It’s a concept that has been applied many times throughout the past decade or so. The idea of “Sunday Matinees” – early evening, weekend ending concerts capable of catering to both the underaged-with-protective-parents crowd and the aging, late-night-avoidance crowd – has always been a well-intentioned, if not necessary, community-building exercise for New Orleans’ underground punk rock scene. In the early days of Cypress Hall and the live music era of the Ark, it was commonplace for Brian Funck, the city’s all-ages DIY curator, to occasionally institute that exact format of concert series. But whether by lack of galvanization or inoperativeness of a centralized punk rock meeting spot, Sunday Matinee shows would fall out of practice just as quickly as they popped up.
But a lot has changed in the New Orleans music scene since the early aughts, and at this very moment the idea of weekly, all-ages punk matinees seems not just fitting but appropriate given the laundry list of exciting and enriching programming sprouting up all over town. The newest incarnation of such a project, Punk Rock Takeover, is set to kick off Sunday at Lee Circle-area multipurpose art center The Big Top. The chosen venue could not be a more fitting home for the planned melange of indie/underground/outsider/alternative showcases, as the past few years have seen the cozy but versatile space transformed into a DIY music mecca. It’s practically home base for the extensive programming of a long list of show organizers that includes Funck’s An Idea Like No Other and Community Records, who hold their day long, multi-stage Block Party festival in and around the Clio St. gallery.
The strictly all-ages affairs will start at 2PM each Sunday and feature free food, a cash bar and unique bills combining musical acts from all over the subcultural spectrum. This Sunday’s kickoff features a band that needs little introduction around these parts, Vox And The Hound, but combines them with the punchy electro noise-pop of Whom Do You Work For? and the hypnotic drone-funk of No Clouds. The lineup for the rest of the month includes everyone from garage rock stalwarts Opposable Thumbs to indie newcomers Pancake to psychedelic bluesmen Black Smoke, and that is hopefully just the start to an enduring schedule of diverse and interesting programming.
Each show is $5 at the door or $3 with a book or non-perishable food donation (for the benefit of Iron Rail and local outreach programs, respectfully), and the proceeds from each event will be given to local non-profit organizations.