Content tagged “Music”

Baton Rouge Music Studios to double space with move to Burbank Crossing

Baton Rouge Music Studios—a music performance and entertainment technology academy located off of Hillary Court across from the Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library—has filed a plan review application with the city-parish Department of Public Works to remodel its future location in the Burbank Crossing shopping center next to Hibbett Sports. At approximately 4,000 square feet, BRMS' new Burbank location is double the size of its current studio and will provide the academy the space to further develop its Young Band Nation program—a collaboration between BRMS and Southwest Louisiana Music Studios in Lake Charles that promotes music education and community-building among Louisiana youth—as 225 magazine reported earlier this month. "I knew we had to grow gradually, but there was always this nagging desire to have a community center, a haven for misfits—the...

Record Store Day in Baton Rouge

Since 2007, independent record stores across the nation have been celebrating Record Store Day.

'225 Weekender': Local stores celebrate Record Store Day

Conceived in 2007, Record Store Day is a holiday of sorts for the thousands of independently owned record stores in the United States. Customers and musicians come together with record stores' staff and celebrate the culture of the shop with special CD and vinyl releases issued exclusively for the day. As 225 Weekender reports, Record Store Day kicks off Saturday across the country, and in Baton Rouge, Lagniappe Records and Atomic Pop Shop will be celebrating with in-store performances, giveaways and sales. Lagniappe will open at 10 a.m., and musical performances start at noon with Night Janitor and continue throughout the day with Listen, Earth; Della; The Chambers; and Young Fathers. Atomic Pop Shop will host music at noon from Hot Llamas, Painted Hands at 2 p.m. and special acoustic sets from Clay Parker throughout the day. Get more details and learn about more local events on tap for this weekend in

BR tourism officials gearing up for a big summer

Local tourism officials are gearing up for a blockbuster summer, with three major events set to take place back to back between Memorial Day weekend and late June. The three-day Bayou Country Superfest will be May 23-25 in LSU's Tiger Stadium, followed by the Miss USA Pageant June 8 at the Baton Rouge River Center. The pageant will be followed by the U.S. Youth Soccer Regional Tournament June 19-26, a weeklong event expected to bring some 15,000 visitors to Baton Rouge. "It is going to be a fantastic summer," says Christy Chachere, communications coordinator for Visit Baton Rouge. "All three events reach very different target markets and attract visitors in-state, out of state and international." Though the Miss USA Pageant will technically bring the fewest visitors to the area—an estimated 4,000 or so tickets will be sold—it has the potential to bring the most exposure to the Capital Region. Event organizers and contestants arrive several weeks early and, as the pageant...

'225 Weekender': Dr. John headlines free BR Blues Fest Saturday

The Baton Rouge Blues Festival returns to downtown Saturday with a headlining performance by the legendary Dr. John, as well as performances by more than 20 other bands and artists across multiple stages. As 225 Weekender reports, the free event takes place around North Boulevard Town Square and kicks off with a performance from students of Baton Rouge Music Studios at the Swamp Blues Stage at 11:15 a.m. Performances will go throughout the day and include Brother Dege & The Brethren at noon at the Foundation Stage, Tess Brunet at 1 p.m. in the Old State Capitol Lobby, Black Pistol Fire at 3 p.m. at the Foundation Stage, Little Freddie King at 5:45 p.m. at the Swamp Blues Stage and many more. Dr. John & The Nite Trippers will close out the festival on the Foundation Stage, beginning at 8:30 p.m. While the event is free, VIP tickets are available for $50. There will also be events associated with the festival held throughout the weekend, including a Live After Five performance...

Spotlight on Molly Taylor

On a frigid Thursday, Molly Taylor is all smiles at her Mid City house. The self-proclaimed night owl sits on her couch in a loose flannel shirt and dark blue jeans. To her right is an electric guitar she named "Vivian." It's plugged into a few pedals and a dusty Fender amp.

Spring lineup for Live After Five downtown concert series announced

Marcia Ball, David St. Romain and a number of other local and regional bands have been tapped for this spring's annual Live After Five concert series. The Downtown Business Association of Baton Rouge announced the lineup of the free concert series at a reveal party this afternoon at North Boulevard Town Square. This year's Live After Five series kicks off on Friday, April 4, with a performance by The Chee Weez. All of the shows in the series will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at North Boulevard Town Square. Other shows include bluesman Jonathon "Boogie" Long on April 11; Marcia Ball on April 25; and a special Thursday, May 22, performance by David St. Romain. The show was moved to Thursday that week to compliment—and not compete—with the star-studded Bayou Country Superfest lineup in town for the weekend, including George Strait and Reba McEntire on Friday, May 23. Live After Five started 16 years ago and crowds were slim at first, according to DDD Executive Director Davis...

Live After Five announces lineup

The Downtown Business Association of Baton Rouge announced the 2014 lineup of Live After Five at a reveal party Friday at North Boulevard Town Square.
Jonathon Boogie Long, Marcia Ball, David St. Romain and more are scheduled to perform in the annual free concert series.
Mayor Kip Holden announced the lineup and says he was buying music books from Zeagler's Music Store yesterday in hopes to appear and sing at a concert. "We have good people in a great city," he says. "This is an event to bring people here and show them what's going on and showcase our talent."
Downtown Development District Executive Director Davis Rhorer says the concert series started 16 years ago and crowds were slim then, but now, "Live After Five has grown into the premier concert series in the state."
All spring Live After Five performances will take place 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at North Boulevard Town Square.
A full schedule is below.

'225 Weekender': The Hag returns to B.R.

Troubadour Merle Haggard returns to the Capital City on Sunday to deliver a set that's bound to include some of the most classic songs in the country catalog. Considered one of the founding fathers of the Outlaw Country movement, the 76-year-old has had more than 30 chart-topping singles over his storied career. He last released a studio album in 2011, Working in Tennessee, which achieved critical acclaim. He's also said to be working on a new album with fellow country legends Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. The last time The Hag was in Baton Rouge was August 2011, when he also played the River Center Theater and delivered such classics as "Mama Tried," "Workin' Man Blues," "Okie from Muskogee," "Are The Good Times Really Over" and many more. Tickets range from $40 to $60, not including service fees. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. Get the scoop on more local events taking place this weekend in

'225': Red Dragon Listening Room expands its offerings

The Red Dragon Listening Room has quietly created an intimate music venue with its bevy of couches and chairs and a BYOB policy. And when you go to a show at the Florida Boulevard spot, a feature in the current 225 notes, you're going to listen. "We want to be respectful to artists," owner Chris Maxwell tells the magazine. At Red Dragon, musicians can play their music for rapt audiences eager to hear them rather than to socialize during the show. Though the venue is most famous for its weekend shows with traveling musicians, Wednesday recently became the go-to night for local music. Now, Red Dragon has teamed up with Rob Chidester of Royal Cyclops Productions to help spotlight regional talent. Each Wednesday night show features three acts. "Each set has to build like a drama in order to keep audiences interested," Chidester says. The shows run 90 minutes, leaving the audience wanting more. Red Dragon also approached Manship Theatre about a concert series this year. The series...

'225 Weekender': Clarinetist DiLutis joins BRSO tonight for evening of Mozart

A new year means a new slate of grand performances from the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. As 225 Weekend reports, the symphony's Masterworks concert series continues this evening with a performance of Mozart selections at the River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. On the program is the famous composer's "Overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio," "Clarinet Concerto," "Suite from Gran Partita" and "Symphony No. 38." Clarinetist Robert DiLutis is guest performer. Tickets are $35. "In this program, we see many facets of Mozart's compositional style," says the symphony of tonight's concert. "While always working within the traditions of the classical style, Mozart was still an innovator and was not afraid to branch out and try new things; be it a relatively new instrument (the clarinet), or exotic percussion instruments, as heard in the overture. Each work on this concert has a distinctly different sound; each unique, but sharing the same trait that is the...

Todd Mitchell

"I always wanted to work in the music/record/event business in one way or another," says Todd Mitchell. The professed lover of live entertainment began his tenure as general manager of the Baton Rouge River Center in 2007 at age 34, when he was already a seasoned professional. Previously, he had risen to the post of manager at Kansas City's former Kemper Arena, where he gravitated to the producing side of the live event business. On arrival at the Centroplex, he was ready to assume the diverse roles his job entails: "I am consistently part concert promoter, meeting planner, performing arts director, convention planner, media planner and operations manager." Mitchell is actually an employee of SMG, a worldwide venue management group, which the city-parish hired to run the River Center. His initial aim, of booking as much business as he can, hasn't changed, he says. And, understandably, he views producing the U.S. Bowling Congress Tournament 2012 as one of his greatest achievements.

'225 Weekender': Hear the smooth sounds of Karrin Allyson

The Arts Council's River City Jazz Masters series returns with two performances tonight from a Grammy-nominated singer and pianist, the new 225 Weekender reports. Karrin Allyson, a four-time Grammy nominee, performs at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Manship Theatre. The show is the first of the year for the River City Jazz Masters series. Allyson is known for drawing from a range of material, including samba, jazz and pop standards, bossa nova and blues. Tickets start at $25. A special dinner package with a three-course meal from Stroubes is also available for $55. Access the complete details and learn about more local events taking place this weekend in the new 225 Weekender e-newsletter.

Mid City record store plans expansion

Atomic Pop Shop owner Kerry Beary says she's planning an expansion to nearly double the size of her 1,500-square-foot store at 2963 Government St., as well as make repairs to the building's roof and add a parking lot to the Mid City store specializing in vinyl records. "We'll have space for more of everything," says Beary. "We'll have more records, electronics, more vintage items. We're also going to have a parking lot with about 10 to 15 spaces." Beary plans to renovate an existing space located behind her current shop for the expansion. The parking lot will also be built in the rear of the business, which is sandwiched among a stretch of retail shops and office spaces slated for renovations and upgrades under an effort called Model Block. Beary says work will begin soon, with completion on the entire project expected by the spring. Thanks to the resurgence of...

Tin Cup Music

Charlie Cole's eyes get teary as he shows a visitor the latest video showcasing street musicians from around the globe singing together. Filmed on the streets of cities as close as New Orleans and as far away as Tokyo, the Playing For Change video features artists—each on his own turf—harmonizing on a gospel tune, using headphones and microphones for sychronization. It is moving.

Kenny Neal

Occupation: Blues Musician
Hometown: Erwinville, La.
Age: 56

Lauren Waguespack

Occupation: Singer, seen on TV show The X-Factor; Photographer
Hometown: Gonzales
Age: 25

NYE now has a theme song

In preparation for downtown Baton Rouge's first-ever New Year's Eve bash, there is now a theme song and music video to go with it. We take a look at all the amazing parts of your new favorite song of the year.

Moon Honey releases album, new video

While the Baton Rouge band Moon Honey is wrapping up its tour of the West coast, its new album Hand-Painted Dream Photographs saw a release on iTunes this week.

Kathleen Howell

It's a Tuesday morning, and Kathleen Howell is ready to roll. Just like nearly every fourth Tuesday for 12 years now, she has her bow tie on and a stack of hats and songbooks in hand. Showtime is almost here.

Hot tech gifts

Price: $1,069
New Intel fourth-generation CPUs and Intel HD Graphics 5000 deliver high performance using less power, giving this new version up to 12 hours of battery life. Wireless performance is up to three times faster with the right conditions.

Radio station finds success with early switch to Christmas music

For a dozen years, radio station KRVE-96.1 The River has featured Christmas tunes ramping up to the holidays. But this year the station kicked off its annual 24-hour festive format a full 45 days before Dec. 25. While some listeners on The River's Facebook page say "Bah humbug" to the switch so far in advance of Thanksgiving, the station's operators say ratings soar during this yearly format change. "The email requests that we now start receiving as early as the first week of October have shown that listeners rely on us to deliver the Christmas music every year," says Sam North, program director and on-air personality at The River, a Clear Channel station. "As for ratings, in most cases they've ranged from a 50% increase to double our average ratings." This successful strategy is being replicated in other Clear Channel markets, with one of Clear Channel's executives saying in Billboard, "There's no other programming tactic in radio history that consistently delivers ratings increases...

Bayou Country Superfest announces lineup

Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Reba McEntire will join George Strait as headliners of the fifth annual Bayou Country Superfest in Baton Rouge next May.

This is Halloween

With Halloween coming up, Baton Rouge has already started celebrating with pumpkin patches, mazes, parties and more. Here's a rundown of events happening this week and onward as you get in the mood for a good scare, plus a playlist of Halloween party-ready tunes!

Uncommonly good

Culture Candy's Uncommon Thread wearable fashion show returns with a showcase at the LSU Museum of Art this weekend.

Into the psyche

Returning with another pop-up art event, the artist collective Elevator Projects is planning a big installation in a downtown warehouse Oct. 25. Not surprisingly, the nighttime event, dubbed The Asylum, is going to be loosely tied to the Halloween season.

George Strait to headline expanded Bayou Country Superfest in 2014

As part of the final leg of his farewell "The Cowboy Rides Away Tour," George Strait will headline Bayou Country Superfest next year, festival officials announced today. Also, as 225 reports, the festival will be expanded from two to three days over the Memorial Day weekend—from Friday, May 23, through Sunday, May 25—as it celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2014. Bayou Country Superfest will once again be held in LSU's Tiger Stadium. The complete music lineup and ticket information for next year's festival will be released on October 29. Strait, a Country Music Hall of Famer who has sold more than 70 million albums and has recorded 60 number one hits, will perform on the opening night of the festival, which organizers say will also include "another major country superstar still to be revealed." Strait performed in New Orleans as part of his farewell...

225 Press Play: England in 1819

After releasing two albums, hitting the road for a few tours, and getting more than 100,000 views on a wonderful music video for the track "Trophy Sixty-One," Baton Rouge-based England in 1819 headed to North Carolina to record its third album.
Titled Fireball Electric Tomorrow, the album features 14 self-produced songs and is a step forward for the band, having been paired down from nine members to its core—the two brothers, Andrew and Dan Callaway.
Read more about England in 1819 and preview two tracks from the album.

Staff Playlist

Neko Case
With M. Ward's fuzzy guitar and a frantic drumbeat practically tumbling over itself, this is Neko Case's rockingest song to date, taking her away from the dark "country noir" she's perfected on past albums. She's sung about being a man-eater before, and here, Case switches gender roles, singing, "You didn't know what a man was until I showed you."

Update on jazz traditions

In the unlikely event word has yet to reach you, Preservation Hall—that French Quarter bastion of traditional jazz appreciation—has been completely transformed in the past decade. On top of 50th-anniversary celebrations last year, museum exhibits and concerts, a pair of recent albums featured guest artists from all corners of the roots-music world.

His Gift to us

Davell Crawford is a man of many apparent contradictions. Flamboyant and effusive onstage and in studio performances, he admits to being extraordinarily shy offstage, guarding details of his private life with a strong determination that some psychologists might call "hypervigilance."

Music: Best Bets

Of course, the trio is most famous for the hit "Hold On," but don't discount Wilson Phillips' other radio classics like "Release Me" and "Impulsive." They're equally infectious and sure to get a good reception when Wilson Phillips plays the Manship Theatre this month. Reuniting for a cameo in 2011's Bridesmaids, Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips kept the momentum with a TVGuide Network reality show in 2012 (plotline for the season finale: Will the ladies get matching tattoos?). They also released Dedicated that year, applying their harmonies to a cover album of tracks by the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas. The show is Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

All together now

Joshua Polk thinks Baton Rouge has more good bands than people realize. "There are a lot of good shows I've been to where attendance is less than ideal," says Polk, a musician and member of the Kenmores. "A lot of people need to get exposed to this music."

Behind the music

"Sostenuto, molto sostenuto!"
Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra conductor Timothy Muffitt uses an Italian music term, literally translated as "sustained," to urge his string players to hold their notes a bit longer. He also requests they play more "damply."

New record store to open in B.R. this weekend

Lagniappe Records, an at-home style vinyl and music store, will open its doors this weekend inside a Baton Rouge home, 225 reports. The concept comes from Louisiana musician Tess Brunet and Patrick Hodgkins. Brunet has released a few albums under the moniker Au Ras Au Ras, and previously played drums with Generationals and Deadboy & the Elephantmen. Lagniappe will specialize in an eclectic offering of music, reflective of Brunet's and Hodgkins' tastes. The store is built inside a few rooms of the couple's Mid City residence. "It's what we would have in our personal collection," Brunet says. "We'll have a lot of different genres—some classical like Schubert, then Tom Petty and Nick Lowe, a lot of samba, bossanova … We'll have new releases as well." Special hours Saturday are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with Brunet to play a solo set at 1 p.m. Read the full story.

Entrepreneur: Rick Naqvi

Since 1995 PreSonus has sold recording products, later adding audio components for live events. Though the sound technology company caters to others besides musicians, its executives wanted to supply a final piece of the puzzle for creative artists. Rick Naqvi, who joined founder Jim Odom a few months after the company was formed and is now vice president of sales, says PreSonus finished the puzzle last year with its acquisition of Boston-based Nimbit, which enables artists to sell directly to fans. "It's like your own personal iTunes," says Naqvi, who is also a musician. With big record labels shrinking, musicians have a harder time than ever getting a contract. "Technology has been created to allow regular people to turn a computer into a studio," Naqvi says. "We always have a heart for the independent musician." Naqvi says Nimbit was one of the first companies to create a "direct to fan" platform. Instead of musicians dealing with a record label or iTunes, musicians with Nimbit...

Rick Naqvi

“Technology has been created to allow regular people to turn a computer into a studio,” Naqvi says. “We always have a heart for the independent musician.”

Jonathan Loubiere's concert posters

Yo La Tengo. I've never heard so much sound come from just three people. This was my first show to see at Tipitina's, and it cemented the venue as my favorite in the state.

Staff Playlist

"Calm Down"
A soaring, summer shout-out echoes far above the beefy, club-cut rhythm of this opening salvo from The Love Language on the band's third full-length record Ruby Red, arriving July 23. It still sounds like Phil Specter girl groups fuzzed up with garage guitars, but now these bubbly sing-a-longs have solid anchors.

Gambling band

So often, any great reward comes with an equally great risk. A gamble, if you will. And with exactly this kind of risk in mind, Lucy and the Gamblers have emerged on the Baton Rouge music scene, garnering a lot of attention and praise despite having played just a handful of shows around town.

Front-porch music that swings

Sometimes you can make an especially wonderful album almost by accident. Such was the case with Valcour Records' The Band Courtboullion, a tour-de-force meeting of three generations of contemporary Cajun bandleaders. Earlier this year, Wayne Toups, Steve Riley and Wilson Savoy (in Cajun French, pronounced WIL-sone SAV-wah) earned a 2013 Grammy in the spanking-new category of Best Regional Roots Album.

Music: Best Bets

AS ONE OF THE BIGGEST FESTIVALS IN NEW ORLEANS, Essence Music Festival tends to attract some of the top acts in R&B and hip hop to the Superdome year after year. Beyoncé is the headliner this time around, along with Maxwell, Keyshia Cole, LL Cool J, Trey Songz, Jill Scott, Emeli Sandé and Solange. Janelle Monáe (pictured), who performs Sunday, is currently riding high on a new single, "Q.U.E.E.N.," an irresistibly funky track that features Erykah Badu and an outro rap from Monáe. Her first full-length LP, 2010's The ArchAndroid, was an ambitious, futuristic concept album that heralded the star power of this charismatic vocalist. Her live shows with a full band and backup dancers were equally impressive. Expect a lot of that album's crowd-pleasers during her Essence set, along with possibly a few new tracks from her upcoming album Electric Lady. Essence Music Festival is set for July 4-7 at the New Orleans Superdome.

Promoting the blues culture begins at home

Baton Rouge was one of the first, if not the first, city to hold a blues festival in the nation, says Maxine Crump, one the founders of the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation, although the event was allowed to die in the mid-1990s. The Baton Rouge Blues Festival was revived in 2008, and this year was the biggest so far, organizers say, with about 4,000 to 5,000 people attending. But while Mississippi has been successful attracting tourists to its blues heritage sites with its Blues Trail, Baton Rouge has work to do if it wants to brand itself to the world as a blues town. Unfortunately, locals don't always appreciate what they have. "If your own people don't rock it—if they don't think of it as theirs—you're not going to be able to sell it elsewhere," Crump says. Part of that process is getting over the racial divide, she says; Crump beamed as she recalled the diverse crowd attracted by this year's Blues Festival...

Bayou Country Superfest hotel occupancy down this year

Along with slightly lower ticket sales for Bayou Country Superfest this year came lower hotel occupancies in the Baton Rouge area during the festival weekend. Occupancy rates on Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend—the biggest night of the two-day event—were down about 4% compared to last year, according to new figures from Smith Travel Research provided by Visit Baton Rouge. Overall hotel revenue on Saturday was also down 2.5% from last year, but was still up 236% compared to 2009—the year before the festival began. "It's phenomenal in comparison," says Renee Areng, executive vice president of Visit Baton Rouge. "To even be this small of a decrease is incredible, when you go back to the baseline of 2009." Revenue per available room, or profit, was also down 4% compared to last year, Areng says, but up 200% compared to 2009. Nearly 70,000 people descended on Tiger Stadium for Bayou Country Superfest this year, but the crowds weren't robust enough to keep pace with...

Second Act

Martin Flanagan leans for a moment on the open door of the home he helped to design and build, shielding his flickering flame from the unseasonably cool breeze as he touches it to a new cigarette. His Stetson straw hat obscures the gray ponytail that neatly falls below the collar of his button-down shirt. As he pauses, the visitor can tell that what comes next will be a long story, a hard-to-believe story, a story worth hearing.

Rock on

When she was 19 she bought a guitar. It wasn't until three years ago, however, that Pamela Tusa actually played it. And she did more than that—forming a band and performing her first concert in just three days' time at a songwriter's workshop in Atlanta. The instruction and encouragement Tusa received there gave her the confidence she needed to pursue her passion for music.

Staff playlist

"Stare at the Sun"
A successful summer song must be perfect for one of two things: driving fast or lounging slow. If the sun is mentioned, the success rate, um, skyrockets. This propulsive, jingle-jangle burner from the Fiery Furnaces singer's latest solo outing, Personal Record, due June 4, is heliocentric enough for a decade of summers, and so catchy you'll be humming it well into fall.

Doug Gay, Baton Rouge Music Studios

As owner and director of programs for Baton Rouge Music Studios, Doug Gay has been a mentor, bandleader, teacher and creative sage to hundreds of local teens and budding musicians. He shares with 225 his thoughts on the importance of positive influence.

Still uplifting

What started as a small festival on Grand Isle to support fishermen after the BP oil spill has turned into a much bigger festival in Baton Rouge with an even bigger message.

Music: Best Bets

Take a look at any of the end-of-year lists for best albums of 2012, and you'll see Kendrick Lamar's name near the top. From Rolling Stone to SPIN and even NPR, Lamar's Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City made appearances, in big part due to his narrative rap style and tracks like "Backseat Freestyle" and "Swimming Pools (Drank)." He comes to Baton Rouge via the Governors Ball in New York City. At 25 and with only two full albums under his belt, he's already a headliner at multiple festivals this summer, so his show at the Baton Rouge River Center June 10 is sure to draw a crowd.

Free music and good times at Radiopalooza

WHYR hosts it annual festival fundraiser this weekend, showing that local music is alive and well in Baton Rouge. The Saturday event kicks off at noon with music at North Boulevard Town Square, featuring performances from Righteous Buddha, Michael Foster Project, Denton Hatcher, Stagecoach Bandits, Rondo Hatton, Secret Annexe, Marcel P. Black and more. Though admission is free, merchandise will be available and the local radio station will be accepting donations to reach its fundraising goal. For more information on the event, visit
For a complete list of this week's shows, click here.

Maxine Crump discusses the blues Friday morning

Creative Louisiana, a free monthly morning meet-up for creatives, will host its May discussion Friday at 8:30 a.m. Maxine Crump, one of the founding members of the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation, will discuss how the city birthed the blues and the artists and audiences who made the music genre a part of the city's rich fabric. The talk will be at Glassell Gallery, where the exhibit, "Raining in My Heart: Baton Rouge Blues Project," is currently on display. For more information, click here.

B.R. hotels report strong bookings due to Bayou Country Superfest

Occupancy rates at local hotels over Memorial Day weekend have been skyrocketing over the past few years due to Bayou Country Superfest, which is set for Saturday and Sunday of the upcoming holiday weekend. Last year's Memorial weekend occupancy rate for Saturday jumped to 94% from 61% in 2009—the year before the country music festival began—according to a study by Smith Travel Research, which calculated rates using the entire Capital Region. Those healthy numbers are expected to continue with this year's festival, but a local tourism official says the upward trajectory should start to level off. "There's not a lot of room for growth," says Renee Areng, executive vice president of Visit Baton Rouge. "If we were to venture to do just the parish of Baton Rouge, I would speculate (occupancy) will be close to 100 percent." With country acts such as Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert, the annual event at Tiger Stadium is changing the way area fans of country music...

'225 Weekender': Bayou Country Superfest is here

We all know where Louisiana country music fans will be this weekend. Bayou Country Superfest kicks off two days of live music in LSU's Tiger Stadium on Saturday. This year's performers include Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert and Darius Rucker on Saturday; and Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan and The Band Perry on Sunday. The event also provides a free Fan Fest stage outside the stadium, which will feature performances from Yvette Landry, Jaryd Lane and The Parish, among others. For more festival details, ticket information and sound clips from a few bands set to play here this weekend, read a 225 story here. Also, check out 225 Editor Jeff Roedel's interview with Miranda Lambert here. And if you're going to Bayou Country Superfest, feel free to submit your videos to 225

Bayou Country Superfest is here

We all know where Louisiana country fans will be this weekend—Bayou Country Superfest kicks off Saturday in LSU's Tiger Stadium with two days of live music. Among this year's performers are Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert and Darius Rucker on Saturday; and the Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan and The Band Perry on Sunday. The event also includes the free Fan Fest stage outside the stadium, which includes performances from Yvette Landry, Jaryd Lane and The Parish and others. For more information on tickets, who you can't miss and to hear a few bands playing this year, read 225's article here. Also, check out Jeff Roedel's interview with Miranda Lambert here.

Preach, Father John Misty

"You guys having an exciting time at this folk rock show?" Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, snickered last night in between songs at his One Eyed Jacks' performance.

Four local rock bands team up for clean water efforts Sunday

Sunday evening at Mud and Water (Map it!) promises to be a rocking time, thanks to a stacked bill of local bands including Circa Amore, Cattle Drive, Baby Boy and The Melters. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper and Gulf Restoration Network. Raffles and prize drawings will also be held. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cover is $5.
For a complete list of this week's shows, click here.

Of Montreal performs Sunday at The Varsity

Indie rock fans should check out Of Montreal's performance Sunday at The Varsity. The prolific Athens, Ga., band has been around for more than 15 years, releasing its heady mix of dance-rock tunes. This year, the band will release its 11th studio full-length, Lousy with Sylvanbriar. Lead singer Kevin Barnes says the album is influenced by the poetry of Sylvia Plath and the music of The Grateful Dead—so that should be interesting. Doors open Sunday at 7 p.m.; the show starts at 8 p.m. Wild Moccasins will open. Tickets are $17 and available online.
For a complete list of this week's shows, click here.

Slim Harpo Music Awards Wednesday at Manship

Since 2003, the Slim Harpo Music Awards have recognized those Louisiana greats who have taken blues to an entirely different level across the country and globe. This year's awards ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Manship Theatre, with honorees including Warren Storm, Harvey Knox, "Guitar Gable" Perrodin, Jockey Etienne and blues ambassador and producer David Kearns. Tickets are $35, and proceeds benefit the Music in the Schools outreach program.

'Rock' out at the River Center Thursday

Perhaps one of the biggest Broadway surprises of the past decade, Rock of Ages, is coming to Baton Rouge. Featuring of-the-era hit songs, Rock of Ages tells the story of a young rock 'n' roller in the '80s who wants to make something more of his life. Some of the choice music cuts include "Nothin' But a Good Time," "We Built This City," "Can't Fight This Feeling" and "Any Way You Want It." The touring production starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the River Center. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Staff Playlist

“Let Me Move You”
New collection People, Hell & Angels provides a different take on Hendrix's brilliance through experimental recordings and previously unreleased studio material. The energetic “Let Me Move You,” with sax and vocals by the legendary Lonnie Youngblood, is a lively gem full of the R&B funk and wah-wah sounds that blues fans are sure to enjoy.

Music: Best Bets

The erratic, psychedelic and weirdly funky music of indie pop ensemble Of Montreal will fill the Varsity early this month. The band, building on more than a decade of wild performances and music, has been on tour supporting 2012's Paralytic Stalks, an album of new music, and Daughter of Cloud, a compilation of unreleased and rare tracks. They stop in Baton Rouge May 5 with Wild Moccasins as the opening act.

Climbing the musical mountain

Local singer-songwriter Peter Simón is perhaps best known for his talents on the guitar. Yet, for all his proficiency on that instrument, he actually grew up playing something else.

Pistol packin'

The daughter of East Texas private detectives, Miranda Lambert was taught from an early age how to handle a gun. At 29, she still hunts deer in season.

A Haven for the creative

A typical Sunday morning at church may include fellowship, a sermon and prayer, and that's pretty much what you'll find at Haven Church on the Sabbath Day. But on Fridays and Saturdays, you'll more likely find secular-leaning local art and musicians, and quite possibly a bottle of whiskey—because Haven is far from your typical church.

My favorite summer road trip songs

Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin gives 225 his advice on the best car songs for this summer.

All summer lawn

Oscar winner The Artist introduced a whole new generation to silent cinema in 2011.

Lend me your ears
"I just bought Josh Ritter's new record, The Beast In Its Tracks. He's brilliant, as always. Word on the Nashville street—I'll be move there soon—is that Johnny Depp is living there and working on a project with Jack White, and I'm definitely interested in whatever comes of that collaboration."

Events outside the box

Upstairs at a warehouse on Main Street near downtown, artist Raina Wirta is standing atop a very tall ladder, adjusting the lighting above a giant, furry (yes, furry) dome-like structure that hangs from the ceiling. The LSU MFA candidate unveiled her exhibition “(un)familiar” to a crowd last Friday. Earlier that week, she was busy putting together the finishing touches.