Live Picks: 09.20.2012 – 09.26.2012

09.20: Babes + Prom Date + Benjamin Booker – The Big Top

09.21: Big Rock Candy Mountain + Bantam Foxes – Circle Bar

Since they first bust on the local scene with their 2009 debut EP Hey Kid, the New Orleans music community has rarely agreed about anything the way we’ve agreed about Big Rock Candy Mountain. Rising from the ashes of nearly a half-dozen bands spanning nearly every sub-genre of the city’s storied but then-still-nascent independent scene, BRCM’s hyper-modern perversion of classic alternative tropes made them early and obvious torch-bearers of local rock’s next iteration.  As a band’s band with an inspiring and wide appeal, they have remained in every noteworthy discussion and on every short list worth its salt, even as their most recent studio gestation period resulted in a lengthy stretch of live inactivity.

Nevertheless, whenever we hear from Big Rock Candy Mountain, they easily demonstrate why they have been held in such universally high-esteem.  A high-powered mix of dazzling synth work, face-melting guitar solos and a brain crushing rhythm section explode in a live setting as a barrage of space-age freakouts and ethereal prog-pop interludes, offering something about as close to the platonic ideal of “awesome local indie band” as you are likely to find for miles.

But the sparse live schedule hasn’t been for naught: when lead man Michael Girardot was not on the road with emerging national superstars The Revivalists or in the studio with greatest band in the universe Rotary Downs, the Big Rock gentlemen have been writing and recording their own full length album.  They storm back to the stage on Friday with a complete set of new songs in the can and an extra long set to both debut them all and dig into their canon of old favorites. Local rock and roll trio Bantam Foxes open.

09.22: Sun Hotel + Habitat + Young Jesus + Native America – 3712 Upperline

09.23: Caddywhompus + Sun Dog + All People – The Big Top

09.24: Eternal Summers + Bleeding Rainbow – Circle Bar

09.25: Mac DeMarco + Michael Girardot’s Macrofuns + Julie Odell  – Circle Bar

09.26: G-Eazy + Hoodie Allen – House Of Blues

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

News Briefs: On Dat To’ Edition

The general lull around town you may have noticed is about to come to an end as local bands gear up for tours, drop new music, and keep gaining national attention.  It’s gonna be a hot one.

Local post-rock heros Sun Hotel – as they have dependably done during every college break/vacation of the last three years – are gearing up for their next tour, a summer road trip that will take them up the east coast and across the midwest.  They will be joined by Chicago’s Young Jesus, Nashville’s JAG and El Paso’s The Lusitania at various points along the way, and kick everything off with a pair of Louisiana shows: June 23 at Chelsea’s in Baton Rouge and June 24 at Siberia with Habitat.

DIY collectives Chinquapin and Community Records have joined forces to release a densely packed Summer Sampler. The 27-song disc features offerings from both stables, as well as unreleased and brand new music from Donovan Wolfington, ArchAnimals, the Taxpayers, Matt Wixson’s Flying Circus, Chris Rehm, Maddie Ruthless and All People.

In addition to releasing a new album Sunday night at Yuki Izakaya, Luke Winslow-King also debuted a new music video.  The beautiful visual accompaniment to “Moving On (Towards Better Days)” was photographed, edited and directed by Los Angeles-based artist/animator Cosmo Segurson, and filmed in Winslow-King and Esther Rose’s own Marigny home.

On June 13 Hurray For The Riff Raff will appear on NPR’s World Cafe, a live performance and interview program hosted by Philadelphia DJ David Dye.  The performance will be part of the show’s “Sense of Place” series, sets of week-long examinations of local music scenes across the globe.  The New Orleans edition also covers Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John and puts a spotlight on the historical Treme neighborhood.  As our local WWNO does not carry World Cafe, the show can be streamed from host station WXPN Monday through Friday at 2PM and archives are hosted on NPR.org

Established local indie artist Micah McKee has broken a lengthy silence with the release of the newest Little Maker track, “LA Story (Alright Too)”. The former Silent Cinema and current Empress Hotel frontman’s most recent project features an ensemble cast of string and horn musicians, and is readying for the release of their debut this October.

Following hot on the heels of the mega-success that was “Marilyn”, Oakland/New Orleans-based blog rapper G-Eazy has just released another heavily anticipated track. “Mad”, the second from his yet-to-be-titled debut album, was produced by the budding star himself and features choral vox from longtime collaborator Devon Baldwin.

Live Picks: 05.10.2012 – 05.16.2012

05.10: Caddywhompus + Sun Hotel + Country Club + KG Accidental – 12 Bar

So it would appear that this is it, the slow-coming official winding-down of Country Club, one of New Orleans’ most universally beloved rock and roll bands over the course of the last two years. After a short but eventful career that found them dipping their toes in the waters of college roots rock a la the Revivalists before abandoning that scene in favor of the edge-cutting DIY ethos of underground rock locus Chinquapin Records (where they thrived as a favorite among concertgoers and flourished leaps and bounds creatively), this local indie Americana five-piece officially announced an amicable parting of ways this past February.

To say that the announcement was a disappointment to the community would be a massive understatement. While one could squabble over the superficial and abstract details of nearly every band this small but bustling city has to offer (i.e., this band could benefit from a better singer, that band’s drummer needs work, those guys have great riffs but their lyrics are pedestrian), by the time Country Club had begun to emerge with the material on what was to become their second full-length record, they were the inarguable complete package, with not even the tiniest fissure in the armor of their Guthrie-meets-Stones-meets-Strokes milieu to be found. They were the epitome of the great American band: imaginative, collaborative songwriters whose ideas were complemented, but not out-shined by, their obvious physical talents.

Before anyone really had time to get their bearings, the members of Country Club decided to call it a day (hopefully not forever). As such, New Grass Country Club – the band’s sophomore record, released today – shall be their last (hopefully not forever). But to both see themselves off and launch the album into the indie rock ether, Country Club is reconvening at 12 Bar on Fulton Street tonight for one last raucous and revelatory performance (hopefully not forever) amid a setting that includes a crawfish boil, a free keg and appearances by their closest friends in swamp-core champions Sun Hotel, noise pop pioneers Caddywhompus and consummately cultured DJ duo KG Accidental.

Stream: Country Club: “Future Days” | Download

05.11: Choi Wolf + Mailbomber + Adults – The Maze

05.12: The Local Skank + Letters to Voltron + I Luv Luv Birds – Circle Bar

05.13: Lovey Dovies + Heat Dust + God Townes – AllWays Lounge

05.14: Toy Bombs + Cliff Hines + Jeremy Owens – Howlin’ Wolf Den

05.16: He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister + Coyotes + Gold And The Rush – Siberia

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

Preview // 2012 SouthSounds Music Festival

This coming weekend, as many of us descend on Downtown New Orleans to witness, play and revel in the 72-hour brass and roots free-for-all that is French Quarter Festival, many of the Big Easy’s rising stars in the underground rock community are (as symmetry would have it) blasting out of town for a cultural melee of their own. Although that means we have to resort to fantasizing about the glory of a Caddywhompus Woldenberg Park concert for yet another year, be assured that they – as well as their close contemporaries – will have no problem reaching such apexes this weekend in Mobile, Alabama.

As a merger of the Coastline Chronicles and LoDa Live Festivals, the first annual SouthSounds Music festival promises to build on the undeniable successes that those two events have enjoyed in the past. Independent bands from all over the Gulf South will take to Dauphin Street and its surrounding area in downtown Mobile for a Foburg-esque weekend of music spread over three days and eight different venues.

Representing New Orleans will be an admirable grouping of acts including Sun Hotel, Caddywhompus, Coyotes, Glish, Native America and Gravy, as well as Honey Island Swamp Band and Theresa Andersson, both of whom will be pulling double duty this weekend at French Quarter Fest and South Sounds. Additionally, while many of Mobile’s hometown heroes – including psychedelic indie rockers El Cantador, barroom brouhaha experience the Underhill Family Orchestra, power pop quartet the Suzies, folk singer/songwriter Garrett Thornton and rapper Venom – will obviously be in attendance, the lineup also features acts hailing from as far north as Tennessee (The Black Cadillacs and Wess Floyd) and as far east as Pensacola, Florida (Cockfight, Paloma and Pioneers! O Pioneers!).

And though the event may not boast the “free festival” card that FQF does, for a weekend price of $10, SouthSounds is a hell of a steal for the opportunity to take a peek at our region’s burgeoning underground rock talent.

MP3: El Cantador: “Empty Cars”

MP3: Pioneers! O Pioneers!: “August pt. II”

SouthSounds Music Festival Official Website