Dirty Dozen Brass Band - I dunno what to say. there aren't too many soulful acts left in this world, and I'm glad these guys are still around. everyone was a virtuoso and they combined funk, soul, r&b, salsa, afro-cuban and gospel into this one amazing thing that is uniquely new orleans. Everything was wild, everyone was dancing.
Squirrel Nut Zippers - I only went to see them because of high school nostalgia. They were good but not outstanding. I went with Lucid and got her dancing just a little bit, so mission accomplished. Katherine Whalen and the band did a beautiful rendition of "you you you you you" for the encore and that kicked ass.
Circus Contraption - a Seattle based Circus act and rockabilly band. The circus stuff was pretty average, but the music was amazing. Too many smelly hippies though.
Maneja Beto - mexican traditional meets indie rock from austin. good shit. spun a few super tall latinas on the dance floor. I don't remember much from that night except I went in with a little Venezuelan girl but ended up being dragged around the dance floor by this 6 foot tall mexican lady.
Alice Smith - a sultry new soul singer with a voice only to be rivaled by her booty, had a rocking band backing her up. She was really new but completely blew everyone away. She had an amazing range and really funny/ intimate lyrics.
Trombone Shorty and the Orleans Ave. - saw this kid last saturday night. Nobody in his band is older than 23, but these kids tore it up. They combined New Orleans funk with classic rock-influenced grooves. Good idea, great execution, and a puzzling large number of single pretty girls who went by themselves. A student of mine was a Katrina survivor, and his grandma would always tell me about the great music coming out of there, while on the verge of tears. I shed tears for them when the band did some old timey New Orleans tunes. They also introduced to stage this hot girl named Lilla D Moane. She did some marvin gaye and such. She was hot and she could sing, but not much else I guess. Still, look up this girl if she comes to your town.
Daniel Johnston - It was awesome seeing him last night. He wasn't in the best shape though - his hands were quivering the entire time, looked like side effects from anti-depressants to me. His broken heart cannot be touched. He just came out with this little backpack guitar and blew everyone away with his lyrics and singing. Then a much better guitarist came in to back him up, doing really beautiful renditions of songs like Living Life. The place was packed. I had two friends who couldn't get tickets, so they came in with a felt tip marker and had one of them doing exact replicas of my hand stamp and my buddy's. It was pretty amazing. He only lasted about 50 minutes - did three songs by himself, three songs backed by the guitarist, two songs on the grand piano, and then a handful of quickies backed by the opening band. It was pretty rock'n'roll but the band wasn't that good at backing him up. He told great stories and jokes between the songs and the sets too. It was really moving; everyone's waited for a long time to see him now, I think. The hipsters in this city tend to be more hostile and townie-esque, but last night they did pretty good. Nobody left without goosebumps.
For comedians I saw Louis CK, Arj Barker, and Todd Barry. All of them hilarious. Louis CK is a comic virtuoso though.