Of course the highlight of this weekend the return of Hogs For The Cause. While it is pretty common knowledge that Hogs has some of the best food of any local event, it also regularly boasts one of the most well curated lineups of music to fall under one banner. This evening you can start with the bluegrass sounds of The Wooks and follow that up with piano impresario Marco Benevento before excellent back-to-back performances from Trampled By Turtles and Boyfriend. I love the idea of closing out Friday with Boyfriend, this will be a great moment. Don’t forget that tonight is bacon right – where 96 teams will all offer dishes featuring Nueske’s bacon.
Tomorrow the music continues with early performances from Roadside Glorious, The Hot 8 Brass Band and Low Cut Connie – who were one of the absolute stand outs at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival last year (check them out below). As the afternoon presses on you’ll be able to see Wolfman Washington and The War and Treaty with a headlining performance from Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. Whether you come for the food and stay for the music or vice versa, you’ll be in for a great time. Make sure to check it out.
BUKU in Review
Another outstanding chapter of BUKU is in the books. The festival has really settled into its expanded footprint and despite the increased number of attendees at no point did the crowd feel impenetrable. No matter how excellent the performers are as a whole, there are always those shows stand above the rest. This year despite my excitement to see Lana Del Ray, Friday belonged to the Death Grips. From the moment they hit the stage MC Ride was explosive. For just over an hour the intensity kept escalating. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the ballroom roil quite like that. Just in front of the sound booth, a mosh pit broke out that slowly evolved into a dance floor. It’s fascinating to watch people move to the Death Grips, the rhythms defy prolonged attempts to follow them physically. It’s been a while since I’ve been to such a completely engaging performance – even at a distance MC Ride commands your full attention. For me Friday ended with a stellar performance from Kero Kero Bonito on the Switchyard Stage. Despite some early sound issues, Sarah Bonito and company were able to build a beautiful set around their new record, Time’n’Place. On Saturday the highlights were GRiZ on the Power Plant Stage and Yaeji in the Float Den. GRiZ’s style fits both the city and BUKU quite well. He has a vibe that just works here and his innovative use of the saxophone gives us a glimpse into what musicians are doing with the New Orleans sound elsewhere. I’ve been trying to see Yaeij for a while now but always managed to miss her. The Brooklyn-based producer builds this fascinating blend of house and hip-hop with striking vocals in both Korean and English. Her EP2 was one of the great works of 2017 and on Saturday she came to dance. Since she was up against the power combo of Skrillex and Boys Noize as Dog Blood, the Float Den was full of fans who came specifically for her. It was one of those great BUKU moments where the majority of the crowd was elsewhere but the Den was by no means empty and the fans present were fully engrossed with the performance. It is experiences like this that really make BUKU unique. The festival creates intimate experiences with artists who would otherwise probably not make it through New Orleans at all in an atmosphere that perfectly fits the experience – I’m glad to see it continue to thrive.
To Do This Week
Friday, 3.29: Jason Isbell continues The Fillmore’s excellent run of premier shows. You can also catch ReBirth Brass Band at Tipitina’s with THE GRÏD Featuring Nesby Phips while AF THE NAYSAYER drops in at Gasa Gasa and DJ Soul Sister hold court at One Eyed Jacks.
Saturday, 3.30: Cliff Hines is at Gasa with Gravity A. The Krewe of Red Beans has a great lineup of artists for their Red Bean cook off. Over the course of the day you can catch performances from the Happy Talk Band, Tin Men, Treme Brass Band, Bon Bon Vivant, Múevelo and the Maggie Belle Band.
Sunday,3.31: Swedish synth-pop artist Molly Nilsson will be at Gasa Gasa while the Hot 8 Brass Band pulls their usual shift at The Howlin’ Wolf.
Monday, 4.1: Jimbo Mathus takes the late shift at the Hi-Ho.
Tuesday, 4.2: The legendary California punks the Swingin’ Utters play the Santos Bar.
Wednesday, 4.3: The Wednesday at the Square performance is the incomparable Irma Thomas who is joined by Johnny Sansone.
Thursday, 4.4: Alex McMurray and His Band play the Saturn Bar.