Every August we celebrate Louis Armstrong’s birthday with the Satchmo SummerFest. This year the festival is moving to Jackson Square for its 16th anniversary. The festival celebrates the music and food of our city, with a wide selection of local musicians and a number of different takes on red beans (Armstrong’s favorite food). This year the event will take place the weekend of Aug. 5. Keep an eye on my column for show recommendations and times.
August offers you a couple of opportunities to rock out. On the 17th, Alice Cooper will be at the Saenger, which should be an ideal setting for his brand of theatrical rock. A few nights later on the 20th, Def Leppard will play the Smoothie King Arena supported by REO Speedwagon and Tesla.
On the more indie side, California-based post punk ensemble Ceremony will be at Gasa Gasa on the 15th. Last year Ceremony released The L-Shaped Man, which was very well received critically and one of my favorite records of 2015. They are supported by the post-hardcore group Touche Amore.
Perhaps the biggest show of the month will be Deerhoof at One Eyed Jacks on Aug. 13. Over their 20-plus years together these experimental rockers have managed to produce a steady stream of new, interesting and intriguing sonic creations. Their most recent record, The Magic, was released in late June and has continued this streak of challenging and overwhelmingly enjoyable creations. You won’t want to miss this show, as their on stage antics are relatively legendary.
On Aug. 19, the Cuban hip-hop group Orishas will be playing at the House of Blues. This group manages to combine dominant aspects of Latin, pop and hip-hop into an irresistible rhythm. If you’re looking to move your feet, this is the show for you.
New Zealand-based Electropop duo the Broods will take the stage at Republic on Aug. 30. Their new record, Conscious includes excellent collaborations with the likes of Tove Lo and Lorde. This will be a night of soaring vocals and sweeping bass.
If you’re looking for something a bit more old-school, the original Jersey Boy, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons will be on the Saenger on Aug. 14.
For those folks looking for something a little harder, Siberia has you covered this month with San Francisco-based punks Culture Abuse on the 11th and the Doom Metal ensemble Monolord on the 19th. Monolord produces absolutely searing soundscapes that are beautifully harsh in their complexity (don’t forget your ear plugs). In a similar vein, noise punks Muuy Biien will be at Gasa Gasa on the 5th. This group has a fantastically driven sound. Finally, in the realm of experimental metal, Wreck and Reference will be playing Gasa Gasa on the 31st. Wreck and Reference have continually pushed the boundaries of what we define as metal, and their new music is no exception.
Note: Dates are subject to change. Playlist of mentioned bands available at: bit.ly/InTune8-16
Keeping Friday Free
One of the great summer traditions in New Orleans over the past few years has been the Free Fridays shows at Tipitina’s. These events are a great way to see legendary local bands and beat the summer heat. This month features Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Review with Hill Country Hounds and the Idlewild String Confederation on Aug. 12. On the 19th, Johnny Sketch and The Dirty Notes will be joined by Water Seed. Finally, John “Papa” Gros and his Band will close out the month with Daria and the Hip Drops.
To contact Mike about music news, upcoming performances and recordings, email Mike@MyNewOrleans.com or contact him through Twitter @Minima.