottom floor of the Dragon’s Den. With that in mind, they’re finally making their return to New Orleans – this time on the considerably larger stage of One Eyed Jacks and in the company of a tight-knit regional network of brother and sister bands that share a similarly unconventional creative and public ethic. Joining them are Baton Rouge’s unpredictable and erratic progressive rock heroes Twin Killers, hot on the heels of releasing of their most glorious genre-bending single to date; Sun Hotel, reformed after a summer that found them taking time to record a new EP among a slew of solo endeavors; and Caddywhompus, whose performance this Sunday will mark their first in New Orleans since June’s earthshaking Big Top Tour Stop.

MP3: Zorch: “Cosmic Gloss”

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

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