Photoset // Cliff Hines Presents A Tribute To Radiohead: 10.23.2011

Cliff Hines and friends perform at One Eyed Jacks on October 23, 2011 for A Tribute To Radiohead

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Live Picks: 10.20.2011 – 10.26.2011

10.20: Beats Antique – Tipitina’s French Quarter

10.21: Blue Party – Republic

10.22: Helmet+ Star and Dagger + Sunrise Sunset – One Eyed Jacks

10.23: Cliff Hines Presents Radiohead Tribute – One Eyed Jacks

At this point it should be pretty obvious that the primary driving force behind the young classically-schooled guitar mega-talent known as Cliff Hines is a ceaseless desire to test not only the limits of his own musical faculties, but those of every musician around him. As the mastermind behind last year’s faithfully executed David Bowie Tribute and this past spring’s very ambitious Prince Tribute, he has successfully one-upped himself with each farfetched concept he’s hatched by managing to always bring along a slew of other local jazz and indie rock musicians for costumed-out, multi-member revolving door lineups that add a singular charm to each song they perform.

This Sunday at One Eyed Jacks, Mr. Hines plans to take it up several notches for a Holloween-themed tribute to the inimitable Radiohead, a painstaking endeavor that – if done right – could be the most terrifying thing you witness all year outside of seeing the real deal. This time he’s working with about fifteen fresh faces including members of Caddywhompus, High In One Eye, Bionica, Big History, New Grass Country Club, Vox & the Hound, Sun Hotel, Big Rock Candy Mountain and Glasgow for what should be one of the most interesting, eye opening and – depending on whether you wear a costume – fun concert experiences of 2011.

Video: Cliff Hines Presents: Radiohead Tribute Promo

MP3: Radiohead: “Subterranean Homesick Alien”

10.25: Loma Prieta + Thou – The Mushroom

10.26: Zola Jesus + Anika + Xanopticon – Siberia

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

Battles: Gloss Drop

Warp, 2011

When Mirrored – Battles’ full-lenght debut album – surfaced in 2007, you’d have thought listeners and critics alike had been celestially touched, as high-heaped praise for the record ranged from “best of the year” to “music of the future” to “music from another planet”. Mentions of technology, complex rhythm changes, and singer Tyondai Braxton’s bizarre Lolliepop Guild vocals were unavoidable; and rightly so, as even now that album stands as one of the strangest, most unique, and ultimately most invigorating recordings of the past several years.

As profoundly as Mirrored took the Pitchforkian-overworld by surprise four years ago, Battles’ newest record, Gloss Drop, is primed to accordingly disenchant those hoping for another grand re-imagining of the musical canvas. After touring incessantly and paring down to a three-piece (after the departure of their aforementioned vocalist), the band has opted for the straightforward instrumental-with-occasional-collaborations approach. The result is a considerably more grounded affair that hits listeners with more rhythmic fastballs than trick pitches on tracks like the Kazu Makino-cameo’d “Sweetie & Shag”. Nevertheless, while Gloss Drop may not be as astoundingly new or unique as, say, Radiohead circa 2000 (Kid A being the measuring stick for all things musically groundbreaking), it surprisingly stands on its own next to the more ambitious Mirrored.

Or maybe it doesn’t – it really depends on how you look at the band itself. Battles’ career certainly started promising, with an inimitable debut album released in the highly e-pinionated world that doesn’t offer many bands a less-than-perfect first disc before being totally written off. Nevertheless, when you make as many year-end lists as Battles has, the ever-lingering sophomore slump is bound to trap you. With Braxton leaving the band over creative differences, onlookers had more than a little reason to begin doubting the three remaining members’ ability to keep the wheels on the bus.

Luckily for Battles, they have the paired benefits of having made a transcendent first album and playing bona fide instrumental/mathrock, a genre that doesn’t altogether require its bands to drastically change things up from record to record. What’s more, the band – both as a unit and as individual members – was known for its live prowess well before Mirrored’s release. Taken in that context, Gloss Drop is the work of singularly out-of-the-box jam band less focused on its legacy than on blowing the minds of its listeners, whether with the earth-pounding thrill of John Stainer’s drum kit on “Futura” or the jarring interplay of guitarists Ian Williams and Dave Konopka on “Wall Street”.

Though a certain novelty found on Mirrored may be absent this time around, Gloss Drop is without a doubt the more listenable of the two discs; and with summer having already arrived with a vengeance in many parts of the country, the album’s pervasive afro-island jostle on tracks like the lengthy closer “Sundome” is a welcome addition to the band’s repertoire that is sure to kill on the road.

Gloss Drop at Insound