Live Picks: 09.20.2012 – 09.26.2012

09.20: Babes + Prom Date + Benjamin Booker – The Big Top

09.21: Big Rock Candy Mountain + Bantam Foxes – Circle Bar

Since they first bust on the local scene with their 2009 debut EP Hey Kid, the New Orleans music community has rarely agreed about anything the way we’ve agreed about Big Rock Candy Mountain. Rising from the ashes of nearly a half-dozen bands spanning nearly every sub-genre of the city’s storied but then-still-nascent independent scene, BRCM’s hyper-modern perversion of classic alternative tropes made them early and obvious torch-bearers of local rock’s next iteration.  As a band’s band with an inspiring and wide appeal, they have remained in every noteworthy discussion and on every short list worth its salt, even as their most recent studio gestation period resulted in a lengthy stretch of live inactivity.

Nevertheless, whenever we hear from Big Rock Candy Mountain, they easily demonstrate why they have been held in such universally high-esteem.  A high-powered mix of dazzling synth work, face-melting guitar solos and a brain crushing rhythm section explode in a live setting as a barrage of space-age freakouts and ethereal prog-pop interludes, offering something about as close to the platonic ideal of “awesome local indie band” as you are likely to find for miles.

But the sparse live schedule hasn’t been for naught: when lead man Michael Girardot was not on the road with emerging national superstars The Revivalists or in the studio with greatest band in the universe Rotary Downs, the Big Rock gentlemen have been writing and recording their own full length album.  They storm back to the stage on Friday with a complete set of new songs in the can and an extra long set to both debut them all and dig into their canon of old favorites. Local rock and roll trio Bantam Foxes open.

09.22: Sun Hotel + Habitat + Young Jesus + Native America – 3712 Upperline

09.23: Caddywhompus + Sun Dog + All People – The Big Top

09.24: Eternal Summers + Bleeding Rainbow – Circle Bar

09.25: Mac DeMarco + Michael Girardot’s Macrofuns + Julie Odell  – Circle Bar

09.26: G-Eazy + Hoodie Allen – House Of Blues

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

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News Briefs: Survivor Series Edition

As the hottest month of the year finally comes to a close, nonstop rain and monsoon weather has attempted to dampen the collective mood of all New Orleans art and entertainment fanatics. Naturally though, the city’s music culture seems to only get denser and more exciting as the summer trudges along:

Hometown hip-hop hero G-Eazy, currently criss-crossing the country on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour, just announced the details of his fall tour. He’ll be joining forces with fellow buzzed-about indie rapper Hoodie Allen for a month of shows that will take him through the midwest and across the great plains. The tour kicks off with a September 7 gig in Columbus, Ohio and begins to wind down at our own House of Blues on September 27 – just a day after he plans to drop Must Be Nice, his highly-anticipated follow-up to last year’s The Endless Summer.  G released the latest sample of his new album, “Plastic Dreams” featuring Johanna Fay, this week.

After unleashing the Art Boonparn-helmed video for “(I’m Gonna) Love You Back To Life” in May, local garage punk legend King Louie Bankston returns with another clip, this one for “Another Girl”, in which his band of Missing Monuments hauls their gear over to a few Greater New Orleans Area parking lots, covered in blood (per usual). Both songs can be found on the three-song (I’m Gonna) Love You Back To Life 7″ EP, available now via Hozac Records.

This year, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has not cut a single corner in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of their iconic home.  Their memorable set at the 2012 Jazz Fest – closing down the Gentilly Stage with a handful of special guests – amazingly does not even rank as their most star-studded show of the year. That honor rests with their January performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, where they were joined by The Del McCoury Band, Ed Helms, members of GIVERS, Tao Seeger, My Morning Jacket, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), King Britt, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs (just to name a few).  Thankfully, this acclaimed performance was caught on tape and will be formally released on September 25 under the title St. Peter and 57th. The version of “St. James Infirmary” that will appear on the live album, featuring Jim James and Trombone Shorty, premiered on Pitchfork this week.

Caddywhompus, at this point one of the most road-ready bands in the Crescent City, is embarking on their most ambitious tour to date. With a kickoff two-night run in Houston, including a headlining show at Fitzgerald’s with Limb, the noise pop duo will trek up to the Midwest and over to the entire eastern seaboard, performing everyday for 41 straight straight days, after which point they’ll round their summer with their second appearance at Denver, CO’s annual Goldrush Music Festival.

After a 2012 first half that saw them widen their presence in and around New Orleans and even find a showcase at South by Southwest Festival in Austin, uptown-area party rockers Chilldren have released their debut EP, Slug Life. The six-song release finds this hip hop trio beginning to showcase their talent beyond sweat-drenched, energetic live performances with some seriously impressive beats and noticeably expanding rhyming techniques.

News Briefs: On Dat To’ Edition

The general lull around town you may have noticed is about to come to an end as local bands gear up for tours, drop new music, and keep gaining national attention.  It’s gonna be a hot one.

Local post-rock heros Sun Hotel – as they have dependably done during every college break/vacation of the last three years – are gearing up for their next tour, a summer road trip that will take them up the east coast and across the midwest.  They will be joined by Chicago’s Young Jesus, Nashville’s JAG and El Paso’s The Lusitania at various points along the way, and kick everything off with a pair of Louisiana shows: June 23 at Chelsea’s in Baton Rouge and June 24 at Siberia with Habitat.

DIY collectives Chinquapin and Community Records have joined forces to release a densely packed Summer Sampler. The 27-song disc features offerings from both stables, as well as unreleased and brand new music from Donovan Wolfington, ArchAnimals, the Taxpayers, Matt Wixson’s Flying Circus, Chris Rehm, Maddie Ruthless and All People.

In addition to releasing a new album Sunday night at Yuki Izakaya, Luke Winslow-King also debuted a new music video.  The beautiful visual accompaniment to “Moving On (Towards Better Days)” was photographed, edited and directed by Los Angeles-based artist/animator Cosmo Segurson, and filmed in Winslow-King and Esther Rose’s own Marigny home.

On June 13 Hurray For The Riff Raff will appear on NPR’s World Cafe, a live performance and interview program hosted by Philadelphia DJ David Dye.  The performance will be part of the show’s “Sense of Place” series, sets of week-long examinations of local music scenes across the globe.  The New Orleans edition also covers Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John and puts a spotlight on the historical Treme neighborhood.  As our local WWNO does not carry World Cafe, the show can be streamed from host station WXPN Monday through Friday at 2PM and archives are hosted on NPR.org

Established local indie artist Micah McKee has broken a lengthy silence with the release of the newest Little Maker track, “LA Story (Alright Too)”. The former Silent Cinema and current Empress Hotel frontman’s most recent project features an ensemble cast of string and horn musicians, and is readying for the release of their debut this October.

Following hot on the heels of the mega-success that was “Marilyn”, Oakland/New Orleans-based blog rapper G-Eazy has just released another heavily anticipated track. “Mad”, the second from his yet-to-be-titled debut album, was produced by the budding star himself and features choral vox from longtime collaborator Devon Baldwin.

News Briefs: Leftover Jazz Fest Booze Edition

Jazz Fest and finals are over.  Summer is right around the corner. Local artists are kicking out the jams.

Heatseeking New Orleans-by-way-of-Oakland rapper G-Eazy has released the official video for “Marilyn”, his fantastic duet with local singer/songwriter Dominique LeJeune.  G is currently supporting Harlem buzz-rapper A$AP Rocky on select dates before he jumps aboard the 2012 Vans Warped Tour, which will take him to 41 cities in two months.

As leader of vaudevillian cabaret outfit The New Orleans Bingo! Show, saxophonist and vocalist for The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and experimental collaborator with avant-cellist Helen Gillet, multi-instrumentalist Clint Maedgan is one of the hardest working musicians in the city.  He’s fixing to get busier with the release of his new solo EP, WILDFIRE, available on Bandcamp under a name-your-price arrangement.  He will be supporting the album with a string of Clint Maedgan’s One Man Show performances around town this summer.

King Louie Bankston is taking his Missing Monuments to the West Coast.  The prolific godfather of underground scenes all over the country will spend the back half of May working his way to the Pacific Northwest and back with stops in Texas, California, Denver, Arizona and even Tijuana.  Portland punk rockers Chemicals will join for many dates.

Up-and-coming noize pop trio Habitat have released their long-awaiting recording debut in a self-titled demo. The five song offering, produced with the help of DIY multi-talent Byron Chance (Choi Wolf, Glish, Munchausens), finds Jack Donovan and Co. gearing up for their first tour, kicking off May 18 at Circle Bar.

Photoset // Buku Music and Art Project, Day 2: 03.18.2012

Skrillex + Shanook + Big K.R.I.T. + SBTRKT + Porter Robinson + Big Gigantic + Purity Ring + A-Trak + G-Eazy + Gravity A performing at Mardi Gras World on March 18, 2012 for The Buku Music and Art Project

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Preview // Buku Music and Art Project: 03.17.2012 – 03.18.2012

This weekend, New Orleans welcomes a brand new addition to Festival Season as the inaugural Buku Music and Art Project descends on Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, offering an almost literally unbelievable lineup that hits every high point in electronic music, underground hip-hop and many different combinations of the two.  Wiz Kalifa, Cities Aviv, Rockie Fresh, deep south superstar Big K.R.I.T. and local hero G-Eazy combine with true heavyweights Skrillex, Avicii, Diplo, SBTRKT, A-Trak and more for the two-day festival; and an official, on-site Saturday afterparty stretching into the wee-hours of Sunday morning packs the weekend with almost 24 hours of non-stop music.  The schedule is filled with highlights, including these two can’t miss acts:

3.17: Holy Fuck – BASSIK Ballroom, 8:45PM

Falling somewhere between post-rock and proto-electronica, Toronto alchemists Holy Fuck create frenetic, blipped-out dance music largely without the most important instrument in any techno producer’s arsenal: a laptop computer.  Instead, founders Graham Walsh and Brian Borcherdt – with an ever-expanding collective of co-conspirators that includes Broken Social Scene alum Dave Newfield and former Enon drummer Matt Shultz – take a decidedly lo-fi approach to creating their signature noisy grooves, “playing” anything from old Casio keyboards to 35mm film synchronizers to toy phaser guns as they improvise their way through unhinged performances of their analog electro analogues.

MP3: Holy Fuck: “Stay Lit”

3.18: Big Gigantic – BASSIK Ballroom, 8:30PM

The addition of any live instrumentation to an otherwise purely electronic production is usually limited to a percussionist adding a modest layer of mimicry to the drum track or other similarly non-functional window dressing; like, perhaps, a guitarist hammering out quarter notes of no particular consequence or a bassist hanging on the corner of the stage getting overran by the crunchy, atonal bellows that typify American dubstep music.  So the idea of Big Gigantic, the brainchild of Boulder, CO drummer Jeremy Salken and producer/saxophonist – that’s right, saxophonist – Domonic Lalli did little to assuage my skepticism of the general practice when I saw them for the first time at last summer’s Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores.

The performance started tame enough, with Lalli tapping away at an effects pad and Salken holding an invigorating but steady rhythm; but as soon as the beat dropped, the pair exploded into an untamed and transformative exhibition of staggering instrumental prowess, an acid and straight-up free jazz manifesto set against brain-crumpling low-end that landed like On The Corner-era Miles Davis being remixed by Skream.  Lalli does nothing short of completely wail on the sax, and his interplay with Salken’s nimble, shifty drum work adds a freeform futurism to each track’s lush landscape of wobbly bass and warped samples.

MP3: Big Gigantic: “The Heavyweight Champion”

Official Buku Music & Art Project Website