05.03: Babes + Bruiser’s House of Surf + Sun Year – Dragon’s Den
05.05: Nick Lowe + Autumn Defense – House of Blues
05.06: Rotary Downs – Circle Bar
To the casual observer, it may have seemed like a quiet spring for greatest band in the universe Rotary Downs, who kept a scarce live schedule since tearing down d.b.a. at Foburg early this past March. But while the brilliance of New Orleans’ champions of psychedelic-influenced art-pop has not been on public display for over a month, the newly expanded lineup of the most enduring force in our city’s independent rock panorama has been hard at work writing, tracking and re-imagining a slew of new compositions that will eventually become the follow-up to 2010’s masterful Cracked Maps and Blue Reports.
But during Festival Season, you can count on Rotary Downs to come out swinging. After opening up the first Jazz Fest weekend with last Friday’s ripper at Le Bon Temps Roule, a marathon performance that showed off almost a dozen fully-realized new tunes and featured an unplanned cameo from experimental organist extraordinaire Marco Benevento, Rotary Downs will be closing down the festival in similarly epic fashion at The Circle Bar. Multi-instrumental talent Alex Smith – who took over bass duties for the stretch Jason Rhein spent working and touring with Imagination Movers last year – has been installed as a full time member, adding another weapon to Rotary Downs’ endless sonic arsenal, and the creative momentum that accompanies any band’s writing and recording process has injected a terrifying vigor into the live performance of RD songs new and old.
Sunday night’s show will be the band’s first since The Circle Bar reopened it’s doors in January, and after warming up at 11:15AM on the Acura Main Stage, there’s good reason to expect a thrilling and memorable end to another fantastic Jazz and Heritage Festival, et al.
Check out our New Orleans Music Calendar for a full slate of constantly updated live picks