Our video and digital tipsheet on where you ought to be today and tonight.
Saturday at Jazz Fest ends with Cage the Elephant and Aerosmith opposite each other at the Gentilly and Acura stages. One rocks; one used to rock. Cage the Elephant has never sounded as gloriously decadent as Aerosmith in the ‘70s, but neither has Aerosmith since the ‘70s. I realized at one point in their 1980s comeback that I cared more about what happened to Alicia Silverstone in their videos than the songs themselves, and that was that. I’m glad the members of Aerosmith lived long enough to become the people they would have resented when they were 25, but I liked Aerosmith the smash-up derby more than Aerosmith the gym membership ad.
Here is our downloadable schedule, color-coded with our picks, and we have a few basic principles that aren’t on the grid. 1) See something in Economy Hall; 2) See something in the Gospel Tent; and check out international acts. Principles 1 and 2 get you out of the sun and into a world that likely isn’t yours, and 3 gives you a chance to see something you likely won’t see again. Period. Some acts are Culture On Parade and good for you like flossing, but Jazz Fest does a pretty good job of getting acts that are wrestling with ways to honor their traditions in a contemporary context. It’s the same challenge that the best New Orleans and Louisiana bands manifest in their music.
Don't sleep on Jupiter & Okwess, who were among Friday's picks. The Congolese band blew away a lot of people yesterday has clear roots in music from the Congo, but at times they translated to unaccustomed American ears as Fishbone-like until they sounded like a version of rock I'd never heard. They play two more times Saturday.
Here are a few sets we want to make sure are on your radar:
Denisia & Back Row (Congo Square Stage, 11:20 a.m.)
Lost Bayou Ramblers (Acura Stage, 11:50 a.m.)
Boyfriend (Acura Stage, 12:45 p.m.)
The Bounce feat. New Cupid, 5th Ward Weebie, DJ Jubilee, Partners-N-Crime, Ricky B and DJ Raj Smoove (Congo Square Stage, 1:45 p.m.)
Kenny Bill Stinson (Lagniappe Stage, 5:40 p.m.)
Later Saturday night
Exile on Bourbon Street at the Saenger Theatre (9 p.m.)
Maurice MoBetta Brown & Soul’d U Out feat. Talib Kweli and special guests at Three Keys (9 p.m.)
Cinco de Freedia at Republic (10 p.m.)
GIVERS, Roar at Gasa Gasa (10 p.m.)
Quintron and Miss Pussycat with Tav Falco and Panther Burns at d.b.a. (1 a.m.)