Jazz Fest: The Second Saturday at the Fest and at Night

Saturday at Jazz Fest ends with Cage the Elephant and Aerosmith opposite each other at the Gentilly and Acura stages. One rocks; one used to rock. Cage the Elephant has never sounded as gloriously decadent as Aerosmith in the ‘70s, but neither has Aerosmith since the ‘70s. I realized at one point in their 1980s comeback that I cared more about what happened to Alicia Silverstone in their videos than the songs themselves, and that was that.

Jazz Fest: Friday's Best at the Fair Grounds and the Clubs

Friday’s schedule is typical of this year’s Jazz Fest. There’s a lot to see, but it’s not obvious where everybody will be, nor is it obvious who people should see. Among the headliners, Sturgill Simpson is far more relevant in 2018 than Sting or Steel Pulse, but Jazz Fest doesn’t usually put a premium on relevance. After Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. may matter more right now than all three.

Peaches Shares the Spotlight at The Music Box

“I’m an everlasting iconoclast,” raps Merrill Beth Nisker--Peaches--on her most recent release, Rub (2015). It’s a bold claim, but a well-deserved one. Peaches has made performative sexuality her signature for over 20 years now. For much of that time, she was dismissed as a gimmick by the mainstream, despite amassing a huge cult following. But now at 50, she’s an icon, celebrated internationally as a pioneer for her brazen attacks on society’s stale sexual norms.

Givers Listen to Secret, Silent Rules for "New Kingdom"

When GIVERS released In Light in 2011, the band’s cheerfulness was an inescapable part of the story. They sounded almost unnaturally buoyant, but conversations with members revealed that their positivity was rooted in self-assurance. Their belief in themselves, their chemistry, and the rightness of what they’re doing fueled their optimism.

Voodoo: Last Call for 2014

[Updated] Thoughts that we didn’t get around do during Voodoo 2014:

- Here’s a thought for Voodoo 2015. Spike the Le Carnival stage and go for something more cutting edge. It’s hard to imagine more contemporary headliners who could deliver headliner-sized audiences, and headliners are exactly that—the top of the story, but hardly the festival’s full story.

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