May 4, 201710:48 AM
The sounds that move the Crescent City
Jazz Fest Week Two
Sinkane and The Meters Rock while we prepare for Hurray for the Riff Raff
all photos by mike griffith
Sinkane at Gasa Gasa
One of the best shows of the Jazz Fest season happened before the festival gates were even officially opened. On Thursday night Ahmed Gallab brought his Sinkane project to Gasa Gasa for a mind blowing night of music. When I spoke with Gallab about the new Sinkane record, he mentioned the sense of confidence that the Atomic Bomb! Band project had given him. While that confidence shows on the record, the recording sounds thin when placed against the textures of Sinkane’s fully developed live sound. The band as it exists now is a remarkable step forward for Gallab and company. They kept a full house at Gasa dancing for nearly two hours in what was a blessed way to roll into the festival.
The Meters at The Orpheum
I realize that I have long since begun to repeat myself when I sing the Orpheum’s praises but there is some remarkable stuff going on down there. On Saturday The Meters celebrated their 50th anniversary with a special show at the theater where they were inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. This is the second year that The Meters have celebrated Jazz Fest with a show at the Orpheum and the space is perfect for them. Despite their age The Meters’ shows have all of the virtuosity and experimentalism we have come to expect from these august figures. They can still shift the temperature of a room with their sound and that is a fantastic thing to experience. You still have a couple of chances to experience the Orpheum with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe on the May 5 or Galactic with San Fermin on the May 6.
Hurray for the Riff Raff at the Civic
If Sinkane was the great show of last week, Hurray for the Riff Raff’s homecoming show at the Civic will certainly be the great show this week. Alynda Segarra has put together something profound with HFTRR’s new record The Navigator. While the previous HFTRR work has mostly lived firmly in the folk/americana realm, here she explores her roots in a self-consciously questioning navigation between rock and her Nuyorican roots. This record is spectacular. It contains the same perfect poise of Segarra’s earlier work but moves effortlessly in profoundly personal and political spaces. This is a can’t miss show.
Basin Street Fest at the Little Gem
If you in more of a mood for funk and blues, also on Friday you can catch some of the heavies from Basin Street Records for a post Jazz Fest show at the Little Gem Saloon. This party kicks off the label’s 20th birthday celebrations and will feature: The Trumpet Battle with Kermit Ruffins v. Irvin Mayfield, Henry Butler, Dr. Michael White, Jason Marsalis and Davell Crawford. I really dig these collaborative fest shows. We seem to get a few new ones each year with different arrangements of personal and styles. This will be a fun night.
If you are looking for something off the beaten path to end your fest, check out NOizefest at 1614 Esplanade Ave (aka the old Art House) from 11am-9pm. This is a completely free festival featuring a wide range of the experimental noise acts from New Orleans over the last couple of decades. This truly eclectic festival celebrates the DIY aesthetic of the noise scene. Drop in and see what they have going on. If you don’t like what you hear, wait a minute and the scene will completely shift.
To Do This Week
Tonight and for the next couple of nights you can find Kamasi Washington at One Eyed Jacks for a series of shows. Also, the Stoop Kids are at Gasa Gasa. Friday check out Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at the Orpheum if you’re not going to Hurray for the Riff Raff at the Civic. On Saturday Lake Street Dive is at the Civic and the North Mississippi All Stars are at Tipitina’s. Sunday get your last gasp of the Fest with Marco Benevento at the Maple Leaf for the 3am set. Tuesday check Sir Richard Bishop at Siberia or Blink-182 is at the Smoothie King Center with the excellent Wavves. Wednesday will find The Besnard Lakes at Gasa.
To Listen This Week
- alt-J return to the Tiny Desk with a new performance via Youtube
- HAIM announce new music with a new video by Paul Thomas Anderson via Youtube
- The Mountain Goats return with a new track (they’ll be at Republic 5/26) via NPR