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Revisiting a trip to New Orleans during Mardi Gras: Paul McCartney recalls ‘My Carnival’ on ‘Venus and Mars’ re-release

Photo by SidneySmithPhotos.com -- Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, dressed as clowns for Mardi Gras, 1975

During the 1975 Carnival season in New Orleans, Paul McCartney celebrated his first and only Mardi Gras. Forty years ago this month, McCartney, his wife, Linda, and members of the former Beatle’s 1970s band, Wings, flew to New Orleans to record their fourth album, “Venus and Mars.” And on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 11, 1975,… Continue reading →

Paul McCartney recalls 1975 Mardi Gras, ‘My Carnival’ on ‘Venus and Mars’ re-release

Photo by SidneySmithPhotos.com -- Paul and Linda McCartney, masked as clowns for Mardi Gras in New Orleans, 1975.

During the 1975 Carnival season, Paul McCartney celebrated his Mardi Gras. Forty years ago this month, McCartney, his wife, Linda, and members of the former Beatle’s 1970s band, Wings, flew to New Orleans to record their fourth album, “Venus and Mars.” And on Mardi Gras Day, Feb. 11, 1975, the McCartneys waded into the holiday revelry, masking… Continue reading →

Southern’s Human Jukebox prepares for competition

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Southern University assistant director Kevin Taylor directs a portion of the marching band's on-campus rehearsal Jan. 15.

Rehearsal was supposed to begin at 7:30 p.m. but was pushed back to 8 p.m., and then even later. “We won’t be going outside until 9:30,” Southern University’s Director of Bands Nathan Haymer says. “We have some class schedule conflicts, so we’re having to accommodate for that.” “It’s worth it,” Wayne Matthews says. Even on… Continue reading →

Synth-pop Prom Date follows debut album with tour

Photo by BRIAN BAIAMONTE -- Prom DateFrom left to right, Nick Boudreau, Christine Peirce, David Fuller and Brett Burke

Prom Date began in Baton Rouge in the summer of 2007 as a piano-centric pop-rock band. The band’s sound evolved through the years, moving to the 1980s-inspired, electronic keyboard-based snyth-pop the group specializes in now. Following the August release of “Portraits,” Prom Date’s full-length album debut, the group has been touring the country and… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Jan. 23-29, 2015

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK --  Florida Georgia Line -- The mega-country star duo known as Florida Georgia Line will perform Friday at the Cajundome in Lafayette. Thomas Rhett and Frankie Ballard are also on the show.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Jan. 23-29, 2015. It covers plays, shows, parties, family-oriented entertainment and everything in between. Continue reading →

New Kids on the Block: New boy bands can learn from us

Invision/AP photo by CHARLES SYKES -- New Kids Kids On The Block members, from left, Joey McIntyre, Danny Wood, Donnie Wahlberg, Jonathan Knight and Jordan Knight announce their 'The Main Event' tour at Madison Square Garden in New York on Tuesday.

New Kids on the Block are ready to take new boy bands on the block to school. The Boston-based veteran group, which announced a summer tour with TLC and Nelly this week, said contemporary boy bands should check out their live concerts to learn from the experts. “As… Continue reading →

Billy Idol concert set for Wednesday at House of Blues in New Orleans postponed

Photo by Michael Muller -- Billy Idol

The Billy Idol concert scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the House of Blues has been postponed. The British singer’s Thursday show in Atlanta is also postponed. Idol, a House of Blues release stated, is suffering from a chest infection. He’s been told by a doctor to recover for a few days before taking the stage… Continue reading →

Victoria Williams feels at home in Louisiana

Photo provided by Lisa Mednick-Powell -- Victoria Williams with her band, from left, are Ryan Erskins, Williams, Kip Powell and Lisa Mednick-Powell.

In 1993, Shreveport singer-songwriter Victoria Williams became famous after Soul Asylum, Pearl Jam, Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed and other star musicians recorded an album of her songs. Admired though not widely known, Williams had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the spring of 1992 during a tour with Neil Young. “Sweet Relief: A Benefit for… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Jan. 16-22, 2015

Photo provided by Acadiana Center for the Arts -- Flaco Jimenéz, left, and Max Baca -- Flaco Jimenéz, a 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, will perform at the Acadiana Center for the Arts on Thursday, Jan. 22, and Friday, Jan. 23. Los Texmaniacs and the Revelers are also on the bill.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Jan. 16-22, 2015. It covers, rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Meghan Trainor doo-wops to death on ‘Title’

Associated Press photo by Evan Agostini -- Meghan Trainor

There’s plenty to like about Meghan Trainor’s first full-length album, “Title.” The set, which includes music from a previously released EP of the same name, serves up all the doo-wop sass that hooked fans on the singer-songwriter’s Grammy-nominated hit, “All About That Bass.” Jump to almost any track on “Title” and you’ll… Continue reading →

A reflective Billy Idol coming to House of Blues

Photo by Michael Muller -- Billy Idol

Billy Idol wasn’t born to be a star, but it is easy to see how he became one. Growing up in a working-class family in London, William Broad’s heroes were Lou Reed, David Bowie, Roxy Music and artists whose style, music and stardom were inseparable. The “anyone can do it” ethos… Continue reading →

Stevie Wonder to play Smoothie King Center on March 24

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2014 file photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, Stevie Wonder performs in Las Vegas. Willie Nelson, Usher and Coldplays Chris Martin will pay tribute to Stevie Wonder at a concert next month. The Recording Academy announced Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, that Ed Sheeran and Janelle Monae will also perform at

Stevie Wonder will perform March 24 at Smoothie King Center. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at LiveNation.com and Ticketmaster.com. Wonder’s New Orleans show is part his “Songs in the Key of Life Performance” tour, a stage adaptation of his classic 1976 album, “Songs in the Key of… Continue reading →

New Orleans Jazz Fest lineup to be announced Monday morning

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- A crowd is on hand Sunday to watch as New Orleans native Troy

Update: The lineup has been announced. Click here to check it out. The 2015 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival talent lineup will be announced at approximately 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 12. Tickets will go on sale through Ticketmaster starting 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13. This year’s two weekends of Jazz Fest music,… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Jan. 9-15, 2015

Photo provided by The Manship Theatre -- Joe Ely -- Texas singer-songwriter Joe Ely, known for his solo work and his membership in supergroups the Flatlanders and Los Super Seven, appears Saturday at the Red Dragon Listening Room, 2401 Florida St. The show stars at 8 p.m. with opening act Chris Canterbury.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surround areas from Jan. 9-15, 2015. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Composer works to make the classical world safer for banjo music

Bela Fleck

A banjo player named for three classical composers, Béla Anton Leos Fleck celebrates both bluegrass and classical sounds with his original music. Fleck will be the featured artist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in Covington on Friday with his original work, “The Impostor Concerto: A Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra.” On… Continue reading →

Jimmy Carter to present Dylan with person of the year honor

Associated Press file photo -- Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage at 'Les Vieilles Charrues' Festival in Carhaix, western France, in 2012.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will present Bob Dylan with the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year honor next month in Los Angeles. The Recording Academy announced Tuesday that Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson and Jack White will perform at the pre-Grammy event on Feb. 6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.… Continue reading →

Charlie Wilson to play New Orleans' Smoothie King Center in March

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Charlie Wilson, center, seen in performance at the 2014 ESSENCE Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, July 6, 2014. Wilson will perform at the Smoothie King Center on March 14.

Essence Festival favorite Charlie Wilson will perform at the Smoothie King Center on Saturday, March 14. Singers Kem and Joe are also on the bill. Wilson, a solo star and the former lead singer of the Gap Band, will release his new album, “Forever Charlie,” Jan. 27. Concertgoers who pre-order the album from the rhythm-and-blues and… Continue reading →

Diana Ross to return to New Orleans' Saenger Theatre in February

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Diana Ross seen in performance at the River Center Theatre in Baton Rouge Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. The singer will perform at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans Feb. 28, 2015.

Diana Ross, solo star and lead singer for Motown Records’ best-selling female group of the 1960s, the Supremes, will return to the Saenger Theatre on Feb. 28. Ross has sold more than 100 million records and recorded 18 No. 1 hits. She previously performed at the Seanger in October 2013. Ticket for Ross’ Saenger concert… Continue reading →

Year’s top song is Beyonce, Sia’s ‘Pretty Hurts’

Associated Press file photo by Jordan Strauss -- Beyonce rises vocals bring 'Pretty Hurts' to life.

Need a new playlist? Check out the Associated Press’ top songs of 2014 list. Heard them before? Then play them again. 1. “Pretty Hurts,” Beyonce: Contemporary music’s top singer and songwriter — Beyonce and Sia — join forces to create a song that is heavy, deeply felt, emotional… Continue reading →

Year’s top album is Sam Smith’s ‘In The Lonely Hour’

Associated Press file photo by John Shearer -- Sam Smith's 'In the Lonely Hour' tops The Associated Press' list for 2014.

Up for a good long listen? Check out the Associated Press’ top albums of 2014 list: 1. “In the Lonely Hour,” Sam Smith: Sam Smith’s album was an emotional roller coaster — a ride you couldn’t get off of even if you tried. The songs, anchored by his piercing… Continue reading →

Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday to be celebrated in Baton Rouge with book signing, music

Associated Press file photo -- Elvis Presley performs on the 'Ed Sullivan Show' Sept. 9, 1956.

Barbara Barnes Sims’ book, “The Next Elvis: Searching for Stardom at Sun Records,” is part biography, part American music history. Sun Records owner Sam Phillips — the musical visionary who released the early recordings of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison — hired Sims in… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Jan. 2-8, 2015

Photo provided by NICK ABRAHAM -- Nick Abraham Jazz artist Nick Abraham sings at 11 a.m. Sunday at Lava Cantina.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Jan. 2-8, 2015. It covers plays, shows, parties, family-oriented entertainment and everything in between. Continue reading →

Tiger Band heads to Music City to cheer on team in bowl game

Photo by Rachel Saltzberg -- Drum major Mary Ballinger will lead the LSU Tiger Marching Band a final time in the Music City Bowl in Nashville on Tuesday. Bollinger, a senior, will graduate in the spring.

The real behind-the-scenes juggling act is coordinating the travel plans. Roy King has to get 325 members of the LSU Tiger Marching Band to the Music City Bowl in Nashville on Saturday. That’s not even counting staff members and their families. King is director of athletic bands at LSU. And before this, he was the Tiger… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Dec. 26, 2014-Jan. 1, 2015

File photo -- BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet -- The Grammy-winning Cajun band BeauSoleil will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Varsity Theatre.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surround areas from Dec. 26, 2014, to Jan. 1, 2015. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Cowboy Mouth still smiling after all these years

Photo provided by CRIS COHEN -- Cowboy Mouth, left to right Brian Broussard, Fred LeBlanc, John Thomas Griffith and Matt Jones.

Unlike the many angry rockers of the 1990s — Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, to name a few — New Orleans’ Cowboy Mouth accentuated the positive. Now, nearly 25 years after its start, Cowboy Mouth is still smiling. The festive nature of New Orleans jazz and rhythm-and-blues music, singer-drummer Fred LeBlanc said last week, also fuels Cowboy… Continue reading →

Gov’t Mule covers Pink Floyd on new live album

When you’re playing music for 20 years with the caveat that no two shows will ever be the same, you had better write a lot of music, or cover some great songs. Gov’t Mule does both pretty well, most notably during a Halloween concert in Boston back in 2008.… Continue reading →

British singer Joe Cocker dies at age 70

Associated Press file photoBritish Rock and Blues legend Joe Cocker performs on stage of the Stravinski hall during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland, in July 2002. Cocker, best known for the songs, 'You Are So Beautiful,' and the 1980s duet 'Up Where We Belong,' with Jennifer Warnes, died Monday of lung cancer in Colorado. He was 70.

LONDON -- British singer Joe Cocker is dead at age 70.

His London-based agent, Barrie Marshall, said Cocker died early Monday of lung cancer in Colorado, where he has lived for the past two decades.

Cocker was known for a memorable Woodstock performance and cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends."

The ballad "You Are So Beautiful," with Cocker's… Continue reading →

Pride of Acadiana band heads to N.O.

Photo by Brad Kemp/RaginCajuns.com -- The Pride of Acadiana Marching Band leads the second line parade down Canal Street and through the French Quarter for last year's New Orleans Bowl.

The French Quarter’s Thursday night special was a mix of Christmas cheer and Pride of Acadiana. This seems to have become a holiday tradition as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns prepare to play their fourth New Orleans Bowl on Saturday. And the UL-Lafayette Pride of Acadiana Marching Band kicked off the festivities Thursday… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Dec. 19-25, 2014

Photo provided by DAVE MONIC -- The Longneck Society -- Local band the Longneck Society performs at 10 p.m. Friday at Lava Cantina.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Dec. 19-25, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Preservation Hall Jazz Band tours, stars and keeps on playing

Photo provided by Frank Bombaci -- Allen Toussaint, at the piano, performs with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

2014 was a banner year for New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The traditional jazz band spent the fall on a coast-to-coast tour with pianist, songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Allen Toussaint. In March, “CBS Sunday Morning” profiled Preservation Hall, the 53-year-old music venue on St. Peter Street.… Continue reading →

Musical friends help NO’s WWOZ celebrate its birthday at Tip’s

Photo by RYAN HODGSEON-RIGSBEE -- Lauren Del Rio, left and Bill De Turk work on the air during WWOZ's 2014 fall pledge drive.

WWOZ, 90.7 FM, the radio station that’s heard by a vast community of listeners in the New Orleans metro area and beyond, marks its 34th birthday Friday at Tipitina’s. The station has about 20,000 online listeners in Louisiana who live outside of the New Orleans area, 4,000 of which are in Baton Rouge. WWOZ picked a… Continue reading →

Minaj’s ‘Pinkprint’ delivers grown-up complexity

Invision/AP photo by CHARLES SYKES -- Nicki Minaj

Maybe we knew — even in 2010 — when Nicki Minaj released her debut set, that beneath the fluorescent wigs and zany accents, there resided a real-life grown-up. On some level, we surely understood that the now 32-year-old rapper had complex emotions and a past, and all the things that make stars… Continue reading →

From new music to reissued classics, there are holiday tunes for us all

Despite complaints by grinches who claim Christmas music drives them up the wall, recording artists and record companies keep delivering new holiday music and reissues every year. The 2014 holiday season releases include the first holiday album by Idina Menzel, the Tony-winning singer-actress and star of Disney’s animated hit “Frozen.” The Christmas… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra plans two holiday brass performances

Photo provided by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra -- The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Brass program will be performed at Houmas House, as well as St. Joseph's Cathedral.

The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra continues its Lamar Family Chamber Series with two performances of its “Holiday Brass” at 7:30 p.m. Friday in St. Joseph Cathedral, 412 North St., and 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Houmas House, 40136 La. 942, Darrow. Join the orchestra’s associate conductor, David Torns, and the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players for selections… Continue reading →

Kids’ Orchestra presents Winter Concert

The Kids’ Orchestra will present its “Honors Orchestra Winter Concert” at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Christian Life Fellowship Sanctuary, 2037 Quail Drive. Admission is free. The orchestra’s fourth annual winter concert highlights the skills acquired by participants of the Kids’ Orchestra after-school program, which begins each September. Due to the rapid and exponential growth of… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Dec. 12-18, 2014

Photo provided by Captain Green -- Captain Green

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Dec. 12-18, 2014. It covers plays, shows, parties, family-oriented entertainment and everything in between. Continue reading →

Trans-Siberian Orchestra back with rock-classical fireworks

Photo by JASON MCEACHERN -- Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Trans-Siberian Orchestra began as a progressive rock-meets-classical music studio project in 1995. It wasn’t until 1999, following the release TSO’s albums “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” and “The Christmas Attic,” that TSO founder, composer and lyricist Paul O’Neill put the show on the road. TSO’s 1999 tour of a handful of U.S. cities whet the appetite… Continue reading →

Felix Cavaliere fulfills his Christmas wish with album

Photo provided by Melissa Kucirek -- Felix Cavaliere

Singer and organist Felix Cavaliere and the three other members of New York’s Rascals created some of the 1960s’ most soulful pop hits. Signed to the mighty Atlantic Records, the label that issued so much great soul and rhythm-and-blues music, the Rascals reached No. 1 with “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’ ” and “People Got to Be… Continue reading →

Ada M. Babineaux’s documentary set for another free screening Tuesday

Photo provided by Ada M. Babineaux -- Photo of Geraldine Babineaux and children

“I Don’ Been Through the Snake’s Skin & Come Out Clean,” a documentary film by Ada M. Babineaux, will show at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Historic Delta Grand Theatre, 120 S. Market St. The film chronicles Babineaux’s African-American family’s history and faith through several Louisiana generations. Admission is free and open… Continue reading →

Elvis Costello to play solo show in New Orleans

AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber -- Elvis Costello performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Thursday, April 29, 2010. He will perform a solo show at the Civic Theatre in New Orleans March 12, 2015.

Elvis Costello will perform a solo concert at the Civic Theatre in New Orleans on March 12. Tickets are $50 plus service fees and available from ticketmaster.com. Dubbed the “Detour” tour, Costello announced 13 U.S. solo dates, starting March 1 in Boulder, Colo. A New York Times review… Continue reading →

Halestorm: Rocking hard, making history and planning third album

Photo provided by Atlantic Records -- Halestorm

Singer-guitarist Lzzy Hale and her drummer brother, Arejay, founded Halestorm in 1997. She was 13, he was 10. Their parents gave them permission. Halestorm played in bars when the Hale siblings were still underage. In 2005, they signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records. The group’s album debut, released in 2009, sold 300,000… Continue reading →

Band will cheer on Jaguars in Houston

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- The Southern University band performs during halftime of the Bayou Classic Nov. 29 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

If juggling were a collegiate sport, members of Southern University’s Human Jukebox Marching Band would be the national champs. As it is, their juggling of finals and nighttime rehearsals are dedicated to support of a Southwestern Athletic Conference championship for the Jaguars. Add to that the fact that many marching band members also… Continue reading →

Usher’s ‘UR Experience’ comes to Smoothie King Center

Photo provided by RCA Records -- Usher

Overachiever — the word definitely describes pop and rhythm-and-blues star Usher. During his 20-year career, Usher has sold 50 million albums, released nine No. 1 pop hits and 18 Top 10 pop hits and won eight Grammy awards. His extracurricular activities include coaching for TV’s “The Voice” and acting. He recently filmed… Continue reading →

Documentary combines memories and music in ‘Tribute to Toussaint’

Photo by NIJME RINALDI NUN -- Allen Toussaint performs at  'A Tribute to Toussaint.'

On April 30, 2013, an all-star cast of singers and musicians came together to pay tribute to one of the stars and masters of New Orleans music. Staged at Harrah’s New Orleans, the occasion was a belated 75th birthday celebration of Allen Toussaint. A parade of mostly local talent sampled Toussaint’s huge catalog of songs… Continue reading →

Children’s Chorus presents ‘Blues in the Night’

The Greater Baton Rouge Children’s Chorus will perform a free concert, “Blues in the Night,” at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Brown-Holt Auditorium on the Dunham School campus, 111 Roy Emerson Drive. Under the direction of founder Jennifer Ellis and assistant director Eleanor Bach, the auditioned chorus of 40 community singers will perform such traditional blues, bluegrass… Continue reading →