Since we had an early Mardi Gras this year, we’ve had plenty of time to get ready for a whole other set of spring parties. Over the past few years, March has meant the return of two of my favorite events—Hogs for the Cause and the BUKU Music + Art Project. BUKU drops first over the weekend of the 9th and 10th. This is one of those rare years when the St. Patrick’s Day festivities fall on the 17th (a Sunday) and don’t overlap with BUKU, so your calendars should truly be clear. I like BUKU because the festival always goes its own way. There is a distinct sense that BUKU is not interested in being another cog in the machine of sameness that the festival circuit has become. BUKU’s focus on art and its seamless engagement with its urban surroundings give it a feeling like nothing else. This year the festival is headlined by Bassnectar, Migos (who just dropped a great new record in January) and SZA whose debut record Ctrl was one of the best records of last year. You can also look for the return of Alison Wonderland as well as Borgore and the Flatbush Zombies. I’m particularly thrilled to see Sylvan Esso on the schedule. You’ll want to check out Princess Nokia and Ducky as well.
Later in the month we’ll all head out the lakefront arena for the 10th anniversary of Hogs for the Cause. No festival other than Jazz Fest does a better job of blending excellent food with sublime music. This year they have tapped N.M.O. (North Mississippi Osborne—a partnership between Anders Osborne and The North Mississippi Allstars!), the Turnpike Troubadours, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Tyler Childers and Son Little to help them mark the milestone. These headliners will be joined by the Iko Allstars, The Stoop Kids, the Hot 8 Brass Band and more. The move out to the Arena festival grounds has been a welcome change for the event—giving them a bit more room to breathe. I can’t wait to see what culinary creations the teams cook up for us this year.
Playlist of mentioned bands available at: http://bit.ly/InTune3-18
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds rock The Orpheum
George Clinton funks up The Joy
Willie Nelson and Family smoke their way into the House of Blues
Jamison Ross crashes into Snug Harbor
The Fleet Foxes continue their reunion tour at The Orpheum
Ezra Furman rips into One Eyed Jacks
Caroline Rose pops into Gasa Gasa
The Weeks rock Gasa Gasa
Dates are subject to change; email Mike@MyNewOrleans.com or contact him through Twitter @Minima.