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By Andy Argyrakis
Wilco Weekend Report: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival turns 40
Friday, April 24, 2009

Every year New Orleans' Jazz & Heritage Festival stages major shows by national and local talent, but with a 40th anniversary celebration on deck, promoters are really pulling some major rabbits out of the hat. The first of two weekends starts out with strength across all genre lines, including jazz master Wynton Marsalis, indie rockers Spoon, soul legend Booker T., plus local up and comer Marc Broussard. Joe Cocker headlines that evening's festivities, turning in a career spanning hits set ("With a Little Help From My Friends," "When the Night Comes," "You Can Leave Your Hat On") that just so happens to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the famed Woodstock Festival.

The action really gets underway Saturday night for a special Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra show (once again featuring Wynton Marsalis), alongside Big Easy mainstay Irma Thomas, blues master Johnny Winter, jam band Galactic, soul sirenDMB Erykah Badu and alt-rock heroes Wilco. James Taylor takes top billing, turning in his sophisticated songwriting across astute acoustic settings (sure to include standards like "You've Got a Friend," "Sweet Baby James" and "Fire and Rain").

Opening weekend winds down Sunday with the soulful horn glows of Earth, Wind and Fire, gospel great Mavis Staples, the recent Beyonce disser Etta James & the Roots Band, local pop/rockers Better Than Ezra and the always explosive Robert Clay Band. Headliners Dave Matthews Band are sure to pick a random set list like always, but there will certainly be a few preview tracks from the forthcoming Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King. (Bet your life - Friday, Saturday and Sunday at New Orleans Fair Grounds- New Orleans, LA: www.nojazzfest.com).
Depeche Mode Street Week: Depeche Mode vs. Pet Shop Boys
Monday, April 20, 2009

Making the major label move from Reprise to Capitol may seem lateral at face value, but Depeche Mode knew what it was doing. For starters, its new home is one of the few corporate companies that actually understands the internet era and is offering the group's latest project in a variety of download and physical packages with exclusive content in each commercial cluster. But no matter what the format, Sounds of the Universe marks the group's first full-length project in four years, which certainly makes the gang in top running for a Lollapalooza headlining slot if the internet rumors are to be believed.

Coming from the same 1980s era but staying consistent through today, the Pet Shop Boys are also vying for continued relevance with Yes (Astralwerks). The dance floor packers are actually the fourth highest charting act in thePet Shop Boys genre's history (behind Madonna, Donna Summer and Janet Jackson- who would've thought?) and early indications of the album indicate a continuation of its pulsating formula. The project comes in single disc form, along with a deluxe edition stacked with bonus tracks and remixes.

New Orleans icon Allen Toussaint has collaborated with a whole host of superstars over the years, including Dr. John, The Meters, Labelle, and most recently, Elvis Costello. At 70-years-old, there's little the living legend hasn't accomplished, though he continues to reach for the stars on his Nonesuch debut On The Bright Mississippi. The jazz centered set is a salute to several Big Easy players from past generations.

The Dish Archives 2009

Apr. 13 - 17
Apr. 6 - 10
Mar. 30 - Apr. 3
Mar. 23 - 27
Mar. 16 - 20
Mar. 9 - 13
Mar. 2 - 6
Feb. 23 - 27
Feb. 16 - 20
Feb. 9 - 13
Feb. 2 - 6
Jan. 26 - 30
Jan. 19 - 23
Jan. 12 - 16
Jan. 5 - 9
Dec. 29 - Jan. 2
The Dish Archives - 2008
The Dish Archives - 2007

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