Live Picks: 05.31.2012 – 06.06.2012

05.31: Japanther + Pygmy Lush + Thou – United Bakery

06.01: The Beams + Bones + Picnic – One Eyed Jacks

06.02: Rareluth + Mahayla – Circle Bar

06.03: Dummy Dumpster + Sports & Leisure + Glasgow – The Big Top

Though to the naked eye they may be nothing more like a mysterious fly-by-night pet project, Dummy Dumpster have in fact been a presence in the underground community longer than most younger music aficionados realize. Anyone who has had the pleasure of witnessing the unbridled wackiness of this trio knows that the band’s absurdist exterior (vulgar, non sequitur subject matter against a tapestry of Germs-esque hardcore punk) thinly masks a bubbling talent for authenticity and a knack for genuinely engrossing songwriting that can only come from longevity. The performance art antics of singer and guitarist Mike Schadwell, when hemmed in by Brad Lewis’ old-era minimalist drumming and Isidore Grisoli’s quick-plucked punk basslines, are not only hilarious but also endearingly out of lockstep with the vast majority of modern New Orleans punk. If anything though, a Dummy Dumpster live set would sound right at home in a vignette from The Decline of Western Civilization.

On Sunday, they meet up with two other bands from seemingly different corners of the New Orleans underground rock for the most eclectic lineup The Big Top’s Punk Rock Takeover matinee series has offered. Dummy Dumpster will be joined by newcomers Sports & Leisure, a indie rock sextet led by former MNIJM guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Richard Dubourg currently in the midst of a flurry of local performances that have seen their progressive leanings come sharply into focus, while orchestral indie rock veterans Glasgow round out the impressive bill.

MP3: Dummy Dumpster: “Time To Kiss”

06.06: Jean-Eric + Noir Fonce + Rhodes!!! + Disko Obscura – Siberia

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

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Punk Rock Matinees Coming To The Big Top

It’s a concept that has been applied many times throughout the past decade or so. The idea of “Sunday Matinees” – early evening, weekend ending concerts capable of catering to both the underaged-with-protective-parents crowd and the aging, late-night-avoidance crowd – has always been a well-intentioned, if not necessary, community-building exercise for New Orleans’ underground punk rock scene. In the early days of Cypress Hall and the live music era of the Ark, it was commonplace for Brian Funck, the city’s all-ages DIY curator, to occasionally institute that exact format of concert series. But whether by lack of galvanization or inoperativeness of a centralized punk rock meeting spot, Sunday Matinee shows would fall out of practice just as quickly as they popped up.

But a lot has changed in the New Orleans music scene since the early aughts, and at this very moment the idea of weekly, all-ages punk matinees seems not just fitting but appropriate given the laundry list of exciting and enriching programming sprouting up all over town.  The newest incarnation of such a project, Punk Rock Takeover, is set to kick off Sunday at Lee Circle-area multipurpose art center The Big Top.  The chosen venue could not be a more fitting home for the planned melange of  indie/underground/outsider/alternative showcases, as the past few years have seen the cozy but versatile space transformed into a DIY music mecca. It’s practically home base for the extensive programming of a long list of show organizers that includes Funck’s An Idea Like No Other and Community Records, who hold their day long, multi-stage Block Party festival in and around the Clio St. gallery.

The strictly all-ages affairs will start at 2PM each Sunday and feature free food, a cash bar and unique bills combining musical acts from all over the subcultural spectrum.  This Sunday’s kickoff features a band that needs little introduction around these parts, Vox And The Hound, but combines them with the punchy electro noise-pop of Whom Do You Work For? and the hypnotic drone-funk of No Clouds.  The lineup for the rest of the month includes everyone from garage rock stalwarts Opposable Thumbs to indie newcomers Pancake to psychedelic bluesmen Black Smoke, and that is hopefully just the start to an enduring schedule of diverse and interesting programming.

Each show is $5 at the door or $3 with a book or non-perishable food donation (for the benefit of Iron Rail and local outreach programs, respectfully), and the proceeds from each event will be given to local non-profit organizations.

Punk Rock Takeover: Sunday Matinee Shows at The Big Top on Facebook