Lineups like Voodoo are a perennial curse and blessing—there’s simply too much music, too little time.
And in our case, too little space in print. Check out a few more recommendations for your Voodoo weekend below, and click here for dates, times and stages.
Little Freddie King and Guitar Lightnin’ Lee— Those of you who watch the HBO series Treme will recognize these two raucous blues guitarists from the hot club gigs they’re shown playing during Season 3. The drones will be heavy and the shuffles will be long when these groove merchants kick out the jams. No doubt King will pull out his signature tune “Chicken Dance” and Lee will play his statement of purpose song “Amsterdam”: “Call up the band ’cause we’re going to Amsterdam/When we get there they’ll wanna know who I am/They call me Guitar Lightnin’ from downtown New Orleans.” –John Swenson
Jack White— From his genre-melding days as one half of the White Stripes to his work with the Raconteurs and memorable collaborations with the likes of Loretta Lynn, Jack White is an enigma in more ways than one. He’s also responsible for introducing Delta blues, country and gospel to a generation of alt-rock kids, infusing his Detroit-born garage-punk sound with a deep respect for the American roots songbook. White, touring in support of his debut solo release Blunderbuss, is mixing it up on the road, alternating between an all-male band (The Buzzards) one night, an all-female lineup (The Peacocks) the next. (And no, he doesn’t decide until the day of show—we asked.) Given White’s kick-ass kit-mastering lady drummer, Autolux’s Carla Azar, here’s hoping his Voodoo set is an XX chromosome affair. –Amanda Schurr
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux— Big Chief Monk Boudreaux will be appearing twice at Voodoo, with Anders Osborne and Johnny Sansone and as member of the 101 Runners, who are staging “We Love Big Chief,” a tribute to Monk’s partner in the historic Mardi Gras Indian gang the Wild Magnolias, Bo Dollis. This special show will also include members of the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth Brass Bands. Boudreaux and Dollis made a breakthrough recording at the dawn of the 1970s, “Handa Wanda,” which became one of the most famous Indian chants and was released all over the world. Boudreaux, Osborne and Sansone are also all founding members of the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars. –John Swenson
Silversun Pickups— Bursting onto the scene with 2004’s ubiquitous mod-rock hit “Lazy Eye,” this Los Angeles-based quartet has delivered three full-length albums’ worth of solid, indie shoegaze—picking up many a justifiable comparison to Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine along the way (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Their most recent release, this year’s Neck of the Woods, further advances the band into dream-pop territory—check the gorgeous sonic wash of “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)”—straddling balls-out noise with swoon-worthy melodies and catchy hooks. –Amanda Schurr
AWOLNATION— Aaron Bruno is turning heads with his hit album Megalith Symphony. His creative use of synth and samples underscoring memorable vocals evokes a dreamlike quality in his music. “Sail” epitomizes Bruno’s elastic use of techno beats and altered voices in service of gentle pop song structures that convey the swelling of electric tides. “Maybe I should cry for help,” he sings offhandedly as a stealthy melody creeps behind the vocal. “Maybe I should kill myself/So blame it on my A.D.D. baby.” Other notable tracks include the sweet pop of “Swinging From the Castles” and the happy-go-lucky “Shoestrings.” –John Swenson
Metallica— The news that veteran hard rawkers Metallica were taking the headlining spot vacated by a rehabbing Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day was a last-minute feather in Voodoo’s cap. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo have gotten heads banging with their aggressive runs and lyrics to match since their ’86 breakthrough Master of Puppets and are among the MTV-generation’s biggest superstars (see the still disturbing, epic clip for 1989’s “One,” cut with footage from Johnny Get Your Gun). The band also puts on a blistering-enough live show to make Voodoo audiences forget about that god-awful concept record with Lou Reed last year (not so affectionately referred to as Lou-Tallica). There’s speculation that previous collaborators Soul Rebels will join them on stage. –Amanda Schurr
The Features— Nashville-based rockers feature a great singer in Matt Pelham and diamond-hard guitar-based pop built around sturdy melodic hooks. Pelham is the frontman and accompanies himself on guitar while Roger Dabbs (bass), Mark Bond (keyboards) and Rollum Haas (drums) bang out solid quicktime rhythms. The latest album, Wilderness, includes the highlight tracks “Another One” and “Fats Domino.” –John Swenson
Paul Sanchez Rolling Road Show— New Orleans icon Paul Sanchez takes his rolling road show in any number of directions depending on who’s in the lineup. For his Voodoo date, he’ll use the core band and vocalists from his musical adaption of Dan Baum’s Nine Lives in a lean, high-powered production. Bonus/Full Disclosure: OffBeat‘s John Swenson will do a reading/invocation from his new-to-paperback tome on the post-Katrina local music scene, New Atlantis.
Dev— Precocious California dance diva Dev (Devin Star Tailes) has the look and the audacity to take a larger-than-life stance working with the Los Angeles-based production team the Cataracs. Dev played a part in their platinum production of the huge hit, the simplistic but irresistible “Like a G6.” Dev is a really catchy and smart young singer who uses a lot of influences from R&B to techno pop. Her own “Booty Bounce” presents her as an iconic female figure. If she can translate that flash to the big stage you might be catching the next big thing. If not, it might be even more interesting as a train wreck. –John Swenson
Gary Clark, Jr.— With his storied formative years—learning guitar alongside Austin icon Eve Monsees, playing with Jimmie Vaughan, boasting early fans like Eric Clapton—28-year-old phenom Gary Clark, Jr. has been hyped as an axeman of Hendrix caliber. His hotly anticipated major-label debut, Blak and Blu, dropped this month, an assured fusion of psychedelic rock, soul and even hip-hop that is as modern as it is a throwback. Clark’s reputation as a live performer is well-deserved; expect a stripped, smoldering set that will appeal to Black Keys fans and classic blues folk alike. –Amanda Schurr
Delta Rae— This fascinating Americana folk combo from Durham, North Carolina is at its core a family band—vocalist, guitarist and principle songwriter Ian Hölljes formed the group with his brother Eric and sister Brittany along with vocalist Elizabeth Hopkins. The four-part harmonies are the key to Delta Rae’s sound. When the singers added bassist Grant Emerson and percussionist Mike McKee in 2010, they transformed into a more dynamic live act. Steeped in mythology, folk scenarios and garish fables, the group’s songs often strike an eerie ambience best heard on the ominous “Bottom of the River.” –John Swenson
Kid Koala— Born Eric San, Canadian turntable maestro Kid Koala is a beat geek worth catching live—thanks, in part, to his eclectic samples (everything from Charlie Brown TV specials to people sneezing) and his method of playing the deck like a traditional instrument. YouTube his trippy mix of “Moon River,” with its extended solo created by playing various violin notes from the song’s instrumental section at different pitches on four turntables—live. That’s to say nothing of his visual bent; also a graphic novel author and illustrator, the DJ is known for his Comic Con-ready garb and affable stage presence. –Amanda Schurr
Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds— This crack New York soul/blues band is fronted by Arleigh Kincheloe, a galvanic, big voiced singer who writes her own material, and features her brother Jackson, a high intensity harmonica soloist whose blues-rock blowing is the hottest thing since the J. Geils Band’s Magic Dick. The extremely tight octet backing Kincheloe sports a well-honed brass section that adds punch and sustains to her never-a-dull-moment material. The temperature should spike when Sister Sparrow hits the stage. –John Swenson
New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra— The American revivalists, who mark their 40th anniversary in 2012, are local (and beyond) favorites for good reason: superbly rendered takes on jazz and ragtime standards, along with works by lesser-known New Orleans composers and pre-jazz transcriptions of orchestral music. Expect some 20 musicians getting their trad on for the Voodoo performance. –Amanda Schurr
Bootsy Collins— Super bassist Bootsy Collins is among the most influential musicians of his era, a cornerstone of funk whose sound drove some of James Brown’s best bands, then Parliament/Funkadelic before he branched out in the mid-‘70s to lead his own group, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, based on the outrageous post-Hendrix persona he developed with Funkadelic. Bootsy has toured with the Rubber Band and Funkadelic ever since and has been on a roll since the release of Tha Funk Capitol of the World, with its memorable tracks “Don’t Take My Funk Away” and “Hip Hop @ Funk U” (with Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and Chuck D.). —John Swenson
Justice— Since the infectious club anthem “D.A.N.C.E.”—and its offshoot, “B.E.A.T.”—invaded earholes worldwide in 2007, French electro artists Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay have been favorites of the headphone-sporting prog-tronica set. The bass-heavy duo—who’ve remixed everyone from Lenny Kravitz and U2 to Fatboy Slim and MGMT (the latter, to Grammy-winning effect)—killed at Voodoo in 2009; expect a repeat slaying this time around. –Amanda Schurr