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.


EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Missing Monuments’ New Video, “(I’m Gonna) Love You Back To Life”


It’s been nearly a year since the public last had opportunity to bob its collective head to new music from New Orleans-based garage punk godfather King Louie Bankston, but he and his Missing Monuments are ready to come out swinging in the second half of 2012. Today the power pop quartet unleashes new single “(I’m Gonna) Love You Back To Life” as they brace themselves for a non-stop two-week tour of the Western United States.

Directed by Art Boonparn – who has previously helmed the camera for the likes of Cold Cave, Xray Eyeballs and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart – and featuring technical work from Antigravity Magazine head Dan Fox and veteran cameraman Gary LoVerde, the video sets nineties-inspired, candid found-footage against hilarious product placements of several local food items, extolling the ways they can be used to soak a Gibson Flying-V and destroy a hot tub pump system. The deceptively sweet-spirited “(I’m Gonna) Love You Back To Life” is one part of an upcoming 7″ to be released through Chicago’s Hozac Records in July.

On Tour:

Thur, 05.17 – Lafayette, LA – The Wild Salmon with One Man Machine

Fri, 05.18 – Houston, TX – SuperHappyFunLand with Broken Dream Boat + The Goonies

Sat, 05.19 – Austin, TX – Spider House with Pharaohs + Gory Details + Crooked Bangs + Gremlins UK + Burnt Skull

Mon, 05.21 – Tucson, AZ – The District with Lenguas Largas

Tues, 05.22 – Phoenix, AZ – Yucca Tap Room with The Hookers

Wed, 05.23 – San Diego, CA – Tower Bar with Chemicals + Rail Them To Death

Wed, 05.23 – Tijuana, MX – Bar La Terraza with Chemicals + The Lumps

Thur, 05.24 – Long Beach, CA – The Prospector with Chemicals + White Murder

Fri, 05.25 – Los Angeles, CA –  Redwood Bar with Chemicals + Cochinas

Sat, 05.26 – Oakland, CA – Vitus with Personal & The Pizzas + Royal Headache + Mean Jeans + The Chemicals

Sun, 05. 27 – San Francisco, CA – Parkside with Chemicals + Top Ten + Suicide Notes

Tue, 05.29 – Seattle, WA – Rendezvous with Chemicals + Sick Secrets + Red Hex

Fri, 06.01 – Salt Lake City, UT – Mixed Emotions

Sat, 06.02 – Denver, CO – Blastomat

Sun, 06.03 – Albequerque, NM – Sister

Mon, 06.04 – Shreveport, LA – Minicine with Riverwolves

Tue, 06.05 – Beaumont, TX – A Warehouse (1078 Lindbergh)

King Louie’s Missing Monuments: Painted White

Douchemaster Records, 2011

Louis Paul Bankston aka King Louie is arguably the most prolific musician to emerge from New Orleans’ storied but largely obscured underground music scene.  The Harahan native has fronted or belonged to nearly a dozen bands in his 25 year career, including the short-lived but highly influential 90s punk outfit The Persuaders as well as The Bad Times, a 1998 studio project that included Eric Oblivian and a then little-known guitar raconteur by the name of Jay Reatard.  He’s toured the globe, worked with the likes of Guitar Lightin’ Lee and Alex Chilton, and lords over an undeniable sphere of consequence that encompasses artists from the Box Elders to The Black Lips.

And like literally every other garage-, punk- or noise-rock musician, it’s clear King Louie dips into the common list of influences that has been rattled off a thousand times before – The Kingsmen, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Stooges – but there is more to the his unyielding output than the relentlessly name-dropped founding fathers of underground rock ‘n’ roll.  Since his early work as a member of The Royal Pendletons, Louie has unabashedly shown a deference to some of the more saccharine threads of popular music as well, and the DNA of his new project Missing Monuments seems to owe as much to Carl Perkins and Donny Osmond as it does to Joe Strummer or Johnny Rotten.

The band’s full-length debut opens with the rollicking “Girl Of The Night”, a knowing study in classic power-pop that sets the tone for an assault of bouncy rhythms, steel-trap hooks, and enormous guitar solos.  But the rough edges slowly shine through as subsequent songs ecstatically descend towards Bankston’s long and mythical garage-punk past. “(It’s Like) XTC” keeps the slick, jangly tempo of its predecessor but adds a layer of raspy gang vocals, a gradual loosening of the belt that comes to a head with “All Bandaged Up”, a bluesy, hard luck ramble filled out with raunchy harmonica blasts and extended guitar jams.  But even booze-soaked shanties like “Nite Fall” maintain playful nods in structure to the class of surprisingly inspired and undeniably catchy AOR standards that King Louie openly celebrates.

Occasionally thin production lifts a layer of energy away from quick-stop, straightforward rippers like “Hot Class”, but King Louie’s affection for these songs in particular (and songwriting in general) is obvious, while the sheer abundance of his output makes it difficult to keep a highly critical eye trained on any specific work for too long.  On it’s surface, Painted White is an engaging spin on the shameless indulgence of power-pop, and upon further inspection it’s nothing if not yet another interesting artifact from a powerhouse local musical pioneer.

Painted White at Amazon