Over the past eight years, Hogs for the Cause has grown into one of the premier food and music events in the region. The event features a core of New Orleans musicians and chefs with just enough regional and national influence to give the whole thing a sense of being comprehensive. If you want to experience the preparation of pork in all of its varieties, you need look no further. If that were not enough to get you out to the City Park Festival Grounds, the whole thing is a benefit for the aid and relief of those variable expenses and economic burdens which families face while their child is being treated for pediatric brain cancer.
This year the musical lineup is particularly excellent. They have recruited a core group of young local americana acts to provide the base against which the headliners will punctuate the evenings. On Friday, local folk rockers Motel Radio will open the Regions Stage. If you have to work Friday you should be able to make it to the NOLA Brewing Stage in time for Dragon Smoke at 5:45 p.m. If Ivan Neville, Eric Lindell, Stanton Moore and Robert Mercurio can’t get your weekend into gear then it is doubtful that anything can. Be sure to hang around as husband and wife folk duo Shovels and Rope will be closing out the Brewing Stage that evening. Friday night is my favorite time to wander around Hogs. All of the cooking teams have generally have their pigs staged and roasting. The smells are positively overwhelming. Plus if you are interested in the mechanics of hog roasting, just about every imaginable method for preparing pork will be on display. Once Shovels and Rope are done, leave the teams to their cooking and rest up for a full day of eating on Saturday.
On Saturday afternoon three excellent local groups all back each other up. Sweet Crude starts the day on the Regions Stage at 1:15 p.m. They are followed by the Deslondes at the Brewing Stage and then Kristin Diable back at Regions. This is chance to see three acts that are shaping the future of what we think of as local and regional music. Each of these groups is blending our local sounds with aesthetics from the larger indie rock scene to create whole new modes of existence for the New Orleans sound.
If all this were not enough, the evening will end with back to back performances from Greensky Bluegrass and Big Sam’s Funky Nation. The Michigan based Greensky are known for their tight orchestration and playful covers of rock standards. And of course we all know what Big Sam can to do close out a festival. Whether you have a few hours or a full weekend available, make sure to drop by the Festival Grounds. You can’t do better than food and fun for a great cause.
French Quarter Festival
Don’t forget to save some strength for French Quarter Festival, which gets underway on Thursday April 7. I’ll have day be day recommendations for you next week. If you’re going out early on the 7th, start your day with the Panorama Jazz Band at the GE Digital Big River Stage at 11 a.m. This show will be the perfect way to ease into the fest.
To Do This Week
If you’re more into video games than pork, check out the Legend of Zelda Symphony at that Saenger on Friday night. On Saturday night Napalm Death and the Melvins will be at One Eyed Jacks. Also on Saturday, They Might Be Giants will be at the House of Blues. On Wednesday Guts Club will be at the Neutral Ground. Also on Wednesday, M83 will be ta The Civic with Yacht. The Wednesday at the Square show this week will be Amanda Shaw.
To Listen This Week
The new Bleached record “Welcome to the Worms” is streaming via NPR First Listen
Hot Panda premier new track “Bad Pop” via Soundcloud
Stream SKTRKT’s surprise new animated short “Save Yourself” via Youtube