Tank and the Bangas' "Green Balloon" Lets the Voices in Her Head Have Their Say

Tank and the Bangas treated their Jazz Fest set earlier this month as an album-release party for Green Balloon, their debut album on Verve Forecast. They had green balloons onstage, dancers in green, and vocalist Tarriona “Tank” Ball in a green cape with green chopsticks in her hair. They leaned heavily if not entirely on the album, which features Ball riding psychedelic jazz/funk grooves.

Foo Fighters FInd Their Perfect Crowd Size at The Fillmore

I started to write one review of Wednesday night’s Foo Fighters show at The Fillmore, but when I checked my review of their 2017 set at Voodoo to refresh my memory of what they did, I saw that 95 percent of my comments on that night apply to Wednesday’s show as well. So rather than say the same thing or paraphrase myself, I’ll simply say start here. I’ll wait. 

Lucy Dacus Is Just Getting Started

It’s difficult to stop an audience in its tracks with an unrecorded song, but Lucy Dacus has done it both times I’ve seen her. Months ago in Chicago while on tour with boygenius--Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker--she opened with a brand new, unrecorded song called “Fool’s Gold.” She performed it solo, alone with her guitar, and I was crying before the end of the first song of the first set of a stacked, emotionally gutting bill.

TV Girl Has A Problem With Women

I discovered TV Girl last year after the release of their third album, Death of a Party Girl. It’s a breezy listen of indie pop soaked in easygoing, lo-fi dynamics. The California natives, Brad Petering, Jason Wyman, Wyatt Harmon, describe their music as “hypnotic pop.” Heavily reliant on electro-synths and cinematic samples, TV Girl’s music is a soundtrack to a lazy summer day.

Shorty, Nevilles Belatedly Pass the Torch at Jazz Fest

Jazz Fest producer Quint Davis introduced the festival-closing set by saying that three acts had closed the fest on what is now the Acura Stage—Professor Longhair, the Neville Brothers, and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue—and that two of the three were coming up. There were a few other acts between Longhair’s death in 1980 and 1986 when the Neville Brothers took up residency in that spot, but the time slot has been associated with the Neville Brothers and Shorty for more than 30 years.

Lost Bayou Ramblers Explore Cajun's Outer Limits at Jazz Fest

A lot was good on Friday at Jazz Fest, but nothing was as mind-blowing as the Lost Bayou Ramblers’ set. The Cajun band has shown a healthy sense of adventure since 2012’s Mammoth Waltz, but you could almost always trace musical ideas back to Cajun musical traditions. Friday, they went further out, and it sounded better for the moments of musical exploration.

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.

J Balvin Introduces Jazz Fest to Reggaeton

I was thinking a lot this weekend about things you never see at Jazz Fest, and I got two more on Sunday. A fan somehow snuck a portable speaker in—portable speakers are not on the Kermit Ruffins-voiced list of prohibited items we hear when entering Jazz Fest!—and played reggaeton in the audience before J Balvin’s set began at the Gentilly Stage. It was great to see people start their own party with their own entertainment, just as it was great to see four girls rush the stage to hug Jack Antonoff during Bleachers’ set before Balvin.

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