Off The Record is a recurring, feature here on the Drunkard, that marries two of my greatest interests; music and travel. Having a locals perspective when visiting a new locale is the difference between experiencing it through the lens of a tourist and of that of a native.
Off The Record gathers some of my favorite artists, asks them to reflect on their city of residence, and choose a handful of places they could not live without, be them bookstores, bars, restaurants or vistas.
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When it comes to evening gigs, one of the highlights of this year’s Voodoo Fest was the Saturday night Galactic show at Tipitina’s (one of our favorite NOLA clubs, which literally happens to be next door to where we are staying this trip, the Tchoup House).
We’ve been following Galactic for nearly ten years; from their jazz-oriented beginnings, their Meters revivalists funk period, the exit of The Houseman, through their current collaboration with various hip-hop MCs. In support of Galactic’s recent hip-hop flavored LP From The Corner To The Block, Saturday night’s three and a half hour show (which ended after 3:30 am) featured both Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na, The Coup’s Boots Riley.
Jacques-Imo’s/Maple Leaf Bar — It’s always fun to go have a great meal at Jacques-Imo’s and walk next door afterward and hear great music at the Maple Leaf. The Leaf has the Rebirth Brass Band every Tuesday night and features many great local bands all week long. This is many people’s first stop in town.
Tipitina’s — Tip’s has always been one of our favorite places to hang and play. The Tipitina’s Foundation has also been doing a great deal to help out New Orleans musicians and the music scene since Katrina. Last year we started up a music workshop for young students every Sunday from 12:30-3:30. It’s been great for the kids and has given them an outlet when many music programs are still not functional.
Rue de la Course — Coffee shop on Magazine (street). You can always stop in while running errands and be sure to bump into a few friends you haven’t seen in a while.
Audubon Park — Great for running, hanging out among all the old oaks, or taking my daugter to what she calls the “green playground.”
Louisiana Music Factory — Great store for picking up local New Orleans and Louisiana artists.
Frenchmen Street — The epicenter of New Orleans music. Just outside the French quarter. About 6-7 clubs in a 2 block radius hosting tons of music every night.