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Voodoo 2017 picks for Friday, Oct. 27 

Benjamin Booker, LCD Soundsystem and Kendrick Lamar

Benjamin Booker
6 p.m.-7 p.m.// Friday, Oct. 27 // ALTAR

Change often comes quickly for Benjamin Booker. He moved to New Orleans in 2012 to work for a nonprofit, while playing music in barrooms and bouncing back and forth to his former home in Gainesville, Florida, to record a four-song EP. By the end of summer 2014, he had signed with ATO Records, released an eponymous full-length album capturing his fusion of punk and blues-driven guitar rock and raspy vocals, and went on tour opening for Jack White. In February 2016, disturbed by events that led to the Black Lives Matter movement and inspired by James Baldwin (explained in an essay Booker published), he left his home in New Orleans for Mexico. He was there for just one month before he realized that violence and civil rights issues were everywhere. His experiences inspired his June release, Witness. Mavis Staples contributes to the title track, and though there are rocking tunes reminiscent of the raw sound on his first album, it's also got smoother and gospel-inspired vocals and a focus on social justice. — WILL COVIELLO


7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. // Friday, Oct. 27 // ALTAR

The break-up of LCD Soundsystem was one of those music-world tragedies too terrible to be true. Its thrilling sonic textures — hailed by critics and fans alike as a thinking-person's dance music, some sort of hybrid between Radiohead and Daft Punk — caused an instant sensation when the band formed in Brooklyn in 2002. The group became rock royalty with the stellar This Is Happening in 2010. The pitfalls of success soon came crashing down, and a reportedly amicable breakup was celebrated with a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden in April 2011. (Online conspiracy theories abound that the break-up was a stunt to sell out the Garden, which the band denies.) Yet recent interviews suggest frontman James Murphy, a self-professed control freak, came to loathe hits such as "All My Friends" as contrived and poppy and it was his decision to pull the plug on LCD Soundsystem. But reportedly, sage advice from the late David Bowie caused Murphy to think again, and LCD Soundsystem took the stage a few times in 2016 to headline major music festivals including Bonnaroo and Coachella. LCD Soundsystem arrives in New Orleans triumphant upon rave reviews of its September release, American Dream, and with a patented atmospheric, euphoric live show sure to delight fans old and new alike. LCD Soundsystem also performs at the Orpheum Theater at 11 p.m. Saturday. — FRANK ETHERIDGE

click to enlarge kendrick-lamar-throwing-out-dodgers-first-pitch-fdrmx_copy.jpg

9:30 p.m.-11 p.m. // Friday, Oct. 27 // ALTAR

Considering that Michael Jackson forever will be the King of Pop, can we just go ahead and coronate Kendrick Lamar as the King of Hip-Hop? In seven years, the kid from Compton built a buzz on his deft blend of thought-provoking lyrics, pitch-perfect flow and sweet beats, and crafted a series of albums that have propelled him to mega-stardom — enabling him to hobnob with former President Barack Obama and Jay-Z. No matter the Grammy Awards collected, Lamar's jazzy, genre-bending To Pimp a Butterfly was the album of 2015. He dropped the follow-up in April with the fierce DAMN. Fans shouldn't worry about his creative well running dry any time soon — last month, Lamar dropped "New Freezer," a collaboration with Rich the Kid. Beyond all of his studio mastery, on stage, Lamar puts on a jaw-dropping, hip-shaking show that pushes his talent over the top. — FRANK ETHERIDGE


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