Live Picks: 09.27.2012 – 10.03.2012

09.27: The Soft Pack + Heavy Hawaii + KG Accidental – One Eyed Jacks

09.28: Rotary Downs + King Rey – Prytania Bar

09.29: Glish + The Beams + Native America + L.F. Knighton – Circle Bar

On some oblique level, the Beams may be the purest example in New Orleans of what it means to be a band. Though boasting, through its members, a pedigree that links it to several of the most well-known and meaningful local rock acts of the last fifteen years, this bristly four-piece power pop act seems to perpetually exist as a fringe presence or a phantom of indie rock past. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing: the less time the Beams spend striving for relevancy in a culture that demands overt self-promotion and subtle competition, the more opportunities they find to offer opening support for the young artists who are actively seeking mainstream acclaim, and thus act as a model of hard work and passion where there would otherwise be none.

At their core the Beams are – simply put – an always pleasant, often loud, occasionally mind-blowing concoction of jangled guitars, heartbreak melodies and charmingly unrefined vocal harmonies. Yet there is always something even more unique about this act bubbling just below its forthright surface. Indeed, most Beams live shows tend to carry with them elements of both isolationism and confederation. Almost as often as the band can be found doing one-off afternoon bar shows and record store appearances completely by themselves, they can be found comfortably on a bill next to literally any band in the city that uses a guitar.

This Saturday night is no exception, as the Beams stop into Circle Bar to lend a hand to space rock shoegazers Glish, who will be celebrating the release of their second EP, Come Down. Fuzzcore act Native America and Mobile, Alabama-based rock and roll band L.F. Knighton also perform.

09.30: Heat Dust + Donovan Wolfington + Isidro

10.01: King Louie’s Missing Monuments + Cyclops + White Mystery – Circle Bar

10.03: Dinosaur Jr. + Shearwater – Tipitina’s

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News Briefs: Movin’ On Up Edition

The city looks like they may be starting to chill out just as the music schedule is starting to pick up. This is a good thing. Other good things: Heat Dust gets signed, Brass Bed’s got a new song, Au Ras Au Ras’ got a new video and Buku is back for 2013.

San Antonio-based Texas Is Funny Records has added nostalgic fuzz rockers Heat Dust to their small but growing roster of noise, punk, prog and “post-” bands from around the south.  Heat Dust is just getting back to town after their most extensive tour to date and are scheduled to release a 10″ of new material later this year.

Lafayette’s bouncy psychedelic-pop champions Brass Bed have released the title track their upcoming A Bullet For You 7″.  The three-song EP is due out September 18 and will act as a preview of The Secret Will Keep You, their long-awaited (formal) follow-up to 2010’s breakthrough Melt White expected early next year on Crossbill Records.  The band is also embarking on a late summer tour that starts this weekend in Baton Rouge and will take them up the west coast before running them through the midwest.

Buku Music and Art Festival, the EDM-focused weekend event that took over Mardi Gras World for this first time this spring, has announced the dates of its return to the riverfront.  The second incarnation of Buku will take place March 8-9, 2013 – a calendar shift that will no longer pit it directly against the music portion of Austin’s South By Southwest but instead is projected to counter the loosely organized French Quarter/Marigny/Bywater indie rock showcase Foburg.  A limited number of early-bird passes go on sale next week.

Just about a month away from its formal release, renaissance woman Tess Brunet has offered up another preview of The Great Nothing, her second Au Ras Au Ras full-length.  This time it comes in the form of the beautifully stark music video for single “I’m A Liar”, directed and edited by Adam Gambrel (whose portfolio also includes music videos for The Honorable South, Kristin Diable and Coyotes).  It’s the third song Burnett has made available from The Great Nothing, which will be released on September 11, 2012 and is available for cassette, vinyl and digital pre-order now.

Live Picks: 07.26.2012 – 08.01.2012

07.26: You Blew It! + The Rooks + Les Doux + Shark Bait + Brent Houzenga – The Big Top

07.27: The Iko Allstars + Colin Lake – Tipitina’s

07.28: Quintron and Miss Pussycat + Gary Wrong – One Eyed Jacks

07.29: The Cons and Prose – Circle Bar

07.31: Glish + ArchAnimals + Big Waves of Pretty – Banks Street Bar

08.01: Heat Dust + Adults + The Fagettes + The Clap – The Saint

Although it seems like only yesterday, it has been almost nine months since Austin-bred singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer Jasper den Hartigh dive bombed New Orleans’ DIY music scene with his latest project Heat Dust.  After releasing a genre-defining eponymous EP in late 2011, the post-fuzz outfit when on a live tear, splitting a string of bills all over the city with similarly newcoming spacegaze supergroup Glish. As each show devolved into a splendidly raucous miasma of crowd-surfing and property destruction, both bands cemented their places near the head of local punk rock’s newest wave.

Seeing and hearing den Hartigh lace his piercing tirades with the controlled chaos of willfully dispatched feedback, there is no doubt these guys are heavy as shit.  But even when the sometimes ethereal vocal harmonies present on their recorded material are casualties to the subprime sound systems common in most of New Orleans’ small rooms, there’s a resonance in Heat Dust’s canon beyond the reverb of the lo-fi  paradigm.  The immediacy of Clayton Hunt’s frenetic drumming cuts a deep swath for bassist Shawn Tabor’s throaty bass thumps, adding an extra dimension to washed-out guitar drone that is intense and angular enough to be a spectacle in and of itself.

The mid-week show at the Saint will kick off Heat Dust’s most ambitious tour to date, a two-week, play-every-day journey up the east coast and back with fellow New Orleans punks Adults.  The free show also features Boston co-ed surf rockers The Fagettes and Atlanta’s The Clap.

MP3: Heat Dust: “I Was Afraid Of Dying”

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

Live Picks: 01.26.2012 – 02.01.2012

01.26: Big History  + Gold And The Rush + Chilldren + Spirit Animals – Tipitina’s

Even if you pay reasonably close attention to the New Orleans underground, you may not have come across Gold and the Rush yet. Having only formed late last summer, this young rock and roll band has only a handful of performances under their belt. Gold and the Rush is essentially an infant, in band years. They also aren’t traditionally New Orleanian: boasting a membership that includes Washington DC, Los Angeles, Memphis and Dallas, GATR’s only technical ties to this city are that its members all happen to currently be here and that the band was birthed in New Orleans as a consequence of that presence. As such, if you haven’t asked the right non-NOLA-centric people, the band probably hasn’t come up in conversation.

But it’s a conversation worth having because Gold and the Rush is also immensely talented. Eluding the otherwise inevitable growing pains tied to the first several months of any musical existence, the members of Gold and the Rush – like many of their young contemporaries – have come out of the gates guns a’ blazing, one revelatory performance after another, their concentrated southern rock authenticity noticeably more raucous each time they take the stage. With the musical tableau surrounding Tulane and Loyola Universities rapidly and concretely taking shape more now than any time in the past, bands like Gold and the Rush represent the next wave of local independent and underground music – a wave that seems more than ready to blaze a trail of rock and roll through the entire city.

Thursday night, Gold and the Rush takes its crack at the larger stage of Tipitina’s for WTUL’s Back to School show in support of local electro-pop heavy hitters Big History. Joining them will be their friends in party rock hip hop trio Chilldren and DJ duo Spirit Animals.

MP3: Gold and the Rush: “Crazy Love”

01.27: Mahayla + Lovey Dovies + The Widowers – CIRCLE BAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

01.28: Norco Lapalco + Dummy Dumpster + Indian Givers + Dresden – Siberia

01.29: Big Eyes + Heat Dust + Glish – Siberia

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