News Briefs: Untitled (How Does It Feel) Edition

We can safely say it is both the heat and the humidity. Mad Conductor’s raising funds for an album, D’Angelo’s warming up for Essence and The Revivalists are stepping dat to’ up to the next level.

Enigmatic 90s/00s neo-soul superstar D’Angelo made a surprise cameo at this years Bonnaroo Music Festival, lending his fabeled vocal stylings to a late-night, ?uestlove-led Super Jam including members of the Roots, Parliament Funkadelic and The Time.  The set of covers – including hits by The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin – will be a good warm up for his appearance at this years Essence Music Festival, his first official stateside concert in over 12 years.

Community Records punk/hip hop project Mad Conductor is edging closer and closer to a Kickstarter goal they set to fund the recording and release of their second full-length album. With little more than 2 weeks to go, over 100 backers have them 75% of the way to raising the $5,000 they’ll use to create MC Rises, slated for a spring 2013 release. M.C. Devlin and Co. are already hard at work writing and recording, with two new songs from the upcoming album currently streaming on Soundcloud.

Breakout roots-rockers The Revivalists, who have already been on an almost non-stop national tour since the release of their 2010 full-length debut Vital Sounds, have recently signed on with Boulder, CO based booking agency Madison House – an outfit with experience routing and promoting the similarly incessant travels of String Cheese Incident, Keller Williams, Tea Leaf Green and more.  The Revivalists make a quick stop at home for at show this Friday at One Eyed Jacks.

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Voodoo Announces More 2012 Acts

Over the weekend, the organizers of the Voodoo Music Experience followed-up last month’s top-headliner announcement with more lineup news, unveiling additional acts scheduled to appear at the annual Halloween weekend event.  Joining Green Day, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Skrillex and bad MF’er Gary Clark, Jr. is a roster of usual suspects, both among local acts as well as nationally touring bands stalking the 2012 festival circuit: Jack White and Avett Brothers will each have almost a dozen fest sets under their belts when they come to town, and the electronic stage will also host ubiquitous EDM poster boys Kaskade and Borgore.

Past-Voodoo performers returning for another City Park go-round include dreamy L.A. shoegazers Silversun Pickups, French DJ team Justice and South African performance-art troupe Die Antwoord; while newcomers include The Features, Awolnation, Say Anything, Delta Rae, digital pioneer Thomas Dolby, and reggae legend Toots Hibbard and His Maytals.  Big History, Royal Teeth and Supagroup join a dependable/predictable collection of standard local fare including The Revivalists, MyNameIsJohnMichael, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Debauche, Anders Osborne, Soul Rebels Brass Band and of course The New Orleans Bingo! Show.

Such a minimally-curated offering should come as no surprise as the spectrum of once unique and differentiated Weekend Music Festivals continue their topical sprints towards the middle, but with Voodoo offering on-site camping for the first time, a lineup featuring at least one mid- to upper- tier jam band seemed like a complete given.

The 14th Annual Voodoo Music Experience will take place October 26-28 at City Park. Tickets – including VIP and camping packages – are on sale now.

Preview // 2012 French Quarter Festival

It’s common to hear this weekend’s annual French Quarter Fest referred to as the younger sibling/cousin/progeny of the much grander New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, but these days that classification is really only applicable based on the literal age of the event.  Sure, FQF didn’t land Bruce Springsteen and His E Street Band this year, but due in no small part to a very attractive price of admission, the four-day showcase regularly out-draws it’s Mid-City companion.

With attendance expected to surpass 500,000, The French Quarter Festival is the largest admission-free music event in the Gulf South and features a line-up composed almost exclusively of New Orleans talent.  With 20 stages scattered around the Quarter, Riverfront and Marigny, almost every jazz, folk, R&B, gospel and brass band in the city can be found somewhere on the bill; and as the weekend grows, it grows more eclectic with a greater sampling of some of the city’s younger movers and shakers showing up every year. Here are a few recommendations when navigating the huge crowds and extensive schedule.

04.12: The Revivalists – 4:30PM, Absolut Louis-Louis Stage (Woldenberg Park)

04.13: MyNameIsJohnMichael – 3:45PM, Malibu Rum Esplanade In The Shade (Old U.S. Mint)

04.15: The Tin Men – 2:00PM, Malibu Rum Esplanade In The Shade (Old U.S. Mint)

04.16: Theresa Andersson – 2:15PM, Abita Beer Stage (Woldenberg Park)

Before her surprise appearance in this year’s Muses parade – where she was carried down St. Charles Ave. on a large puppet goose as part of a music video shoot – it had been a while since New Orleans had heard from local, self-made songstress Theresa Andersson.  After arriving from her native Sweden in 1990 to support fellow Swedish transplant Anders Osborne during his first wave of mainstream success, Andersson struck out on her own and became a leading name in New Orleans’ early 2000s burgeoning alternative rock scene.  Crafting a one-woman show that evolved into a spacey mix of Keller Williams-style loop-pedal wizardry and nimble Kate Bush-like melodies, Andersson seemed primed for national stardom by the time 2008’s Hummingbird, Go! caught the attention of the critics at Rolling Stone and Pitchfork.

But after spending nearly two years on a world tour, Andersson returned to New Orleans to find out she was pregnant with her first child, aiding in her creative quest to record a suitable follow-up to her breakthrough album but further keeping her out of the public eye.  With her new album Street Parade set to drop at the end of April, Andersson is back on the local scene with a six-pack of shows starting Sunday at French Quarter Fest and ending during Jazz Fest before setting out on a tour down the West Coast.

29th Annual French Quarter Festival

Preview // Cafe Carnival: 02.16.2012 – 02.20.2012

In the last six months, no local venue has made a larger effort to break into a higher echelon of rock club status than hidden-in-plain-sight Garden District standby Cafe Prytania.  More frequent, consistent and eclectic booking in the back half of 2011 slowly but surely elevated the humble establishment from occasional Loyola-band hotspot to a dependable destination to catch up-and-coming local, regional and even nationally touring talent.

The only downside to Cafe P’s rising profile was the unfortunate way the larger, more frenzied crowds brought the shortcomings of the bar’s unusual layout into sharper focus, as a raised stage/dance floor area flanked by awkwardly placed half partitions limited the comfortable viewing area in the otherwise huge space to what felt like only a few dozen square feet. But a much-needed facelift has removed most of the unnatural boundaries keeping the performance area from the rest of the room, and continued improvements to the sound system and lighting set-up are further signs Cafe Prytania is getting very serious about its place in the New Orleans live music pantheon.

And this year’s Cafe Carnival, the bar’s annual string of post-Mardi Gras parade concerts, appears to have gotten an upgrade as well, with a ripper of a lineup  complementing Cafe P’s prime location with what could easily turn into a non-stop five-day party.  A Thursday night funk-fest with Flow Tribe and Naughty Professor sets the stage for the centerpiece of weekend, Chinquapin Records‘ Mardi Gras Chindig. The two-night event that puts local indie-rock institutions Sun Hotel, Caddywhompus and Big Rock Candy Mountain along side heetseeking newcomers Donovan Wolfington will also feature a fresh-from-the-studio Vox And The Hound and serve as one of the last chances to catch the force of nature that is Country Club.  The Revivalists will pack the place out on Sunday night and the now-Grammy Award Winning Rebirth Brass Band headlines on Lundi Gras.

02.16: Flow Tribe + Naughty Professor + Saltwater Grass

02.17: Sun Hotel + Country Club + Vox And The Hound

02.18: Caddywhompus + Big Rock Candy Mountain + Young Mammals + Donovan Wolfington

02.19: The Revivalists + Star & Micey + The Blue Party

02.20: Rebirth Brass Band + Mississippi Rail Co. + Coyotes

Photoset // The Revivalists + Habitat + Sun Hotel + Bantam Foxes + Coyotes + Gold And The Rush: 01.21.2012

The Revivalists + Habitat + Sun Hotel + Bantam Foxes + Coyotes + Gold And The Rush performing at Howlin’ Wolf and Howlin’ Wolf Den on January 21, 2012 for Revivapalooza

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Preview // 2011 Oak Street Po-Boy Festival: 11.20.2011

Back for it’s fifth edition, this time under a slightly abbreviated name, The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival takes over the most bustling street in the Riverbend neighborhood this weekend.  What started in 2007 as the New Orleans Po-Boy Preservation Festival with a small stretch of vendors and a handful of local music acts has grown into a massive celebration of New Orleans culture with over 40 food stops, scores of local artists showing off their wares, and enough live music to fill three stages all day long.

Festival veterans returning for 2011 include Latin boogaloo experts Los Po-Boy-Citos, the terrifying Joe Krown Trio (which boasts Walter “Wolfman” Washington on guitar and Russell Batiste on bass), The Rebirth Brass Band and Mardi Gras Indian-styled funk from 101 Runners.  Of course, it wouldn’t be Po-Boy Fest without B3 master John Gros and Papa Grows Funk closing down the main stage, and socially-conscious rapper Dee-1Khris Royal and Dark Matter and resident soul shakedown specialists Flow Tribe  are among the young up-and-comers rounding out the lineup.

But Saturday’s real must-see – in addition to GW Finn’s X-Rated fried lobster po-boy – are The Revivalists, a group of jammy southern-rockers coming off a rollicking performance at October’s Voodoo Music Experience that revealed the latest growth spurt in the band’s relatively short but incendiary career.  On an almost endless tour lasting nearly three years, the Revivalists have explored every facet of their expansively-sourced sonic fusion, emerging for their most recent hometown run somehow both heavier than before and also more vibrant.  They will be playing on the River Stage at the corner of Eagle and Oak Streets at 3:00PM.

MP3: The Revivalsits: “Not Turn Away”

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana | Only on Oak Street – Only in New Orleans

Photoset // Voodoo Music Experience, Day 2: 10.29.2011

The Revivalists + Happy Talk Band + Soul Rebels + Boots Electric + Ozomatli + Rotary Downs + Mastadon + Gordan Gano and Lost Bayou Ramblers, Mastadon + Vockah Redu + Social Distortion + Katey Red + Bobby Rush + X + Snoop Dogg + Girl Talk + Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk + Blink 182 performing at City Park on Octover 29, 2011 for The Voodoo Music Experience

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