POSTED Thu. Oct 22, 2015

Creative Culture

Block Party! Community Records Annual Indie Band Blowout Returns

New Orleans has long been a magnet city for DIY musicians, and since its inception in 2008, NOLA-based record label Community Records has championed a wide range of young, energetic indie bands. Showcasing punk, garage, rock ‘n’ roll, ska, post-rock, and more, the label has released close to one-hundred records, and almost all of it is available for free on their website.

In order for Community Records to thrive, however, the label has to rely on both the generosity of its fans and, of course, live concerts/fundraising events. Enter: Block Party. For the eighth straight year, Community Records will throw its signature, blowout concert event, featuring independent artists from near and far. The party takes place at Gasa Gasa on Friday, October 23rd and Saturday, October 24th.

This year, for the first time, Block Party will take place over not one, but two days. Community Records co-founder Daniel “D-Ray” Ray explained that “spreading Block Party out over the weekend makes it easier on the promoters, the bands, the fans, everybody. In the past, we’ve exhausted ourselves, been outside all day. This year, everyone will get a little more time to hang out.”

Though the Community Records Block Party is a relatively recent New Orleans tradition, the event attracts a decent number of out-of-owners, especially from other cities with a similar DIY punk rock scene (think Nashville, Memphis, Chicago, etc…).

“We showcase the bands we’ve released on the label, obviously,” said D-Ray. “But we also book friends that we’ve associated with around the country.”

A few notable out-of-town acts to check out:

Ratboys From Chicago, this is acoustic pop-rock, perfect soundtrack for a windows-down drive along a midwestern interstate.

Gnarwhal Progressive punk two-piece from Nashville. All about some shredding.

Ben Katzman’s Degreaser Vintage rock ‘n’ roll with a dose of weirdo power-pop from Boston.

Ex-Breathers Tallahassee weirdo-punk extraordinaires.

Of course, outside of some visiting acts, there’s some familiar local favorites, such as:

Woozy The three-piece experimental rock group just released their debut LP Blistered on October 16th though Community Records and Exploding in Sound. Their heavy, complex song-structures led to the apt self-description as a band with an “introspective singer/songwriter brain in a Frankenstein body.”

Donovan Wolfington Nostalgic indie-punk with a hint of southern rock thrown in for good measure. One of the best, young local bands in town for the past few years.

Block Party is a fast-paced, intimate affair, with eighteen bands on one stage over the course of two nights. “I don’t really like watch bands play more than 25 minutes,” said D-Ray. “The idea is to keep things moving, keep people wanting one more song.”

See the full Block Party bill on this Grady Bell-designed flyer that’s up in every coffee shop around town. Bell is also performing as solo-act Fishplate at the Block Party preshow at Hey! Cafe (4332 Magazine St) on Oct 22.

“The preshow allows us to get a few more bands on the bill,” said D-Ray. “As well as get everybody excited for the rest of the weekend.” It costs five bucks.

Weekend passes for Block Party cost $25. Single-day passes for Friday are $15, while passes for Saturday cost $20. Block Party takes place on October 23rd and 24th at Gasa Gasa / Sisters in Christ (4920 Freret Street).

Image courtesy of Community Records via Facebook.

POSTED Jul 18, 2019

Creative Culture

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