Our highlights for the week include the Essence Music Festival, "Hard Day's Night," Questlove, Polyphonic Spree, Lindsey Stirling and more.
[Updated] Friday: Ought, Dub Thompson, 8 p.m., Gasa Gasa: A good night of art punk with Ought from Montreal and Dub Thompson from L.A. Both bands jam a lot of rambunctious energy and ideas into their songs. (tickets ) Also on Friday: New Orleans Suspects, Marc Stone Band, 10 p.m., Tipitina’s (free)
Saturday: Questlove, DJ Soul Sister, 11 p.m., Tipitina’s: I’ve seen Questlove’s DJ sets be guided tours through some of the best grooves you’ve never heard, and he’s careened at 90 mph through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and all of its lesser-known alcoves and closets where they keep singles by one-hit wonders, novelty songs, and tracks just uncool enough that his touch can redeem them. (tickets) Also on Saturday: First Ladies of Hip-Hop feat. MC Lyte, Da Brat, Yo Yo, 10 p.m., House of Blues (tickets); Soul Creole w/ Louis Michot and Corey Ledet, 9 p.m., Chickie Wah Wah; Brass-a-Holics, 10 p.m., The Maison
Tuesday: Lindsey Stirling, AJR, 8 p.m., House of Blues: The dancing violin player from America’s Got Talent is now a YouTube sensation with an art rock/EDM hybrid that matches her Enya autographed fairyland fiddle with dance beats. (tickets)
Wednesday: Concord America, Mea Culpa, Faux Ferocious, 10 p.m., Circle Bar: Atlanta’s Concord America aren’t just lo-fi; they can make any amp or microphone sound critically wounded. The joy, energy and imagination in their punk racket on Suns Out Guns Out is why you listen to rock ’n’ roll. Also on Wednesday: The Dear Hunter, From Indian Lakes, Brian Hyken & The Wanderlust, 8 p.m., House of Blues (tickets)
Thursday: Polyphonic Spree, Sarah Jaffe, 8 p.m., Southport Hall: Dallas' psychedelic choir returns, and last year's Yes, It's True is still lovely but less self-consciously uplifting than their first albums, but less grumpy than 2007's The Fragile Army. (tickets) Also on Thursday: David Shaw of The Revivalists, 9 p.m., Tipitina’s (tickets)
The Essence Festival returns for its 20th year this weekend at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and Friday night’s a no-brainer with Prince, Chic’s Nile Rodgers, and Janelle Monae, who all plan to play together at some point, but the other nights are strong with The Roots, Mary J. Blige, and local singer August Alsina on Saturday, and Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper and Lionel Richie on Sunday.
The Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night has been re-released in theater in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. This weekend, it will be shown at The Prytania Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at noon, and Sunday at 5 p.m. Each night will also have a panel discussion after the film including local Beatles scholar Bruce Spizer and others.
Updated July 3, 10:04 a.m.
Final edits were made, the Polyphonic Spree show was added, and the photo was changed. Also, the Essence Music Festival name was corrected to Essence Festival.