Once again in early October we reap the benefits of the Austin City Limits Festival’s expanded format. Several of the excellent acts that they’ve booked take the opportunity to hop over to New Orleans for a quick show either between weekends of the festival or immediately after. California rockers Young The Giant will be at the House of Blues with indie pop darlings Ra Ra Riot Oct. 5. The electropop ensemble The Naked and Famous will be at the Joy Theater on the 6th. Indie rock group The Local Natives will be at the Civic with Charlotte Day Wilson on the 7th. And, folk pop singer Brett Dennen will be at the House of Blues Parish with the outstanding Lily and Madeleine opening on the 10th. With a little work, you can see many of the exciting acts from ACL without leaving town.
On Oct. 7, Doom Boogie outfit Death Valley Girls will be at Siberia. They are touring on their excellent new record Glow In The Dark. There is a driving intensity to their music that perfectly matches the vibe at Siberia.
If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, Andrew Bird will be at the Civic with Sinkane on Oct. 3. This is a really interesting pairing of two excellent, diverse and experimental artists. One can hope that there will be some moments of collaboration between the two.
Two heavyweights from the hip-hop scene are joining us this month as well. On Oct. 13, Chance the Rapper will be at the Mardi Gras Ballroom. Chance released the critically acclaimed mixtape Coloring Book in May. His fusion of hip-hop and gospel is stunning. On the 25th, Danny Brown will play Republic with Maxo Kream. Danny Brown’s excellent new record Atrocity Exhibition was released last month, so look for him to draw heavily from those tracks.
If that weren’t enough, October also has Americana covered. On the 22nd and 23rd, Jason Isbell is doing a two night stand at the Joy Theater. Isbell performed at the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience last year and at Jazz Fest in 2014, but this is an opportunity to see him in a much more intimate environment. Then on the 28th, the Jayhawks will be at Tipitina’s with Folk Uke. The Jayhawks released Paging Mr. Proust earlier this year; this record sees them playing with their sound a bit more than in the past. Folk Uke is the fantastic duo of Cathy Guthrie and Amy Nelson (yes, daughters of that Guthrie and that Nelson). Their songs are playful and pure of joy, not to mention often hilarious.
On Oct. 23, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox will be performing at the Orpheum. This group does arrangements of modern pop songs in the style of jazz and ragtime from the 1920s-’50s. They are quite famous on YouTube as well. The old-world style of the Orpheum is a great match for this show.
Do not forget to hit Tip’s on Halloween night for the Funky Meters show. It will be a good way to wind down after the weekend at Voodoo.
Note: Dates are subject to change. Playlist of mentioned bands available at: bit.ly/InTune10-16
Of course the highlight of the October music scene remains the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. This year the festival has tapped Tool, Arcade Fire and The Weeknd as their primary headliners. This will make two Tool shows in New Orleans this year, which is rare for just about any place. In addition to the headliners, the excellent collaboration of Les Claypool and Sean Lennon will be playing. Look for standout performances from Bully, Sir the Baptist and Gramatik. Keep an eye on my blog for updates, interviews and coverage before and after the festival.
The weekend before Voodoo, on Sat., Oct. 22, the ninth annual Community Records Fest will take place at One Eyed Jacks. This year you can see Gland, Slingshot Dakota, Dowsing and more. Find out more at CommunityRecords.org.
To contact Mike about music news, upcoming performances and recordings, email Mike@MyNewOrleans.com or contact him through Twitter @Minima.