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Celebrate Carnival with Tank and The Bangas

Tank and The Bangas at One Eyed Jacks

As we roll into the second weekend of Carnival, the shows just keep getting better. This weekend One Eyed Jacks has a great series of events. Tomorrow night Tank and The Bangas will be playing with Sweet Crude. Saturday Big Freedia plays with Sweet Crude. Sunday Tank and the Bangas return to play with Big Freedia and on Monday Quintron and Miss Pussycat throw their Lundi Gras party.

Carnival is a great time for local shows. The spirit of the season makes everything just a little bit livelier and a little bit later and a touch more memorable.  I spoke with Tank about their upcoming turn at Jacks and a bit about what it means to be carried away by Mardi Gras.  She told me about some of her earliest memories of Carnival and how important coming back after the storm was to her.

“Mardi Gras means a lot. I remember before the storm as a little girl I would get lost every year. I was hypnotized by the floats. I kept moving with them. Just throw me something! Before I knew it, I was crying on the corner by myself. I mean every year, like it was a ritual or something. After the storm…I went to Indiana and of course they had no Mardi Gras there. The principal at my school allowed me to literally take time off like it was my own personal holiday – my family went out to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. And [that year] I didn't get lost.”

I like the idea of being found at the first Mardi Gras after Katrina.  I think a lot of us really felt like we were home for the first time at that moment.

After some success as a poet, Tank put together the Bangas in 2011 and the group went on to release their debut record in 2013 and to win NPR’s Tiny Desk competition in 2017.  One of the things I find so appealing about Tank’s music is her playful use of character and language. 

“I have an imagination of just being inside of the world, but the world happens to be yourself. Like every other person in the world, I don't have one part of me. I'm many parts of me. But what separates me from other people is I like to express every single part of me at different times when I want to. I can be feeling playful, and goofy and silly, and in another moment I could be feeling very serious and passionate. It's just who I happen to be as a person….It’s a natural thing for me. It's just natural to me.” 

Tank’s music definitely shows off those aspects of not only her personality, but also of New Orleans. This is great Carnival music and when you’ve got Big Freedia and Sweet Crude along for the ride you can’t ask for a better time.  If you find yourself downtown wander over to Jacks and check them out.  You can see their Tiny Desk Concert below.


To Do This Week

Tonight The Trio is over at the Maple Leaf.  Tomorrow check out Tank and the Bangas with Sweet Crude at One Eyed Jacks or Maceo Parker at Tipitina’s.  Saturday Galactic is at Tips.  Sunday Tank and The Bangas return to Jacks with Big Freedia and Shovels and Rope play Tips.  Monday Grails are at Gasa.  Tuesday you can cat Bonerama at the Ace Hotel.


To Listen This Week


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