The Internet Finds Its Crowd In New Orleans

I saw The Internet almost exactly one month before its performance in New Orleans when it opened for Gorillaz in Chicago, and I was one of the only people around me who knew the band’s music. That night, I got side eyes for knowing and singing along to its songs, but at the House of Blues recently, The Internet’s fan base was devoted. The outpouring of love and energy was unlike anything I’d ever seen, and it was clear that band members were surprised as well.

An Unplanned Ending the Only Blemish on Janelle Monae's Voodoo Set

[Updated] The last time Janelle Monae played Voodoo, it was located in City Park’s Marconi Meadows in 2010, She was touring behind her debut album, The ArchAndroid, and when she performed “Tightrope” to close the show, she tipped the tightrope on the ground in front of 50 or so people who supportively gave her room to move. 

Tank and the Bangas Are Right Band, Right Time

Tank and the Bangas have become one of the best stories in New Orleans music. Their growth as artists and performers has been steady, and success hasn’t come at the cost of their nerve. Instead of remaking “Walmart” again and again or—worse—simplifying their songs to make them more conventional, they’ve asked more of their audiences instead of less.

Jazz Fest: Shorty Honors the Nevilles

Trombone Shorty’s fest-closing set deserves to be the ritual that the Neville Brothers’ set used to be. The shows have been impressive, funky, and a lot of fun as he worked to justify occupying the slot, and each one has shown meaningful growth. He concluded this year’s Jazz Fest by using his songs as starting points for more expansive musical experiences.

Jazz Fest: Tuesday Night in the Clubs

In recent years, Jazz Fest at night has been a jam fest, and that’s certainly going on. Every night this time of year, some combination of guys who don’t usually play together are playing something funky somewhere in New Orleans. Fortunately, this year’s offerings have been broader than that. People are still jamming, but we also get nights like tonight, where our highlights have a little range to them.

Jazz Fest: Saturday's Best at the Fest and the Clubs

Saturday at Jazz Fest, Rod Stewart tags in for Aretha Franklin. I give Stewart credit for aging into the Great American Songbook--even if I don't want to hear him sing those songs--but when he last played Jazz Fest in 2007, he closed with "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy." That might be a question that the then-62 Stewart wondered in his heart of hearts, but making it his final statement/question to the audience made him seem desperate and shallow.

Bubble Bath Records Takes a Communal Bath

Some believe that starting a record label in 2018 is a death sentence, but with a savvy business and marketing strategy, Bubble Bath Records thinks it has figured things out. Bubble Bath was founded by musicians John Maestas, Violeta Del Rio, and Alex Peña, alongside videographer and graphic designer Patricia Moscardó, and marketing strategist Elijah Carroll.

Bobby Z Recalls The Evolution of The Revolution

Bobby Z’s pride in The Revolution is as obvious in conversation as it is justified. Prince had many bands, but The Revolution was the band. Prince’s “last band,” Z—Robert Rivkin—said in an interview, and the thought rings true. Prince may have played with New Power Generation and steady groups of musicians after The Revolution, but those musicians all signed on to play with an international star. Members of The Revolution signed on with a guy who had more talent than buzz and more buzz than sales. And, they grew together.

The NOJO, Robert Glasper Give the Horns the Best Seats in the House

When you Google “Mr. Hands,” the Wikipedia entry “Enumclaw horse sex case” is the first link, followed by the entry for Mr. Hands, a lesser-known Herbie Hancock album. So why didn’t anyone involved in the planning of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s “Mr. Hands: A Tribute to Herbie Hancock ft. Robert Glasper,” a big-ticket performance last Friday night at the New Orleans Jazz Market, take a moment to reevaluate their event title?

Herbie Hits Home

Jazz, like light, changes every time you look at it. No one embodies this constant flux better than Herbie Hancock, who is still alive, well, and making moves at 77. Hancock graced the Orpheum with his superhuman stylings on Sunday, and the New Orleans jazz world looked on in awe.

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