By: Kent B. - MSTv Contributor
"It was a dark and rain spent night, with a damp chill to cut to the soul.." Yes, we realize this is a cliche opening to several atmospheric novels, or short stories. But, in this case the description is true regarding our first meet with local band, Bayou Bullets, at the Atomic Pop Shop on Government street.
With the rain and cold present, our initial meeting at the shop's makeshift stage area, was slightly delayed. But once we arrived, we were pleased to meet this cool quartet of musicians who seemed laid back and eager to socialize. But, before we could begin our interview, these guys did the unexpected: they jammed for us first.
And quite a jam it was; though it was impromptu. Perhaps it was just a sound check, or maybe it was a way for the group to showcase their sound. Either way, we didn't care because the sound was awesome as they wailed away.
The four piece group comprised of BJ Davidson on drums, Conner Graham on rhythm guitar, Ian Babin on the bass and Ashton Proctor on lead guitar surely meant to keep our initial banter short -- and then they began to just wail on a classic sounding swamp pop riff called, "Kiss & Tell."
As the jam died down, Bayou Bullets presented their sound as powerful, well rehearsed and most of all seemingly deceptive of a band that's only been around a little over a year. Yet as the interview went underway, and the group let spill their varied inspirations, the reasoning for their sound became more clear. The group were a virtual hodgepodge of musical interests, which channeled through their performance
Pulling styles from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Chicago, Cannibal Corpse and even Bruce Springsteen, Bayou Bullets seeks to retain the power and allure of the classic rock sound and bring it to the tech-driven and more electronic art tastes of today's Millennials. And given the varied path of today's musical landscape, that would seem to be a lofty goal.
However, with more young adults embracing the more unified sound and messages of the classic rock era, perhaps excellent bands like Bayou Bullets can make their mark on today's musical horizon.
And yet, everyone has to start somewhere. We found this laid-back quartet to be cool, friendly, talented and straight up gamers. And from this simple meeting at the Atomic Pop Shop, we can only say that they made a lasting mark on us. Check them out for yourself and we're sure you'll feel the same.
That plus they sound really good!!!
Reproduced from: The Advocate.com
Middle and high school students from around the state will convene in Baton Rouge to participate in the inaugural Mid City Jazz Festival.
The festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday as part of the 10th annual Baton Rouge Community College ArtsFest.
High school and middle school jazz ensembles will perform in front of professional jazz musicians and educators. Judges include New Orleans jazz trumpeter Leroy Jones; Michael Foster, of the Michael Foster Project; and Willis Delony.
Bands interested in participating in the friendly competition can register until 5 p.m. Sunday. Bands must send the school name and city, band director’s name, type of ensemble and a list of three prepared songs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Awards will be given out at 7 p.m. Thursday for best band and best soloist.
After the awards, a judges’ concert will be held in collaboration with professional jazz percussionist Charles Brooks, who is the head of the audio-engineering department within the Entertainment Technologies Division at Baton Rouge Community College.
The concert is free and open to the public.
By: Kent B. - MSTv
Partially reproduced from: The Washington Post
The genre being referred to as "future R&B" - the music churned out by Drake, the Weeknd, Jhene Aiko and Kelela - is atmospheric and complex in a way that leaves fans chewing on its rhythms listen after listen. But it will never quite get the blood pumping and the booties shaking like the old-school R&B of New Edition.
Those looking for a schooling should take note: Bobby Brown (below), Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell, Mike Bivins, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill, the superstar sextet that started ranching out as mere children, have reunited for a nearly 30-city tour.
The current love affair with all things '80s and '90s - from the gauche street-wear to grunge -i should make
this show a draw for kids as well as more mature fans.
The five "old" boys of modern R&B/Funk will be hitting the Saenger Theater stage on July 15th. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com, Saengernola.com or the Saenger box-office@ (504) 525-1052.
Reproduced from: NOLA.com
Fans of electronic music can enjoy the first annual Independence Fest, taking place on July 4-5 in Kentwood. The festival will include a full lineup of DJs and will feature a rare opportunity for overnight camping on a festival grounds in Tangipahoa Parish.
"Although the focus will be electronic music, there will be several music genres, and many remixes," said John Lejeune Jr., aka DJ Hollywood, a popular north shore DJ known for his multimedia shows and "Bass Wagon" that rolls in many parades during the Mardi Gras season.
Lejeune is included in a roster of electronic musicians and DJs that includes: Kid Kamillion, Oiki, DJ BZRK, DJ Trip, DJ Trashy, Filey, Christian Radkey, Everest, Kthulu Prime Kayatik, Rroid Drazr, Dxxxy, Eduk8, Killahouse, DJ F'real, DJ Snow, Sfam, Twizz, Perry Gaffney Jr., @Iamdenzibaby, Rat3d, Go Mr. DJ Fantastic, DJ Ruff Tymes, DJ Baldy, DJ 21, DJ IV3, DVDJ Navas, DJ Maliboo, DJ Dizzi, DJ C-Mix, DJ Hollywood, Jimmy Rhodes, Turtle.
"Most of the DJs are locally from New Orleans, the north shore, or Lafayette," Lejeune said. "However, Oiki – from Russia – will be making his USA debut."
Lejeune said his set will use a powerful concert sound system and offer "extreme lighting effects." There will also be a photo booth on-site, as well as "a beachy area for summer fun."
"I've done other events at campgrounds personally, but none like this with so many DJs in the lineup," Lejeune said.
Independence Fest will take place on Friday (July 4) and Saturday (July 5) at 23226 Highway 440, Kentwood. For information and tickets, call 504.615.7280 or visit the website at Independencefest.com.
By: Kent B. - MSTv
One of New Orleans favorite sons, Harry Connick Jr., recently introduced "the new hit kids of Louisiana music" to the national audience of American Idol.
Louisiana natives, Royal Teeth, premiered to a frenzied audience on the 3/20 episode of the 13 year old franchise.
"And the new “American Idol” is … Royal Teeth!," announced Harry Connick Jr., as he welcomed and applauded the youthful group's “Tastemaker” choice performance of, “Wild” from the band's album “Glow.”
“They’re from Louisiana -- that's the main reason I love them,” Connick said in his introductory remarks. “The second main reason I love them is that they're hot.
The members of Royal Teeth, Joshua Wells, Gary Larsen, Nora Patterson and Steve Billeaud, all live in or near either New Orleans or Lafayette.
But, with the infectious and deceptive sound of a band that could be from anywhere, the grouping of Royal Teeth are surprisingly laid-back and humble - despite their rapidly growing fame..
MyScene TV caught up with the band back in December (Sorry American Idol, we beat you to the punch!) when they were playing a gig at the Varsity Theatre.
In a simple, yet engaging interview with lead singers, Gary Larson and Nora Patterson, we discovered that the group was comprised of some just plain cool and humble people.
As true Southern raised young adults, the youthful duo were extremely polite and engaging, yet seemed largely unaffected by their fame. And though completely grateful for said fame, the two; and group on the whole, seemed more interested in being off the road and back in Louisiana; albeit for just a brief while.
From our interview with Royal Teeth, it seemed that the lure of fame and fortune ran a scant fourth in their general priorities. Their true interests seemed to lie in spending more time back home with their families, friends and original fans with an sincerity that shone through strongly and honestly.
All in all, these "kids" hardly portray the stereotype of the typical rock stars, or "American Idols." But, maybe that's a really good thing. I'm sure their families, friends and fans are proud of this fact as well.
Reproduced form: theadvocate.com
Audiences aren’t likely to hear any ’Til Tuesday songs at an Aimee Mann show.
Mann became a music star and music-video star with ’Til Tuesday’s 1985 Top 10 hit, “Voices Carry.” But since she went solo in the early 1990s, she’s recorded eight albums and received an Oscar nomination for “Save Me,” one of nine Mann songs featured in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 film, “Magnolia.”
In concert, Mann plays selections from every one of her solo albums. She avoids “Voices Carry,” her biggest commercial success.
“There are so many songs from my solo records that I feel more connected to,” she explained from Los Angeles.
Mann released her latest album, “Charmer,” last year. It followed 2008’s “@#%&*! Smilers.”
Mann’s next album won’t be a solo project but a collaboration with her friend, Ted Leo. A musically eclectic East Coast rock musician, Leo is best known since 1999 for his band, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. He’s opening shows for Mann’s fall tour and will likely join her for a few songs during her headlining set.
Mann and Leo named their mutual project The Both. They’re finishing an album to be released next year. In The Both, Mann and Leo alternate singing lead and sing in harmony and unison. She plays bass, he plays guitar and a drummer completes the trio.
“It’s really fun to be part of a rock trio,” Mann said.
Mann’s fall tour, which starts Friday in Austin and runs through mid-November with dates in Europe and the U.K., follows her Sept. 10 appearance at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The occasion was the presentation of the Liberty Medal to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Mann sang one song at the event, “Save Me.” But she doesn’t know how she got the gig, unless it’s because she knows some people who work in the White House. She performed at the White House in 2011 for a day that celebrated poetry.
“That was a real surprise,” she said of the latter appearance. “Who expects to wind up at the White House? But it was an amazing atmosphere. You could tell that the arts are important to that administration, especially to Michelle Obama. And it was inspiring on an artistic level, to see these really fascinating people use language in really interesting ways.”
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv
Additional info reproduced from: theadvocate.com
The man known as Rick Springfield has lived an interesting life. When the young, yet veteran, music artist arrived in the States in the 1970s, the Australian native had no clue his fame would begin as a teenybopper music star. Springfield's music and image would wind up on the record players and pinned up on the walls of millions of American girls.
As a former serious "rocker" in his native Australia, this new and American "packaged" image exhausted and dismayed the young artist to no end.
However, it wasn't until 1981 that Springfield's career path the would take a turn for the better. With his boyish good looks and charm, Springfield landed a prime role on the ABC network soap opera, General Hospital, as Dr. Noah Drake.
Also in the same year, Springfield would release the album Working Class Dog, which held his first mainstream number 1 hit, "Jessie's Girl." And while the timing and success of the song made General Hospital a ratings phenomenon, the fame from the show likewise boosted sales of the song.
Springfield left General Hospital in 1983, but his music fame grew with a slew of 80s hits including “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody” and “Human Touch.”
He continued his music and acting careers through the succeeding decades, but his profile has been especially high in recent years. The singer is prominently featured in the music documentary, “Sound City,” and its soundtrack album.
“Sound City” follows the release of another documentary featuring Springfield, “An Affair of the Heart.” The film chronicles the devotion the singer’s fans have for him.
Its this devotion that brings Springfield on tour now along with hotly anticipated plans on the release of his 17th album, “Songs for the End of the World,” in October.
“We’re doing some of those songs in concert,” he said. “They fit very well with a lot of the old stuff. And I have a tough band. We play everything full tilt, so it all seems to coalesce.”
Springfield's autobiography, “Late, Late at Night,’ appeared in 2010. His next book, “Magnificent Vibration,” will be published in May.
“Magnificent Vibration” is an extreme book, definitely not autobiographical, he said.
“It’s dark humor with a serious side,” he said. “It’s about love, sex and death, yin-yang and the balance of the universe and trying to get laid. It covers a lot of ground.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, bow to the Queen Diva!
Reproduced from: NOLA.com
No artist has benefited so much from – or perhaps done as much to create - the recent crossover popularity of bounce music so much as rapper Big Freedia, who, over the past few years, has taken the once deeply local hip-hop sound international with gigs around the U.S. as well as Europe and Australia.
Freedia debuted on late-night TV in January 2012, performing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and on Oct. 2, an eight-episode run of the reality show “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” will premiere on the Fuse TV channel.
This week, Big Freedia checked off another line item on the successful-performer list; readers who opened their New Yorker magazine to the music listings section were treated to a cartoon illustration of the rapper, who performs this coming weekend (Aug. 24-25) at the Afro-Punk festival in Brooklyn, NY.
The recognition in cartoon form came on the heels of the announcement of Big Freedia’s upcoming EP, “The Queen of Bounce” (Queen Diva Music/Beat Exchange).
Produced by Freedia’s frequent collaborator DJ BlaqNMild, who can largely be credited with the speedy, punishing beat bounce music has acquired of late, the six-song collection drops Oct. 2, coinciding with the reality show’s first airing.
“Queen of Bounce” is actually only Big Freedia’s third physical release in a career that’s lasted more than a decade. Over ten years passed between the release of Freedia’s debut, 2000’s “Queen Diva” (Money Rules Entertainment), which is now something of a collectors’ item, and the 2011 EP “Scion A/V Presents Big Freedia.” The singles collection “Hitz: Vol. 1” was released on iTunes in 2010.
Big Freedia next plays an official New Orleans show at Republic, Sept. 5. But if you want a sample now, check out "Na Who Mad" below.
By: Kent B. - MSTv
Additional content from: Advocate.com
The BRLA concert staple, The Varsity Theater, was treated to something special last night as the Pink Floyd tribute band, Bricks In the Wall, rocked the house to its mortar roots.
The nine piece group, formed in 1998, pays tribute and a disciplined homage to one of the most influential Brit pop-culture bands of the last five decades, Pink Floyd.
And to their credit, BITW brings a highly detailed attention to their performances; their efforts to reproduce concert experiences that fans, young and old, could once only experience with the original Pink Floyd, shine through spectacularly.
Spectators can see the care and quality being placed into a BITW concert. But, few would guess that this polished band simply grew out of the mind of a 10 year old's love a a simple vinyl record.
BITW creator and band leader, Travis Satterfield got a vinyl 45 copy of Pink Floyd’s single, “Another Brick in the Wall,” for Christmas in 1979. He was only 10 years old and the song’s lyrics, "Hey, teacher! Leave those kids alone," struck an instant chord with him.
"I guess that was rebellion,” Satterfield said from Dallas.
From that tune, Satterfield moved on to The Wall album and all of the Floyd albums that preceded it.
“I was hooked,” he said. “I picked up the guitar so I could play Pink Floyd.” As he got older, Satterfield appreciated the band’s musical complexity and sociopolitical lyrics.
And from those original bytes of inspiration, Satterfield grew from fan to founder of the Pink Floyd tribute band, Bricks in the Wall.
Feeling confident in his guitar playing following years of practice, Satterfield took out a classified ad in the Dallas Observer for singers and musicians interested in forming his Pink Floyd tribute band.
“I started getting answers and, before too long, we had a band,” he said. “After six months of practice we were out playing gigs. It really grew to what I always envisioned it to be, a full-on Pink Floyd experience with lasers and video screens, lights and authentic equipment and the giant pig that we’ll bring out on occasion.”
Following its formation in 1998, demand for Bricks in the Wall grew. The group later reduced its schedule to about 12 shows a years, including its exclusive Dallas and Houston area performances at those cities’ House of Blues locations.
The nine-member Bricks in the Wall is spending most of this year marking the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s classic 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon.
The group’s Dark Side of the Moon show features original Pink Floyd video synced to the performance as well as synced lights and lasers.
With a highly enjoyable concert last night in Baton Rouge, plus a few more tours left in Louisiana and Texas, BITW can be an experience to relish and behold - whether you know nothing or are a diehard fan of the music of Pink Floyd.
Not many bands can bring stadium-sized concert experiences to smaller venues; and do so effectively.
But luckily for us, Bricks In the Wall, like their source of inspiration, looks to buck and defy most stereotypes of success geared for their audiences.
Alexis Marceaux and Sam Craft
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv
Often its true that brilliance comes from beginnings of true drive and discipline. Such is the case for Alexis Marceaux and her partner, Sam Craft - both of which make up the contemporary pop duo, Alexis & the Samurai.
Marceaux was fortunate enough to compete last year on NBC's "The Voice" and Craft, a mufti-instrumentalist, played with the popular local band, Glasgow.
Despite their specific highlights, neither reached a generalized success they sought. The two just didn't find their personal "voices," that is until they incorporated their talents in 2009.
Their working relationship began in almost a "musical chairs" sense with Craft first joining Alexis's band. She, in turn later joined his band, Glasgow. They also collaborated with Susan Cowsill’s band and worked together to produce Marceaux’s 2011 album, “Orange Moon.”
Finally, for touring purposes and to keep it simpler, Marceaux’s band shrank into their Alexis & the Samurai duo. Craft's former band-mates in Glasgow morphed into the musical collective Sweet Crude, featuring the Craft brothers, Marceaux, multiple drums and keyboards, violin and a diverse collections of songs.
Now joined with a sense of alignment that comes from a true collaborative symmetry, the duo are now truly finding their path. Excited audiences, from their performances at the French Quarter Festival, the Jazz Festival and Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo, are now a typical and expected occurrence.
As the two are willing to experiment with their sound and range, being labeled with a classic and contemporary pop label isn't surprising.
Craft and Marceaux actually plan to perform and produce type songs made popular by the likes of Carole King and by another duo, Karen and Richard Carpenter.
“People are shocked by that because I’m very young,” Marceaux said. “But when you’re a child growing up and learning the voice as an instrument, you connect with people you can sing along with. That’s who did it for me, Karen Carpenter.”
With high-level produced songs like "Stars" and the comforting, yet excitable tune, "Dogs" to their credit, no can doubt that Marceaux's voice, along with Craft's perfectly added orchestration, join to become finely tuned instruments to delight the auditory senses.
Now currently recording their freshmen album, the two agree that their partnership works famously. They find their whole works much better then the solo parts would apart.
“He adds so much to something I might just have a blip of an idea for,” Marceaux said. Whereas Craft added, “I’m not really a vocalist per se, but if I bring an idea to Alexis, I know she’s going to give it a show-stopping performance.”
A listen of their song, "Dogs" below and see why a multitude of listeners would tend to agree with their statements.