Live Picks: 09.13.2012 – 09.19.2012

09.13: The Tangle + Dresden + The Stairwells – Circle Bar

09.14: Baby Bee + King Rey + Sports and Leisure – Parish @ House of Blues

09.15: Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun + Coyotes + Alexis and The Samurai – Circle Bar

09.16: Jack Donovan + Chris Rehm + Andrew Landry – Mudlark Theater

There has never been anything secret about our love for Breezy’s, the coffee-shop turned apartment turned multipurpose art space that spent the summer of 2011 as the undisputed king of New Orleans DIY live music venues.  Under the tutelage of talent buyer/promoter Mike Twillman and owner Micah Burns (and with the help of a constantly expanding motley crew of supporters) a deceptively unassuming Freret-area home with a legendary bohemian past felt like the nexus of the city’s burgeoning independent rock explosion, even if only for a brief moment in time.

The building’s crumbling walls and ceiling seemed to be held together by the heavily patinated concert posters, newspaper clippings and photographs that covered them, which gave the venue a strangely imprecise aura that beautifully juxtaposed the fresh and exciting programming it hosted.  And whether you credit its easy-going proprietors, the eager young crowds it attracted or diverse music scene it served, Breezy’s grew into an under-the-radar institution unlike many others that came before it or have come since.  It seemed exclusive without being exclusionary, underground but also accessible, and outsider without an overt preoccupation with being edgy.

But even after just one visit to the mystical funhouse at the corner of Soniat and LaSalle, anyone would have guessed the days of Breezy’s original spot were numbered. It was just too good, with a mission too pure to exist in a city as corrupt and morally bankrupt as ours. (Also, almost every aspect of the enterprise was probably completely illegal.) So while it only took six months for the powers that be to shutter Breezy’s first incarnation, the quintessentiality of the concept of Breezy’s became apparent almost immediately. After a short but notable stint in a Pigeontown backyard, Twillman and Burns have taken a broad leap towards sustainability by moving Breezy’s underground spirit into a legitimate commercial space: Breezy’s on Freret, in the heart of the revitalized Freret corridor and just blocks from where it all started, is due to open in a matter of weeks.

This Sunday’s afternoon matinee at Mudlark Theater – a cherished DIY institution in its own right – is part of a final push to bring Breezy’s on Freret up to full speed in time for the jam-packed fall concert season.  While donations will be accepted at the door, the event’s main goal is to raise awareness of the team’s Kickstarter campaign, which (if successful) will allow the new rock club to open with a professional grade soundsystem in place. Music will be provided by the Breezy’s mainstays of Chinquapin Records and will feature stripped down sets from Habitat‘s Jack Donovan, High In One Eye‘s Andrew Landy and Caddywhompus‘ Chris Rehm plus a promised host of special guests.

09.17: Black Taxi + Aerial Attack – One Eyed Jacks

09.18: Beach House + Dustin Wong – Tipitina’s

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


News Briefs: Bringin’ Back Breezys Edition

Fall is upon us (though the heat would have us believing otherwise), and with it comes the time of year when local musicians and the like begin to ramp up their creative output. This week Generationals, LoOmis and Mason Briggs unleash new music, while Breezy’s begins its long-awaited comeback and Royal Teeth’s recent good fortunes continue.

Never known to go quiet for too long, locally-based nationally-recognized indie pop duo Generationals have returned from with the follow-up to 2011’s Actor-Caster, the synthy and upbeat new single “Lucky Numbers”. In addition to prepping the release of an EP of the same name on October 2, the Generationals can be found touring the road for the majority of the next two months.

After nearly two years as a bastion of DIY culture in New Orleans’ indie rock community, local venue Breezy’s has moved onto a larger, more commercially legitimate endeavor. New space Breezy’s On Freret, set to open later this fall, will be only blocks from the former house-turned-coffee shop-turned-underground music spot that owners Mike Twillmann and Micah Burns used to inhabit. Currently working towards proofing and perfecting the new venue’s future sound system, the Breezy’s boys have begun a Kickstarter campaign to help them in their quest to give the Uptown campus area an unsurpassed underground live music experience.  More news as this campaign develops.

After dropping the video for single “Tired Flags” last month, former Smiley With A Knife guitarist Patrick Bailey – known individually as LoOmis – has just released his fifth full-length album of material since beginning the experimental analog project in 2007. A Beautiful Coincidence takes his well-documented penchant for instrumental post rock and intriguingly stretches it into territories more akin to drone and chillwave. Though the current San Francisco resident can’t generally be found haunting the concert venues of New Orleans these days, you can follow Mr. Bailey as he documents our rich history of underground rock and roll at The Memory Farm.

After spending the last six months experimenting with a Keller Williams/tUnE-yArDs one-man loop pedal format as Mason Briggs and forming post rock outfit Luxley with the likes of Bantam Foxes bassist Collin McCabe, local singer and guitarist Ryan Gray has returned with the Briggs monicker for a string of solo tracks utilizing only a guitar and an iPhone app. New song “Elegance” comes on the heels of last month’s “Distractor”.

Thanks to a growing and increasingly rabid national fan base, local indie pop act Royal Teeth will be taking the stage at Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide Festival, which takes place October 4-7 in Los Angeles. The result of a polling contest put on by Red Bull Soundstage, Royal Teeth placed first among dozens of acts from all over the country. Meanwhile, you can find the sextet on tour through the month of October (they’ll be back in New Orleans for the Voodoo Music Experience) or in EA Sports’ Fifa 13, which is available September 28 and features Royal Teeth track “Wild”.

Live Picks: 09.01.2011 – 09.07.2011

09.01: Royal Teeth – Maison

09.02: Sun Hotel Plays The Blue Album at Weezer Throwback – Republic

09.03: Native America + The Tontons + New Grass Country Club – Breezy’s Riverbend (early show) rescheduled for 09.09.2011

While the arrival of Labor Day in the Crescent City doesn’t necessarily signal the return of tolerable weather, it carries with it a swath of New Orleans’ burgeoning creative class that has been noticeably absent for the last few months.  With the new academic year gearing up, so too are the local schedules of some of the area’s most impressive young musicians, many of whom are back to spend their weekdays strolling around one of the city’s college campuses.  Of all the bands that took a summer sabbatical, New Grass Country Club‘s return is easily the most exciting.  Before going on hiatus in June, New Grass spent the first half of 2011 unleashing a terrifying streak of rollicking and soulful live sets that echoed with the high points of classic rock, electric folk and alt-country and oozed with rarely-seen levels of dexterity and unhinged enthusiasm.

But their performance this Saturday is just the start of the “Syllabus Week BBQ Chindig”, the first formal event organized by local collaborative community cooperative Chinquapin Records.  Houston’s most exciting young export, The Tontons, are bringing their bluesy psychedelic art-pop to town for the second time in three weeks, ending their much heralded summer tour in the same place it began; and Native America – in their first show since laying the Blue Nile Balcony Room to waste last month – are closing the evening out with another full-band performance.  Plus, with it being Labor Day and all, admission to this garden party includes all you can consume food and/or booze. The grill gets going at 5PM and the music is scheduled to begin at 6.

MP3: New Grass Country Club: “Kingdom”
MP3: The Tontons: “Leon”
MP3: Native America: “A Living”

09.04: The Dodos + The Luyas – One Eyed Jacks

09.05: The Moaners + Felix + Lonely Knights – Siberia

09.07: O’Death + Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship? – One Eyed Jacks

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

Breezy’s Hosting Nathanial Zimet Fundraiser

If you don’t know Chef Nathanial Zimet from the indispensable contemporary southern cuisine he dishes out at Carrollton “it” restaurant Boucherie, you may know him as one of the guys who has satisfied your set-break hunger pangs with an order of grit fries from the purple “Que Crawl” truck that used to call the curb outside Tipitina’s home.  Unfortunately, you may also know him as a recent victim of the senseless violence that has long had a grip on the Crescent City.

On May 22, 2011, Zimet was shot twice during a botched robbery attempt, and while the injuries turned out to be non-life-threatening, Zimet is staring down a long and expensive road to recovery.  Thankfully, New Orleanians have a special place in their hearts for the brilliant minds behind the city’s beloved restaurant industry and an outpouring of support began only hours after the news of his attack spread.  In the last month there has been no shortage of fundraising events – both formal and informal – and efforts are ramping up with a string of benefits over the next few weeks.

Fans of exciting young musicians and awesome new Uptown music venues should circle this Sunday, June 26 on the calendar, as Breezy’s Spot is hosting “Take It To The Zimet”, a day-long music extravaganza to raise money for Zimet’s medical bills.

The confirmed lineup currently includes Breezy’s regulars Sun Hotel and Dominique LeJeune, soulful troubadour Andrew Duhon, Reid Martin of the Blue Party and Alexis Marceaux (and more acts are expected to be added throughout the week).  A $10 donation gets you in, and if you have yet to catch a show at Breezy’s, the consuming experience of stepping foot inside this former coffeehouse turned mutli-use performance and exhibition space alone will be well worth the price of admission.


Live Picks: 04.14.2011 – 04.20.2011

Chris Rehm is performing at Breezy's on April 17, 2011

04.14: Sleeping In The Aviary + The Dives + The Elevators – The Saint

04.15:  Smoke Dogg, A Tribute to Nate Dogg featuring Derrick Freeman’s Smoker’s World + Johnny Sketch + Corey Henry + Koan + M@ Peoples – Tipitina’s

04.16: Record Store Day + Community Records Block Party + Tulane Crawfest

04.17: Native America + Chris Rehm + Ben Jones – Breezy’s

Truth be told, after seeing New Grass Country Club play the grand-opening of the venue during Mardi Gras, it’s easy to recommend any show at Breezy’s, the freaked-out fun house in the burgeoning Freret Street corridor.  It’s a charming, acoustically impressive, bizarrely out-there space; an area that is a fitting backdrop for Sunday night’s Native America/Chris Rehm Split Cassette Release Party.

The album is being put out by Chinquapin Records, home to Sun Hotel, Caddywhompus and the more avant-garde side projects embarked upon by each band’s members.  While the music of Native America (helmed by Sun Hotel multi-instrumentalist Ross Farbe) and Caddwhompus vocalist/guitarist Chris Rehm is a little more spacious than that of their respective main bands, it’s littered with the kind of dreamy melodies that are still liable to get caught between your ears – and that seem custom made for the fantasy land that is Breezy’s.

The early evening show starts at 7pm and Ben Jones, formerly of Giant Cloud and Butter & Jelly, opens.

04.19: Acid Mothers Temple and The Melting Paraiso UFO + Shipla Ray and her Happy Hookers – One Eyed Jacks

04.20: Curren$y – Howlin’ Wolf

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