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Spring in NOLA typically means one thing: Jazz Fest. And while the granddaddy of the local music experience does get underway in late April, the next two months are simply the deepest on the calendar for music fans—even if you skip the fairgrounds entirely.

Can’t miss for March/April

The question that should dictate your next two months is simple. What kind of music fan are you? If you want to hear the latest releases, acts like Waxahatchee and Dan Deacon will have new material. If life has been too busy and you need a refresher on 2014’s must-hear music, Sylvan Esso, TVOTR and Run The Jewels will help you fill a belated Pazz & Jop ballot.  Need a new favorite band? Son Lux, Screaming Females and Twerps are all destined for bigger venues. And while NOLA legends can be found anytime of year (especially at Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest), American music period legends like Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and Elvis Costello join the Toussaints and Dr. John’s this month.

So how do you parse down such a plentiful slate into a single show to see? Well, you probably don’t. A ticket to Jazz Fest will get you the most total music for your dollar, but your concert time might be better spent elsewhere depending on your preferences. For me, I used to review concerts weekly in San Francisco, and the editors typically sent me to see bluegrass or college radio acts. Three of the best sets I saw during that time belong to bands coming through NOLA before May. There’s Deacon, a maestro whose recordings don’t do things justice. His performances are as much participatory art experiment as there are flat out dance party. Twin Shadow blew me away with his rock savant-ness, so although Confess doesn’t live up to Forget he’s got a new LP in store for 2015. But I only pre-ordered tickets to one: Father John Misty at the Civic, where J. Tillman will inevitably continue his hypnotic dancing, crooning, and overall embodiment of 21st century Elvis. The band’s set is so good, I reviewed it twice. Don’t hesitate to skip out of the first Jazz Fest Saturday a bit early accordingly.

If spending $50…

[Sylvan Esso, 3/26 at Tipitina’s—$15]

[Waxahatchee, 4/19 at Gasa Gasa—$12]

[Father John Misty, 4/25 at the Civic—$25.70] = $52.70 *We cheated, but there’s too much music. 

Curated calendar

DeslondesSiberia (3/6) Fri

QuintronOne Eyed Jacks (3/7) Saturday

Journey + Steve Miller—Smoothie King (3/8) Sun

John Mellancamp—Saenger (3/10) Tu

Horse FeathersGasa Gasa (3/12) Th

The Zombies—House of Blues (3/12) Th

Elvis Costello—Civic (3/12) Th

BUKU Festival: Passion Pit, Empire of the Sun, TVOTR, RTJ and more—Convention Center (3/13-3/14) Fri, Sat

Big Chief Bodreaux—The Mint (3/13) Fri

Screaming Females—Gasa Gasa (3/15) Sun (*Sisters In Christ Records)

Hundred Waters—Republic (3/16) Mon

Twerps—Gasa Gasa (3/18) Wed

Son Lux—Gasa Gasa (3/21) Sat

Twin ShadowRepublic (3/24) Tu

Stevie Wonder—Smoothie King (3/24) Tu

Sylvan EssoTipitina’s (3/26) Th

Air Sex Championships—Hi-Ho (3/27) Fri

Hogs for the Cause (Moon Hooch and more)—City Park (3/27)  Fri

Swans—One Eyed Jacks (4/3) Fri

of Montreal—House of Blues (4/4) Sat

Dyngus Day—Siberia (4/6) Mon

French Quarter Festival (Rebirth, Toussaint, John Boutte and more)—FQ (4/9-4/11) Th-Sat

New Found Glory—Tipitina’s (4/11) Sat

Polica—Gasa Gasa (4/12) Sun

Sleater-Kinney—Civic (4/19) Sun

Waxahatchee—Gasa Gasa (4/19) Sun

Ting Tings—One Eyed Jacks (4/20) Mon

Dan Deacon—Republic (4/21) Tues

Peter Hook—Republic (4/22) Wed

Dr. John—Tipitina’s (4/23) Th

Kermit Ruffins + The Soul Rebels—Armstrong Park (4/23) th

Sweet Crude—Ogden (4/23) Th

Jazz Fest: Wilco, The Who, Juvenile, John Legend—Fairgrounds (4/24-4/26; 4/30-5/3) Fri-Sun then Th-Sun

Father John Misty—Civic (4/25) Sat

Benjamin Booker—One Eyed Jacks (4/25) Sat

Robert Randolph—Tipitina’s (4/26) Sun

Bob Dylan—Saenger (4/29) Wed

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