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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go


The Good, The Bad & The Queen
9 p.m. Sun., March 18
Republic, 828 S. Peters St., 528-8282

Though they are technically both, it seems wrong to dub The Good, The Bad & The Queen either a buzz band or a supergroup. Both epithets seem too superficial for a band built on the formidable bedrock of two generations of snide, political and occasionally angry British pop and punk. The four-piece band — conceived by Blur's Damon Albarn and featuring the Verve's Simon Tong on lead guitar, legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, and Clash bassist Paul Simonon — is more of an elite musical squad grown organically out of several years of on-and-off collaborations. The project apparently had its genesis when Albarn name-checked Allen in the 2000 Blur track "Music Is My Radar," which spawned a musical friendship between the two in the intervening years. Tong joined Blur in 2003, Paul Simonon was invited along later. The result is a beautifully complementary culmination of four major talents on a wholly English album — pretty, rather clean, melodic and almost pastoral, owing more to Nick Drake and Richard Thompson than perhaps any of the four's own earlier work — with understated, mature charm. Tickets $25. — Alison Fensterstock


My Graveyard Jaw CD-Release Party
10 p.m. Mon., March 19
Dragon's Den, 435 Esplanade Ave., 949-1750

Originally the solo project of Stix duh Clown, a Bywater-based troubadour recognizable for the clown makeup tattooed on his face, My Graveyard Jaw has been playing in and around town for the better part of a decade now. The first album, Songs About You But Not For You, was recorded by downtown keyboard weirdo Ratty Scurvics, who also played cello, drums and bass. The current lineup includes the beguilingly versatile vocalist Meschiya — who can jump from Andrews Sisters' boogie-woogie to Edith Piaf's tormented torching to Appalachian keening in less time than in takes to snap a garter. Stix is on guitar and vocals and Walt McClements of Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship? is on violin and accordion. The resultant mix is mellow, haunting and old-timey, skipping between plaintive chanson and rollicking honky-tonk with beautifully anachronistic instrumentation — an old, weird soundtrack not out of place in either the hobo jungle or the smoky basement of a French after-hours bar. Tickets $5. — Fensterstock


St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day blossoms in all shades of green from Gretna to the Ninth Ward to Uptown and Metairie. It's a mini-Mardi Gras without the purple and gold but with cabbage, carrots and potatoes chucked off of floats. The Irish Channel hosts a couple of the celebrations, including Parasol's block party, which is actually on Thursday from 11 a.m. on, and the Irish Channel parade (pictured), which snakes around the Garden District on Jackson, St. Charles and Louisiana avenues and back down Magazine Street beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday (only Prytania Street is open to through traffic during the parade). Other neighborhoods adopt Irish colors for the day. On the West Bank, Bourre's (237 1/2 Lafayette St., Gretna) hosts an afternoon block party with four bands, brisket and boiled crawfish on St. Patrick's Day. Other parades include the Downtown Irish Club, which marches in the Ninth Ward, and the French Quarter parade that starts at Molly's at the Market (1107 Decatur St.) on Friday evening. In an inclusive nod to a little St. Joseph's Day fun, the Irish-Italian parade in Metairie will roll from Clearview Shopping Center down Veterans Memorial Boulevard to Martin Berhman Street on Sunday starting at noon. — Will Coviello


The Dynamites
10 p.m. Fri., March 16
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

Soul survivor Charles "Wigg" Walker (who picked up the nickname, allegedly, because he was born with a full head of hair, not because his conk was store-bought) traveled a long and winding road to get back to his native Nashville. The singer recorded only one album there — 1959's Slave to Love, as Little Charles and the Daffodils — before heading north to New York City. Walker spent the early '60s fronting the J.C. Davis Band, alums of the Apollo Theatre's sweaty, electric soul revues, which toured extensively in support of R&B stars like Etta James, Jackie Wilson and Wilson Pickett (whose gritty vocal style Walker's resembles greatly) before forming Little Charles and the Sidewinders. He spent most of the '60s and '70s playing uptown-style soul with that group at Big Apple joints like the famous Small's Paradise nightclub in Harlem. With the Sidewinders, Walker cut multiple records for classic blues and soul labels like Chess, Decca and Champion. The group never charted, but enjoyed a cult following in England's Northern Soul scene in the late '60s. After spending a good chunk of the '80s in England and Spain — notably recording a still-unreleased LP with Lloyd Price of "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" fame — Walker finally returned to his native Music City, where yet another chapter of his career kicked off. After his inclusion on the second volume of the Country Music Hall of Fame's excellent Night Train to Nashville R&B compilation, Walker was asked to join up with a newly forming funk and soul act. In the manner of re-emerging stars like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Andre Williams and Nathaniel Mayer, Walker's back on the scene. The Dynamites just released a passionately funky 7-inch, with a full-length album in the works. With the funkalicious DJ Soul Sister. Tickets $10. — Fensterstock

click to enlarge CHERYL GERBER
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