Thursday, January 31, 2013

Listen: Gypsyphonic Mardi Gras Mixtape

Gypsyphonic Mardi Gras (Full mix)

NPR: Big Freedia Lays Out The Basics Of Bounce

Big Freedia (the stage name of New Orleans native Freddie Ross) is one of the biggest stars of the hip-hop subculture known as bounce. 

Born out of New Orleans club culture, bounce music isn't just best experienced in person — it's almost impossible to understand in the abstract. But Big Freedia (pronounced "free-duh"), one of the style's biggest stars, says the music does have a few defining features.

Bounce is based in hip-hop. It favors punchy tempos, heavy bass and call-and-response vocals. Many of the songs are structured around a handful of samples, most notably a snippet from "Drag Rap," a 1986 track by the New York rap group The Showboys.

"We use those beats in a lot of our music," Freedia says. "We know how to flip it a million and one ways — and the producers, they know what to do with it to make the crowd jump."

That's another thing: Bounce is party music, hypersexual and made to be danced to. (The more your butt is moving, the better). Freedia says that's why the lyrics are usually kept simple: "You've gotta leave room for the bass and the boom and the knock," she says, "and for people to be able to just free themselves and express themselves through dance."

Big Freedia is the stage name of Freddie Ross, a New Orleans native who, in the late 1990s, helped usher in a wave of openly queer bounce performers. Today, she's one of the few bounce artists with national exposure, and her profile is about to get bigger: a documentary about her life, a dance instruction DVD and her first proper full-length album are all in the pipeline. To hear her conversation with NPR's Robert Smith, click the audio link on this page.


Watch: TV Premiere of "Bury The Hatchet"

Bury the Hatchet, an acclaimed portrait of three Mardi Gras Indian Big Chiefs — Alfred Doucette, Monk Boudreaux and Victor Harris –premieres at 8 p.m. February 2 on the Documentary Channel, with additional broadcasts scheduled throughout the month. Peep a preview below.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Meet The Roots of Music, StubHub's Inaugural Rising Star

Support StubHub's inaugural Rising Star: The Roots of Music. For every view of this film through Super Bowl Sunday (midnight 2/3/13), the StubHub Foundation will donate $1 to the Roots of Music (up to $50,000).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Upcoming: Soul Rebels @ Brooklyn Bowl (3 nights!)

The Soul Rebels

with Special Guests

Thu, February 14-16 2013



The SOUL REBELS formed when Lumar LeBlanc and Derrick Moss, originally members of New Orleans’ iconic Dejean’s Young Olympia Brass Band, decided they wanted to play the new, exciting music they were hearing on the radio while respecting the tradition they loved. Both New Orleans natives, the pair was steeped in the fundamentals of New Orleans jazz, but inevitably, contemporary styles of music began to seep into their psyches. While LeBlanc attended the famed St. Augustine High School, Moss went to Lil’ Wayne’s alma mater McMain High School, and paraded alongside soon-to-be Cash Money Records CEO Ronald “Slim” Williams in the school’s marching band. New sounds were all around and they found them as exciting as the horn-combo style featured in jazz funerals since the turn of the Twentieth Century.

“We wanted to make our own sound without disrespecting the brass tradition,” LeBlanc recalls, “so we knew we had to break away.” They found a stylistic middle ground when they spun off and formed a band of young, like-minded local players from all over New Orleans. Graduates of university music programs throughout the South, the band took the marching band format they had learned in school and incorporated influences from outside the city as well as late-breaking local styles – R&B, funk and hip-hop – especially through half-sung, half-rapped lyrics. “Most of our originals have vocals,” says LeBlanc. “You wouldn’t have done that in a traditional brass band.”

Soon, the Soul Rebels’ contagious originals and updated takes on standards won them a loyal local audience. They began rocking some of New Orleans’ most beloved live music venues. A chance gig opening for the Neville Brothers got them a real start—and an official name. It was youngest brother Cyril Neville who first called them “Soul Rebels,” a good name for a band that strived to incite positive change in its treasured musical heritage. Since those days, the band has settled on an eight-piece lineup, building a career around an eclectic live show that harnesses the power of horns and drums in the party-like atmosphere of a dance club. Their weekly show at Uptown New Orleans spot Le Bon Temps Roulé has been known to descend into a sweaty shout-along as the band mixes up songs from its five studio albums with hits by Jay-Z and OutKast.

While touring the U.S., the Soul Rebels have shared the stage with notable artists from many corners of the pop and jazz worlds, including Arcade Fire, The Roots, Bootsy Collins, Robert Plant & Jimmy Page, Counting Crows, Green Day, Drive By Truckers, James Brown, Roy Hargrove, Allen Toussaint, Chuck Brown, Terence Blanchard, The Gap Band, Better than Ezra and many more. Averaging around 250 shows per year, the Soul Rebels have brought the party to stages as far away as South Africa and Europe, playing some of the world’s best-known music events, including, Umbria Jazz Fest, Antibes Jazz Festival, The Montreal Jazz festival, Bonnaroo, the Wanee Festival and, of course, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

When Hurricane Katrina struck their hometown in 2005, the band scattered across the region. Though a few members relocated to cities in Texas, the band frequently reconvened for gigs in New Orleans, this time with a renewed purpose. “Music has been the number one vehicle for Katrina recovery,” says LeBlanc. “That catastrophe has brought so much world wide attention to our music.”

Indeed, since the storm, the band has been more successful than ever serving as an international ambassador of the New Orleans sound. Now a hardcore touring band with a solid-as-ever lineup, the band has recently represented its hometown on television, appearing in the season finale of the HBO series Treme, the Discovery Channel hit After the Catch, and the NBC broadcast of the parade before the Saints’ winning 2010 Super Bowl.

In January of 2012, the band will finally release its first international album, Unlock Your Mind, on Rounder Records. This new song-driven studio effort includes guest appearances by Cyril Neville, Trombone Shorty and Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli. The album was produced by Rounder VP of A&R Scott Billington, who was also at the helm of many of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s groundbreaking albums.

The Soul Rebels continue charting new territory today. Called “the missing link between Public Enemy and Louis Armstrong” by the Village Voice, the Soul Rebels combine top notch musicianship and songs with grooves that celebrate life in time-honored New Orleans style.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Times-Pic's Mardi Gras Song of the Week: Al "Carnival Time" Johnson's signature classic

 al carnival time.jpg

Carnival season officially began on Twelfth Night, January 6. But for many, the real festivities kick off at Krewe du Vieux, the salacious, satirical first parade of the season, which reveled in ribaldry this past weekend. So, as they say – game on!

Every Tuesday from now until Mardi Gras Day, we’ll be posting a different Carnival classic here on To kick things off, here’s Al “Carnival Time” Johnson’s (king of Krewe du Vieux 2005) wonderfully weird signature tune, first released in 1960. 

Interestingly enough, when Ric Records first pressed the single, it didn’t immediately become the Mardi Gras anthem it is today; Minit Records’ latest release, Jessie Hill’s “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” overshadowed it in sales and popularity.

“It’s Carnival Time” boasts a joyful and buoyant piano groove; it also features some of the oddest lyrics to come out of New Orleans’ golden age of R&B, to wit: “The Green Room is smokin’ and the Plaza’s burning down/throw my baby out the window and let the joint burn down/ all because it’s Carnival time.” 

The horn section boasted an all-star cast, including Lee Allen and James Rivers; according to New Orleans music historian Jeff Hannusch, Mac Rebennack (and not Al) plays piano on the session that was eventually released.

“Ooh Poo Pah Doo” may have won the day fifty years ago, and it remains one of New Orleans’ finest (and also lyrically, strangest) R&B classics. But you can’t keep a good song down, and if you don’t hear “It’s Carnival Time” at least eight million times in the streets, clubs and shop of New Orleans during January and February, well, you might need to clean your ears.

Here's Al "Carnival Time" Johnson's new Super Bowl-specific version of his classic hit:


Listen: Aaron Neville on WFUV's "Words & Music"


Aaron Neville has lent his honeyed voice and lilting melodies to over 50 years of songs, and now he brings that special tone to a new album of doo-wop classics. Produced by Don Was and Keith Richards, it's called My True Story, and an audience of FUV members and I were lucky enough to have Aaron himself stop by Studio A for a live preview, with that one-and-only voice.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jazzfest Daily Lineup Announced (-w- promo video)

APRIL 26 – 28 & MAY 2 – 5, 2013

Friday, April 26

John Mayer, George Benson, Band of Horses, Dr. John, Gary Clark Jr., Joshua Redman Quartet, Campbell Brothers, Sonny Landreth, George Porter, Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, Terrance Simien with special guest Queen Ida, Chris Owens backed by Her Hot Rhythms Band, Jeremy Davenport, The New Orleans R&B Diva Revue feat.The Dixie Cups, Jean Knight, and Wanda Rouzan with the Brian Quezergue Band, Donald Harrison, Wayne Toups & ZyDeCajun , John Mooney & Bluesiana, Tricia Boutté & International Friends, Le Vent du Nord of Canada, Charmaine Neville Band, New Orleans Suspects, Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show, New Orleans Bingo! Show, Doc McKenzie & the Hi-Lites, The Soul Rebels, John Lawrence & Ven Pa’ Ca Flamenco Ensemble with guests Antonio Hildago and Javier Heredia of Spain, The New Orleans Guitar Quartet feat. Jimmy Robinson, John Rankin, Phil DuGruy, and Cranston Clements, Stoney Creek and Yellow Bird Indian Dancers, Jamal Batiste presents JAM-ALL, Flow Tribe, The Breton Sound, Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band, Washboard Chaz Blues Trio, Bryan Lee & the Blues Power Band, James Rivers Movement, Leroy Jones & New Orleans’ Finest, Fredy Omar con su Banda, True Man Posse, Mark McGrain & Plunge, St. Joseph the Worker Music Ministry Choir, Zulu Gospel Male Choir, Brice Miller & Mahogany Brass Band, Semolian Warriors and Comanche Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, T’Monde, Los Po-Boy-Citos, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Tommy Sancton & the New Orleans Legacy Band, The Mashup feat. Terence Higgins, Ike Stubblefield, and Grant Green, Jr., with special guest Ron Holloway, Chris Clifton & His Allstars, Young Pinstripe Brass Band, Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church Mass Choir, Geronimo Hunters and Creole Osceolas Mardi Gras Indians, OperaCreole, Xavier University Jazz Band, Guitar Slim, Jr., Henry Gray & the Cats, Donnie Bolden, Jr. & Spirit of Elijah, Friendly Travelers, Zulu, Big Nine, Keep N It Real, and We Are On Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Young Audience Brass Band Throwdown, Shamarr Allen presents music clinic students and Upset, McMain High School Talented-in-Theater Performers, Pastor Terry Gullage & the Greater Mt. Calvary Voices of Redemption, The ISL Circus Arts Kids, Soulfruit, Black Mohawk and Black Foot Hunters Mardi Gras Indians…

APRIL 26 – 28 & MAY 2 – 5, 2013
Saturday, April 27

Billy Joel, Jill Scott, Allen Toussaint, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Rebirth Brass Band, Andrew Bird, Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Charles Bradley, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Jon Cleary, Daryl Coley, Anders Osborne, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Deacon John, Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, A Tribe Called Red, Magary Lord of Bahia-Brazil, Gerald French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band: A Tribute to Bob French, Astral Project, Stoney Creek and Yellow Bird Indian Dancers, Lionel Ferbos & the Palm Court Jazz Band, Big Chief Walter Cook & Creole Wild West, Alex McMurray, Lil Buck Sinegal’s Blues Band, Michael Ward, Tribute to Sidney Bechet feat. Dr. Michael White, Donald Harrison, Brian “Breeze” Cayolle, and Roderick Paulin, Herbert Hardesty Presents, Jason Marsalis, Mississippi Rail Company, Classie Ballou & the Family Band, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, John Michael Rouchell, The Kid Carsons, Alexis & the Samurai, Tim Laughlin, Wendell Brunious, Lance Ellis, Zena Moses & Rue Fiya, Robin Barnes, Gregg Stafford & his Young Tuxedo Jazz Band, Johnny J & the Hitmen, Sharon Martin, Panorama Jazz Band, Storyville Stompers Brass Band, Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers, Loyola University Jazz Band, Ted Winn, Tonia Scott & the Anointed Voices, New Wave Brass Band, Voices of Peter Claver, Dumaine Gang, Divine Ladies, and Family Ties Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, 101 Runners, Golden Comanche and Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians, Treater “Le Traiteur de Bayou”, Stephen Foster’s Foster Family Music Program, Real Untouchables Brass Band, The Jones Sisters, The Bester Singers, Dynamic Smooth Family Gospel Singers, The Voices of Distinction, Nine Times Men, Single Ladies, Single Men, and Lady Jetsetters Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Ashe Cultural Arts Center Kuumba Institute, Red, White & Blue and Wild Mohicans Mardi Gras Indians, First Emanuel Baptist Church Mass Choir, Young Band Nation Blues Project, Algiers Charter Schools Association Torch Bearers…

APRIL 26 – 28 & MAY 2 – 5, 2013
Sunday, April 28

Dave Matthews Band, Earth, Wind & Fire, B.B. King, Gipsy Kings, Juan Luis Guerra y 440, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Dianne Reeves, The Nevilles, Better Than Ezra, Little Joe y La Familia, Calexico, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Honey Island Swamp Band, Little Freddie King Blues Band, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles, Treme Brass Band’s Tribute to Uncle Lionel Batiste, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Martha Redbone, The Selvy Singers, Brother Tyrone & the Mindbenders, Luther Kent & Trickbag, Magary Lord of Bahia-Brazil, Kristin Diable & The City, Andrew Duhon, Rumba Buena, Gregg Stafford & the Jazz Hounds, Tribute to Kid Ory: Hot Trombones, The Zion Harmonizers, Midnite Disturbers, Raw Oyster Cult, Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, Khris Royal & Dark Matter, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders, Clive Wilson’s New Orleans Serenaders with guest Butch Thompson, Stoney Creek and Yellow Bird Indian Dancers, AsheSon, Jo “Cool” Davis with guests BJ Crosby and Barbara Shorts, Famous Rocks of Harmony, Vivaz!, Smitty Dee’s Brass Bad, Ninth Ward Hunters and Ninth Ward Navajo Mardi Gras Indians, Natalie Mae & Her Unturned Tricks, The Blues Masters feat. Big Al Carson, Jesse McBride presents the Next Generation Big Band, Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners, The Shannon Powell Quintet feat. Charlie Gabriel, Bamboula 2000, Kid Simmons’ Local International Allstars, The Session, Tuba Skinny, Tornado Brass Band, Calvin Johnson, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Mass Choir, Kim Che’re, Dog Hill Stompers, Culu Children’s Traditional African Dance Company & Stiltwalkers, Big Steppers, Furious Five, and Untouchables Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Johnette Downing and Scott Billington, Tulane University Jazz Ensemble, “Sundays in Congo Square” presented by the Congo Square Preservation Society, Rising Dragon Lion Dance Team, Kai Knight’s Silhouette Dance Ensemble, The First Division, Olympia Aid, New Look, and Men of Class Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Golden Star Hunters and Big Chief Kevin Goodman & the Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indians, Nineveh Baptist Church Mass Choir, McTeggart Irish Dancers, Rose Anne Ste. Romain, Bishop Sean Elder & The Mt. Herman Baptist Church Mass Choir, Shawee Indians and Black Eagles Mardi Gras Indians…

APRIL 26 – 28 & MAY 2 – 5, 2013
Thursday, May 2

Widespread Panic, Patti Smith, Kem, Roy Ayers, The 35th Anniversary Celebration of “One Mo’ Time!”, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Henry Butler, Theresa Andersson, Lil’ Nathan & the Zydeco Big Timers, Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs, Glen David Andrews, Pura Fé, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Hot 8 Brass Band, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Banu Gibson & Hot Jazz feat. The Anderson Twins, Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, Pokey LaFarge, Drink Small, Ingrid Lucia, Blended Voices feat. Germaine Bazzle, Phillip Manuel, and Leslie Smith, The Bolton Brothers, Mia Borders, Dee-1, Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, Balfa Toujours, Maggie Koerner, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone, Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, The Honeypots, The Mercy Brothers, Orange Kellin’s New Orleans DeLuxe Orchestra, Gravy, Native Nations Intertribal, Salio from the Republic of Georgia, Fi Yi Yi & the Mandingo Warriors, The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders, Mark Brooks & Friends with guest Barbara Shorts, Original Pinettes Brass Band, Kid Merv & All That Jazz, Kidd Jordan and the Improvisational Arts Quintet, J. Monque’D Blues Band, Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, Quinten Corvette, Big Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians, Kumbuka African Dance & Drum Collective, Grupo Sensacion, Louisiana Repertory Jazz Band, The Last Straws, Woodshed: Hammond B3 feat. Kyle Roussel and Joe Ashlar, UNO Jazz Allstars, Lyle Henderon & Emmanu-EL, Grayhawk presents Native American Lore & Tales, Forgotten Souls Brass Band, Ms. Lala, The Revolution, Ladies of Unity, and VIP Ladies Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Jesuit High School Jazz Band, Josh Kagler & Harmonistic Praise Crusade, Delgado Community College Jazz Band, The Chapman Family, Angela the Yarnspinner, Cheyenne and 7th Ward Creole Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Pocket Aces Brass Band, McDonogh #35 High School Gospel Choir, Eleanor McMain “Singing Mustangs” Choir, O. Perry Walker Charter High School Gospel Choir, Young Audiences Performance Arts Showcase, Pastor Tyrone Jefferson, The Adams Middle School Players…

APRIL 26 – 28 & MAY 2 – 5, 2013
Friday, May 3

Maroon 5, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Cliff, Marc Broussard, Tab Benoit, Laura Bell Bundy, Marcia Ball, Ana Popovic, Papa Grows Funk, The Mavericks, Jerry Douglas, Irma Thomas’ Tribute to Mahalia Jackson, Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, The Iguanas, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet with special guest Jo-El Sonnier, Malê Debalê of Bahia-Brazil, Los Hombres Calientes feat. Bill Summers and Irvin Mayfield, The Cookers feat. Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, David Weiss, Craig Handy, George Cables, Cecil McBee, and Billy Hart, Holly Williams, Nicholas Payton XXX, Brushy One String of Jamaica, Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, Coco Robicheaux Tribute feat. The Spiritland Band, Spencer Bohren, Bill Miller, Ms. Ruby Wilson, Leah Chase, Fleur Debris Superband feat. Zigaboo Modeliste, George Porter, Jr., Nicholas Payton, and David Torkanowsky, Corey Henry & Treme Funket, Kirk Joseph’s Tuba Tuba, Stooges Brass Band, Shades of Praise, The Branchettes, Patrice Fisher & Arpa with guests from Germany and Mexico, New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra, Royal Teeth, David Egan and 20 Years of Trouble, Grayson Capps, Horace Trahan & the Ossun Express, Kim Carson, Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses, Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony, A Tribute to Hadley Castille feat. Sarah & the Sharecroppers, Pinstripe Brass Band, Native Nations Intertribal, Oneida Longhouse Singers and Dancers, Christian Winther – Soul House, Murder the Stout, Kora Konnection, Bari Koral, University of Miami Jazz Band, New Orleans Indian Rhythm Section, Jamil Sharif, Betty Winn & One A-Chord, Young Magnolias, Golden Sioux, and Young Cherokee Mardi Gras Indians, Connie & Dwight with The St. Raymond & St. Leo the Great Gospel Choir, Andrew Hall’s Memories of New Orleans, 21st Century Brass Band, Scene Boosters, Lady Rollers, Original Big Seven, and Original Four Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Jonté Landrum Thomas, Calliope Puppet Theater, KID smART Showcase, Young Fellaz Brass Band, Sensational Chosen Voices, New Orleans Hispano America Dance Group, Voices of Fannie C. Williams Charter School Choir / Recorder Ensemble, Red Hawk and White Cloud Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, City of Love Music & Worship Arts…

APRIL 26 – 28 & MAY 2 – 5, 2013
Saturday, May 4

Fleetwood Mac, Phoenix, Little Big Town, Frank Ocean, The Little Willies, Los Lobos, Galactic, Stanley Clarke/George Duke Project, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Mutemath, VaShawn Mitchell, Terence Blanchard, Cowboy Mouth, Bonerama, Davell Crawford, Robert Mirabal, Roddie Romero & the Hub City All Stars, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Jonathon “Boogie” Long & the Blues Revolution, Eric Lindell, Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band feat. Thais Clark, Germaine Bazzle, The Revivalists, The Boutté Family Gospel, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, Red Stick Ramblers, Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Russell Batiste, Jr., The New Orleans Hip Hop Experience feat. DJ Mike Swift, DJ Poppa, 3D Na’tee, Dobama and N.O.V., Sharde Thomas & the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Luke Winslow-King, Kevin Gordon, Kenny Neal, Tonia & the Left Field Band, Reggie Hall & the Twilighters feat. Lady Bee, JD & the Straight Shot, Yvette Landry, Bill Summers & Jazalsa, Malê Debalê of Bahia-Brazil, Paulin Brothers Brass Band, Lars Edegran & the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, Dukes of Dixieland, Native Nations Intertribal, Oneida Longhouse Singers and Dancers, Kinfolk Brass Band, Mariachi Jalisco, Aaron Fletcher, Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys, Cha Wa, Tom Saunders & the Tomcats, Naydja CoJoe, Black Feathers, Mohawk Hunters, and Cherokee Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, The Johnson Extension, Curtis Pierre-the Samba Man & the Samba Kids, Minister Jai Reed, The Mighty Supremes, Free Agents Brass Band, Westbank Steppers, Valley of Silent Men, and Nine Times Ladies Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Reverend Jermaine Landrum & the Abundant Praise Revival Choir, The Wimberly Family Gospel Singers, Al Berard Family Band, Young Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indians, Jeannine Pasini Beekman, SUBR Jazzy Jags, Baby Boyz Brass Band, Archdiocese of New Orleans Gospel Choir, Tione Johnson, DJ Raj Smoove, New Generation, Undefeated Divas, Pigeon Town Steppers, and Uptown Swingers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, NORDC Crescent City Lights Youth Theater, The RRAAMS, Versailles Lion Dance Team, Big Chief Trouble & Trouble Nation and Wild Red Flame Mardi Gras Indians…

APRIL 26 – 28 & MAY 2 – 5, 2013
Sunday, May 5

The Black Keys, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Irma Thomas, Aaron Neville, Jeffrey Osborne, Taj Mahal & The Real Thing Tuba Band, The Meter Men with Page McConnell, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Wayne Shorter Quartet feat. Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade, The Del McCoury Band with Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ellis Marsalis, Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, Pete Fountain, New Orleans Classic R&B Recording Revue feat. Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Frankie Ford, Robert Parker, and Al “Carnival Time” Johnson with Blue Eyed Soul Revue, Bo Dollis & The Wild Magnolias, John Boutté, Tucka, Kathy Taylor, New Birth Brass Band, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Satan & Adam, Brass-AHolics “Gogo Brass Funk” Band, Creole String Beans, Pine Leaf Boys, James Andrews & the Crescent City Allstars, Feufollet, Ernie Vincent & the Top Notes, New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, Brushy One String of Jamaica, George French & the New Orleans Storyville Jazz Band, Savoy Family Cajun Band, TBC Brass Band, Bobby Lounge & the Reclinders with Sister RuthAnn Kerr, D.L. Menard & the Louisiana Aces, Otra, Oneida Longhouse Singers and Dancers, Hot Club of New Orleans, Mark Braud’s New Orleans Jazz Giants, Wild Tchoupitoulas and Wild Apaches Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Julio y Cesar Band, The Grayhawk Band, Blodie’s Jazz Jam, Leo Jackson & The Melody Clouds, Quiana Lynell & Lush Life, N’Kafu African Dance Ensemble, Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans, Connie Jones & the Crescent City Jazz Band, New Orleans Spiritualettes, DJ Captain Charles, Jeff Floyd, Native Nations Intertribal, Val & Love Alive Mass Choir, Prince of Wales and Original Lady Buckjumpers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, War Chief Juan & Jockimo’s Groove, N.O.C.C.A. Jazz Band, The Heritage School of Music Band, David & Roselyn, Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries Choir, Cynthia Girtley, Buffalo Hunters and Apache Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Craig Adams & Higher Dimensions of Praise, Uptown Music Theater, Highsteppers Brass Band, Javier’s Dance Company, Original CTC and Ole N Nu Style Fellaz Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Adella Adella the Storyteller, E’Dana & Divinely Destin, Hobgoblin Hill Puppets

Tipitina's: Why the Banana? (via WWOZ)

Neville Brothers in front of the Longhair mural at Tipitina's. By Leon Morris.

This month Tipitina's is celebrating its 35th Anniversary. This famous New Orleans venue opened its doors in 1977 when a group of 14 Tulane alumni and students (the "Fabulous Fourteen") pooled their money to buy a club where New Orleans musical giant Professor Longhair could perform -- he had burned too many bridges in the French Quarter, and was out of venues where he could play. So the Fabulous Fourteen opened Tipitina's Uptown on Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas, where the Professor played for the last three years of his life.

A very important FYI: Tipitina's plays a critical role in WWOZ's history. Our first broadcasts in 1980 were from a cramped apartment above Tip's. WWOZ's tradition of bringing live, local music to the airwaves began when DJs would drop a microphone through a hole in the floor to record performances from Tip's stage.
Now, 35 years later, after thousands of shows, a change in ownership, and the incredible development of the Tipitina's Foundation, one question remains: why, oh why, is that banana on Tipitina's logo?

We started doing some digging and, as it turns out, there is no one clear answer to this quandary. Many rumors are circulating, some clearly not true.  But they all have a place in Tipitina's lore:

Legend #1: The artist who created the Tipitina's logo signed all of her work by dipping a banana into paint and using it as a brush to leave her mark. While we can't say for certain this never happened, there is a framed logo upstairs at Tipitina's bearing the artist's signature - definitely not a la banana.

Legend #2: This was the '70s and yoga was all the rage. The Fab Fourteen knew a Swami with a name that rhymed with banana, and they simply called him Swami Banana. The Swami didn't last, but the joke did when it was worked into the Tip's logo.

Legend #3: Tipitina's is named after a Professor Longhair song called Tipitina (known fact). The song is supposedly about a French Quarter woman with no toes who was, quite literally, "Tippy Tina." Rumor has it that Tina had a fruit stand in the Quarter, and the banana is another allusion to the song and an homage to Tippy Tina herself.

Legend #4: The club was originally called Tipitina, but the artist who conceived of the logo added the "'s" and the banana, just because it felt aesthetically right to her. The Tip's owners liked the "s", but not the banana. Unfortunately for them, the artist said it was a package deal: no banana, no "s". In a take-it-or-leave-it sort of deal, Tip's took the banana.

Legend #5: While an apple a day might keep someone healthy up north, down here in the northernmost city of the Caribbean, a saying that the Fabulous Fourteen used to toss around was "a banana a day keeps the doctor away."

Legend #6: The Fab Fourteen couldn't get a liquor license when Tipitina's first opened its doors, so instead they served juice and other health snacks -- including bananas.

Legend #7: Tipitina's used to be a banana warehouse. This one is possible. By the looks of it, Tipitina's was previously a warehouse. It's near the Uptown shipyards, and New Orleans was a major banana port.

Happy 35th Birthday, Tipitina's!

A huge thanks to Barrett DuPuis and Adam Rivas (long-time Tipitina's employess) for their banana research.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Listen: Aaron Neville's "My True Story" (via NPR)

Aaron Neville's My True Story comes out on Jan. 22. 
On paper, it doesn't sound terribly eventful: A 71-year-old New Orleans pop and soul legend records a straightforward album of doo-wop covers. But, while Aaron Neville's My True Story wallows unapologetically in the past — namely, in the stretch of '50s and early-'60s R&B that first fueled the singer's passion for music — it's really setting the Wayback Machine to "all of the above." With the aid of producers Don Was and Keith Richards (!), as well as studio aces like Benmont Tench and Greg Leisz, My True Story is painstakingly engineered to transcend trends; it's not trying to make doo-wop sound contemporary so much as dislodge it from its time capsule and free it to drift across eras.
Neville lends his distinctively floaty tenor to a handful of unavoidable and unimpeachable standards on My True Story — "Be My Baby," "Tears on My Pillow," "Under the Boardwalk," "This Magic Moment" — but he also shines a light on less ubiquitous past hits. Neville has been singing the praises of The Clovers' 1952 smash "Ting a Ling" at every opportunity for years now, and his version practically oozes appreciation for the chance to do it justice.

It's that unmistakable affection, dispensed with a sweet voice that's lost none of its considerable luster, which makes My True Story resonate as more than a mere footnote in Neville's half-century of music. It's a labor of love, to be sure, but the singer and his cohorts try something bold, too: They celebrate these relics in ways that make them feel relevant to the future.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

'New American Noise' Dives Deep Into Sissy Bounce Scene

On January 18, the Sundance Channel is set to premiere New American Noise, a six-part documentary series by Nokia Music and Somesuch & Co. where each episode focuses on a different music scene within a different city. Rather than leave the lineup to a single curator or a room full of execs, the network sought out directors who already moved through rare circles in music, and asked them to tell the stories of these unique locales. The aim? To tell "the story of music's evolution in America while also capturing the perspectives of music fans from all walks of life."

Abteen Bagheri, who has done music videos for A$AP Rocky, Delta Spirit and Blood Orange, has taken on indie Portland and New Orleans bounce. Emily Kai Bok, the brilliant eye behind Grimes' "Oblivion" clip, is covering the alt-rap scene in New York. Bob Harlow, who's directed for Best Coast and the Vaccines, is portraying the nearly post-apocalyptic Detroit warehouse scene. And Tyrone Lebon, who's done shorts for Nike and numerous others, is delving into music promoted via Atlanta strip clubs, and artists trying to make it in Los Angeles.

Above, we have an exclusive excerpt from Bagheri's New Orleans episode. Among the highlights: copious shots of booties popping, twerking, jerking and bumping — both men and women, both upside down and right side up — plus an interview with Cash Money O.G. Mannie Fresh discussing the rhythms that make his city's music so addictive, and a full minute of sissy bounce star Nicky Da B (he of Diplo's "Express Yourself") rap-chanting a cappella from a barber's seat. It's compelling stuff that bodes well for the rest of New American Noise (see the full trailer at the show's website!).

Monday, January 7, 2013

Listen: New track from Mystikal (along with rave review from NY Times)

Coastal Sounds, and Bass Thump From Up North

“Hear that, Helen? He’s tearing it up, that fella. I’d love to get my hands on those acapellas.” About 45 seconds into “Hit It” Mystikal takes on the voice of an older white woman who is watching him perform the song, which is a stunningly good update of vintage James Brown funk. He’s catching feelings, riding the speedy beat, virtually speaking in tongues. He’s in the song and then outside it, calling out instructions to the band — which includes the New Orleans musician Trombone Shorty, according to the Twitter feed of DJ Don Juan, who produced the song with KLC — and talking about all the instruments he’s in charge of. His rasp is intact from his mid-1990s heyday, and his energy is stratospheric. The song is a leak; it may or may not appear on his coming album on Cash Money, his first in more than a decade, a span that included time in jail. 

Whatever happens, though, “Hit It” — or “Hit Me,” depending on whose Twitter feed you believe — is either a late contender for best song of 2012, an early contender for best song of 2013 or proof that time travel to and from 1968 is possible and happening right before our ears.
Web link:

In Pictures: funky Meters & Dumpstaphunk NYE @ Capitol Theatre

New Year’s Eve with The funky Meters and Dumpstaphunk

The funky Meters and Dumpstaphunk joined forces on New Year’s Eve, bringing their signature New Orleans sounds to the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. Here are photos from the night, courtesy of Marc Millman

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Watch: Dr. John's "Ice Age" feat. Dan Auerbach @ BAM (official video)

Upcoming: Cliff Hines feat. Sasha Masakowski @ Drom

Cliff Hines "Wanderlust" CD Release Party Feat. Sasha Masakowski

Eric Overmyer’s Music Crypt – Part 1

When I asked Eric Overmyer for a list of songs deserving of wider recognition, I expected a mere list. What I received was a dissertation. We’ll break the list into a few smaller posts. But, taken together, it brings to mind a radio program hosted by Billy Delle on WWOZ called, Records from the Crypt. Every now and then Billy will talk about how he has gone way back in to the annals of the crypt to retrieve some particularly special sonic gem. Most folks don’t have music crypts as deep as Billy’s and Eric’s. The quest for these obscure gems may send you searching online and through stores specializing in old vinyl. Consider Jim Russell’s Records in New Orleans for your rare record needs.

My list of semi-obscure/not-quite forgotten New Orleans/South Louisiana albums/songs/performers/artists. Off the top:
Let's start with the oldest. Danny Barker and The Baby Dodds Trio recorded (possibly) the first versions of Mardi Gras Indian songs, and set what had been plain percussion and chant to instrumentation. Danny was a seminal figure. He was born in the French Quarter, a member of the Barbarin family, founder of the Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band, which nurtured several generations of musicians, including Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Leroy Jones, Dr. Michael White, Joseph Torregano and many others, and gave birth to the Dirty Brass Band and thus the whole modern brass band movement. Barker's version of "Indian Red" was heard in Season 1. My favorite tune from those sessions is "Tootie Ma Was A Big Fine Thing," which will also certainly appear on my list of Favorite Carnival and Indian Songs. The current incarnation of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band does a monster version of "Tootie Ma," with Clint Maedgen and Charlie Gabriel honking dueling tenors -- a perfect example of how New Orleans music is transmitted and transmuted down the decades.
As long as we're talking Indian music, how about Champion Jack Dupree and his version of "Yella Pocahontas," which was heard over a car radio in Season 1's Mardi Gras episode. Dupree was orphaned at an early age, his parents killed in a house fire -- which according to local lore was set by the Klan. He was sent to the Colored Waif's Home (Louis Armstrong's alma mater), was a Spy Boy for the Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indians, and left New Orleans for good in 1930 at the age of 20, for Chicago, and later Europe, becoming like many black musicians an ex-pat refugee from racism. There are a number of versions of "Yella Pocahontas" -- my favorite is the Rounder Records version on ‘The Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday Showdown’ anthology, which features John Mooney on slide guitar, Walter Payton on bass, and Lil Crip and Bo Dollis of the Wild Magnolias on backing vocals.
And speaking of the Wild Magnolias, their ground-breaking records from the Seventies, ‘The Wild Magnolias’ and ‘They Call Us Wild,’ done with Willie Tee and his brother Earl Turbinton, which married nasty New Orleans funk and Mardi Gras Indian songs, sound as fresh as ever. We tried to get "New Suit" from ‘They Call Us Wild’ into Season 1's Mardi Gras episode but it was recorded on a French label, Barclay, and we couldn't get the rights -- the French never responded. Check it out -- it'll knock your feathers off.
--Eric Overmyer

Upcoming: Marco Bevenevento's Fat Tuesday Tribute to James Booker feat Johnny Vidacovich

Nolafunk Fat Tuesday Party!

Marco Benevento's Tribute to James Booker

w/ Johnny Vidacovich & Andy Hess + special guests

Tuesday February 12 @ Brooklyn Bowl

Upcoming: Crescent City Stomp feat. Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ McKittrick Hotel