At Home with Daria and the Hip Drops

After last year's rain, the French Quarter Festival is enjoying a meteorological mitzvah. The weather is not only not rainy, but it's beautifully comfortable. Today will be another beautiful today to see the broad sweep of New Orleans music that the festival offers, starting at 11 a.m. with Daria and the Hip Drops, who'll kick off a strong day on the WWL Made in the Shade Stage (on the Esplanade side of the U.S.

French Quarter Fest: Alexandra Scott's Milky Way

I'm always struck by how expressive Alexandra Scott's voice can be. In measured, conversational ways, she moves convincingly through the full range of complex emotions and modes of expression we employ daily if not hourly. There's nothing theatrical in her singing, but her sadness sounds earned, her joy is felt, her heartbreak is painful, and much of it is modulated by humor--gallows, antic, or otherwise. When a song focuses on a single, simple emotion, that's telling.

French Quarter Fest: Partners-N-Crime Have More Accomplices

In 2010, Trombone Shorty curated “Red Hot + NOLA,” an all-star New Orleans concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music that not only featured Irma Thomas, Dr. John, and the usual suspects, but also rappers including Juvenile and Mannie Fresh. In Jon Pareles’ review in The New York Times, he wrote

Thursday at French Quarter Fest

This morning at 11 a.m., the French Quarter Fest starts its 30th year in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Park, and the Bienville Statue Stage in the 400 block of North Peters Street. The forecast isn't pretty for what has been named "Locals' Lagniappe Day", but it should be a good day of music for those who brave the possible rain.

Here are our picks for the day - not necessarily the best, but artists that we're into right now, ones we want to see in these settings, or people we don't often get a chance to see.