Alex McMurray Owns This Week
When I was looking over the music schedule for this week, I couldn’t help but notice the preponderance of gigs that Alex McMurray and his various projects will be hosting. McMurray has long been a staple on the local scene, known for the playful excellence of his music and the joy of performance he can inspire among his colleagues and fans. I remember seeing his Royal Fingerbowl project for the first time at one of the early Freret Street Festivals. There was something about the vibe, the lampooning of the city and the sheer comfort of the group that worked perfectly at that moment. Since then, I have haunted and in turn been haunted by McMurray’s various projects. There was a period where it seemed as though Jazzfest couldn’t start without a performance from his rock-steady group 007, which features Jeffrey “Houseman” Clemens, Jonathan Freilich and Joe Cabral. While 007 hasn’t been around as much lately, it looks like we may see a November performance from them this year. Personally, my favorite way to see McMurray perform is with the Tin Men at d.b.a. during their Wednesday residencies. The Tin Men always take the early slot and usually Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters take the late slot. Taken together it's a pretty impressive night of New Orleans music. Rather, you don’t find a scene like that anywhere but here. The Tin Men have a new record coming out in September and you’ll certainly be getting more information about that here. In the meantime, take a moment this week to go out and catch McMurray. You’ll be glad you did. He’ll be solo at Sibera for happy hour on August 29 and September 1. Early evening is a great time to be at Siberia, the line at the Polish restaurant Kukhnya, inside the venue, is short and the drinks are strong (get the beet burger and the pierogi). On Wednesday September 2, the Tin Men will be doing their usual Wednesday gig at d.b.a. Tonight, The Wright Brothers will be at the Ogden After Hours. In The Wright Brothers, McMurray is joined by local heavies Spencer Bohren, Jim McCormick and Paul Sanchez. If all that were not enough, finally on Sunday the concert performance of “Nine Lives: A Musical Witness of New Orleans” will be hosted at 6 p.m. at the Esplanade Studios. This performance was set to mark the 10th anniversary of Katrina. The show was composed by Sanchez and will feature a house band consisting of McMurray, Craig Klein (of Bonerama), Eric Bolivar, Monica McIntyre and more. Look for appearances by Bryan Batt, John Boutte, Glen David Andrews, Shamarr Allen and others. This should be a rather cathartic evening for all involved. It’s a good week for local music. These wonderful cultural reminders of this city’s significance are all around us. Take some time and celebrate the fact that we have persevered with a show that could only exist here.
To Do this Week
In addition to all the great shows above, tonight the Punch Brothers are playing at the Civic Theatre. On Friday, Bold Sphere Music is featuring Lil Weezyana Fest at Champions Square featuring Lil Wayne, Juvenile and Mannie Fresh. Also on Friday, Sweet Crude will be playing the Free Friday show at Tipitina’s. This group has been making waves both locally and nationally and are looking for some Kickstarter support to record their debut album. Check it out here. Finally, on Monday check out Thomas Wynn & the Believers at Big Mama’s Lounge
To Listen this Week
Pony Farm’s new record Charred Hate and Glitter is streaming via Bandcamp.
New track from Protomartyr via Soundcloud.