Live Picks: 11.03.2011 – 11.09.2011

11.03: Glish + King Rey + El Cantador – Cafe Prytania

11.04: Liquid Peace Revolution + Super Water Sympathy + Ben Labat and the Happy Devil – Howlin’ Wolf Den

11.05: Coyotes + The Blue Party + Mississippi Rail Company + Underhill Family Orchestra + Fresh Nectar – Maison

You’d think a group of musicians that exists in as much a state of perpetual flux as local rockers Coyotes would be, at least, too whimsical to be capable of putting together a cohesive or centered product. Ironically though, this band’s remarkable focus on creating authentically modern Americana is all but fueled by such seeming instability. Having technically begun as a one-man project by singer, guitarist and harmonicist Duz Mancini while living in his hometown of Los Angeles, California, Coyotes have so far been marked by a revolving door of musicians and periods of relative inactivity over the past couple of years. However, with a solidified line-up and a full-length album due out next month, it’s obvious that their persistence has paid off.

Though now a bona fide New Orleans-based act, Coyotes continue to admirably distance themselves from the stylings native to this town and, for that matter, native to the entire region, instead relying for guidance and inspiration on the country rock of California legends like the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Byrds – bands whose penchant for blending country and soul in the 1960s has galvanized practically every Americana musician who doesn’t identify with Nashville-bred Country pop.  They anchor an enormous showcase at the Maison that includes rootsy local trio Mississippi Rail Company, The Blue Party and Mobile’s Underhill Family Orchestra on the main stage and DJs spinning jams in the Penthouse all night long.

MP3: Coyotes: “Burning Man”

11.06: Sebadoh + Mazes + Mahayla – One Eyed Jacks

11.08: Thee Oh Sees + Total Control + Dead People + Nervous Juvenile – Siberia

11.09: Maddie Ruthless + Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship + Vic Ruggiero + The Urban Voo Doo Machine – AllWays Lounge

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

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Foburg, Day 2: 03.12.2011

For avid concertgoers in New Orleans, the biggest gamble of the Foburg Music Festival comes on Saturday. In addition to the tiny bit of fatigue gently beginning to set in from the always-epic Friday night showcases, Saturday tends to fall on the same day as Uptown’s annual Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day parade, which is generally not to be missed. Nevertheless, for those souls fearless enough to stomach an entire afternoon of green beer before making their way back to the Marigny for night two of the festival, the rewards are always great and often unexpected (see 2010’s Rotary Downs never ending set of kick drum-shattering greatness at d.b.a.). Tonight was no exception.

My night began at Carl Mack Presents, an art gallery/teen room hang-out (??), where Smiley With A Knife put on a characteristically unglamorous – yet phenomenal – performance that set the stage for a jaw-dropping set by the four-piece Atlanta instrumental band Sorry No Ferrari, who combined a braggable Don Caballero influence with Yes’ early penchant for jazz-infused progressive epics.

After a quick stop at Friendly’s bar around the corner, I ran to catch the much-talked about Big History at Maison Upstairs, which has undergone some necessary and extremely beneficial aesthetic changes. I was originally nervous about seeing an act like the Hood Internet, who was set to play the Maison “Penthouse” later on the evening, in a place that until very recently was just a tiny square corner on the second floor of an uninspired Marigny home. But now the performance area had been shifted ninety degrees, and an actual stage had been erected to allow for both a wider and a higher view.

Next up was New Grass Country Club, whom Barryfest is wont to talk very highly about, at Blue Nile Downstairs. New Grass’ set was fueled by the inventive, though understated, bass of Andrew Landry, as well as by the animated, carefree energy of lead singer Jack Donovan whose enthusiasm for being on stage is nothing short of contagious.

The night concluded back at the Maison, where a massive gathering of excited fans crowded both the downstairs stage for Das Racist and the upstairs bar for the Hood Internet. Both shows were massive successes: Das Racist put on a hilarious, drunken bash that would mark the beginning of Himanshu Suri’s epic binge and crash; while the Hood Internet lorded over a hot, sweat and smoke filled neon bedroom party that lasted well into the late hours of Sunday morning.

Foburg, Day 1: 03.11.2011

I was worried that the slightly altered format of this year’s Foburg Festival would greatly eliminate the wild west-frontier spirit that consumed me as I bounced around Frenchman Street in the spring of 2010.  The addition of Bywater venues Hi-Ho Lounge, Siberia, Saturn Bar and AllWays Lounge – not to mention greatest rock club in the city, One Eyed Jacks – was no doubt welcome, but the expanded footprint of the event coupled with an abbreviated nightly schedule offered myriad logistical challenges for those hoping, as was possible last year, to hit every venue each night.

Seeing as not everyone descends on a weekend music festival with the megalomaniacal desire to see every band at every club for the purpose of bragging about his or her exploits on a fledgling local music blog, this was hardly a non-starter.  More precise and thematic programming led to some fascinating monster bills, and, at the end of the day, it was hard to be disappointed about missing one killer show when you are getting your brains blown in by another.

My decision to spend the first night exclusively on Frenchman Street came at the expense of a lot of heavy hitters who set up shop on St. Claude or Toulouse, but a unique and dense schedule offered the greatest chance of reliving the glory days of yore.  All five venues in the Marigny proper were hosting bona fide blockbusters – from the alt-folk throwdown upstairs at Blue Nile to the freak-out progressive showcase in the belly of the Dragon’s Den – and the evening’s perfect weather made the decision to stay in the area with the greatest walkability score a relatively guilt-free one.

In what has become an ad-hoc New Orleans music festival tradition, my weekend began taking in the soulful croon of Luke Winslow-King, who was accompanied this evening by the lovely and talented Esther Rose on washboard and backing vocals.  I’ve already gone on record with enough glowing compliments about King – both in print and otherwise – that I’ve ran out of colorful adjectives to cram into dense, grammatically suspect sentences describing his uniquely haunting take on Dixieland music and its antecedents, so I’ll just say that once again he was fantastic.

From there it was off to the races, but not before a quick pit stop in the front room of Maison to check out Booty Trove, a 9 piece brass band popping up at more and more rock shows around town.  Up until now, I have not really know what to make of them, as raising the bar when dealing in the indigenous, horny funk in which they specialize is no small feat for any band.  On this evening, however, they sounded fresh and tight as they sparked through an incendiary set of originals, standards and inspired covers.

In retrospect, my memories of the shuttle run up and down the stairs of Blue Nile and back and forth between the Maison and Dragon’s Den have already become hazy and disjointed, but I will not soon forgot what went down at the latter venue when Austin-based avant-experimental duo Zorch took the stage. For 45 dark, loud, mind-blowing minutes they powered through a collection of synth-driven, psychedelic manifestos that were as disorientingly brilliant as they are impossible to describe (although if I were to give it a shot, I’d start by calling  Zorch’s music something akin to an gonzo combination of Z-era My Morning Jacket, On The Corner-era Miles Davis, Speaking In Tongues-era Talking Heads, and Green-era Universal Indicator; drenched with an additional dose of heavy, nimble drum work just for good measure).

A whacked-out light show and bag full of prop tambourines only added to the mayhem, and after their show I could have easily gone to bed and slept through the rest of the weekend without regrets.  So imagine my delight when unavoidable long-bill start time creep allowed me to catch a large chunk of both Hurray For The Riff Raff and Native America‘s set before diving headfirst into the ramble that was Debauche’s headlining spot back where my night began.

Preview // Foburg, Day 2: 03.12.2011

Jean Eric + RYAT + Royal Teeth + The Botanist – One Eyed Jacks

Das Racist + Katey Red + Shanook + PYMP – Maison Downstairs

The Hood Internet + Christoph Andersson + Big History – Maison Upstairs

Since its inception only three or so years ago, Chicago residents Aaron Brink and Steve Reidell have made good use of the Hood Internet. As the last half of the 2000s lent great success to the art of the remix and, in particular, mashup artists like Girl Talk, the Hood Internet has reveled in many of the rewards, going from at-home musical blacksmiths to touring DJ’s nearly overnight while putting out countless free mixtapes in the process.

However, where the art of someone like Girl Talk lies in the creative, unique, and strange ways that disparate songs or genres – or the sheer number of them in some cases – can be seemlessly matched, the Hood Internet’s approach of simply matching a rapper with an indie song is much more straightforward; and the genius is found not just in Brink and Reidell’s intuitive mashups but in their seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of the unabashedly hip culture of indie and electronic music. If someone were to tell me that they mashed up Trey Songz and the Radio Dept., I’d probably reply, “Well, I wouldn’t even listen to them on their own.” Nevertheless, the end result of a Hood Internet mashup is often something surprisingly greater than the sum of its parts.

During Foburg, the Hood Internet will be gracing the narrow blue walls of Maison’s upstairs stage, joined by Electronic Takeover’s Christoph Andersson and the already-locally-celebrated Big History.

The Revivalists + New Grass Country Club + Moon Taxi + Jon Hugo – Blue Nile Downstairs

Brass Bed + Vagabond Swing + Hart – Blue Nile Upstairs

ImagineIAM + Sorry No Ferrari + Smiley With A Knife – Dragon’s Den Downstairs

The Local Skank + The Unnaturals + Modoc + The Groovocrats – Siberia

Simon Lott’s Very Cherry + Telegraph Canyon + Birds and Batteries – AllWays Lounge

Big Rock Candy Mountain + Glasgow + Venice is Sinking – Hi-Ho Lounge

Los Po-Boy-Citos + Backwords + Little Maker + Sam Doores & The Tumbleweeds + Loren Murrel – Saturn Bar