Controlled chaos and more
Giles Borg photograph
September is here, and with the worst of summer behind us and the Voodoo Experience ahead of us, we can look forward to many of the national tours returning to New Orleans.
This month features several excellent psychedelic indie rock bands. On Sept. 10, the Melbourne, Australia-based King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard will be at Gasa Gasa. The seven-piece ensemble specializes in controlled chaos of a large band’s psychedelic performances. A bit later in the month on the 18th, British stalwarts Swervedriver will be playing the Parish at the House of Blues. The band is touring on their new record, I Wasn’t Born to Lose You, which is their first release in 17 years. Their sound has definitely adapted to match the developments of the indie psychedelic scene of the past decade or so. Two days later, on Sept. 20, Gardens and Villa will be playing at Gasa Gasa. Their new record, Music for Dog, was released in August. On this release they have found a perfect balance between the electropop and psychedelic elements of their sound. There is a lot to love on this record; it will be a treat to see them render some of these tracks live. Finally, on the same night, Thee Oh Sees will be playing at One Eyed Jacks. Thee Oh Sees are another longstanding psychedelic band that has a new record this year. Their new release, Mutilator Defeated At Last, is the first record they have recorded with their new lineup. The change of personnel has lead to a revitalized sound while retaining the psychedelic essence that the band has always held.
Closer to the pop end of the spectrum, Diet Cig will be playing at Gasa Gasa on Sept. 17. The band consists of Alex Luciano (vocals and guitar) and Noah Bowman (drums). Luciano’s voice reminds me of a ghost of the late 1990s indie female scene. There is definitely an acknowledgement of that sound in her singing, but it’s edged with something comfortable both in terms of her lyricism and ease with audience.
If you’re looking for something a bit more experimental, Godspeed You! Black Emperor will be at the Joy Theatre on Sept. 12. Godspeed is a post-rock instrumental band that has been on the scene since the late 1990s. They have taken the psychedelic and pushed it beyond the limits of what we consider rock in fantastic ways. These are long instrumental tracks where the melodic lines drift away from each other and meander a bit before spectacularly crashing back together. I highly recommend this rare chance to see this supremely talented cult group in action. Also in this vein, Chelsea Wolfe will be playing at One Eyed Jacks on the 17th. Wolfe’s style is somewhere between drone and industrial with a strong hint of folk in terms of the song construction. If you liked the Pharmakon show a few months back, this is right in your wheelhouse.
Note: Dates are subject to change. Playlist of mentioned bands available at: bit.ly/InTune9-15
Old Sounds Made New
Tipitina’s, Galactic and the Orpheum have pulled together a fabulous series of events clustered around the last weekend of September. First, Tipitina’s and Galactic announced the creation of The Landing Festival out at South Shore Harbor. This three-day event will kick off with a party at Tip’s on Friday night, followed with two days of music at the harbor. In addition to Galactic, they have announced: Grace Potter, Cake, Dr. Dog, Trampled by Turtles and several others. If you haven’t had your fill of music by the end of Sunday, the cherry on top of this remarkable sundae is Wilco on Monday night in the newly restored Orpheum Theatre. In July, Wilco released a surprise record, Star Wars, which looks back to their older sound and brings it up to this moment. What better place to hear an old sound made new than this beautifully restored theatre?
To contact Mike about music news, upcoming performances and recordings, email Mike@MyNewOrleans.com or contact him through Twitter @Minima.