Photoset // Country Club + Sun Hotel + Caddywhompus: 05.10.2012

Country Club + Sun Hotel + Caddywhompus performing on May 10, 2012 at 12 Bar

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Live Picks: 05.10.2012 – 05.16.2012

05.10: Caddywhompus + Sun Hotel + Country Club + KG Accidental – 12 Bar

So it would appear that this is it, the slow-coming official winding-down of Country Club, one of New Orleans’ most universally beloved rock and roll bands over the course of the last two years. After a short but eventful career that found them dipping their toes in the waters of college roots rock a la the Revivalists before abandoning that scene in favor of the edge-cutting DIY ethos of underground rock locus Chinquapin Records (where they thrived as a favorite among concertgoers and flourished leaps and bounds creatively), this local indie Americana five-piece officially announced an amicable parting of ways this past February.

To say that the announcement was a disappointment to the community would be a massive understatement. While one could squabble over the superficial and abstract details of nearly every band this small but bustling city has to offer (i.e., this band could benefit from a better singer, that band’s drummer needs work, those guys have great riffs but their lyrics are pedestrian), by the time Country Club had begun to emerge with the material on what was to become their second full-length record, they were the inarguable complete package, with not even the tiniest fissure in the armor of their Guthrie-meets-Stones-meets-Strokes milieu to be found. They were the epitome of the great American band: imaginative, collaborative songwriters whose ideas were complemented, but not out-shined by, their obvious physical talents.

Before anyone really had time to get their bearings, the members of Country Club decided to call it a day (hopefully not forever). As such, New Grass Country Club – the band’s sophomore record, released today – shall be their last (hopefully not forever). But to both see themselves off and launch the album into the indie rock ether, Country Club is reconvening at 12 Bar on Fulton Street tonight for one last raucous and revelatory performance (hopefully not forever) amid a setting that includes a crawfish boil, a free keg and appearances by their closest friends in swamp-core champions Sun Hotel, noise pop pioneers Caddywhompus and consummately cultured DJ duo KG Accidental.

Stream: Country Club: “Future Days” | Download

05.11: Choi Wolf + Mailbomber + Adults – The Maze

05.12: The Local Skank + Letters to Voltron + I Luv Luv Birds – Circle Bar

05.13: Lovey Dovies + Heat Dust + God Townes – AllWays Lounge

05.14: Toy Bombs + Cliff Hines + Jeremy Owens – Howlin’ Wolf Den

05.16: He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister + Coyotes + Gold And The Rush – Siberia

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

News Briefs: Indie Label Takeover Edition

We’re half way into Jazz Fest and our city’s young talent have already outdone themselves. Here are a few quick happenings to be aware of this week in the New Orleans underground:

After breaking onto the New Orleans/Baton Rouge/Lafayette music scene just over a year ago, electro-pop outfit Royal Teeth has signed with Los Angeles-based Dangerbird Records, home to bands like Silversun Pickups, Maritime and Boots Electric.  Royal Teeth’s first order of business as signed musicians will be embarking on an extensive US tour supporting new label-mates Fitz and The Tantrums as well as The Kooks and seminal 90s nerdcore rap/rockers 2 Skinnee J’s, who are reuniting later this spring.

After becoming locally known for their short, raucous live performances (usually clocking in at no more than ten minutes) as well as their arousingly filthy 2011 demo, thrash emocore trio Choi Wolf released their debut full-length on April 18 digitally through Bandcamp.

After calling it quits earlier this spring, local Alt Country band Country Club has resurfaced with a sneak peek at their swansong LP, due in May on Chinquapin Records, in single “Stranger”. To celebrate the release of the forthcoming record, the quintet is teaming with Caddywhompus and Sun Hotel for a night of performances at 12 Bar on May 10.

Rob Landry – known to most local concertgoers as the drummer of the Rooks, All People and the aforementioned Choi Wolf (as well as the Community Records go-to percussionist) – has released his latest solo record, Little Women, under his longtime Astronomical monicker. The concept record finds Landry laying down suites of emotionally affected ambience among glitchy drum loops, mathy guitars and static synth lines.

After having truly come into their own over the last two weeks with a tireless local live schedule, upstart noisy Americana trio ArchAnimals have released “Garden”, their second track of recorded material in as many months. The somewhat subdued offering provides a balanced look at the band’s Texas-tinged vocals, loosely intense percussion and dissonant mid-90s guitar riffing.

Preview // Cafe Carnival: 02.16.2012 – 02.20.2012

In the last six months, no local venue has made a larger effort to break into a higher echelon of rock club status than hidden-in-plain-sight Garden District standby Cafe Prytania.  More frequent, consistent and eclectic booking in the back half of 2011 slowly but surely elevated the humble establishment from occasional Loyola-band hotspot to a dependable destination to catch up-and-coming local, regional and even nationally touring talent.

The only downside to Cafe P’s rising profile was the unfortunate way the larger, more frenzied crowds brought the shortcomings of the bar’s unusual layout into sharper focus, as a raised stage/dance floor area flanked by awkwardly placed half partitions limited the comfortable viewing area in the otherwise huge space to what felt like only a few dozen square feet. But a much-needed facelift has removed most of the unnatural boundaries keeping the performance area from the rest of the room, and continued improvements to the sound system and lighting set-up are further signs Cafe Prytania is getting very serious about its place in the New Orleans live music pantheon.

And this year’s Cafe Carnival, the bar’s annual string of post-Mardi Gras parade concerts, appears to have gotten an upgrade as well, with a ripper of a lineup  complementing Cafe P’s prime location with what could easily turn into a non-stop five-day party.  A Thursday night funk-fest with Flow Tribe and Naughty Professor sets the stage for the centerpiece of weekend, Chinquapin Records‘ Mardi Gras Chindig. The two-night event that puts local indie-rock institutions Sun Hotel, Caddywhompus and Big Rock Candy Mountain along side heetseeking newcomers Donovan Wolfington will also feature a fresh-from-the-studio Vox And The Hound and serve as one of the last chances to catch the force of nature that is Country Club.  The Revivalists will pack the place out on Sunday night and the now-Grammy Award Winning Rebirth Brass Band headlines on Lundi Gras.

02.16: Flow Tribe + Naughty Professor + Saltwater Grass

02.17: Sun Hotel + Country Club + Vox And The Hound

02.18: Caddywhompus + Big Rock Candy Mountain + Young Mammals + Donovan Wolfington

02.19: The Revivalists + Star & Micey + The Blue Party

02.20: Rebirth Brass Band + Mississippi Rail Co. + Coyotes

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: 12.08.2011 – 12.14.2011

12.08: Partners N Crime + 5th Ward Weebie + Choppa + DJ Jubilee + Mr. Ghetto + 10th Ward Buck + Rusty Lazer – Republic

12.09: Sun Hotel + Country Club + Donovan Wolfington – Cafe Prytania

True to the form of every artist their stable, the hardworking boys from Chinquapin Records did not rest on their laurels and pack it in for the year after the success of last month’s inaugural compilation release. Instead, they’ve come from the blindside with another, even more ambitious collection of songs, humbly described as a “Holiday Charity Jingler” with proceeds going to benefit New Orleans Artists Against Hunger & Homelessness and the Austin, TX Area Toys for Tots. This convivially-themed stick of dynamite – completed with the help of Austin-based kindred spirits the Skank Family Collective – doesn’t just present the winter’s definitive collection of holiday tunes, but also boasts some of the best output by each label’s individual artists all year (Native America’s take on the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s Charlie Brown standard “Christmas Time Is Here” is yet another reason to be excited about the band’s imminent full-band, full-length debut while Milezo delivers his cover of “Santa, Bring My Baby Back To Me” by Elvis Presley with a high-pitched bravado so perfect that Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue himself would have to acquiescently give praise).

And, once again, they’ll be celebrating their new bundle of joy at Cafe Prytania, their third such winter break Prytania party in as many years. Aided by newcomers and proto-emo classicists Donovan Wolfington, southern indie rockers Country Club will host the festivities with the swampy Sun Hotel – lively and raucous performances that will be easy to delight in, regardless of how drunk we’ll undoubtedly all get.

MP3: Sun Hotel: “B.Y.O. Cheer”

MP3: Country Club: “All I Want For Christmas Is Money”

Holiday Charity Jingler on Bandcamp

12.10: High In One Eye + Dominique LeJeune + Loyola Electro-Acoustic Ensemble – Howlin’ Wolf Den

12.12: Former Thieves + Heat Dust + Choy Wolf – Dragon’s Den

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