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Friday, May 15, 2009

TVOTR vs. Ghost

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 5:51 PM

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New Orleans’ double-booking curse strikes again. Jazz Fest excluded, May is an exceptionally weak calendar for national rock tours, and on the occasion of the first must-see show of the month — the first stateside visit in years by the seminal Japanese psych-rockers Ghost — clubgoers have to contend with missing out on TV on the Radio, one of the best live bands in the business. Gambit’s words on both shows:

TV on the Radio

9 p.m., House of Blues

Dear Science (Interscope), TVOTR's feverish, screw-it-let's-dance surrender to its inner Funkadelic devil, didn't play as well on Voodoo's 2008 main stage as it would've at a packed club. The Brooklyn band has provided New Orleans with several of its best rock shows in recent years, a trend it should reprise here. Sweden's Little Dragon opens. Tickets $25.


10 p.m., One Eyed Jacks

In a roundabout way, New Orleans has George W. Bush to thank for this rare-treat appearance by Tokyo's fabled Ghost. The 25-year-old group led by visionary singer/guitarist Masaki Batoh (pictured), likely the finest psych/rock band on an island teeming with them, vowed in 2006 to skip any stateside visits until the erstwhile president abdicated his throne. (It took barely three months of the new administration to prove he's a man of his word.) The mystery-shrouded frontman has given jam bands and Japanese hippies a charitable good name since 1991, when Ghost's eponymous debut — an aural acid flashback laced with ear-piercing feedback, droning pop loops, medieval faire flute fills and Batoh's dead-on Lou Reed deadpan — landed on American shores thanks to the Drag City label. Via seven albums since, the vagabond outfit has surfaced every so often to betray another discipline of its weird science: from experimental recordings captured exclusively in places of worship (1997's Temple Stone) to prismatic, Celtic-tinged space folk and improvised 28-minute pastiches (2007's In Stormy Nights). Lichens opens. Call club for ticket information.

And our recommendation: clone yourself.

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