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WHO: A-Trak

WHERE/WHEN: 5 P.M., Oct. 30, Le Plur Stage

THE BAND: One of the most exciting and anticipated DJs taking the stage this year at Voodoo Festival is Montreal’s A-Trak. The younger brother of Chromeo’s David Macklovitch, A-Trak has risen to international acclaim as one of the world’s finest turntablists. At the age of 15, he won the DMC World DJ Championship. After that, the young DJ went on to found Fool’s Gold, a record label that launched the careers of Kid Sister and Kid Cudi. A-Trak has worked extensively with Kanye West and toured with the rapper as his on-stage DJ. Since then, A-Trak has collaborated with fellow DJ Armand Van Helden to create the super-duo Duck Sauce. A-Trak’s remixes mash house and hip-hop harmoniously, lacing screwed lyrics with poppy, bouncing house beats that will satisfy the heartiest raver. The album “Dirty South Dance 2” epitomizes A-Trak’s style, scratching and hopping from one track to the next.

WHAT TO EXPECT: It’s hard not to move to his tracks, as he converts tough hip-hop beats into catchy, futuristic pop music. A-Trak is sure to please the PLUR Stage with his immersion of genres that tease the ear and melt the mind.

-Everett Phelps

Who: Dr. John with special guests Irma Thomas, Cyril Neville, and Walter “Wolfman” Washington

Where: Bud Light Stage at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday

The Band: Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) is a New Orleans legend, and his collaboration with other local greats such as Irma Thomas, Cyril Neville and Walter “Wolfman” Washington should produce a foot stomping sound. Dr. John is a local piano legend with a deep, raspy voice who has been on the scene since the 1950s. Recent projects include a track on the 2005 collaborative album “Our New Orleans,” a major role in “The Princess and the Frog” soundtrack, his 2008 Grammy winning album “The City That Care Forgot,” and his 2010 release “Tribal.” Dr. John’s style spans blues, jazz and soul.

What to expect: Expect an epic New Orleans jam session of musical greats. As always, other local musicians will most likely make cameo appearances in addition to the listed four.

-Sophie Unterman

WHO: Cheap Trick

WHERE/WHEN: 6:15 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the Bingo! Parlor .

THE BAND: A classic rock band formed in Illinois in 1973, Cheap Trick has been altering the face of American rock for four decades. The band released its first self-titled album in early 1977, and while it didn’t sell well in the United States, the group developed a devoted fan base in Japan. The release of Cheap Trick’s second album “In Color” was similarly received, with singles like “I Want You to Want Me” and “Clock Strikes Ten” becoming hits in Japan but not in the United States. It was the group’s third album, “Heaven Tonight,” released in 1978, that brought the band domestic success and launched it into international stardom. Cheap Trick is now revered as “the American Beatles” in Japan. In its home state of Illinois, April is officially known as “Cheap Trick Day.” The band’s signature sound combines hard rock with synthetic pop harmonies reminiscent of The Beatles. It is also known for its use of vintage and unusual instruments, including a 12-string bass.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Though Cheap Trick has been continuously touring for four decades, the band still performs with the adrenaline of their younger years. The band’s performances are highly known for theatricality and energy, rarely leaving their fans disappointed.

-Lucy Stratton

WHO: Mannie Fresh

WHERE/WHEN: 2:30 P.M., Oct. 30, Le Plur Stage

THE BAND: Mannie Fresh, one of New Orleans’ most experienced and celebrated DJs, has been playing at local venues since the 1980s. Shortly after Birdman and Big Tymers created Cash Money Records, Mannie Fresh established himself as one of the most prominent producers on the label, quickly rising to the post of in-house producer in 1993. Mannie has gone on to produce stars such as Bun B, T.I., Slim Thug, Mike Jones and Gucci Mane. He also produces with Def Jam South. Mannie Fresh’s productions have epitomized the sound of Southern hip-hop. His beats seem to grind and chop under the Southern sun, providing jumpy synthesizer shrills over thumping 808s. In mid-2000s Atlanta, Mannie Fresh seemed to be behind every codeine-induced single. Now, Mannie Fresh returns to New Orleans for Voodoo and a show at La Maison Oct. 29.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Suggested items to bring to Mannie’s set: blunt wraps, a bottle of promethazine, a hoopty and Styrofoam cups.

-Everett Phelps

The Raconteurs, Sunday, Le Ritual – Voodoo Stage, 7 p.m.

When does Jack White find time to sleep? A little piece of the music world died when he announced that his groundbreaking duo, The White Stripes, had decided to call it quits, but no one really had a chance to be that shook up about because of everything else Mr. White does. Fans have been consistently delivered good material in progressive, listener-minded ways from his Nashville-based Third Man label, and records from his other, other band The Dead Weather have been played over and over. So now, we get another curveball – the return of The Raconteurs, White’s true rock band. Boasting a fuller sound than The White Stripes and more dynamics than The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs offer White a unique position: lead guitarist. He’s constrained a bit by his singing duties in the Stripes and is behind a drum kit with The Dead Weather, but with The Raconteurs, accomplished-in-his-own-right Brendan Benson takes on most of the singing duties, allowing White to explore and dominate the guitar as much as he pleases. With robust melodies, firecracker blues, glorious guitars and an unstoppable drive, The Raconteurs are a rock ‘n’ roll spectacle to behold. The band has two excellent albums under its belt – “Broken Boy Soldiers” and “Consolers of the Lonely” – and it hasn’t yet been determined whether or not a new one is in store. Regardless, The Raconteurs’ Sunday night set will close out Voodoo with a healthy dose of bonafide modern blues.

-Connor Crawford

TV On The Radio, Sunday, Le Ritual – Voodoo Stage, 5:15 p.m.

TV On The Radio has broken down sonic and political walls within the greater indie scene with its staunchly unique brand of soul-infused, insightful and intricate rock and roll. Smooth melodies soar over tumultuously beautiful instrumentation. Mature song structure serves as the foundation for groundbreaking aural skyscrapers. This genre-eluding, diverse group of Brooklyn stalwarts comes to life on stage, adding a welcome edge to what’s on its records. Confident performances come from all members. The band made the tragic announcement in April that bassist Gerard Smith had lost a battle with lung cancer, but that the group would go on playing live, leading to even more inspired shows in his honor. TV On The Radio is an absolute must-see at this year’s festival.

-Connor Crawford

Odd Future, Sunday, Le Ritual – Voodoo Stage, 3:45 p.m.

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All – or simply Odd Future – is the new frontier of mainstream hip-hop. And while there’s nothing mainstream about assaulting Taylor Swift or stabbing Bruno Mars in his “goddamn esophagus” (recurrent themes in the verses of RZA-esque frontman Tyler, The Creator), consider the fact that the official music video for Tyler’s “Yonkers” has 28 million views on Youtube. Such widespread attention has earned Odd Future comparisons to the Wu Tang Clan, and the similarities are hard to miss. Like Wu Tang in its prime, Odd Future is a group of very young, very hungry MC’s with a lot of talent and a lot to say – most of it guaranteed to offend your parents. The band members’ youth gives Odd Future a unique perspective, and references to cartoons like Adventure Time and Courage the Cowardly Dog jammed in between extreme violence can be both hilarious and shocking. Besides rapper/producer Tyler, keep an eye out for Hodgy Beats, Tyler’s livewire partner in crime, and Mike G, the laid back foil to Tyler and Hodgy’s relentless intensity. If you’re down for a little shock and awe with your hip-hop, Odd Future will definitely be one of your favorite shows all weekend.

-Sam Ferguson

WHO: The Sheepdogs

WHERE: Noon, Oct. 30, Bud Light WWOZ Tent

THE BAND: Up-and-comers The Sheepdogs are based out of Saskatchewan, Canada and rock pretty hard. Conceived in 2005, the beardy rockers are just now beginning to catch their big break. They recently performed on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” winning Rolling Stone’s “Choose The Cover” contest and have picked up three CASBYs, Canada’s version of the Grammy. Though the boys of The Sheepdogs hail from our northern neighbor, their tunes are woven from pure Southern bliss. Songs like “Southern Dreaming” and “I Don’t Know” would feel right home in Kentucky or Alabama.

WHAT TO EXPECT: A laid-back jam session with riffs tastier than a hot apple pie cooling on a windowsill.

-Charles Bramesco

WHO: The Limousines

WHERE/WHEN: The Limousines will play at 2:25 p.m. on Oct. 30 on the Voodoo stage.

THE BAND: Giovanni Giusti and Eric Victorino created the San Francisco Bay Area indie-rock band The Limousines in 2007. What began as two acquaintances discussing music via email developed into a long-term friendship and musical partnership that would earn the band international fame. The band grew a solid fan base first through their MySpace and then by sending demos and singles to Sirius XM. In late 2009, The Limousines independently released their first official collection of songs “Scrapbook,” and then announced its first full-length album, “Get Sharp,” in June 2010. The album received critical acclaim, and the Limousines went on a cross-country tour with Neon Trees in May 2011. Their catchy, electronic dance beats are what make singles like “Internet Killed the Video Star” and “Very Busy People” so popular.

WHAT TO EXPECT: The Limousines’ music focuses on many topics, from breaking free from claustrophobic suburbia to the philosophy of carpe diem. Their live performances often spark raves in the audience, and the band has been known to throw balloons and beach balls to their fans to keep the energy high.

-Lucy Stratton


WHERE: WWOZ Stage / 1:30 P.M. / Oct. 30

THE BAND: You’re not going to want to miss GIVERS. This indie pop group from Lafayette, La. is a local favorite just starting to grab national attention. The group met at University of New Orleans, bonding over a shared interest in Cajun, zydeco and African music – sounds that make their way into the band’s debut LP, “In Light.” As the album’s title suggests, the band’s music is full of light: ebullient percussion, polyrhythmic beats, sunny optimism and a sense of urgency. Though they combine indie rock and Afro-pop music, GIVERS aren’t just another one of the bands kicking in Vampire Weekend’s wake. Their music trades in an elitist attitude for raw energy while maintaining sophisticated melodies. With songs like “Meantime” that gleefully declare, “It comes, it goes, and what will you say/ Don’t get stuck in the meantime,” this band is clearly embracing all the promise of youth and endless sunny days.

WHAT TO EXPECT: With highly lauded performances at South by Southwest 2011 and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, expect GIVERS to deliver once again. There will be multiple drum kits, a frenetic energy onstage and, undoubtedly, a huge crowd to dance along with.

-Stephanie Chen

WHO: Portugal. The Man

WHERE: Bingo! Parlor at 4:45 P.M. on Oct. 30

THE BAND: Originally from Alaska, the members of Portugal. The Man had their fair share of dog sled racing and the wilderness before relocating to Portland, Or. There, the experimental psychedelic-rock group began producing music nonstop, releasing an album each year, playing more than 800 shows. After a rise in popularity in 2009, Portugal. The Man announced that it signed with Atlantic Records. Despite the move to a major label, the band continues to produce what it’s been known for: a mix of rhythm and blues, electronic, progressive, and folk rock. The band’s music features lush melodies and a vintage sound that is amplified and experimented on with loops, hip-hop beats and synthesizers. Topped off with lead singer John Gourley’s delicate falsetto, Portugal. The Man produces dreamy, exciting psychedelic-rock that blends genres, making the old sound new.

WHAT TO EXPECT: With a constant touring schedule, Portugal. The Man has live shows down to a science. Expect impressive light production, improvisation and spontaneous jam sessions onstage, as well as some new covers.

-Stephanie Chen

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