Live Picks: 07.12.2012 – 07.18.2012

07.12: Mahayla + Lovey Dovies + The Tangle – Siberia

07.13: Bass Drum of Death + DZ Deathrays – One Eyed Jacks

07.14: Sabotage: A Tribute To The Beastie Boys – One Eyed Jacks

Calling Paul’s Boutique, the Beastie Boys’ critically revered 1989 masterpiece, the best/your favorite/the most influential Beastie Boys album is one of the more exquisitely well-worn cliches available to consumers of popular music. That so many who spend even a modicum of time discussion the medium in public or private – ourselves included – seem to have no problems indulging this cliche speaks truth to just how seminal of a work that album really was.

In just their second official release, Adrock, Mike D, and the dearly departed MCA changed the landscape of modern hip hop with a dense, experimental opus that influenced everyone from Beck to Girl Talk (not bad considering the group’s introduction to the mass market was either as the novelty act drunkenly warming up the crowd during Madonna’s Like A Virgin tour or the deceptively talented white dudes rapping about beer on License To Ill).  But Paul’s Boutique was only the beginning, as the Beasties Boys embarked on a classic-after-classic run rivaling that of even rock and roll legends like Led Zeppelin and the Who, infusing their hardcore roots, admiration of jazz and funk, and reverence for the East Coast hip hop tradition to build a catalog as diverse as it is timeless.

So there may be no more fitting a subject for a tribute than the Beastie Boys, and few cities possess the revered history and active culture of no-holds-barred musical fusion to do their spirit justice like New Orleans. The line up for the main event at Saturday’s multimedia extravaganza includes some of the most genre-bending fringe artists in the city, including Matt Peoples and Drew Meez of the Gravity A / P.Y.M.P. / M@ Peoples Collective electro-psychedelic hip hop family, Blake Quick and Russel Olschner of funked-out party-rockers Flow Tribe, and local mash-up king Jermaine Quiz. The event will open with a string ensemble’s take on some classics as well as troubadour extraordinaire Micah McKee giving some Beastie hits the acoustic treatment.

MP3: Beastie Boys: “Remote Control”

07.15: Sun Hotel + JAG – Twist

07.16: Glish + Dead Mellotron + Troubadour Dali – Circle Bar

07.18: Classy Nude + High In One Eye + ArchAnimals – Howlin’ Wolf Den

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

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Live Picks: 09.08.2011 – 09.14.2011

09.08: The Helen Gillet Trio – Ogden Museum of Southern Art (early show)

09.09: Native America  + New Grass Country Club – Breezy’s Uptown (early show, rescheduled from 09.03)

09.10: Gravity A + P.Y.M.P. + M@ Peoples + Zen Lunatic – Tipitina’s

That Gambit’s annual “Best of New Orleans” issue is so popular and highly-debated speaks volumes about what makes New Orleans so fascinating: She’s a city full of diverse attractions and passionate residents, well-informed and opinionated people who can appreciate a spirited discussion on her myriad offerings.  In many instances, a genuine case can be made for dozens of establishments when it comes to who offers the best po-boy or burger or cup of coffee; and a declamation over choosing the city’s best guitarist or brass band or trumpeter can last for hours.  Few titles are truly undisputed, but no throne may be secure as the one Gravity A inhabits as the kings of the New Orleans late-night.

Over the course of hundreds of shows over the last seven years, Gravity A has amassed a cult-like following among the city’s all-nighters with their mindbending combination of trance-y grooves and adventurous instrumental improvisation, providing the driving soundtrack for dance parties that only start to slow down when the sun starts to rise.  Invoking both the soul of jazz expression and its flair for inspired genre crossover, the band disseminates a sound that is hard to place yet still distinctly New Orleanian – a hybrid musical flash too funked-out to simply be called jam and way too live to be considered strictly electronic.

Indeed, it’s a sound that has also proved too rich and diverse to be contained by just one band.  After playing a few 2-man Gravity A shows out of necessity, drummer Michael Fouquier and keyboardist Andrew Meehan formally spun-off  P.Y.M.P., a light-hearted side project that added heavier indie-rock and hip-hop leanings to the mix.  The duo also acts as the backing band for local MC M@ Peoples, whose penchant for impressively unhinged freestyle marries well with Foo N’ Drew’s progressive, drum ‘n’ bass inspired loops.  All will be in attendance at Tipitina’s on Saturday, showcasing the depth and diversity of the rich tapestry homegrown by Gravity A. Local DJ The Zen Lunatic will be warming up the crowd and doors open at 10:30 after the early show clears out.

MP3: Gravity A: “Watching Myself Walk”

09.11: Vivian Girls + Widowspeak + Au Ras Au Ras – Siberia

09.12: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave. + Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk – Tipitina’s

09.13: Futurebirds + J Roddy Walston & The Business + New Grass Country Club – One Eyed Jacks

09.14: Vockah Redu + Noir Fonce + Prom Date – Siberia

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