Author Archives: Ariane Trahan

Weekend Shots!

tvd_weekendshots_nola

You know what time it is. From Americana and Country, to Jazz and Expressive Punk, carnival season has arrived, and these are the spots the locals are heading.

Self-proclaimed as “atmospheric dub reggae, expressive punk, abrasive hardcore, afro-beat rhythm, poetry, and mindful lyrics,” the great guys in All People are celebrating the release of a very important debut, Communicate Big Top. It’s pretty mind-blowing how well this group seeps in and out of a motley crew of styles, continuously I might add, as the music has no breaks.

I’m not saying I completely understand nor can describe what “expressive punk” is, but I can guarantee with Community Records co-releasing with Asian Man Records , if you’re not wasted after the Offbeat Awards, this is where you will be Friday night.

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Weekend Shots!

tvd_weekendshots_nola

During what must be the slowest weekend in terms of your music options on any given night, I have found some delightful gems for you, New Orleanians. As I fill in for Jay during his awesome vacation, I welcome the task of doing your dirty legwork. Here are my picks.

“Recreating the glamorous nightclub entertainment once found on Bourbon St.,” Bustout Burlesque seems to be the talk of Friday night at House of Blues.  It may not be your typical band in a bar, but being named one of the Top Ten Burlesque Shows in the World by the Travel Channel is seriously impressive. New Orleans is full of ’em, yet Bustout Burlesque stands out with performers revealing it all, backed by a live, traditional jazz band. Strip dat!

Of course, if you read my interview yesterday on Walt McClements’ new one-piece, Lonesome Leash, you already know where you can find me on Saturday. AllWays Lounge is hosting the accordion king for his debut release I Am No Captain, which Brooklyn Vegan proclaimed, “a freaky, folky album that should appeal to people who like their Decemberists / Mountain Goats, cut with a little Gypsy flavor.”

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TVD Recommends: Lonesome Leash at AllWays Lounge, 1/12

Walt McClements is a man of many ideas. He’s well-traveled and talented, and he’s showcasing a new project this Saturday at AllWays Lounge—a one-man band known as Lonesome Leash. “Directly, the name came from a song title of what is now a Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? song. In a broader sense, it takes on the question of what ties you to yourself, or what ties you to your solitude.”

I caught up with Walt as he was pulling into his parents’ driveway in Durham, North Carolina. “I’m frantically trying to repair my accordion. Last night I was having weird technical difficulties in DC with my accordion pickups, but I feel like it must have resolved itself during the drive, because now I can’t find where it was shorting out.” He’s referring to his performance at DC’s Velvet Lounge on Sunday night, one stop on a tour supporting his debut release I Am No Captain.

A member of Dark Dark Dark, Panorama Jazz Band, Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship?, and a former member of Hurray For The Riff Raff, Walt can certainly call the road his friend. He’s traveling solo this time around, and finding it just shy of overwhelming.

“It’s very nice, but it’s also very hectic. In terms of waking up, answering emails, driving 4-8 hours, loading in, loading out – I’m never too on top of my booking things. Getting to play for people, and self-releasing, it’s really working for yourself. It can be quite daunting when your accordion starts breaking though.”

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A tribute for the books: Weezer’s Pinkerton in a whole new light

Before we get too far into 2013, I feel obligated to share a project many of us overlooked a few months ago. After all, what readers of The Vinyl District are not also Weezer fans? Their Blue Album did get a grand reissue on vinyl in 2012, right around the time of Engine Room Recordings‘ fourth collection of covers, this time in remembrance of Weezer’s sophomore album.

With their signature “world” sound that has gotten the band so much attention, Dinosaur Feathers opens this release with their rendition of “Tired of Sex,” setting the tone for this legitimate tribute to Pinkerton. Keeping the garage-y feel but adding some horns to the mix does the track well (read, it’s the perfect cover where the original shines through, yet is very unique to the coverer.)

A standout for me comes four songs in, when Rob Cantor (of Tally Hall) shares his touching version of “Why Bother?” Even shorter than the original two-minute-long song – with a little less rock and a lot more pop – Cantor’s candor (like how I just did that?) is undeniably adorable, making this track more special than even its archetype.

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CMJ Recap:
5 Days in One Breath

Another CMJ Music Marathon has come and gone, but if you missed out on the panels this year, or if you’re curious of how this conference gets on, let me piece together my adventures, showing just how easy it is to be fully immersed during such a stay in NYC.

Day 1, Tuesday | My plane lands at JFK at 9:58am, leaving enough time to trek through Brooklyn to drop my things at my host’s place near Prospect Park. Badge pick-up and the daytime panels are held at NYU at Washington Square, so I arrive there in time to get my press credentials before getting settled at my first panel, Galleries Are Venues, too! I’m out of luck at this one because the room is at capacity. Bummer.

At 2pm I score second-row seats for Advanced PR Techniques For the Digital World. When discussing what is the most critical of all promo material, Jon Ostrow of Cyper PR suggested it’s the bio that still reigns king. Mark Satlof, Senior VP at Shore Fire Media, believes an artist should have a variety of fifty photos that really pop to get a consumer’s attention. We are told Kickstarter has now become a device for obtaining press, more than it is a tool for securing funds. We are warned that many journalists today are overworked and underpaid, so getting people to just spell band names correctly or getting the right promo shot for an article is becoming another hassle for publicists to deal with.

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CMJ 2012:
A Panel Preview

One aspect often overlooked, or at least not often written about, during the CMJ Music Marathon is the multitude of panel discussions that start at 11am each day. Most people I know are inclined to talk this portion of the conference down, claiming these panels are not generally helpful and tend to be a waste of time. I couldn’t disagree with this attitude more.

Sure, just as in college we end up liking one professor over another. Some are boring and uninspired, while others light a fire under our ass. In the end college was what you made of it. I have made my own schedule for you to peruse, and hey, if you happen to bump into me, come say, “Hi!” I don’t bite.

Here are my featured panels for CMJ 2012:

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TVD Live: Fiona Apple at the House of Blues, 9/24

“I just want to say to Charley Drayton who wrote this record with me, that I’m really really sorry that all the work that we did is being overshadowed by all this bullshit. Also – there aren’t two fucking lockboxes. I didn’t make up a code. It was my way of drawing a parallel between the self…I’m not that fucked up! I went out and made the effort of buying lockboxes? Anyway, that’s all, just Charley, I’m really sorry about this shit.”

Fiona’s opening salvo verbatim, launching the night with a fiery contempt for Monday’s open letter from Rusty Fleming, the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer, also served as some clarification for some statements she made post-arrest at her concert in Houston last Friday.

Enter the set’s opener “Fast As You Can,” sung with a violence not captured by any of her recorded performances I’ve seen (excepting maybe this one). Not for a single verse did she ease up or lose the near-crazy ardency she’s known for, nor did she seem panic-stricken, reticent, or mousy. The Fiona who performed in New Orleans was straightforward and confident.

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Weekend Shots

I woke up to “I love Jennifer” on every day of my weekly planner for three weeks, but that is of no concern to you. If you’re in search of what to do, see, and hear this weekend in New Orleans, I spent time to find the best of the rest – exclusively for TVD.

Friday Night. Conveyor. The Saint. As soon as I connected Popgun Booking and Paper Garden Records, I was sold. All three companies have clout when it comes to recognizing impossible go-get-it-ness. They create the happiness that is eletronic and acoustic jams, so be sure and swing by The Saint at 961Saint Mary for the best time.

Motown, Soul, and R&B cover band (my seemingly only genre exception for cover bands) The Essentials (above) are performing at The Maison Friday night. A 10-piece ensemble reconstructing melodies from my favorite three decades – I missed their most recent show at Circle Bar, but there’s another chance to witness perfect pitch harmonies on Frenchmen tonight.

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Offbeat’s Alex Rawls:
Onward and Upward

Local music geeks know Alex Rawls as the Editor of Offbeat, and as a publicist I still get requests to pitch music and events to him.

Let me start off by saying, as I have been informing my circle of friends for weeks, that Rawls has left his post of the last six years. Why am I writing about him, you may ask? Rawls transplanted to New Orleans to attend UNO in ’88, the same year Offbeat printed its first issue – and like many have been inclined to do in this ever-evolving music landscape, he is taking a risk with a new endeavor, and for that I applaud him.

To give some context, and to backup my above recognition, Rawls became a contributor to Offbeat in 1997, when he was primarily crafting reviews of local writers and books, before moving into the role of a rock columnist in 2000. It was four years later when he was offered a job as Music Editor for Gambit, but after Hurricane Katrina left that publication with a skeleton staff, he only continued as a freelancer. 2006 saw his return to Offbeat, this time as its Editor.

Just after the magazine’s June 2012 issue, Rawls released an open letter discussing his departure, and that he was working on a new music media outlet—MySpiltMilk.com.

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Weekend Shots!

With  summer hanging over our heads, its arrival  just under a week away, the music is growing plentiful in the streets of New Orleans. We’ve done what we can to pore through your options, so may we present to you…some TVD selects!

Previous TVD Interviewee, Micah Mckee’s latest ensemble, Little Maker, is at HOB this eve, for Friday Happy Hour. The show starts at 5pm and it’s free. This is the perfect weekend liftoff and plenty of time to get toasty before heading deeper into the quarter, if that’s your thing.

Presented by Aquarium Drunkard, local celebs MyNameIsJohnMichael are at One Eyed Jacks tonight, along with The Breton Sound. With a new teaser titled Orphans and Elders, it’s just scratching the surface of MNIJM’s forthcoming release Picture Perfect Past. Catch some of these new ditties starting at 9pm, suckahs.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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