4th Annual Hogs For The Cause Back With Another Full Day of Music

In only three short years, the annual Hogs For The Cause has grown from a leisurely afternoon pig-roast-cum-charity event to not just a fundraising powerhouse and massive BBQ Competition, but also a noteworthy addition to Festival Season: Local Edition.  What started as the quaint brain-child of local dining impresarios Rene Louarpe and Becker Hall – minds responsible for, among many other New Orleans culinary achievements, quintessential foodie blog Blackened Out as well as short-lived but immensely loved pop-up burger experiment MVB – has expanded its scope and footprint every year, but the 2011 edition truly brought Hogs For The Cause into a new class of happening.  The event relocated from its modest digs at The Fly to a huge swath of City Park, and 7,000 people showed up for a monster pork-off set to a live soundtrack that included Anders Osborne, The Honey Island Swamp Band, and a stop from the extended-farewell-touring Radiators.

This year’s Hogs For The Cause will move on up once again, as it takes over the Frisbee Golf Fields and brings another full day of music, anchored this time by hometown hero (and now international sensation) Trombone Shorty and his Orleans Avenue. He will cap off a lineup that includes local roots trio Mississippi Rail Co., Grammy-nominated blueswoman Marcia Ball, Austin’s long-running kings of funky-tonk The Gourds, The Stooges Brass Band and the Tab Benoit-led southeastern-Louisiana supergroup Voice Of The Wetlands All-Stars.  60 teams of amateurs and professionals will be offering their best pork creations as organizers attempt to break the $100,000 fundraising mark set last year.

The 2012 Hogs For The Cause Cookoff will take place at City Park on March 24, 2012.  Gates open at 10:30AM and the show starts at 11:00AM. General admission tickets and a variety of delicious-sounding VIP packages are available online now.

Hogs For The Cause

Habitat: 01.21.2012

A good bit of natural uncertainty seems to surround new local trio Habitat, who for a time only played intermittently between each member’s full-time band schedule and who have yet to formally record even one original song for public consumption. Through most interpretations, the band is nothing more than a side project: guitarist Andrew Landry and drummer Evan Cvitanovich, better known as noise punk duo High In One Eye, have noticeably been lending their talents as near-bit players in acts like Glish and the now-defunct Country Club. However, with Country Club’s recent break-up freeing up the creative juices of singer and guitarist Jack Donovan, Habitat – for now – appears to be a growing priority among these three musicians. And with a couple of recent Saturday amblings through the eyes and ears avid New Orleans showgoers under their belts, Habitat has already managed to be one of the most thrilling live bands in the entire city.

With a deceptively schizophrenic meld of melody and dissonance executed to near perfection with the anchorage of Cvitanovich’s highly-intricate,  jawd-dropping timekeeping ability, Donovan’s and Landry’s guitars play off one another like a musical oil and water mixture that’s been attempted in the past but never performed this smoothly and kinetically; avoiding the predilection to come off sounding disjointed or overly abstract, Habitat’s marriage of ostensibly disparate styles (often hazily resembling Lightning Bolt if they coyly misdirected listeners with a mathematical jaunt through little suites of Lawn Boy-era Phish) manages to be both infectious and compelling. In one set Donovan, Landry and Cvitanovich seamlessly wove together mathrock, post rock, Americana, noise, punk, modal jazz and acid rock – a fusion that, though often disorienting, was aptly tempered by an easily-discernible, intrinsic rhythm that forced a sea of heads at the Howlin’ Wolf Den to bob, nod and bang without care for the space around them.

With no indication of when they plan to formally record or whether they even plan to perform regularly, Habitat’s forward trajectory is still largely tentative. But after Saturday night’s Howlin’ Wolf performance, a dynamic follow-up to their show-stealing set at the Art House just a week prior, their already rabid following can’t help but be convinced of the band’s promise. For surprising emphasis, Revivalists guitarist Zack Feinberg made a point during his own band’s set to shed a light on the trio’s “mindblowing” live show, endorsing the sudden rumblings of acknowledgment that have been making their way through the music community. The future aside, it’s clear that Habitat’s place in the local consciousness is already deep-rooted.

Live Picks: 01.26.2012 – 02.01.2012

01.26: Big History  + Gold And The Rush + Chilldren + Spirit Animals – Tipitina’s

Even if you pay reasonably close attention to the New Orleans underground, you may not have come across Gold and the Rush yet. Having only formed late last summer, this young rock and roll band has only a handful of performances under their belt. Gold and the Rush is essentially an infant, in band years. They also aren’t traditionally New Orleanian: boasting a membership that includes Washington DC, Los Angeles, Memphis and Dallas, GATR’s only technical ties to this city are that its members all happen to currently be here and that the band was birthed in New Orleans as a consequence of that presence. As such, if you haven’t asked the right non-NOLA-centric people, the band probably hasn’t come up in conversation.

But it’s a conversation worth having because Gold and the Rush is also immensely talented. Eluding the otherwise inevitable growing pains tied to the first several months of any musical existence, the members of Gold and the Rush – like many of their young contemporaries – have come out of the gates guns a’ blazing, one revelatory performance after another, their concentrated southern rock authenticity noticeably more raucous each time they take the stage. With the musical tableau surrounding Tulane and Loyola Universities rapidly and concretely taking shape more now than any time in the past, bands like Gold and the Rush represent the next wave of local independent and underground music – a wave that seems more than ready to blaze a trail of rock and roll through the entire city.

Thursday night, Gold and the Rush takes its crack at the larger stage of Tipitina’s for WTUL’s Back to School show in support of local electro-pop heavy hitters Big History. Joining them will be their friends in party rock hip hop trio Chilldren and DJ duo Spirit Animals.

MP3: Gold and the Rush: “Crazy Love”

01.27: Mahayla + Lovey Dovies + The Widowers – CIRCLE BAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

01.28: Norco Lapalco + Dummy Dumpster + Indian Givers + Dresden – Siberia

01.29: Big Eyes + Heat Dust + Glish – Siberia

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