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THE

Defender Picks

 

Mercedi

March 4th

Shpongle

Civic Theater
Simon Gosford and Raja Ram’s uber eclectic sound

 

Pelicans v. Pistons
SKC, 7p.m.
Surging Birds face Detroit without Brow

 

Kevin James

Mahalia Jackson, 7p.m.

The comedy pops off with the King of Queens

 

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum, 6-8:30p.m.
9 bartenders compete for the high ball

Jeudi

March 5th

Jyl Benson and Sam Hanna
Octavia Books, 6p.m.
New book focuses on New Orleans' Casual Restaurant Recipes

 

Bounce ft. Sissy Nobby

Republic, 10p.m.

Wobble, baby

 

The Soul Rebels

Le Bon Temps Rouler, 10p.m.

Enjoy these brass rebels and a game of pool!

 

Greensky Bluegrass

Tipitina’s, 8:30p.m.

This Michigan quintet knows how to rock bluegrass

Vendredi

March 6th

Six Years of Beers

NOLA Brewing Co, 5:30p.m.

Release of the 6th Anniversary Ale (a sour ale this year) ft. music with Tauk, Gravity A, New Orleans Suspects

 

Gogol Bordello

House of Blues, 9p.m.

Gypsy Punk band from the Lower East Side

 

Francisco Goldman

Tulane Auditorium, 6p.m.

Academic all-star chats about Interior Circuit

 

Celtics v. Pelicans

SKC, 7p.m

 

Mario Cart Challenge

Republic, Doors 10p.m., free before 12 w/ college ID

Multiple N64s set up for the annual Mario Kart Challenge - compete to win a section and bottle of booze; music by DJ G

Samedi

March 7th

Julia Street

Monthly art crawl, 6-9p.m.

 

Haiku With Ghosts

Foundation Gallery, 6-10p.m.

Opening reception for Demond Matsuo’s new show

 

Soul Fest

Audubon Zoo, 10a.m.-5:30p.m.

Day 1 of music, food and fun at the zoo!

 

Jim Roche: Culture Mechanic

Ogden, 6p.m.

Opening of acclaimed retrospective

 

Grizzlies v. Pelicans

SKC, 6p.m.

 

Katt Williams

Lakefront Arena, 8p.m.

Popular comedian on his Born Again...Again tour

 

Tank and the Bangas

Old US Mint, 8p.m.

Local spoken wordsmiths exude creativity through song

Dimanche

March 8th

Tobymac, Mandisa, & Capital Kings

Saenger Theater, 7p.m.

Grammy Award Winners on tour w/ electronic pop duo the Capital Kings

 

Bo Burnham (Sold Out)

Civic Theater, 8p.m.

Wunderkind comedian wombed on the web

 

Glen David Andrews

Botanical Gardens, 4p.m.

Party in the Garden with Andrews and Swamp Donkeys

 

Soul Fest

Audubon Zoo, 10a.m.-5:30p.m.

Day 2 of music, food and fun at the zoo!


Birdfoot Hops the Night Train to Frenchmen


by Joe Shriner

On Thursday, the familiar reverberations of traditional jazz quintets, guitar-slinging buskers, and curbside brass bands on Marigny’s most dynamic street are going to have some new sounds to contend with. In one venue among the babble of barflies, fourteen artists will be offering classical works inspired by clouds and trains, as well as some serious counterpoint.

 

Birdfoot Festival presents “Night Train" at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, the first pair of four featured concerts, taking on two radically different sets of chamber music. At 8 pm, Birdfoot artists will be presenting Kaija Saariaho’s textured “Cloud Trio” for string trio and Steve Reich’s seminal “Different Trains” for string quartet, taped speech, and sound effects. At 10 pm, they will present that vaunted paragon of baroque composition: J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.”

 

Making its Frenchmen debut, “Cloud Trio” is a contemporary work by award-winning Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. Comprised of four layered movements, this piece was written in the French Alps, inspired by the composer’s gaze into the vast sky beyond the mountains. In her program notes, Saariaho does not volunteer which cloud shapes gave her inspiration, encouraging listeners to reach their own conclusions.

 

Celebrated American composer Steve Reich’s “Different Trains,” first performed in 1988, is probably the most famous and compelling of his works. As a child of divorced parents living in New York and Los Angeles, Reich spent much of the first years of World War II travelling across the country by train. Reich, who is Jewish, later observed that if he had lived in Europe when he was a child, he would have been riding trains to concentration camps.

 

Made up of three separate movements, Reich’s composition explores different journeys: “America - before the war,” “Europe - during the war,” and “After the war.” Using spoken phrases from taped conversations with the nanny accompanying him on his trips, an American railroad employee, and archival recordings of Holocaust survivors, Reich extracts phrases and turns them into musical passages that underscore the driving rhythm from the strings.

 

The second set presents one rather prodigious work published 247 years earlier. The cult of personality surrounding J.S. Bach kindles not just excessive extolling by musicians and critics repeating observations of his sonic perfection and astonishing career, but it makes the composer so easy to disparage. There have been volumes written about his genius and no fewer blog entries and articles about how overrated and even boring his music is. Whatever your opinion, one thing never debated is his inescapable presence in music.

 

Clocking in at around 75 minutes if uninterrupted from beginning to end, Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” is no less overhyped and unduly derided as the composer. This work is made up of 30 variations on an enticing aria and was written to help lull an insomniac Count to sleep at night. The piece is more than just “furniture music,” though. Bach was able to achieve something in these variations that allows listeners to actively or passively engage as they see fit.

 

Much of it is in the presentation, of course, and to witness a performance of the “Goldberg Variations” live in an intimate setting lends itself close and direct audience participation. The presentation at Snug Harbor will feature 12 Birdfoot artists, including both pianists Prach Boondiskulchok and Danny Driver, as well as three string trios presenting string arrangements of variations.

 

Each set costs $15 for general admission, and $10 for students with a valid ID required at the door. Tickets are on sale through Snug Harbor Bistro’s website or by calling (504) 949-0696.

 

For additional information on this and two remaining festival events, visit the Birdfoot website or call 504-451-6578. Also, be sure to stick with the NOLA Defender for continuing coverage.




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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Art Listings

Cheryl Castjohn

Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus



Stephen Babcock