Numero Finds Lesser Known Exotica for "Technicolor Paradise"

There’s a school of cratedigger thought that equates rarity with quality. That theory argues that a record’s obscurity proves that it’s too pure and therefore too good for the marketplace. A lot of great records have been unjustly overlooked, but many generic, derivative, uninspired records were justifiably overlooked, some fading from memory almost the moment they came into existence. 

QOTSA, Beach House, Weedie, and "Exile" Play Night Shows During Jazz Fest

The jam wave that followed Phish’s first appearance at Jazz Fest changed New Orleans’ nightlife during the festival, for years turning it into a place where the members of Lettuce are royalty, Grateful Dead-like jams take place nightly, and friendships made on the Jam Cruise find a stage. Funky jazz rock, rocky jazz funk, and jazzy funk rock have been the dominant sound for a decade, but this year featured some shows that acknowledged the broader spectrum of music. On Friday, April 27, the festival closed with sets by Sting and Sturgill Simpson.

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: Aerosmith Acts Its Age

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler clearly has no plans to grow old gracefully. Saturday at Jazz Fest’s Acura Stage, the lead singer spent much of the set having an obvious, onstage squabble with the sound engineer running the monitors, repeatedly pointing angrily at the wedges in front of him and his in-ear monitor. At one point, Tyler jokingly stopped short of hitting him in the face with the base of his mic stand, and Tyler missed the pick-up in “Sweet Emotion” because he couldn’t let it go.

Jazz Fest: Tank and The Bangas Contain Multitudes

Friday at Jazz Fest was a lesson in context. I went into the day excited to see Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, but after an afternoon that included Fiend, 3D Na’Tee, Tank and The Bangas, and Jupiter & Okwess from the Congo, a dude with carefully crafted country(ish) songs didn’t fit the day’s flavor profile. The musical and lyrical clarity in his songs were also at odds with the sometimes gnarly music I got from Tank and Jupiter. 

Jazz Fest: Terrace Martin Was Just Getting Loose

Terrace Martin’s set felt like it was just getting started when he brought it to a close Thursday at Jazz Fest. He was finding his groove, and guests Nicholas Payton and Maurice Mo Betta Brown began playing with each other and briefly teased what could happen in the show’s second hour. Unfortunately, Martin was slated for a one hour show, leaving us to speculate about what could have been. 

Jazz Fest: David Byrne, Jon Batiste End the First Weekend on a High Note

[Updated] This first weekend of Jazz Fest will be remembered—to the degree that it will be remembered at all—for its extreme pleasantness. Whether because Festival Productions economized this year because they have their eye on their 50th anniversary in 2019 or because the right big ticket talent simply wasn’t available this year, the headliners were respectable but not spectacular draws. Sunday was the busiest day of the weekend with David Byrne and Jimmy Buffett topping the bill, but the crowds remained manageable throughout. 

SZA, Smino Top a Tough Year at Buku

Buku 2018 was a bit of a dumpster fire. The new stage layout separated the Power Plant stage from the other stages by a train track which led to extreme traffic when a train passed through. Mid-performance injuries, delayed and disastrous shows, a  strange fire ignited across the river, and cancellations from Lil Uzi Vert, Ski Mask the Slump God, and Famous Dex were sadly part of this year's Buku story. Some artists came out hot; others were tired or sloppy. Here’s our look into the highs and lows of this year's Buku Fest.

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