January in New Orleans means several things: The reappearance of King Cakes, the Sugar Bowl game, and most recently, the Radiators’ return to Tipitina’s. For the last couple of years the Rads have taken the opportunity to host three nights of music in mid-January (this year Jan. 15-17). Like many of the Radiators’ reunion shows, these shows are a homecoming for the fans as well. Since the Rads called it quits in 2011, these few reunion shows have been a family reunion for those of us who regularly attended their all night shows at Tip’s. Expect a fantastic series of shows stretching into the early morning.
There are also three fantastic singer/songwriter shows scheduled for January as well. On Jan. 17, English singer Ben Howard will perform at The Civic. Howard is touring on his recent release, I Forget Where We Are, which follows up his outstanding debut, Every Kingdom. On Jan. 23, Lincoln Durham will take over the Beatnik with his frenetic performance style. Durham, who hails from southwest Texas, has released two excellent records that mix modern rock styles with traditional Texas sounds. Count on seeing an eclectic mix of antique, homemade and heavily modified instruments as the evening progresses. Finally, Gregory Alan Isakov will play One Eyed Jacks on Jan. 28. Isakov’s latest record, The Weatherman, has a beautifully calm, melodic flow. Make sure to arrive early for Leif Vollebekk’s set; the two musicians have a very complementary sound.
On Jan. 17 catch the orchestral rock sounds of Mother Falcon at Gasa Gasa. Mother Falcon is a collective of musicians from Austin who do everything from string-heavy Radiohead covers to original compositions.
If you’re looking for something a bit more progressive on the same night that Durham will hold down the Beatnik, Spazzkid will open for Giraffage at the Hi-Ho Lounge. This is an excellent chance to see two emerging west coast producers in one evening. Spazzkid’s 2013 album, Desire, is especially excellent for its combination of lyricism with a complexity of found sounds. This will be a truly excellent night of electronic pop starting with the slow burn of Spazzkid and following with Giraffage’s R&B inspired hip hop sounds.
Finally this month, Johnette Napolitano, the lead singer of the Concrete Blondes, will bring her solo show to the Parish at the House of Blues on Jan. 9. Napolitano’s solo records tend to be a bit grittier and more earnest than her work with the Blondes.
To contact Mike Griffith about music news, upcoming performances and recordings, email Mike@MyNewOrleans.com or contact him through Twitter @Minima.
Note: Dates are subject to change
Playlist of mentioned bands available at: bit.ly/InTune1-15.