Louie Ludwig, The Things You Done on a Mardi Gras Day (ZZI Music)

The great Mardi Gras anthems all physically sound like a parade is underway—it’s not just about the beat, but the atmosphere, which is not as easy to create in the studio as you might think. New Orleans poet laureate of sorts Louie Ludwig found a great way around that problem, programming (!!!) very authentic-sounding parade drums (tracks of them) and then mixing that with actual field recordings of Carnival celebration. It all helps to deliver the joke, which is about how showing your ass on Mardi Gras, literally and otherwise, can come back to bite you the rest of the year. Louie always keeps one slightly jaundiced eye on the human condition, but he’s never mean; the overall thesis is “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die of embarrassment.”