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Shorty proteges play funky takes on classics
Locally grown blues
Andrew WK to Ensure 'The Music Box' Parties Hard
by Brad Rhines
The question isn’t whether Andrew WK will party in New Orleans this weekend, the question is how hard. The rock star, who’s debut album included tracks like “It’s time to Party,” “Party Hard,” and “Party til You Puke,” will take a break from dispensing party tips on Twitter and join the artists and musicians of the New Orleans Airlift for the final performances at “The Music Box: A Shantytown Sound Laboratory” on Saturday night.
It’s only been a couple of months since we first covered the Bywater art project but in that short time the artists from the New Orleans Airlift have really taken off. Da Paper’s Doug McCash has been keeping tabson the downtown lot turned musical village, and the project has been featured in both the Huffington Postand the New York Times. As the Airlift gears up for the final performance, NoDef checked in with co-director Delaney Martin to get her reaction to the success of The Music Box.
“Obviously we always go into these things with great expectations,” Martin told NoDef, “but the response both locally and nationally has completely exceeded anything we could have hoped for. It’s been amazing.”
After packed performances in October and November, the artists, builders, and musicians involved in the project proved The Music Box can be many things to many people. The shanty town itself is visually stunning—a fantasy land constructed from salvaged materials—and the sounds the structures emit are otherworldly. The fun part comes from seeing how different musicians manipulate the instruments, which the Airlift only assisted by bringing in a diverse array of artists, ranging from New Orleans hip-hop producer Mannie Fresh to Dickie Landry, a saxophonist from Lafayette who was a founding member of the Philip Glass Ensemble.
Of the performances, conducted by noted New Orleans musician and noisemaker Quintron, Martin said, “the first one was absolutely different than the second one. If it all sounds the same every time we play it then that’s terrible.”
For this weekend’s final performance, the Airlift has recruited another roster of interesting names, including big-time rock star Andrew WK, who’s an old friend of Quintron. The results, said Martin, should be “rather bombastic.”
While cold weather is expected for the outdoor event, the Airlift will be serving up hot drinks to cut the chill, and Martin encouraged attendees to bring their own blankets and to “feel free to snuggle up next to their neighbor” as they bask in the warm glow of the sound experience.
Performances are Saturday at 6:30pm and 8:30pm. Pre-sale tickets are no longer available, but a limited number of tickets will be sold at the door for a suggested donation of $10.
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