Photoset // Heat Dust + Adults + The Fagettes: 08.01.2012

Heat Dust + Adults + The Fagettes performing at The Saint on August 1, 2012

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Live Picks: 07.26.2012 – 08.01.2012

07.26: You Blew It! + The Rooks + Les Doux + Shark Bait + Brent Houzenga – The Big Top

07.27: The Iko Allstars + Colin Lake – Tipitina’s

07.28: Quintron and Miss Pussycat + Gary Wrong – One Eyed Jacks

07.29: The Cons and Prose – Circle Bar

07.31: Glish + ArchAnimals + Big Waves of Pretty – Banks Street Bar

08.01: Heat Dust + Adults + The Fagettes + The Clap – The Saint

Although it seems like only yesterday, it has been almost nine months since Austin-bred singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer Jasper den Hartigh dive bombed New Orleans’ DIY music scene with his latest project Heat Dust.  After releasing a genre-defining eponymous EP in late 2011, the post-fuzz outfit when on a live tear, splitting a string of bills all over the city with similarly newcoming spacegaze supergroup Glish. As each show devolved into a splendidly raucous miasma of crowd-surfing and property destruction, both bands cemented their places near the head of local punk rock’s newest wave.

Seeing and hearing den Hartigh lace his piercing tirades with the controlled chaos of willfully dispatched feedback, there is no doubt these guys are heavy as shit.  But even when the sometimes ethereal vocal harmonies present on their recorded material are casualties to the subprime sound systems common in most of New Orleans’ small rooms, there’s a resonance in Heat Dust’s canon beyond the reverb of the lo-fi  paradigm.  The immediacy of Clayton Hunt’s frenetic drumming cuts a deep swath for bassist Shawn Tabor’s throaty bass thumps, adding an extra dimension to washed-out guitar drone that is intense and angular enough to be a spectacle in and of itself.

The mid-week show at the Saint will kick off Heat Dust’s most ambitious tour to date, a two-week, play-every-day journey up the east coast and back with fellow New Orleans punks Adults.  The free show also features Boston co-ed surf rockers The Fagettes and Atlanta’s The Clap.

MP3: Heat Dust: “I Was Afraid Of Dying”

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

Photoset // Vox And The Hound + The Slaughterhouse Chorus + Henry’s Rifle: 02.08.2012

Vox And The Hound + The Slaughterhouse Chorus + Henry’s Rifle performing at The Saint on February 8, 2012

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Vox And The Hound at the Living Room Studios on February 8, 2012

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Lovey Dovies: 12.05.2011

In music circles, “hiatus” can be a really nasty term.  More informative than the realization that a local band hasn’t played a gig in while but somehow also more discomforting that a formal breakup announcement, hiatuses would represent an awful purgatory if they didn’t usually imply much worse. Those of the “unofficial” kind often become official, while the “indefinite” ones usually stay that way.  So when Lovey Dovies lead guitarist and singer/songwriter James Hayes nonchalantly announced at the Howlin’ Wolf Den in March that the band planned to take “a few months off” after their spring sweep through the Midwest and East Coast to support a masterful full-length debut album, it was more than a bit unnerving and especially disappointing in light of their intensity during that evening’s heavy take on a their sharp catalog of sludgy power pop.

But Hayes was true to his word, and after a few weeks of relative inactivity he quietly returned to the studio in July to begin work on the Lovey Dovies’ sophomore album.  Then, after lending his formidable percussion chops to the recording session, Eric Rogers – also of Empress Hotel and Vox And The Hound – was added to the band’s (local) live lineup as former drummer Dan Fox stepped out front to throw an extra guitar into the mix.  With a few new songs in the can and an intriguing personnel shift afoot, the Lovey Dovies’ comeback show on Monday night was everything one could hope from a band returning from a hiatus.

That the Dovies actually returned to the stage at all is nothing to take for granted in a city with as maddeningly insular and under-appreciated an independent rock scene as we have in New Orleans, but the group also sounded refreshed and re-energized, with their expanded arsenal both filling out and also adding space to songs new and old.  As a card-carrying member of at least two other highly-active local bands, it’s not hard to catch Rogers performing around town; but with no other act does he play with the voracity and dexterity he unleashed as part of the Lovey Dovies rhythm section. And with percussion duties well-attended to, Fox was free to bound around stage right with a guitar, alternating lead and rhythm duties with Hayes and allowing the lead singer to more deeply explore and engage his jangly tunes of distorted heartbreak.  If only all hiatuses worked out as well as they did in the case of the Lovey Dovies.