Anderson .Paak Didn't Need the Weather to Generate Heat at Champions Square

Anderson .Paak knows that his face is his money. He named the tour that brought him to Champions Square Saturday night “The Best Teef in the Game Tour,” and he showed off his fine set of choppers all show. His face is so important that he mounted a camera on his drum kit so that even when he was playing, we could see him. 

Lizzo Challenges Critics, But She Doesn't Need To

Lizzo has made her name for by loving herself and forcing everyone else to follow suit. Her message is one of aggressive self-empowerment, and it has given voice to many people who never see themselves represented in mainstream pop culture. She’s incessantly positive about her size, gender, and race because she exists in an industry and world that proves she must be. She’s is setting a lot of firsts, and in order to normalize the things she wants to normalize, she must be relentless.

Moonlight Benjamin's an Earlier Contender for Most Exciting Jazz Fest Set This Year

Bands have been trying for years to do what Moonlight Benjamin made seem effortless. Starting with The Gun Club, countless American bands have tried to find the place where the blues and Voodoo-inflected spirituality meet. In fact, Moonlight Benjamin do more than that, but the Haitian singer and the rock band accompanying her started there with “Papa Legba” in the Blues Tent Friday at Jazz Fest.

Broadsides, Boyfriend Best at Jazz Fest Thursday, and Friday Highlights

Think of Thursday at a test drive for this year’s Jazz Fest. The lineup was a Locals Thursday lineup and lacked the firepower to get a lot of people out to the Fair Grounds, and the morning rains further discouraged attendance. For that reason, the first day of this year’s festival didn’t feel like much of an event, but there were still some impressive shows. 

What TIme Makes Sense for Janelle Monáe?

On the Saturday of Voodoo last October, I trekked through the mud by myself to see Janelle Monáe’s 5:30 p.m. set. I wasn’t interested in getting close and hung back where the crowd was still porous, with plenty of room to dance. I was unprepared for the crowd’s intense enthusiasm and fluency in her music, and it quickly became clear that these were not fans who simply happened upon her set. They came to Voodoo Fest specifically for her.

Galactic's Ready Already with Princess Shaw

The 2016 documentary Presenting Princess Shaw (available on Netflix) tells the story of Samantha Montgomery, a New Orleans medical technician who becomes an online celebrity in part for her YouTube vlog, which documented her thoughts as she tried to start a career as an R&B singer, and because of her appearance in a video by an Israeli artist who combined in DJ fashion musical videos that he found online to create a new song from people who had never met.

The Excello Story Includes a Rock 'n' Roll Rarity

Blues and R&B weren’t writer Randy Fox’s natural beat. He was a fan of the ’80s American underground rock ’n’ roll explosion that produced Husker Du, Sonic Youth, The Replacements and Black Flag. At the end of the ‘80s, that moment was fading, but the CD reissue boom helped him scratch that same itch. When companies realized that there was money to be made by reissuing music on CD that they had already paid for and that vinyl collectors collected, they began to aggressively revisit artists that had become legendary in their absence, many of them blues and R&B bands.

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. 

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