Last Night: PJ Morton Could Use Some Identity

Friday night, PJ Morton started his summer tour at The Howlin’ Wolf, and the show made clear why he works with Maroon 5 and Terence Blanchard, who was in the back of the room. His set was musically very satisfying. He’s a strong, appealing R&B singer, and his songs take interesting melodic routes that never seemed forced or arbitrary. His songs are musically sophisticated without being showily so.

Dee-1's "3's Up" Gets Righteous

It’s tempting to not lead this review of rapper Dee-1’s 3’s Up EP with his faith. Religion and pop music have rarely been good together, and he has worked too hard to define a very specific place for himself for me to present a less nuanced depiction. Still, 3’s Up is his first release for RCA Inspiration—the label’s Christian music imprint—and Dee’s faith is central to the recordings.

Jazz Fest Day 4: Rainy Day, Dream Away

It looks like we may be finished with the rain, but Thursday it took it's toll on me, partly in the constant donning and shedding of rain gear, of living inconveniently under a poncho, and of choosing footing semi-carefully, trying to find the closest thing to a dry path - or at least not a soggy one. I was solid through Pokey LaFarge's charming set at the Fais Do-Do Stage, where he and his band showed off not just vintage finery and the musical product of a killer record collection but genuine chops.

Treme: The New New Orleans

[Spoiler Alert] There are ways in which this season of Treme is very specific to its moment - the NOAH story, particularly - but just as the production opened its timeline to include the Memorial Auditorium story that actually took place in 2009, it feels like this season is talking as much about where New Orleans is now as where it was in 2007 and 2008. Perhaps that's because some of the issues we're dealing with now started to come into focus then, or maybe it's because their roots were in this time period.

Hell Yes to Gleason and More

[Updated] Last year, a cold rain took the edge off of the debut of Gleason Gras. This Sunday there remains a chance of rain, but the temperature should be in the 70s. Later in the week, The New Movement's Hell Yes Fest brings stand-up comics and improv groups to a number of venues in town. Here are the week's highlights: