New Orleans Makes its Presence Known at South By Southwest

Of the hundreds of bands that played in Austin last week, only 14 New Orleans acts performed at official South By Southwest showcases. But these acts—along with a few other Louisiana bands and yet a few more who played unofficial shows—provided a vivid, if incomplete, music industry State of the Union for our little sliver of Planet Earth.

Tony Molina and Mike Krol Flew the Flag for Guitars Last Monday Night

In the battle of guitars vs. turntables, the DJs won. Electronic music flows from the days of two turntables and a microphone, and the bricolage sensibility that drove it is now manifest in the pop marketplace and indie spaces. The ultimate sign of the DJs’ success is the number of ad jingles and TV theme songs that feature electronic music. When you’re part of the wallpaper of people’s lives, you won.

Our Spilt Milk: Punk is D.O.A.; "Raffish" Writers Look for Self-Realization

D.O.A.: A Right of Passage is a guerrilla film down to the spelling mistake (I assume) in its title. The 1981 documentary on British punk by Lech Kowalski appears to have been improvised, starting with its pretentious opening with a bird’s eye view of a child being christened, juxtaposed with a woman with chipped nail polish putting a stack of singles on a turntable.

Poptone Revisits Tones on Tail in Family Show

Daniel Ash doesn’t put it in so many words, but his current band, Poptone, is an Ash/Kevin Haskins cover band. It exists to play the songs he and Kevin Haskins recorded in the early 1980s as Tones on Tail, which is the musical incarnation Ash is proudest of. In concert, its setlist also includes songs they wrote in Love and Rockets and Bauhaus (a few). He has no plans for the band’s future. 

Voodoo News: Benjamin Booker Breaks Boundaries

Benjamin Booker’s sound is tougher to pin down than it used to be. His first, self-titled album was a high-powered gut punch, 44 minutes of harsh, low-fi blues punk that blew the world away with its raw explosiveness. His latest project, Witness, which came out in June, is a different animal entirely. It’s tamer in terms of unchecked energy, but sonically, it’s much more adventurous. Booker is bringing his new songs to Voodoo, where he’ll play the South Course stage at 6 p.m. Friday.

Omni Doesn't Look Back

[Updated] “We kind of just throw it together really quickly and try not to think about it too much,” says guitarist Frankie Broyles of his band’s songwriting process. Broyles, bassist/lead singer Philip Frobos, and recently added touring drummer Doug Bleichner make up the Atlanta-based trio Omni. They released their second album, Multi-Task, in September via Trouble In Mind Records.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Predict the End of Days

Add four parts Can, three parts OCS, two parts Sabbath, and (if you must) one part Rush to your biggest, blackest cauldron, and boil over volcanic rock from Mount Doom. Stir slowly with a broken broomstick and simmer on low heat. Set aside to cool in John Dwyer’s shadow for seven albums, then flash fry, and you’ve got King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

Downtown Boys Played to the Room

The context for Downtown Boys reasserts itself weekly if not daily. The band formed in 2014, two years before Donald Trump was elected president, but the Trump Administration gives the political punk band a reason to exist almost every time he or his Cabinet members open their mouths. Team Trump didn’t invent racism, sexism, transphobia, colonialism and toxic masculinity, but it uses these tools to assert the preeminent position of wealthy straight white men in the culture daily. 

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