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Voodoo in the Air

Where spirited music arises

Shawn Brackbill PHOTOGRAPH

October is all about the countdown to the Voodoo Experience. Anticipating the Nov. 10 release of their new record Sonic Highways, the Foo Fighters will bring their high-intensity show to the festival’s main stage. This year Atlanta’s Outkast will share headlining duties. Outkast is currently on a 40-music festival reunion tour, which has been honed by a long summer of shows that began at Coachella back in April.

Of course, often the best part of most music festivals is exploring the newer and lesser-known performances early in the day. First off be sure to check out two local acts that are currently making a name on the national circuit: Royal Teeth and Benjamin Booker. Royal Teeth is touring on the strength of their August 2013 debut record, Glow. This record extends and develops the promising vocal styling of their earlier EP and confirms their range of performance. Benjamin Booker is quite simply a force of nature. He combines blues, rock and power pop into an exuberant, unified whole. Booker’s eponymous record was released on Aug. 19 and has found a niche between Jack White and St. Vincent in what has become the summer of guitar rock. On a different note, be sure to check out Action Bronson. The Flushing Queens-based rapper and former gourmet chef has released several unbelievable mix tapes and the critically acclaimed EP Saab Stories. Be aware that his lyrics may not be for the easily offended, but the flow of his rhymes is undeniable. Finally, if you’re a fan of what country music was before its more modern incarnation, you are sure to enjoy Sturgill Simpson. This Kentucky native is most often compared to Waylon Jennings, but he has a contemporary sonic playfulness all his own.

Do not worry, there are plenty of great shows between now and the festival as well. I am particularly looking forward to Poliça on the Oct. 8 at One Eyed Jacks. This electro-pop band has been tearing up the festival circuit this summer on the strength of their latest record, Shulamith. I had the pleasure of seeing them at Bonnaroo this summer, and I can highly recommend their high-intensity live performances. The very next night Annie Clark will take the stage at the House of Blues as St. Vincent. Several critics have touted this as the must-see tour of the summer, and she’s certainly not only one of the best live performers active, she’s also one of the best guitarists as well.

To contact Mike Griffith about music news, upcoming performances and recordings, email Mike@MyNewOrleans.com or contact him through Twitter @Minima.

Note: Dates are subject to change. Playlist of mentioned bands available at: bit.ly/intune10-14 


Electronic Hybrid

As the cost of distribution has declined, audiences have fractured and genres have become impossible to define. This month three acts are coming to town that do their best to avoid categorization. Check them out and let me know what you think:

Phantogram (pop/rock/electronic) Oct. 4 at Republic, SBTRKT (pop/dance/R&B) Oct. 9 at Republic and Sinkane (pop/funk/jazz/house) on Oct. 27 at One Eyed Jacks.

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