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Railroad Earth

Railroad Earth will grace the Big Easy with its string-band funk melodies Oct. 15 at the House of Blues. Known for its sweet harmonies and whimsical instrumentals, Railroad Earth is without a doubt one of the country’s most beloved roots and bluegrass bands. The band is made up of a mandolin player, violinist, bassist, drummer and multi-instrumentalist. The band released a fifth self-titled album last October, and its nine selections showcase a Cajun influence that refines the group’s distinctive sound. The band’s entrancing ballads tell stories of our country’s landscape. It sings of the first transcontinental railroad that brought America together and of its own tales of driving cross-country. If you’re a folk and bluegrass fan, be sure to check these guys out. Tickets are on sale for $30. You’re in for the perfect October night with the sextet’s extensive instrumental sets and captivating melodies. – Jamie Norwood

Galactic/ JJ Grey and Mofro

If you’re looking to do something different this Halloween, check out Galactic at the Howlin’ Wolf. Halloween falls on a Monday night this year, so a concert is the perfect way to celebrate. Florida favorites JJ Grey and Mofro, who performed at Crawfest two years ago, are opening for Galactic this year. While Galactic is always a sold out showstopper in New Orleans, you definitely want to get there early to check out JJ Grey. Grey and his band are famous for creating soulful and meaningful Southern rock. Grey and company are also known for putting on one of the most intense live shows out there. Galactic is famous, especially in New Orleans, for making music skillfully fusing electronica with brass band. The band combines elements of local music such as jazz and infuses it with hip-hop and rock, creating a unique concert experience. If you want to venture off of Frenchmen Street and avoid stepping foot inside The Boot this Halloween, head downtown to the Howlin’ Wolf and see a show that people will be talking about for months to come. -Margaret Abrams


Patrick Stump and Panic! at the Disco

Patrick Stump has finally stepped out of Fall Out Boy’s shadow and come into his own with his debut album. Stump will release his debut full-length solo project “Soul Punk” this month and supporting it with a tour that will hit Tipitina’s Oct. 20. Stump has a unique and soulful sound, which the media often ignored in favor of Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz. Now that Stump is stepping out on his own, he’s able to showcase his talents. Though he is still figuring out his writing style and sound, it is refreshing to hear him defy the genres of pop or punk and attempt to create something new.

Stump opens for old emo favorites Panic! at the Disco, a band that has undergone some major lineup changes and evolved into a more mature sound. At Voodoo Fest 2008, lead singer Brandon Urie forgot the words to one of the band’s biggest hits. While these musicians may seem played out, they are indeed talented. Like their fans, they have grown up and their music has along with them. Both artists should put on a genre-defying and high-energy show. -Margaret Abrams


Cake Preview

Alternative rock icon Cake is performing at 8 p.m. Oct. 15 in the Mahalia Jackson Theater. The California band has released six albums since the late 1990s and continues to garner a mass fan following worldwide. Throughout its musical career, Cake has never been afraid to push the boundaries of its own genre. Cake’s musical style has many flavors, combining genres such as rock, rap, country, jazz and funk. The lyrics and subject matter of the songs are just as diverse, ranging from catchy and fast-paced songs to dry and sarcastic. What all of Cake’s music has in common is the raw, deadpan voice of lead singer John McCrea and trumpet solos courtesy of Vince DiFiore. Band members have come and gone throughout the group’s career, but the music never suffered from the transitions. Two of the band’s six albums have gone platinum, and many of their singles have risen to the top of musical charts. The group’s most successful singles include “The Distance,” “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” and the more recent “Sick of You.” Despite such a long musical career and off-the-wall style, Cake will never grow stale. -Lucy Stratton


City and Colour with Stone Foxes

City and Colour, a.k.a. singer-songwriter Dallas Green, is playing at House of Blues Oct. 27 to kickoff Voodoo Fest, where he will also perform later this month. Stone Foxes, who will perform at Voodoo as well, will open. The combination should make for an interesting show. Though both share folksy inspirations, Stone Foxes’ gritty blues sound is a striking contrast from City and Colour’s, which is quite melodic and acoustic. Green is famous for the soulful tenor of his gentle, heartfelt melodies – famous in Canada, that is. He may not be a huge name in the United States, but his side-project-turned-focus City and Colour is a personal favorite. The depth of his music is a great supplement to a reflective mood. As is true of most shows at House of Blues, ages 18 and up can attend. Warning: It’s tough to find a good place to stand at the House of Blues, so be sure to get there early. -Rae Abbott


Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Yes, it’s a band, not the third racecar driving progeny in the esteemed Earnhardt line. The Detroit band plays a refreshing blend of folk and hip-hop with an outstanding indie-rock sensibility. Inventive samples and lush instrumentation unite to forge a subtle catchiness, as organic harmonies glide over imaginative percussion. Though the songs on the band’s recent debut album “It’s A Corporate World” are unlike anything I’ve ever heard, they offer an instant familiarity and comfort. There aren’t really any hooks on the album, but the tracks still manage to get stuck in your head.

Though the band doesn’t actually drive around in circles at fast speeds, it will sometimes don race suits on stage, and checkered flags have been spotted hanging from various pieces of gear. In a live setting, Dale beefs up all of this stuff and delivers a robust and energetic performance. The show will go down Oct. 20 on Tulane’s very own Lavin-Bernick Center Quad as part of the university’s Homecoming festivities. Local Americana stalwarts Coyotes will open. -Connor Crawford


Das Racist

Stoner hip-hop duo Das Racist will grace the Howlin’ Wolf with its rhyme-spitting, beat-producing presence Oct. 11. The boys from Brooklyn, N.Y. are currently on tour, after debuting their first studio album “Relax” in September. The band has stops in Raleigh, N.C., Atlanta, G.A., Miami, F.L., and Tallahassee, F.L. before it arrives in New Orleans. The band reported on its website that its first week on tour has consisted of, “a lot of sleeping in a van, shooting video, dealing with rockist or otherwise difficult sound guys and pounding mods into the dust.” Things sound like they are going well.

Though the band will mostly be playing songs from “Relax,” many fans will be hoping to hear the cult favorites from its first two mixtapes, such as “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,” “Rainbow in the Dark” and “hahahaha jk?” Das Racist’s goofy lyrics and funky, electronic beats will make an exhilarating show. Tickets cost a reasonable $15. The show will certainly be better than “sitting by the dock of the bay on yay,” as Heems puts it in “Nutmeg.” -Everett Phelps


The promotional posters littering campus shout out Janelle Monae’s name in big block letters. If you take a closer look, however, you will see subtly written that a band called fun. will join her on the Campus Consciousness Tour, performing an acoustic set earlier in the day. Allow me to make myself clear: Do not miss this band. This writer has enjoyed the good fortune to catch fun. performing at another university in October of 2009. Two years later, it remains one of the most deeply powerful performances I have ever seen. fun. frontman Nate Ruess – drafted right from his days with The Format – provides a warm, friendly and blissful presence onstage. The intricate storytelling of the debut album “Aim and Ignite” probes the heart even deeper in person. If the audience is lucky, Ruess and the boys of fun. may even slide smoothly from one of their own songs into an emotional rendition of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” The band will hopefully sprinkle this upcoming performance with singles off the new, currently untitled album. The band’s performance Oct. 10 in McAllister Auditorium and will be a set to remember. -Charles Bramesco

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra continues its Classics series Oct. 29 with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor. This four-movement symphony begins with a melancholy and brooding tone but ends on an optimistic note. Also on the schedule are Oliver Messiaen’s Les Effrandes Oubli?©es and the world premiere of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Shadows for Piano and Orchestra, featuring guest pianist Jeffrey Biegel. The Philharmonic will hold the concert as its new home, the Mahalia Jackson Theater. The Philharmonic will hold its Nov. 5 concert at First Baptist New Orleans, where musical director Carlos Miguel Prieto will conduct the Shostakovich’s famous Symphony No. 5. The night will also include Igor Stravinsky’s Fairy’s Kiss and Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with violinist Vadim Gluzman. This Russian-themed concert will be bombastic, a sharp contrast from Oct. 1’s Mahler Symphony No. 1.

Beyond these Classics concerts, be sure to check out the Louisiana Philharmonic’s park concerts. These events, free and open to the public, rotate from park to park around the city and surrounding areas. The Orchestra will play its Sunset Symphony Oct. 9 in Mandeville Park in collaboration with the Greater New Orleans Youth Symphony. Additionally, the Philharmonic plays at San Francisco Plantation Nov. 6, and musical highlights will include Leonard Bernstein’s Candide Overture and Antonin Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No. 3. -Sophie Unterman


Veteran hardcore punk rockers Off! will play at Siberia Oct. 15 along with Cerebral Ballzy, Retox and Classhole. Off! is a fairly new project formed by legendary vocalist Keith Morris of Black Flag and Circle Jerks. Anyone familiar with the Circle Jerks and early Black Flag will know what to expect from Off!: head-banging, old school 1980s hardcore punk. Despite the band members’ age, they are fast, loud and angry. Those with sensitive ears or cheerful temperaments should not attend.

Cerebral Ballzy, a much younger band, hails from Brooklyn and also plays a style deeply indebted to 1980s American hardcore and punk. The band’s sardonic style is reminiscent of The Descendents, and girls are a central lyrical topic despite Cerebral Ballzy’s abrasive sound. The band should contrast nicely with Off!, whose classic brand of hardcore could use a little comic relief. The grimy, yet oddly homey, Siberia is the perfect venue for such a show. Attendees will take a time machine all the way back to the 1980s mosh pit – assuming their ears can tolerate it. -Sam Abramowitz

Quintron with Miss Pussycat

Every Halloween Eve, One Eyed Jacks hosts New Orleans artists Quintron and his wife, Miss Pussycat. Quintron sings and plays a variety of instruments – including the organ and several synthesizers of his own invention – while Miss Pussycat provides background vocals, maracas and a bizarre puppet show. Their music is difficult to classify. The easiest way would be to call it electronic dance music, but that calls to mind electronica, which it certainly is not. Quintron has branded his music “Swamp Tech,” so it seems that will have to do for the time being. The band’s act is as fun as it is weird. Picture an entire club full of people in costume dancing as if the very fate of the world depended on them shaking it all out – an event presided over by an eccentric pair of ninth warders. You do not need to know Quintron’s music to enjoy the show – you just need to bring a serious supply of energy and your finest dancing shoes, because if you go to this show, you’ll be cutting a rug late into the night. -Hud Coley

The Smoke Fairies

When Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire, the Smoke Fairies, met at their middle school in the rural town of Sussex, England, they had no way of knowing they would one day be touring together across the globe. Already steeped in England’s folk-rock tradition and fans of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, the duo spent a year abroad studying at none other than Tulane University. While in New Orleans, they soaked up the city’s unique blues and jazz, an experience that defined much of their music. Back home, a chance meeting with Jack White at a local pub led them to become the first U.K. band signed to his label, Third Man Records.

The Smoke Fairies craft ethereal melodies that evoke medieval tales, sleepy villages and the supernatural. The duo’s wistful music creates an intimate space haunted by its layered harmonies. Heartache, loneliness, old age and nostalgia wander with melancholy through The Fairies’ songs, building a vulnerable, mysterious atmosphere. On their latest album, “Through Low Light and Trees,” the girls manage to construct delicate, beautiful songs that somehow hide something darker in the shadows. Recent tours with legend Richard Hawley and folk-darling Laura Marling have established the Smoke Fairies as one of England’s most promising up-and-coming bands. Catch the Smoke Fairies opening for Dawes and Blitzen Trapper Oct. 15 at the Manship Theater in Baton Rouge. -Stephanie Chen


Washed Out

The electronic genre known as chillwave that’s currently sweeping America will roll through New Orleans when Washed Out plays Oct. 18 at One Eyed Jacks. Washed Out is the stage name of Georgia’s Ernest Greene, who released two EPs in 2009, both of which he recorded in a makeshift studio in his bedroom. The dreamy quality and lo-fi aesthetic of his music struck a chord with listeners, and Greene began performing live later that year. Greene broke through in 2010 when he released his “Life of Leisure” EP, featuring such blog-beloved cuts as “Feel It All Around” and “New Theory” – the former soundtracking the opening credits of Portlandia, the Independent Film Channel’s delightful sketch comedy program. Washed Out signed on to indie megalabel Sub Pop and released his first studio album, “Within and Without” this year. The album was well received by listeners – it rose to the No. 6 spot on the Billboard Alternative chart – and music critics alike. Audiences can expect to hear deeper cuts from past albums along with features from the new disc, but Washed Out can assure a pleasant, fun time. -Charles Bramesco


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