American Roots and more
Chad Kamenshine photograph
December starts with Nik Turner bringing his signature brand of space rock jazz improvisation to Siberia on the 3rd. In the late 1960s, Turner’s Hawkwind project blazed a trail for the art glam projects that would come after them. Turner will be on sax, flute and vocals – expect the experience to be overwhelmingly surreal. Staying in the experimental vein, on Dec. 10, industrial rockers My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult will be at House of Blues. The band is touring on the excellent 2014 release Spooky Tricks. This is some of their best work in years, and the new songs seem to have revitalized their sound.
Also on Dec. 10 at Gasa Gasa, the excellent Shreveport based Seratones will bring their psychedelic soul to town. I really like what I’ve heard from this young group so far. Be sure to check them out.
If you’re looking for something a bit more in the American roots genre, two excellent groups from this scene will be through Tipitina’s this month. On Dec. 12 Pokey Lafarge and his band will do their swing, jazz and blues show. Lafarge and group are really unlike anything around right now; they’re a tribute to the era of the old jazz record. At first glance the band appear to be wearing costumes, but they’re more appropriately described as loving modern tributes to the fashions and styles of the eras the band members themselves worship.
The overall impact is one not of simple nostalgia but of a modern recreation of these seminal moments in American music. Just a few nights later on the 16th, Memphis-based alt rock ensemble Lucero will be at Tips as well. Lucero have been stalwarts in the alt country scene since well before it was a fashionable place to be. Their style draws on everything from soul to punk and creates a sound that’s distinctly their own. They have recently released the record All A Man Should Do; look for the show to focus in on developing these new tracks.
If you want something a bit more alternative, on Dec. 14 Heather Woods Broderick will bring her particularly haunting style of songwriting to 1638 Clio.
If you’re feeling a bit old school The (English) Beat will be at the Carver Theater on Dec. 19. The seminal British ska act is in the process of crowdfunding a new record. Look for all of your favorites from the 1980s here.
Finally, if you want to end the year in style George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic will be joined by DJ Soul Sister in hosting the Funky New Years Masquerade Ball at Tips for two nights (Dec. 29 and 30). You really can’t ask for a better way to end the year. Of course Galactic will be holding down Tips on the 31st, because those are the rules.
Note: Dates are subject to change. Playlist of mentioned bands available at: bit.ly/InTune12-15.
With the arrival of the holiday season we also see the inevitable return of the holiday music show. This year there are a couple worth checking out. On Dec. 23, Judith Owen & Harry Shearer’s Holiday Sing-A-Long will be at Le Petite Théâtre for its 10th anniversary show. This is a true old-school variety show and a perfect way to roll into the holidays. If you’re looking for something a bit edgier, on the 17th John Waters will bring his Christmas show the Civic. No matter your thoughts on the holidays, there’s a little something for everyone.
To contact Mike about music news, upcoming performances and recordings, email Mike@MyNewOrleans.com or contact him through Twitter @Minima.