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.
07.15: Sun Hotel + JAG – Twist
Check out our New Orleans Music Calendar for a full slate of constantly updated live picks