Weekend Festival Watch
This weekend there are two excellent festivals to check out. Both of these events focus on the emergent and feature a mixture of local and regional artists on the cutting edge. First up is the Community Records Fest. This year the event takes place at One Eyed Jacks on Saturday the 22nd. The fest is being headlined by locals Gland and Sharks’ Teeth. On Friday night there is a pre-show featuring Stuck Lucky, Pudge and Zach Quinn at the Hey! Cafe. Gland has a new video for their single “Cram It”, check it out below.
Oct. 22 and 23 the New Orleans Sound Art Festival will be dividing its time between the Sanctuary Arts Center and Siberia. On Saturday at Sanctuary the bill will be headlined by Silver Reich and Rosemary Malign. On Sunday the headliners at Siberia will be Enduser and Crowhurst. This is a chance watch musicians push the boundaries of experimental music. You won’t want to miss these shows.
Bob Dylan and the Nobel Prize
There have been an unsurprisingly large number of articles (academic and otherwise) responding to last week’s announcement that Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. As someone who has spent his entire adult life in the study of literature, I have to say this seems absolutely appropriate to me. Of course I am fully willing to admit that I am inherently biased toward Dylan because of what his work has meant to my life. One of the first CDs I owned was cheaply produced copy of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits. The ten cuts on that record haunted me through so many musical trends. No matter what else was going on Bob was there. Metal came and went, Nirvana flashed onto the scene, Punk had its third wave, the rave burned through its all too brief half-life and alongside all of this change was Bob. Dylan’s work is not just unique; it is significant in its emotional and political depths. He has always been able to effortlessly merge that which is intensely personal with a broader cultural moment. What makes these songs more amazing is that they do not speak to a particular era or audience. Those songs that emerged from the cultural milieu of the 60s or 70s still work because they are grounded in a fundamental understanding of what it is to be human. In his 1923 Nobel acceptance speech W.B. Yeats (also an author whose work was steeped in his national culture) took as his topic the modern literature of Ireland. He said, “In the country you are alone with your own violence, your own heaviness, and with the common tragedy of life, and if you have any artistic capacity you desire beautiful emotion; and, certain that the seasons will be the same always, care not how fantastic its expression.” This sentiment reminds me of what Dylan has been able to do. If everything is and will remain much the same, why not celebrate it particulars fantastically. I think we’re all looking forward to what Dylan has to say on his behalf.
To Do This Week
Tonight check out the Talking Dreads (Yes they are a Talking Heads inspired reggae group) at Tips. Also tonight Trails and Ways are at Siberia. Friday Griz is at Mardi Gras World and Maceo Parker is at Tips. Saturday Jason Isbell is at the Joy and Mystikal and Juvenile are at the Lakefront Arena. Sunday Jason Isbell does a second night at the Joy and Mac Sabbath (Yes they are a McDonald’s themed Black Sabbath cover band) play at Southport. Tuesday Danny Brown is at Republic. Wednesday check out The Head and the Heart at The Civic.
To Listen This Week
Blood Orange covering Philip Glass via Youtube
Ted Leo covers David Bowie for an all ages record via CoS
Billy Bragg and Joe Henry have done a stunning Tiny Desk performance via NPR