This week was one for the record books. I managed to see Lady Lamb, Young Fathers and Waxahatchee in the last five days. First up was Lady Lamb on Wednesday night at Gasa Gasa. Despite having strep throat, Aly Spaltro did a fantastic set of songs spanning her career. Her soaring voice didn’t show signs of strain until the very end of the set when she finally relented and allowed the audience to help her finish a scorching version of “Crane Your Neck”.
The next night, Scottish hip hop trio, Young Fathers, did an early show at Republic. The group did a solid combination of songs from Dead and White Men are Black Men Too. There was a small but devoted crowd present, despite the rainy night. The anthem “Old Rock N Roll” was particularly on point. I cannot wait to see what they are capable of doing with a festival set at Hangout fest in a few weeks.
Finally, Sunday night Waxahatchee was at Gasa Gasa. I have to say that the spring has been especially generous to Gasa. This club has captured a steady stream of excellent young artists who will be playing much larger venues on their return to town. Singer Katie Crutchfield took the stage a bit late, but delivered a scoring forty minute set of new material from Ivy Tripp interspersed with old favorites. Despite the brevity of the set, her intensity filled the small space. It is rare in a small club for a singer/songwriter to gain complete silence from the crowd. That night there was a hush that let the music dwell in the space.
To Do This Week
Since Jazzfest is starting tomorrow, we are in one of those rare windows where there truly is a show for everyone. On Friday you have a choice among the garage banjo of Lisa LeBlanc at Chickie Wah Wah, the virtuosic guitar work of Benjamin Booker at One Eyed Jacks and the atmospheric musical chaos of the Music Box in City Park. On Saturday J. Tillman will be in his persona as Father John Misty at the Civic. On Sunday at the Blue Nile will be the annual Worship My Organ show. This is my favorite Jazzfest tradition. Skerik, Robert Walter, Adam Ditch, DJ Logic and others will join Marco Benevento. This is one of the best nights of experimental jazz and funk every year. Finally, of course, Bob Dylan himself will be at the Saenger theatre on Wednesday.
To Listen This Week
Last week Tori Amos released remastered versions of Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink. These albums couldn’t be more seminal to the early 90s sound. These editions sound absolutely fantastic. Check them out on Spotify here.
Also Tucson based Calexico released their 9th major studio record, Edge of the Sun. This excellent record is a return to the roots of their sound.
Jazz fest recommendations
I’m going to refrain from telling you that Elton John puts on a good show or that Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint are always excellent acts and stick to some bands you may not know but who can fill some of the gaps in your otherwise full schedule.
Royal Teeth 1:40pm Gentilly Stage
Hozier 3:20pm Gentilly Stage
Snarky Puppy 5:40pm Jazz Tent
The Revelers 11:15am Fais Do-D0
Raw Oyster Cult 12:25pm Acura Stage
Shovels and Rope 4:20pm Fais Do-Do
101 Runners 5:40pm Heritage Stage
Lost Bayou Ramblers 2:55pm Fais Do-Do
Angelique Kidjo 1:55pm Congo Square
Mikayla 11:30am Lagniappe Stage
Bela Fleck/Abigail Washburn 3:00pm Fais Do-Do
The Deslondes 3:25pm Lagniappe Stage