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Earphunk Releases Free BitTorrent Bundle

Start your week off right with a batch of free funky music from Earphunk to kickstart your Monday afternoon.Sweet Nasty, Earphunk

The New Orleans prog-funk band has released their new album, Sweet Nasty, in a free BitTorrent Bundle that also includes three full live sets, a video, and exclusive artwork.

You can also stream the entire new album exclusively directly from this post.

In a writeup on the BitTorrent blog, lead guitarist Paul Provosty said the new album is an attempt to capture the spirit and energy of the band’s live performances, which have taken them across the country and through multiple festival appearances in the past two years.

“When you hear the album it sounds like a live show, and that’s how it should feel,” Provosty said in the blog.

The Sweet Nasty bundle includes the album along with live recordings from Nectars in Burlington, VT, Artmosphere in Lafayette, and a set for a hometown New Orleans crowd at Tipitina’s.

An included video also documents a full Earphunk set at Groove Festival in Georgetown, Colorado, on July 19, 2014, and the bundle is rounded out by Sweet Nasty album artwork, a tour poster, and a lyric booklet.

True to their nature as up and coming road warriors, the band plans to tour extensively in support of Sweet Nasty, so keep your eyes open for more opportunities to see Earphunk in action.

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Video Interview: Buffa’s Bar and Restaurant Owner Chuck Rogers

Buffa’s Bar and Restaurant owner Chuck Rogers sat down with us to discuss the lawsuit filed against the bar by neighbor Sidney Torres IV in this exclusive interview.Buffa's Bar and Restaurant, Stephen Maloney, OffBeat Magazine

Rogers is overseeing an extensive renovation of the Back Room at Buffa’s, home to open mic comedy nights and a wide variety of local bands, and the source of the sounds Torres seeks to silence with his lawsuit.

Even though nothing has been finalized, Rogers is doing his part to be a good neighbor and mitigate the sound escaping the stage area.

Watch the video below to find out what else he has done to resolve this situation in this exclusive OffBeat video.

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Nicholas Payton Sends a Message to Black America via Ferguson, Missouri

Trumpeter Nicholas Payton has some strong words for “Black America” in light of the recent police shooting of the unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Nicholas Payton. Photo by Skip Bolen.

Nicholas Payton. Photo by Skip Bolen.

Never one to mince words on his personal blog, Payton wastes no time diving into the heart of the matter, joining a chorus of other commentators across the country who feel Brown’s shooting sheds a light on racial tensions and how they affect the black community.

Payton begins his powerful post by saying: “Message to Black America: It’s unlikely that the lawmakers or their agents will ever admit when they’re guilty of a crime. Just us.”

After going on to say that political affiliations do not matter in the face of racial prejudice, Payton draws a direct link between Brown’s killing and the Trayvon Martin case.

After a string of seven strong statements, Payton asks a very pointed question: “What’s going to be different this time?”

Rather than waiting for the justice system to “declare our humanity,” Payton calls on the black community to claim it.

“The most rebellious thing you can do as a people is invest in your community, daily. Build truth; destroy the lie.”

In light of fellow trumpeter Shamarr Allen’s recent encounter with Louisiana State Troopers, Payton’s words manage to take on a real and personal feel for New Orleans residents while helping to bring the Brown and Martin cases into sharper focus.

What do you think of Nicholas Payton’s message to Black America?

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New Orleans Concert Picks of the Week: August 14 – August 20, 2014

Hungry for live music… Look no further! Here’s OffBeat’s look at New Orleans’ top concerts for the week of August 14, – August 20, 2014 featuring: Aurora Nealand, Bonerama, Smoking Time Jazz Club, Hot 8 Brass Band, Ernie Vincent and the Top Notes, Rebirth Brass Band, Tin Men and more!

Full ScheduleLouisiana Music on TourAdd a New Listing


August 14August 15August 16August 17August 18August 19August 20



  • Buffa’s Lounge: Aurora Nealand (JV) 8p
  • d.b.a.: Otra (LT) 10p
  • Maple Leaf: Johnny Vidacovich, Nicholas Payton and Chris Severin (FK) 10:30p
  • Rock ‘n’ Bowl: L’il Nathan and the Zydeco Big Tymers (ZY) 8:30p
  • Snug Harbor: Spencer Bohren (MJ) 8 & 10p
  • Three Muses: Robert Snow Trio (JV) 7p



  • Carrollton Station: Grayson Capps and John Mooney (BL) 10p
  • Maple Leaf: Bonerama (FK) 10:30p
  • New Orleans Museum of Art: Banu Gibson (JV) 5:30p
  • Snug Harbor: Tango Jazz Quartet from Argentina (MJ) 8 & 10p
  • Tipitina’s: Honey Island Swamp Band (FK) 10p



  • Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Groove Therapy (VR) 9p
  • Louisiana Music Factory: Seth Walker (JV) 2p, Luvis (VR) 3p
  • Maison: Smoking Time Jazz Club, Street Legends (TJ) 7p
  • Saenger Theatre: Gipsy Kings (LT) 8p
  • Snug Harbor: John Ellis and Double Wide (MJ) 8 & 10p

Smoking Time Jazz Club at Maison

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  • Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 10p
  • Maison: Dave Easley, Brad Walker, One Love Brass Band (VR) 4p
  • Snug Harbor: Jee Yeoun Ko and friends (MJ) 8 & 10p
  • Three Muses: Raphael Bas and Norbert Slama (JV) 5p, Shotgun Jazz Band (JV) 8p



  • d.b.a.: Ernie Vincent and the Top Notes (RB) 10p
  • Hi-Ho Lounge: Bluegrass Pickin’ Party (BU) 8p
  • Maple Leaf: Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen (FK) 9p



  • Dragon’s Den: Punk Rock Night (PK) 10p
  • Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse: Jason Marsalis (JV) 8p
  • Maple Leaf: Rebirth Brass Band (FK) 10:30p
  • Snug Harbor: Indian Blue feat. Chief Monk Boudreaux, Johnny Sansone and John Fohl (MJ) 8 & 10p



  • Algiers Ferry Dock: Wednesdays on the Point feat. Mississippi Rail Company, Johnny Sansone and Colin Lake, DJ Rik Ducci (VR) 5:30p
  • Chickie Wah Wah: Pinettes Brass Band Street Queens (BB) 8p
  • d.b.a.: Tin Men (BL) 7p
  • Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Paa Kow (VR) 9p

Photos: Flood City Music Festival, Johnstown, PA, August 1-3

The Flood City Music Festival, held annually the first weekend in August in Johnstown, PA, has always been good to New Orleans artists.

This year’s fest included four New Orleans acts: Dumpstaphunk, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, The Iguanas and Hurray for the Riff Raff. Each group took their place among other festival acts like Boz Scaggs and Leftover Salmon featuring Bill Payne from Little Feat, and all delivered riveting sets that forced the western PA music faithful out of their seats and on the dance floor.

Dumpstaphunk had just announced that long time drummer Nikki Glaspie would be leaving to pursue her other project, The Nth Power, full time. This meant they had three gigs left with her, and the band responded with a high energy performance that was charged right from the start.

Big Sam played the main stage right before festival headliner Boz Scaggs, brandishing the call-and-response/you-better-get-up-and-dance set that has them crisscrossing the country from festival to festival.

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s quick rise in popularity had the Pavilion stage packed before they started, and the band did not disappoint. The Iguanas also had the crowd on their feet for an hour and a half before the festival closer, Lee Fields and the Expressions.

Big Sam, Flood City Music Festival, Bob Adamek, OffBeat Magazine

All photos by Bob Adamek. Click here to view the gallery on Flickr.

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Mannie Fresh Honored at Red Bull Tribute

On Saturday August 16 at Maison on Frenchmen Street, Red Bull Music Academy honors the career of Mannie Fresh, the pioneer of New Orleans bounce and hip-hop music, for the first time ever. The tribute, called “The Mind of Mannie Fresh,” will showcase artists who have influenced Mannie’s creativity, as well as producers who cite Mannie as a personal influence.

Mannie Fresh (Photo: Golden Richard)

“It is definitely an honor to be recognized by Red Bull for all of my accomplishments.  I’m grateful to be part of the family,” Fresh said. “Music is so important to the world. It’s not about changing the world, it’s about making it a better place and creating opportunities for others. We’re doing it together which makes it even better.”

The lineup Trouble Funk, an ‘80s go-go band from Washington, DC; New York Incorporated, Mannie Fresh’s own rap crew (featuring Mia X, Denny D, and DJ Wop); and Drumma Boy – a famed contemporary producer who has collaborated with Kanye West, T.I., Usher will participate. This will be the first time Trouble Funk has played in New Orleans for 20 years.

“To me, Mannie Fresh is the dopest producer to come out of the south and it’s an honor to be called upon by him for this event with Red Bull,” Drumma Boy said. “He definitely inspired me to be vocal on my tracks and create that presence that most of the great producers do… this event is going to be epic!”

Mannie Fresh is the renaissance man of the rap and hip-hop scene.  Starting out as a DJ in New Orleans in the ‘80s, he soon progressed into his role as a prominent producer.

As the official, in-house producer for Cash Money Records in the late ‘90s, Fresh developed the beats for notable tracks like Juvenile’s “Back that Azz Up,” Lil’ Wayne’s “Go DJ,” BG’s “Bling Bling” and countless other hits.  Mannie’s signature style of beats became so prominent that he became responsible for defining the uniquely Southern flavor of rap that would soon dominate the genre at the end of the millennium.  Now, as a multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated record producer, Fresh’s reputation in the music industry cannot be understated.

“It’s really about bridging the genre gap in music.  Younger audiences rarely know the history of music. Most of what they’re hearing today has already been created by some of the greats,” Fresh said, “they may not be directly familiar with my catalog, but this event will give them a chance to see where I’ve gotten some of my inspiration and who I’ve influenced.  Having both Trouble Funk and a young gun like Drumma Boy together at this event will definitely bridge the gap. It’s going to be a great night of Go-Go, Hip Hop and a damned good time.”

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Video Premiere: Cardinal Sons “Solo”

The brothers Shirley have a lot going on. As indie band Cardinal Sons, John, Joe, and Dave Shirley are set to celebrate the release a new EP, The Echo Choir, at an album release party at One Eyed Jacks on August 16.

Cardinal Sons, OffBeat Magazine, press photo, Crawford Morgan

Cardinal Sons (Photo: Crawford Morgan)

They also have a new video for their song “Solo,” which we are excited to bring to you now in an exclusive world premiere.

The band has come a long way since forming in 2012. The five track Echo Choir EP draws you in from the start, as the heartsick story at the center of “Day of Summer” steadily unfolds.

The last two songs, the literarily titled “Blood” and “Meridian,” balance each other out well and round out this brief collection of songs in a way that makes you ready for more.

Check out the world premiere video for “Solo” below, and you can catch Cardinal Sons at One Eyed Jacks on August 16 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door, and can be purchased here.

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Beck to Play House of Blues New Orleans on October 5

Beck has added two dates to his ongoing tour in support of his most recent album Morning Phase, which will bring him to the House of Blues New Orleans on October 5.Beck, Morning Phase, House of Blues New Orleans

Ever since the release of his breakthrough single “Loser” off of the album Mellow Gold two decades ago, Beck has built his career on a foundation of musical transformation.

Morning Phase has been hailed as a return to top form for Beck, who is set to begin touring in this latest incarnation on August 14 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

After six shows across the U.S., Beck will head to Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Spain before returning for a pair of appearances in Austin bracketing the New Orleans show on October 5 and a show in Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 7.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.

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OffBeat’s Martini Week Shakes Things Up

Limber up your libation creation muscles for OffBeat’s Martini Week to support Friends of City Park.

Martini Madness 2014, OffBeat Magazine

Click to see larger version.

We’re seeking original, New Orleans-themed martini recipes for Martini Week, which will take place from September 11-18, leading up to the Friends of City Park Martini Madness fundraiser on September 19.

The winner of OffBeat’s Martini Week contest will earn a table at Martini Madness to showcase their signature drink, a pair of VIP tickets to Voodoo Fest 2014, OffBeat t-shirts, and a gift bag.

To sign up for the Martini Week competition, email or call (504) 944-4300, extension 1007.

The deadline for entering the competition is August 15.

Get your drink shakers moving and start dreaming up original martini recipes!

Martini Madness, Friends of City Park

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Fan Funding: Billy Iuso

New Orleans funk guitar mainstay Billy Iuso has turned to crowdfunding site to raise money for his next album.

As Iuso explains in a post aptly titled “Let’s make some music!” on the site, he has lined up Grammy winning producer Tracey Freeman to help him with the new project.

Billy Iuso, Kim Welsh, OffBeat Magazine

Photo by Kim Welsh

“I will be recording here in New Orleans and have recruited many amazing musicians to make this happen,” Iuso says. “I feel this is some of the best music I have ever written or played and I’m excited to share it with you all!”

Iuso’s campaign aims to raise a total of $12,000. The donations will go to studio time, hiring an engineer, covering musician session costs, mastering the album, and paying for a producer and for a graphic designer. Once the album is ready to go, a portion of the donations will also cover the production and distribution of copies.

Donations have been divided into seven different levels, starting with the $25 “Trippin’” level, which awards donors with a digital copy of the new CD, a signed poster, and a surprise gift.

For $1,000, fans can become the “Duke of Earle,” and receive a 30 minute Skype concert, a signed CD and poster, copies of Iuso’s entire CD catalog, and they will be named as an Associate Producer on the CD.

There is no set end date for the promotion, which began on July 23 and raised close to 15 percent of his goal in the first 19 days thanks to 23 donations.

Click here to pledge your support for the project

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