Saturday, Feb. 1; 10 p.m.
The Maison, 508 Frenchmen St.
Yojimbo is a wildly tuned package of in-your-face party music that will get you up and dancing no matter what. Composed of some unmistakable musical talents, the band has been a regular in the New Orleans music scene since 2010 bringing smiles to people's faces with their high-energy blend of funk, jazz, and punk. Most often performing as a trio with Doc Welch on keys, Carly Meyers on trombone, and Adam Gertner on drums, the band has a unique tone that reflects the uplifting spirit and vivacious attitude of the art they create. Carly Meyers leads the charge, wielding the trombone in a way many have never seen as her body goes into a dancing frenzy while she poetically shapes every note to form her vibrant tone. Welch fills up the space beautifully on the keys with a playing style that is both psychedelically creative and professionally masterful as Gertner wails on the drum set with a rocking attitude that accompanies his jazz chops. Having released two albums to date, We Are Dogs in2011and Bumble Bee Crown King in 2013, the dynamic group has an inspiring amount of material to satisfy all of you Yojimbo needs. They're fresh, hip, and ready to rock your mind. -Chris DiBenedetto
Thursday, Feb. 6; 9 p.m.
Howlin' Wolf, 901 S. Peters St.
Howlin-wolf.com; $20 One of the biggest decisions in an artist's career is whether to get signed by a major label or pursue the road to riches and fame independently. Sure, major labels provide the funding, but they also take away what makes an artist unique: creative control. Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hu$$le, aka Neighborhood Nip, chose to rightfully cherish his creative freedom and simultaneously revolutionized the business model of the rap industry when he parted with Epic/Cinematic Records then successfully continued his rap career independently under his co-owned label All Money In. One of XXL Magazine's Most Fashionable Rappers of 2013 and owner of his own Los Angeles based clothing store Crenshaw, Nipsey Hu$$le's hustle will soon land him on the cover of Forbes Magazine as one of the savviest entrepreneurs and marketing geniuses of our time. Nipsey grabbed the world's attention, right on time for his upcoming 2014 studio album release, Victory Lap, with the "Proud To Pay" program selling an autographed copy of his Crenshaw mixtape for $100 and grossing $100,000 in only a couple of hours. Also releasing the mixtape for free, the self-proclaimed book addict'smusic is well worth the money. A great listen from start to finish, Nipsey feeds knowledge and truth to his fans in songs like "Face The World" where he advises "Regardless of what you're into, regardless of what you've been through, I feel like I got to tell you, You've got something to contribute." Come experience musical history as Nipsey Hu$$le performs in New Orleans at The Howlin' Wolf. -Telle Ink
The Spring Quartet: Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese
Thursday, Feb. 6; 8 p.m.
The Civic Theatre, 510 O'Keefe St.
It is a common complaint that New Orleans' focus on trad-jazz often crowds modern jazz off the stage, but The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and the Civic Theater collaborated to provide New Orleans with an intentionally inexpensive concert featuring four of the most acclaimed and talented modern jazz musicians in contemporary America. John DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding, and Leo Genovese will play as a quartet with multiple Grammies between them. DeJohnette is the most veteran of the musicians, a composer and drummer who has played with Sonny Rollins, John Henderson, Miles Davis, and many others. Spalding is the youngest star of the group, whose bass-play, singing and fresh compositions have ushered in a young growing fan base with her popular releases, Radio Music Society and Chamber Music Society. Lovano, a saxophonist, is the band leader of "The US Five," which now includes Spalding, while the Argentine Genovese has collaborated on piano with Spalding for years. Their confluence readily qualifies them as a contemporary jazz super-group. The "Spring Quartet" is playing a selective tour at a handful of venues around the United States and should exhibit tightly orchestrated compositions with talented improvisational work on stage. Their performance at the Civic Theater will be a highly anticipated event in a jazz city eager for more modern jazz headliners. -Samuel Nelson
Friday, Feb. 7; 8 pm
Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St.
Art is where the heart is at the 2014 edition of the SweetArts Ball that celebrates local artists of all kinds. This is a progressive party that begins with oysters, champagne, and hors d'oeurvres, perfect for a Valnetine's date, on the CAC's first floor, then you'll ascend to the second floor at 9 pm to see the ribbon cutting for the 30 Americans exhibition, then the third floor opens up at 10 pm to reveal desserts and dancing. There will be live music, lots of food from the best local chefs, expertly crafted cocktails and a full bar. The SweetArts Print Shop by Dark Spring Press features a typewriter and letterpress where artists can create poems and prints for your partner. If you dress in all black or white, the fashionistas from Seven Men's Magazine will add some color to your palette. Presented by the Helis Foundation, 30 Americans is a collection made by the Rubell Family of Miami, Florida, of poignant and provocative works by African Americans over the past forty years. Members of the CAC will pay only $100 for tickets, and it's never to late to become an official patron of the arts! -Emily Hingle
The Wooden Wings feat. Mobley + West Without
Friday, Feb. 7; 10 p.m.
Gasa Gasa, 4920 Freret St.
The Wooden Wings are a local band of rockers who come complete with two lead female vocalists that work together with the band to hone a unique sound as they gently caress and wildly uplift their brand of original tunes. After releasing their latest full length album, Liminal, in 2012 the band wasted no time going on a regional tour, spreading the good word about The Wooden Wings beyond their home in the Crescent City. Their music has been compared to that of a modern age Fleetwood Mac, though you can easily hear an array of other influences stemming from the bands past as well as from the contemporary aspects of the music. Joining them at Gasa Gasa will be renowned Austin-based band Mobley, who just released an album of their own entitled Young Adult Fiction. This album is slightly darker in tone compared to the upbeat indie/soul 2011 release, Let Slip, though the band still operates with their signature energetic rockin' soul sound. Also gracing the stage that night is Baton Rouge indie rock group West Without whose singles such as "Give Me Your Heart" throws the audience into a dark psychedelic frenzy accompanied by beautifully layered vocals and instrumentation. -Chris DiBenedetto
Friday, Feb. 7; 8 p.m.
Howlin' Wolf, 907 S. Peters St.
Nerds rule the world these days; Among other fine qualities that you should admire, they invent the technology that people will stand in line for days just to purchase first. And the culture that created them is being celebrated en mass at the Wizard World Comic Con happening at the Convention Center on February 7 - 9. If you plan on attending Wizard World's Comic Con because you enjoy nothing more than being surrounded by nostalgic comics, superhero toys, pop culture icons, and costumed adults, then you should plan on also attending the nerd parade krewe Chewbacchus' Comic Con after party called the All-Nerd Rock-A-Thon at the Howlin' Wolf immediately after the first day of the Con closes. You won't need to walk through the streets of the Warehouse District alone in your Spiderman suit or high-slit, low-cut Elvira dress; join Chewbacchus, the Brown Coat Brass Band, and a trail of happy revelers as they second line from the convention to the venue which will house the righteous raucous party. Performing live for your entertainment will be the mad scientist musical group the Consortium of Genius (C.O.G.), Sci-Fried who are coming up from Orlando, Florida, and Space Metal. You can enter your home-made costume masterpiece in their costume contest, hosted by the maddest scientist of C.O.G., Dr. Milo T. Pinkerton III. One prize includes a lifetime membership in Chewbacchus. This event will bring out the geek in you if, for some reason, you never let it shine before. -Emily Hingle
Trey Anastasio Band
Saturday Feb. 8; 8 p.m.
House of Blues, 225 Decatur Street
With a successful career wielding a tone and technique that is truly his own, guitarist, singer, composer, and all around musician Trey Anastasio has been wowing audiences around the globe for decades. Heading the jam band legends in Phish since the late 1980's, Anastasio has also forged himself a promising solo career as the songwriter and releases his own album this year. Appropriately entitled Traveler, the album was coproduced by Peter Katis and marks one of the artist's busiest years in his career. Though Trey Anastasio Band, often referred to as TAB, has had many configurations throughout the years, the band has always honed Anastasio's vibrant spirit and impeccable virtuosity on the guitar. Starting in 1998, the band was once very horn based, but now holds the keys to a more rock sound that is decorated with an array of instrumentation, background singers, and genres. They aren't afraid to cover anything, and this makes the audience expect everything. Traveler will only come to reveal a new appreciation for the band who has now stood the test of time, unleashing new tracks for the legendary guitarists rabid fan base to hear with the addition of a few new members to the live lineup. -Chris DiBenedetto