Jones, Staples Top a Thursday at Jazz Fest That Has Gone Through Changes

The most compelling music during Jazz Fest’s first weekend came in the Cultural Exchange Pavilion, where Moonlight Benjamin created all the rock ’n’ roll excitement you could ask for from a Haitian singer, a psychedelic European art rock take on the blues, and some rhythms that split the difference between cultures of origin. In the center of it was Moonlight Benjamin, who was a rock star.

Fleetwood Mac's Last Tango

When Warner Brothers reissued Fleetwood Mac’s Tango in the Night, I messaged Jonathan Pretus of The Breton Sound to talk about it. He’s one of my favorite people to talk to about pop music (he also joined me on the My Spilt Milk Podcast on Brian Wilson), but the album doesn’t get the same respect as Rumours or Tusk so I can’t count on even pop obsessives to care about it.

Tusk in a Box

The red-blooded American in me loves a box set. Who doesn’t want lots of stuff, particularly if it’s attractively packaged? But the specifics of a box set are the rub. If you’re a fan of the artist, you likely already have much of the material on the box. If you’re not, buying one is a pricey way into an artist. They also rarely hold up from end to end. There’s frequently a disc that presents the artist in process, or one that honors the later material that only diehard fans care about.

Last Night: A Tale of Two Haims

There's something great about seeing a band that sounds better live than on record. It's reassuring to know that there's more to an act than what could be contained on a disc or vinyl record. But after California sister trio Haim's sold-out set at One Eyed Jacks Sunday night, I sat on that fine line between being impressed and harboring some resentment.

Jazz Fest Day 6: Fleetwood Mac Still Has Issues

Thankfully, the conditions stopped being a story at Jazz Fest Saturday. Yes, a drainage trench near the Fais Do-Do Stage created an island of the hardcore near the stage while the timid watched from afar, and there were a few boggy no-man's lands, but the track was firm enough that walking didn't require more than casual attention. Thankfully, the music was once again the story starting with Fleetwood Mac, who drew a crowd that was as large if not larger than Bruce Springsteen's, and definitely larger than Bon Jovi's.

Jazz Fest's Schedule on the Grounds, TV, and Radio

Friday's Jazz Fest schedule underwent some major changes as early sets were compressed because of the noon start time. Today and tomorrow's start times on the Acura Stage were made earlier in the week, well before the Fair Grounds became a mud pit. The Gentilly Stage also has Sunday changes. Here are the new times:


Jazz Fest: Weekend 2

Does Jazz Fest need extreme weather to really get good? Or, was the first weekend's talent lineup good but not great? Whatever the case, Sunday was the most compelling day last weekend. The Screaming Eagle of Soul, Charles Bradley, was the highlight of the weekend, and A Tribe Called Red did the unthinkable for many and introduced festgoers to dubstep.