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New Orleans Concert Picks of the Week: April 17 – April 23, 2014

Hungry for live music… Look no further! Here’s OffBeat’s look at New Orleans’ top concerts for the week of April 17 – April 23, 2014 featuring: the Breton Sound, Hot Club of New Orleans, Alexandra Scott, Dr. Michael White Jazz Band, George Porter, Jr. and Friends, Stanton Moore Trio, and Dick Dale.

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April 17April 18April 19April 20April 21April 22April 23

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 17

  • Armstrong Park: Jazz in the Park feat. Glen David Andrews (JV) 4p
  • Civic Theatre: Umphrey’s McGee, Lionize (RK) 7p
  • Gasa Gasa: the Breton Sound, Pinkerton (ID) 8p
  • Historic New Orleans Collection: New Orleans Nightingales (JV) 6p
  • Palm Court Jazz Café: Duke Heitger and Tim Laughlin with Crescent City Joymakers and Cori Walters (TJ) 8p
  • Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas (ZY) 8:30p

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 18

  • d.b.a.: Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 6p, Gristle Candy feat. John “Papa” Gros, Alex McMurray, Jake Eckert, Casandra Faulconer and Russ Broussard (RK) 10p
  • Howlin’ Wolf: Rebirth Brass Band (BB) 10p
  • Little Gem Saloon: Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns (JV) 8p
  • Maple Leaf: Colin Lake Band (BL) 10:30p
  • Publiq House: George Porter Jr. and his Runnin’ Pardners (FK) 9p

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 19

  • Louisiana Music Factory: Alexandra Scott (SS) 2p, the Mumbles (JV) 4p
  • Maple Leaf: Gaynielle Neville CD-release party (FK) 10:30p
  • Old Point Bar: Diablo’s Horns (VR) 9:30p
  • Snug Harbor: Herlin Riley Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 20

  • Maison: Dave Easley, Linnzi Zaorski (JV) 5p, Soul Project (FK) 10p
  • Maple Leaf: Joe Krown Trio feat. Russell Batiste and Walter “Wolfman” Washington (FK) 10p
  • Palm Court Jazz Café: Lucien Barbarin and Sunday Night Swingsters with Meghan Swartz (TJ) 8p
  • Snug Harbor: Dr. Michael White Jazz Band (MJ) 8 & 10p
  • Three Muses: Ben Polcer (JV) 11:30a, Raphael Bas and Norbert Slama (JV) 5:30p, Debbie Davis (JV) 8p
  • Tipitina’s: Todd Snider (FO) 8:30p

 

MONDAY, APRIL 21

  • Funky Pirate: Gary Brown Band (BL) 8p
  • Kerry Irish Pub: Kim Carson (FO) 8:30p
  • Maple Leaf: George Porter Jr. and friends (FK) 10p

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 22

  • Columns Hotel: New Orleans Guitar Quartet feat. Cranston Clements, Phil DeGruy, John Rankin and Jimmy Robinson (JV) 8p
  • Hi-Ho Lounge: 21st Century and Most Wanted Brass Bands (BB) 10p
  • Snug Harbor: Stanton Moore Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23

  • d.b.a.: Tin Men (RK) 7p, Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters (BL) 10p
  • Gasa Gasa: Papa Mali, Pigeon Town (FK) 8p
  • Howlin’ Wolf: Dick Dale (RK) 10p
  • Lafayette Square: Wednesday at the Square feat. Theresa Andersson, Paul Sanchez and the Rolling Road Show (RR) 5p
  • Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue (CW) 8p

Dick Dale at the Howlin’ Wolf.

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Get Ready for Record Store Day on Saturday, April 19

Record stores across New Orleans are gearing up for Record Store Day with live music and special deals on vinyl records on April 19, 2014.

Analisa Cisneros at the Louisiana Music Factory said Record Store Day always attracts a wide variety of serious music lovers.

Louisiana Music Factory, Record Store Day, OffBeat Magazine

Photo Courtesy of Louisiana Music Factory

“It’s kind of like their holiday, their Christmas,” she said. “But with a little bit of a roulette wheel feeling because not everything will be available at every place. There’s definitely a treasure hunt that goes on.”

Since Record Store Day is a national effort focused on generating interest in vinyl records, there won’t be too many albums by New Orleans acts available through the promotion, but that doesn’t mean local music lovers will have a hard time finding great music.

The Warner Brothers label is releasing a bevy of interesting albums, including the soundtrack for the movie “Bullitt” by composer Lalo Schifrin, an album featuring David Bowie and William S. Burroughs, and a series of seven inch records featuring two different acts performing the same song, from The Cure and Dinosaur Jr. performing “Just Like Heaven,” to the Flaming Lips and Devo performing “Gates of Steel.”

There will be two live in store performances at Louisiana Music Factory, Alexandra Scott at 2 p.m. and the Mumbles at 3 p.m., and that’s not all in terms of live attractions for vinyl music lovers on Record Store Day.

Peaches Records on N. Peters Street in the French Quarter will host a keg party and an exotic animal parade that ends in a petting zoo.

Atlantic Records recording artist and local Louisiana rapper Kevin Gates, whose new mixtape “By Any Means” has earned Billboard acclaim, will make a special in-store appearance for a meet-and-greet with fans.

Euclid Records will celebrate two big events on Saturday – the grand opening of the new location at 331 Chartres and Record Store Day – with free beer (while it lasts) and a full schedule of live music between noon and 6 p.m. including Tuba Skinny at 1 p.m., Idle Club Hour at 3 p.m., and MadFro at 4 p.m.

Overall, Cisneros said she has seen Record Store Day help rekindle in vinyl records over the past five years.

“It really has made collecting vinyl cool again,” she said. “It’s really great for the stores because they put out a free listing, and the collectors will go from store to store to try to find as much as they can. It’s really great for everyone.”

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Freaksheaux to Geaux 3rd Resurrect-Aversary at the AllWays Lounge

Get sacrilegious on Good Friday with vaudeville sideshow Freaksheaux to Geaux. The macabre troupe of performers is celebrating its third annual Resurrect-Aversary at 10 p.m. on April 18th at the AllWays Lounge.

Complete with burlesque, acrobatics and rapturous hellfire, Freaksheaux’s third Resurrect-Aversary is a shamelessly fun way to start off Easter weekend.

Freaksheaux to Geaux, AllWays Lounge

Freaksheaux to Geaux proprietress Judith Kali founded the group in 2011 out of a desire to create a sideshow with a distinct New Orleans flair. The Crescent City was already dripping with burlesque, but vaudeville was in dire need of a revival, Kali said.

“We’re trying to do a departure from most vaudeville shows that are purely centered on strip tease by including some more variety acts,” she said. “Freaksheaux is something I started to be challenging.”

Freaksheaux to Geaux’s debut performance fell on the night before Easter, prompting Kali to ironically name the show “the Resurrection.” Keeping with tradition, Freaksheaux celebrates its anniversary every April with the Resurrect-Aversary.

On the Freaksheaux stage, Kali assumes the alter ego of daring fire dancer Mistress Kali. The Mistress has performed with fire for 12 years, but she also is skilled in pole dancing, burlesque and lying on a bed of nails.

Among Freaksheaux’s other notable performers are Sam the Aquatic, Freaksheaux’s star contortionist and acrobat, and local darling Oops the Clown. The Resurrect-Aversary also features a live band and performers from around the country. This year’s special guests are Sidetracked, an award-winning comedic duo from Philadelphia that specialize in vaudeville-style storytelling and comedy.

Though Freaksheaux is a relatively new group, Kali said its eclectic cast of performers draws audiences from all ages.

“We definitely appeal to the 21-35 age range, but we have folks up into their 80s watching. It makes me really happy and proud,” Kali said.

Despite Freaksheaux to Geaux’s rapid growth, Kali is already developing new ideas to expand the local and regional vaudeville community. Freaksheaux to Geaux is heading out on the road to perform in regional festivals and events. The circus recently performed in San Antonio, TX, for a packed house. The concept of a new vaudeville festival is also brewing amongst Kali and her cohorts.

“I really want to bring a little piece of New Orleans out to other cities,” Kali said. “We are definitely doing more small tour events. We went from monthly to quarterly shows so we could work on more out-of-town shows.”

The Resurrect-Aversary is one of the last opportunities to see lurid circus Freaksheaux to Geaux before the troupe leaves on tour. General admission for this irreverent event costs $15 at the door.

Patrons can also purchase VIP tickets in advance to get “splash zone” seating and table service.

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John Gros and Gristle Candy Bring Something New to d.b.a.

Although it has a somewhat unusual name, when the new roots rock band Gristle Candy takes the stage at d.b.a. on Friday, April 18, the audience will see a lot of familiar faces.

The band, led by John “Papa” Gros of Papa Grows Funk fame and featuring Alex McMurray of the Tin Men, Jake Eckert of the New Orleans Suspects, Casandra Faulconer of Cowboy Mouth, and Russ Broussard of Susan Cowsill’s Band, is overflowing with an eclectic mix of talent.

While Papa Grows Funk was in full swing, Gros would occasionally pull together a hodgepodge of available musicians to host what he called “Papa’s Special” nights, which were outlets for the musicians involved to play music that didn’t fall within the scopes of their respective regular bands.

John Gros, Alex McMurray, photo, Stephen Maloney, OffBeat Magazine

John Gros and Alex McMurray. (Photo by: Stephen Maloney)

Gristle Candy started out as one of those groups, but quickly became something more when the band started to gel almost immediately.

“It’s one of those things where the chemistry exceeds everybody’s abilities,” Gros said. “Even on our first night, it was so apparent. It was just a treat playing some really good stuff with some really mature players.”

Gros said he recruited the other members of the band because he really likes their individual musical output and gets along with them as people, so the instant musical chemistry has grown out of that feeling.

“It all fell together that first night,” he said. “Someone told me who was there ‘I was at the first Papa Grows Funk gig, and this had that same kind of magic.’”

While the members of Gristle Candy are all treating this as a side project, they are having so much fun that this configuration will continue, Gros said.

While there have been no new songs written specifically for Gristle Candy, each musician has delved deep into their own back catalogue to unearth songs that didn’t fit in well with other projects.

“For my stuff, I would say it’s more along the ‘groovy rock’ sound, as opposed to the ‘hard funk’ sound,” Gros said. “It’s just something different that I haven’t really been able to do in a while. I want to be able to exercise all of these different musical personalities that I have and share them with people, and this one just really worked out great.”

And as for the name? Gros gives Alex McMurray full credit for coming up with Gristle Candy.

“When we got this date for d.b.a., I told everyone the only way we were going to do it was if we came up with a name,” he said. “Being that Alex is just a wielder of words, I told him to come up with one. I sent him a list of ideas I had, and all of the sudden I get an email at an odd hour, and all it said was ‘Gristle Candy.’ Just those two words. I sent him an email back immediately that said ‘perfect.’”

Gristle Candy
Friday, April 18
10 pm
d.b.a.
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Ticket Giveaway: Umphrey’s McGee at the Civic April 17

We’re giving away a pair of tickets to see Umphrey’s McGee at the Civic Theater on April 17. The band, which formed 16 years ago in South Bend, Indiana, is touring in support of their new album “Similar Skin.”

Umphrey's McGee, Civic Theater, New Orleans

Sorry! This contest is now closed.

 

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Record Year For French Quarter Festival Attendance

A record year–in spades–for this year’s French Quarter Festival: the 31st annual French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron attendance figures, as reported by organizers,  indicate that nearly 733,000 festival-goers enjoyed the music, food, special events and the historic French Quarter.

French Quarter Fest 2014, photo, Stephen Maloney, OffBeat Magazine

This year's French Quarter Fest blew away previous attendance records. (Photo by: Stephen Maloney)

This is over a 30 percent increase  over 2013, when approximately 560,000 fans attended the event, and well over attendance at previous French Quarter Fest events.

Attendance numbers are calculated based on actual counts (that are adjusted down by percentage to account for repeat entrances and exits). Fess, Inc. Security counts at entry and exit points of major stages.

This number does not include attendance at the festival’s Royal, Bourbon, Chartres, Decatur and French Market stages, Battle of the Bands, Dancing at Dusk, Cathedral Concert, and other special events.

Rouses had record sales at French Quarter Festival 2014, selling over 40,000 pounds of boiled crawfish and over 5,000 servings of their Crawfish Boil Boudin. Beers sales were also up:festival sponsor Abita Beer reported 905 kegs (up from 632 in 2013) and over 800 cases of beer. Progressive Waste Solutions reported 210 tons of garbage from the festival grounds this year, and Pelican Ice delivered 236,160 pounds of ice– up from 200,000 pounds in 2013.

French Quarter Fest–without a doubt–has proven itself to be a mover and shaker in New Orleans spring festival arena.

Catch photos by OffBeat’s Stephen Maloney from this year’s festival here.

 

 

 

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Photos: French Quarter Fest Saturday, April 12

This year’s French Quarter Fest has been an incredible success, with enormous crowds and absolutely perfect weather.

With hundreds of performers spread across dozens of stages, there has been something for everyone since the first shows on Thursday afternoon.

These pictures from Saturday, April 12 show just a hint of the action.

Chris Mulé and the Perpetrators put on a great show on the Esplanade in the Shade stage, Andrew Duhon reunited with Miles Weeks and Maxwell Zandy at the BMI Songwriter Stage, there was a (successful) marriage proposal in front of the Chevron Cajun/Zydeco stage, and brass band Magnetic Ear played amazing versions of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Nina’s “99 Luftballons.”

All photos by Stephen Maloney.

French Quarter Fest, OffBeat Magazine, by Stephen Maloney

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French Quarter Fest Volunteer Spotlight: Stu Barash

French Quarter Fest volunteer Stu Barash has worn many hats within the festival’s organizational ranks over the years.

Barash currently serves on the board of French Quarter Festivals Inc., and he served as the organization’s fifth president in 1988. But that has never stopped him from getting his hands dirty.

Stu Barash, French Quarter Fest, OffBeat Magazine

Photo by: Stephen Maloney

“It’s a working board,” he said. “You can’t just say ‘oh, I’m a board member’ and get all the glory of being on the board. You work.”

The festival has a system of quality controls that require each board member to try their hand at every different job – from cleanup duty to overseeing VIP rooms for donors and special guests.

“Wherever they need us to fill in, we’ll do that,” Barash said. “There are almost 2,000 volunteers that sign up to do this every year, including the board. They give us the opportunity of picking our spots first.”

That idea of working hard to maintain quality has been a driving factor for Barash in the year and a half since he returned to New Orleans and the board after having been displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

“Our goal is to make this the best festival,” he said. “I think we’re as big as we’re going to be, so now it’s a matter of getting it to where everybody is as comfortable as possible.”

Out of the many roles he has filled throughout the years, Barash said one stands out as the most enjoyable.

“I love pouring beer, because you really get to talk to the people,” he said. “But we can’t drink it. That’s the only downside.”

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French Quarter Fest Visitor Profile: John and Marie Morris

Belmont, California, residents John and Marie Morris know exactly what to do as soon as they land in New Orleans for French Quarter Festival.

“The first thing we do when we get out here is go to Walgreens and buy two chairs,” John Morris said. “And then when we’re done, we just give them away and head home.”

Marie and Jim Morris, OffBeat Magazine

Marie and John Morris. (Photo by: Stephen Maloney)

Marie Morris said they have made the trip to New Orleans for French Quarter Fest about 10 times in the last 20 years, sometimes bringing friends, but always staying at hotels in the French Quarter. And it all began almost by accident.

“We came one year a week after the fest, and there were still brochures out about it,” Marie Morris said. “We were talking to one of the band members at Fritzel’s, who was saying we really needed to come down for the fest, so the next year we did.”

John and Marie become fixtures at Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub on Bourbon Street every time they are in town, and they said they have developed favorites among the hundreds of musicians that perform every year.

“We like Tim Laughlin and Amanda Shaw, and of course the jazz band at Fritzel’s,” Marie Morris said. “We have a variety of interests.”

John Morris said they were able to get up close to the stage when Amanda Shaw played a jazz festival in San Jose about 10 years ago, and they had a great conversation about New Orleans and French Quarter Fest.

The best and most memorable French Quarter Fest was the first year they returned after Hurricane Katrina struck, John Morris said.

“Post Katrina we came, and we were debating whether or not it was appropriate to come,” he said. “But the artists were very glad that we came, so that made us feel good. There really weren’t that many people out that year, but it’s been growing exponentially.”

Marie Morris said she always tries to sample as much local cuisine as possible during their time in New Orleans to support as many restaurants as possible, but that’s not the only perk to being in New Orleans.

“When they say we should support local businesses, I feel really good about buying Abita beer,” John Morris said.

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Photos: French Quarter Fest Second Line Parade on Bourbon Street

The French Quarter Fest got off to a great start this morning with the annual second line parade down Bourbon Street and into Jackson Square.

Brass bands, marching groups, second line dancers, and an assortment of colorful French Quarter characters all helped officially kick off French Quarter Fest 2014 in grand style.

Hundreds of tourists and locals lined both sides of Bourbon for the length of the parade route, dancing in the streets and catching Mardi Gras Beads. Check out some pictures from the parade.

All photos by Stephen Maloney.

French Quarter Fest Second Line, by Stephen Maloney, OffBeat Magazine

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