This is an astounding month for shows. It all starts tonight with Beyonce and Jay-Z at the Dome (you don’t need me to tell you to go to that show) and continues for the next few weeks. Check out some of this week’s highlights below.
Tonight – Beyoncé and Jay-Z @ The Dome
Beyoncé and Jay-Z return to New Orleans tonight as part of their OTR II (On The Run) tour. Earlier this summer the pair released their surprise collaborative record—EVERYTHING IS LOVE—to widespread critical acclaim. This is a stunning stadium show capable of using all of the space that the Dome will provide—and if previous stops are any indication running for about two and a half hours. You can always count on these two for the height of pop spectacle. Their shows are the gold standard of stadium production and the music is undeniably excellent. Still a few tickets left so grab them while you can. Check out the groundbreaking video for “APES**T” below.
Friday – Portugal. The Man @ The Sugar Mill
Tomorrow Portugal. The Man—easily one of my favorite live acts—roll into The Civic with Chicano Batman. My love of this band has been pretty well documented in this column—this is your opportunity to see one of the tightest bands on the scene right now. Their last record Woodstock still gets a ton of play in our house. Check out their smash hit “Feel It Still”.
Saturday – Saintseneca + Black Belt Eagle Scout @ Gasa
On Saturday night Saintseneca hits Gasa Gasa with Black Belt Eagle Scout. Both of these bands are really fantastic. Saintseneca is a remarkable indie folk and americana project led by the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Zac Little. I caught up with Little to talk some about the new record—Pillar of Na—and his approach to creating music. Specifically, I asked him to talk a bit about the nature of music. “I mean I feel like usually for me it's kind of a process of … I like to describe it as just kind of, you know, kind of unveiling the song. It's more of like a process of discovering it or finding it rather than like offering it, if that makes sense…I don't really think that you make anything, no matter what, you're always kind of finding it. You're finding possibilities to exist.” Part of the strength of Saintseneca is the multi-instrumental talent of its members. The playful these skills enable help the songs to reveal themselves. “So, in every instrument, you know, it's infinite in its own way but, at the same time, its actually like a pretty finite spectrum of tones that you might be able to access with that particular thing, you know? If it, a monophonic synthesizer or something you're going to be playing one note at a time or, a guitar only goes so low and so high…a mandolin can go higher and so it's like, those different tools, essentially, give you access to different territories or they give you capacity to find different notes and sounds and so, yeah, that's like an important part of it for me it's just sort of not knowing what I'm doing and trying to use those tools to find a way to be surprised.” These surprises are part of what make this music so alluring. In Zac’s words, “I'm always just looking to be surprised…I feel like, it's easy to get to a point where you're moving through the world—whether that's playing music or doing anything else—where all your expectations are sort of crystallized, right, you're sort of hardened in the way that you see the world and when that begins to happen there's so much that you miss…I feel like if you can find that mindset where you're almost like a kid…and you're able to be surprised you can see things just as they are.”
Tuesday – Social Distortion + Valley Queen + Justin Townes Earle @ HoB
Legendary punks Social Distortion head to the House of Blues with Valley Queen and Justin Townes Earle on Tuesday night. Valley Queen’s record Supergiant is one of the fantastic records of the year and Justin Townes Earle remains one of the great singer-songwriters on the americana scene.
Wednesday – Frankie Cosmos @ Gasa
Finally on Wednesday Frankie Cosmos stops in at Gasa Gasa. As Cosmos, Greta Kline has released two of the truly great records of the last few years. Her most recent release—Vessel—came out in March and continues her measured indie folk sound. There is a wonderful stillness at the center of her music that is immediately entrancing.
To Do This Week
To Listen This Week
Check out Cake’s cover of Roger Miller’s “Reincarnation” via CoS
Kurt Vile has announced a new record and shared “Bassackwards” via Youtube
How to Dress Well is back with a new track and record announcement as well via Youtube