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What to Know Before You Go


John Hodgman and Ben Karlin
8 p.m. Thu., April 5
NOCCA | Riverfront, 2800 Chartres St., 940-2900

He may never reach the ubiquitous fame of the Aflac duck, but "PC Guy" may be a hard enough rap for John Hodgman (pictured) to escape. When not trudging around in the shadow of cooler and happier Mac Guy, John Hodgman is a comedian and regular correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show . Hodgman comes to New Orleans with Daily Show writer and producer Ben Karlin for a night of satirical humor and commentary. An eight-time Emmy-winner, Karlin has worked on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. He also is former editor-in-chief of the Internet's funny fake news site, The Onion ( The duo will read from some of their best comedy and comment on current events and working on The Daily Show . Tickets $10 adults, $5 students. — Emily Hohenwarter


Red Stick Ramblers with the Lost Bayou Ramblers
10 p.m. Fri., April 6
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

Rambling aplenty is in the cards for this Cajun-style double-header of a hootenanny. Formed back in 1999 in Baton Rouge, the nattily dressed Red Stick Ramblers quickly made its way from a house party secret to a Jazz Fest favorite, playing an enthusiastic and vintage-sounding blend of Cajun, honky-tonk, Western, country blues and hot jazz that could raise the roof of a Harlem speakeasy or a Eunice barn dance. Recently, the band racked up some high-profile gigs, contributing music to the film All the King's Men and playing on country-pop legend Linda Ronstadt's Adieu False Heart , her 2006 collaboration with Ann Savoy. As an extra feather in the band's fedora, Ronstadt recorded one of Rambler Chas Justus' original songs, "Rattle My Cage," on the Grammy-nominated album. In December, the band released Allons Boire un Coup , a raucous collection of Cajun drinking songs. The opening act is the Lost Bayou Ramblers, a Lafayette-based quintet that plays classic Cajun songs with a rugged, rustic en Francais authenticity. Tickets $10. — Alison Fensterstock


The Street Dreamz Tour Easter Jam
8 p.m. Sun., April 8
New Orleans Arena, 1501 Girod St., 587-3663

This all-star touring hip-hop revue features a lineup that spans the cultural generations, which in the rap game are particularly brief. Bronx-born Puerto Rican rapper Fat Joe came up in New York City in the '90s, alongside artists like the late Big Pun. He's dropped a few pop-influenced hits, including collaborations with R&B acts R. Kelly and Ashanti, but he's also well known for his releases in the reggaeton style — a hybrid of Spanish dance music and Jamaican dancehall sounds, which keeps him hugely popular with the influential urban Latino community. Also performing on the bill are New Orleanians and Cash Money millionaires Li'l Wayne (pictured) and Birdman, whose duet album of hard-edged New Orleans bounce, Like Father Like Son , spawned the infectious single "Stuntin' Like My Daddy," which remains on BET's 106th and Park video charts and is near-ubiquitous as a ringtone. Dirty South residents Young Jeezy and new face Rich Boy also take the stage. Tickets $45. —Alison Fensterstock


Yo La Tengo
10 p.m. Thu., April 5
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

New Jersey-based indie-rockers Yo La Tengo remain stalwart stars of the cerebral underground fan set, diligently releasing 15 albums over the past 20 years. If it's never quite broken through into major mainstream success, it's quietly held the post of probably the most popular neighborhood band in the world for everyone who is — actually or spiritually — a smart, hip, slightly music-geeky New Yorker. (Satirical newspaper The Onion summed it up well with the fake headline "37 record-store clerks feared dead in Yo La Tengo concert disaster.") Ever experimental, Yo La Tengo's sound has veered from straightforward, folky indie-punk to shoegazer fuzz and elongated electronic noise jams. The latest studio release, 2006's charmingly named I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass , is a disparate buffet of all of the above, perfect for those who like their music to come with a heavy side order of thinking. More lighthearted is the group's newest project, Yo La Tengo is Murdering the Classics , with cover art from highbrow comic artist Adrian Tomine. It's a collection of songs taken from more than 10 years of live sets recorded during free-format Jersey radio station WFMU's fund drive, when the band visits the studio to play requests — of any song — made by callers phoning in their pledges. David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights open. Tickets $15. — Fensterstock

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