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What to Know Before You Go

MUSIC

Quicksilver Messenger Service
9 p.m. Tue., Feb. 13
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; www.tipitinas.com

Get prepared for a cosmic jaunt in the wayback machine to a groovier time. These Left Coast rockers have never dropped out — even after more than 40 years of turning on and tuning in — and the Messenger Service is primed to deliver the same brand of jammy takes on classic R&B numbers as well as sunny, shimmery original psychedelic rock during this 40th anniversary tour. Back in the day, the band was the new sound in its native San Francisco Bay Area, though it never quite reached the national popularity of contemporaries like Jefferson Airplane or Grateful Dead. (It recorded a couple of LPs on the Capitol label that are still great examples of the Summer of Love sound as well as collectible '60s rock album cover art.) Original Messenger David Freiberg (pictured) eventually went on to join the Airplane and make music that sounded like a funhouse mirror looks. We have it on good authority that the "special San Francisco friends" hinted at in the Tip's calendar, in fact, are members of the later Starship incarnation of that band. Tickets $19.66 in advance. $20 at the door, special "Circle of Plutonium" tickets available for $40. — Alison Fensterstock

MUSIC

Galactic
10 p.m., Sat., Feb. 17; 10 p.m. Mon., Feb. 19
Tipitinas, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS, www.tipitinas.com

It used to be that Tipitina's Mardi Gras lineup was three nights of Meters, three nights of Radiators, three nights of Neville Brothers and one night of Marcia Ball. Now Galactic has stepped up to start its own tradition of Samedi Gras and Lundi Gras. Both shows will be filled with the usual ecstatic, hallucinatory funk, crazy costumes and any number of guests. The group's new record, slated for fall 2007 release, has the band working with MCs such as Juvenile and Lyrics Born, and it features tunes that reflect current times with names such as "FEMA" and "Nice Job, Brownie." Some of the new tunes are taking their place next to classics such as "Tchefuncte" and "Bongo Joe." The Lundi Gras show will go all night. When the sun comes up, there's no better way to start Fat Tuesday than marching out of the three-set, six-hour marathon onto Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas to go find Mardi Gras Indians, the Zulu parade, Rex, Jewlu or whatever tradition makes your day. Eric Lindell opens Saturday. Morning 40 Federations opens Monday. Tickets $25. — David Kunian

MUSIC

Troy Andrews' First Annual Bacchus Blowout
10 p.m. Sun., Feb. 18
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; www.tipitinas.com

It's official; the former Trombone Shorty is grown and legal as of this year. And what better way to celebrate adulthood than by throwing down with a few of New Orleans' musical elite — also his friends, teachers and bandmates — in an all-out funk fest following Bacchus — the parade that honors the most reveling of revelers. Shorty, who's currently the subject of a PBS documentary chronicling the lives of five gifted young musicians around the country, will be playing with an "extreme" version of his high-energy funk ensemble Orleans Avenue as well as local blues master Walter "Wolfman" Washington. Occasional New Orleans resident Michelle Shocked — whose quirky solo catalog runs the gamut from folk-rock to big band swing to traditional Appalachian fiddle numbers — will also be joining Shorty onstage to debut her new Internet-only single, "Hardcore Hornography," which is available for download on iTunes this week. Andrews guests on the song, which also uses the bawdiest, brassiest talents of the New Birth Brass Band. Tickets $12. — Fensterstock

EVENTS

Lundi Gras at the Riverfront Lundi Gras at Spanish Plaza
3 p.m. - 8 p.m. Mon., Feb. 19
Spanish Plaza, Poydras Street at the river

Zulu Lundi Gras Festival
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Mon., Feb 19
Woldenberg Park; www.lundigrasfestival.com

Rex and king Zulu arrive separately with their entourages, but their greeting is the highlight of a royally good party Lundi Gras afternoon. With all-day downtown riverfront festivities and fireworks as a finale, Fat Monday is a great lead up to the fun of Fat Tuesday. Zulu's 15th annual Lundi Gras Festival starts early in Woldenberg Park at the foot of Canal Street and promises a day of Zulu-style excitement with hourly second lines and special carved Lundi Gras coconuts for lucky guests. Three entertainment stages feature local musical groups including Rebirth Brass Band, Amanda Shaw, Big Al Carson, Charmaine Neville, the James Rivers Movement Band, Michael Ward and Vieux Carre. A short walk away, Riverwalk sponsors an afternoon of music at Spanish Plaza with guests Beatin Path, Rockin' Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters, Wanda Rouzan and a Taste of New Orleans. After arriving by Coast Guard Cutter, Rex is proclaimed ruler of the city for Mardi Gras and the kings meet. Rex arrives at 6 p.m. Fireworks follow the proclamation. Both events are free. Food will be available. — Emily Hohenwarter

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click to enlarge PEGGY SCOTT LABORDE
  • Peggy Scott Laborde
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