Tuesday, April 29, 2008

[The Record Crate] Banjo Masters, Songbirds and the Bass Drum of Death

There is plenty to get excited about this week, least among them is the unleashing of John Barrett's Bass Drum of Death on the Baton Rouge populace, when he opens for Dax Riggs at Chelsea's. The Oxford, Miss., (what is up with Oxford lately? A lot of cool things are radiating from that lovely little town) one-man rock machine demonstrates what happens when you spend a little too much time in the garage alone.

The sleeper show of the week is Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet at the Manship Theatre. Washburn has one of those dramatic, quirky voices that surprise you at every turn and is no slouch on the banjo. But then she'd have to be pretty good to be able to compete with bandmate Béla Fleck, considered the world's best practitioner of the instrument by snooty musicologists and dirty hippies alike. This should prove to be a stellar, unique show.

Jazz singer and composer Nnenna Freelon has played with the likes of Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock and Diana Krall all over the world, and she drops by the Manship for two performances Thursday. World renowned as both a singer and educator, Freelon has five Grammy nominations under her belt and fans like Aretha Franklin singing her praises.

Finally, once I start thinking I've heard it all, along swings a loose cannon like The Death Set. Worldwide, the latest EP from this multinational electro-pop quintet, involves new wave, punk, schoolyard chants, screaming and disarming charm, all at a breakneck pace on its 18 tracks blasting through your brain in less than 30 minutes. They will be tickling your short attention span, opening for Bonde do Role at Spanish Moon.

Click here for this week's events calendar

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