Jazz Fest: Saturday's Best at the Fest and the Clubs

Saturday at Jazz Fest, Rod Stewart tags in for Aretha Franklin. I give Stewart credit for aging into the Great American Songbook--even if I don't want to hear him sing those songs--but when he last played Jazz Fest in 2007, he closed with "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy." That might be a question that the then-62 Stewart wondered in his heart of hearts, but making it his final statement/question to the audience made him seem desperate and shallow.

Royal Teeth Are Ready to be More Than Wild at Jazz Fest

[Jazz Fest emphasizes one element of rock band Royal Teeth's sound at the expense of another. Outside, the band's anthemic and wordless sing-along passages dominate, but Royal Teeth's music seems airier and lighter outside than it does in a club, where four walls contain and reinforce the energy and the harder sounds.

Royal Teeth Are More Than Just "Wild"

“Wild” has been the calling card for Royal Teeth that just keeps calling. After the New Orleans-based band released the song in 2012, it took on a life of its own and became the soundtrack for a Buick Verano commercial later that year. The song’s percussive enthusiasm and joyful, wordless chorus made it one to which people could map a lot of positive associations, and in 2014 Samsung used the song as well in an ad for the Galaxy S5.

Luxley Has a New Spirit

If Ryan Gray wanted to make money, he picked the counterintuitive route. He was in medical school but realized his heart wasn’t in it, and now he performs under the name Luxley. Luxley isn’t what it started as either, but now he/it has a new EP Spirit, which connects the glossy fun of ’80s electronic pop with contemporary beats.

“Really, I wanted to follow my passion,” Gray says. “I wanted to be a doctor, but Luxley was my passion.”

Jazz Fest: Context Works Against Red Hot Chili Peppers

Everything is relative. At a Lollapalooza or a rock festival, Red Hot Chili Peppers are funky. At Jazz Fest, they’re a rock band. They love funk, and Flea can be a funky bassist, but their rock is stronger than their funk, and it shows in a place where funkier bands are all around. Sunday, they surprised almost no one when they brought out The Meters with Ivan Neville subbing for Art to join them on the set-ending “Give It Away.” The two bands jammed together at Voodoo in 2006, and Meters’ guitarist Leo Nocentelli played the Acura Stage a few hours before the Chili Peppers.

Royal Teeth Return with "Kids Conspire"

Louisiana rock/pop band Royal Teeth have been best known over the last few years for its giddy onstage energy and "Wild," the song that more or less codifies its sound. Shiny, new wave textures and infectious, often wordless choruses give listeners ways to connect to the band and "Wild" particularly almost instantly. Because of that, The song first released in 2012 got second, third and fourth lives as it was licensed for 10 commercials or PR campaigns, and in 2014 Royal Teeth played it on American Idol.

Von Mozes Officially Exists

Von Mozes started life as Teenager, which emerged from indie rock band King Rey and One Warmer Blue. Matt Cloutier and Kyle Riche renamed their two-man alt/electro pop project late last year, and yesterday they released their second song as Von Mozes. The new tracks are produced by Royal Teeth drummer Josh Hefner, and he and/or the name change toughen the music up—not dramatically, but the songs don’t slide by quite so effortlessly.

On Stage in New Orleans in 2016

[Updated] My Spilt Milk's contributors and particularly photographers Patrick Ainsworth and Steven Hatley see a lot of music in a year--more than we write about. In 2016, we want to document that and put all those photos in one place. This post will be updated regularly, and each time it is freshened, we'll draw attention to it again. When it gets too big, we'll create a Part II, Part III, and more if necessary. Whatever the case, we'll have a photographic record of the year in music as it happens.

Jazz Fest: Rain Wins

Friday at Jazz Fest ended early, more for the threat of rain than what actually showed. At 5 p.m., Jazz Fest executive producer Quint Davis told the audience at the Acura Stage that rain was coming in an hour to an hour and a half, and it would be bad. He didn’t mention the tornado watch we were under starting at 4:56 p.m. yesterday.

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