April is always a busy time for music in New Orleans. In addition to French Quarter Fest and the Jazz & Heritage Festival, we’re catching a lot of groups at the beginning of their summer tours. They Might Be Giants start off the month in style at the House of Blues on April 2. These stalwart rockers helped create both the indie and geek music scenes. Their shows are always a blend of high powered performance and wacky theater.
On April 6 the electronic consortium M83 will be playing at the Civic. Led by Anthony Gonzalez, this group helped define the shoegaze and post-rock scene of the early oughts. Their eagerly anticipated new record should be out sometime this year. Hopefully we’ll get a preview.
The night of April 8 presents a real conundrum as two of the best shows of the month are lined up against each other. At One Eyed Jacks there’s a night of emo revival with Into It. Over It. and The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die (TWIABP), while in the Bywater at Siberia, Frankie Cosmos is playing with Eskimeaux. All four of these acts are great bets, it’s a shame that they conflict. Frankie Cosmos and Eskimeaux each released records that were among my favorites of last year. TWIABP and Into It. Over It. both beautifully combine the immediate emotional impact of emo with the aesthetics of post-rock. Brooklyn transplant Lindsey Baker, who performs under the name Guts Club, will be opening for Frankie Cosmos at Siberia. She will also be playing on the 6th at The Neutral Ground and on the 19th at Circle Bar. Take the opportunity to see her heart-wrenchingly beautiful brand of music.
Analog post-punks the Operators will be at Gasa Gasa on April 16. The band will release their full length follow up to their excellent EP 1 on the first of the month. The next night Kurt Vile and the Violators will be at Republic. Kurt Vile is one of the most engrossing entertainers I’ve seen in quite some time. The skill of his band accentuates the power of his songwriting.
Once we hit the gravitational pull of Jazz Fest, the month accelerates again. There is more to list than I can fit here, so keep an eye on my blog for the weekly details. I would, however, be remiss if I didn’t mention what looks to be the highlight of the festival night shows so far: On the 22nd The Meters will play at The Orpheum with guest Ivan Neville and a horn section consisting of Tracy Griffin, Jeff Albert, Khris Royal and Clarence Johnson III. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Finally, Dan Auerbach’s project The Arcs will play the House of Blues April 30. Check out this excellent garage rock as your Jazz Fest begins to wind down.
Note: Dates are subject to change. Playlist of mentioned bands available at: bit.ly/InTune4-16
It is time to break out the festival gear. This year French Quarter Fest runs April 7-10. The lineup for FQF is bigger and better than ever. The organizers have done a superb job of putting the sound of the city front and center. Once you’ve warmed up in the French Quarter, it will be time to head out to the track. This year The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will be held April 22-May 1. Like Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest is coming early this year. To my mind, this is the best lineup for Jazz Fest that we’ve seen in recent memory. Keep an eye on my blog for daily recommendations and updates.
To contact Mike about music news, upcoming performances and recordings, email Mike@MyNewOrleans.com or contact him through Twitter @Minima.